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Walker Percy, philosopher (4)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. Walker Percy, Phenomenology, and the Mystery of Language by Carolyn Culbertson In his theoretical essays on language, Walker Percy criticizes contemporary linguistics for overlooking the deep, existential impact that language acquisition has on human life. This acquisition, for Percy, radically transforms the human being’s mode of existence. With the acquisition of language,…

Over and Beyond our Episodic Memories

A most elegant close-grained review essay of Mark Rowlands’ Memory and the Self: Phenomenology, Science and Autobiography by Christopher Jude McCarroll in The Journal of Mind and Behavior. [E]verything bears witness to what we are, our friendships and enmities, our glance and the clasp of our hand, our memory and that which we do not remember, our books…

Walker Percy Wednesday 183

SYMBOL AND CONSCIOUSNESS The selective and intentional character of consciousness has been stressed by empiricists and phenomenologists alike. The conscious act is always intentional: One is never simply conscious, but conscious of this or that. Consciousness is, in fact, defined by the phenomenologist as noematic intentionality in general. But quite as essential to the act…

Walker Percy Wednesday 182

THERE ARE two interesting things about current approaches to consciousness as a subject of inquiry. One is that the two major approaches, the explanatory-psychological and the phenomenological, go their separate ways, contributing nothing to each other. They do not tend to converge upon or supplement each other as do, say, atomic theory and electromagnetic theory.…