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Walker Percy Wednesday 140

Yet they, the lay scientists, those who perceive themselves in the community of scientists and at some remove from the ordinary world, may be better off than those who live immanent lives, beneficiaries of science and technology, but with only a glimmering of the scientists, the glimmering that there are scientists and that “they” know…

Walker Percy Wednesday 139

Self as Transcendent. In a post-religious age, the only transcendence open to the self is self-transcendence, that is, the transcending of the world by the self. The available modes of transcendence in such an age are science and art. 00000 Reentry problems become noticeable in less inspired scientists. The divorced wife of an astronomer at the…

Walker Percy Wednesday 137

I will not try to decide here whether what the word apple conjures up in your mind, its signifié, is a percept or a concept, because it is somewhere in between, A percept refers to an individual apple. A concept is an abstraction from all apples, a definition of apple. But the signifié of apple…

Walker Percy Wednesday 134

The so-called détentes and reconciliations between “Science” and “Religion” are even more boring. What is more boring than hearing Heisenberg’s uncertainty relations enlisted in support of the freedom of the will? The traditional scientific model of man is clearly inadequate, for a man can go to heroic lengths to identify and satisfy his needs and…

Walker Percy Wednesday 133

Question (I): Are people depressed despite unprecedented opportunities for education, vocations, self-growth, cultural enrichment, travel, and recreation (a) Because modern life is more difficult, complex, and stressful than it has ever been before? (b) Because, for men, competition in the marketplace is fiercer than ever? (c) Because, for women, life as a housewife is lonelier than…

Walker Percy Wednesday 132

The word boredom did not enter the language until the eighteenth century. No one knows its etymology. One guess is that bore may derive from the French verb bourrer, to stuff. Question: Why was there no such word before the eighteenth century? (a) Was it because people were not bored before the eighteenth century? (But wasn’t…

Walker Percy Wednesday 131

Question: During the week following Pearl Harbor, the incidence of suicide declined dramatically across the nation. Was this decline a consequence of (1) A rise in patriotic fervor and a sense of purpose? (2) A new sense of interest (e.g., something, even war, is better than nothing. Peace in the 1930s was like nothing)? 00000…