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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,…

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.…

Walker Percy Wednesday 181

THE SOURCE OF THE ANTINOMY The general source of the antinomy is not to be found, as is sometimes alleged, in the nature of the subject, man, the culture member who practices science but needs myths. Such an anthropology is in the last analysis incoherent because it requires two sorts of men, scientists who observe…

Walker Percy Wednesday 179

The Antinomy of Language Examples of the linguistic assertion S is P. Dr. ltard writes in The Savage of Aveyron that he tried to teach Victor the wild boy the word for milk, lait, as a sign of a biological need, by withholding the milk and uttering the word in its absence. This failed: After…

Walker Percy Wednesday 178

THE ANTINOMIES OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD IN ITS GRASP OF CULTURE Kant believed that when “pure reason” ventures beyond the manifold of experience, it falls into an antinomy. That is to say, equally valid trains of argument lead to contradictory conclusions. Now, apart from the truth or falsity of Kant’s argument, the fact is that…