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Walker Percy, Philosopher (9)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. An Attempt Toward a Natural/Unnatural History of The Lay-Scientific Interface or How Walker Percy Got on the Way to Becoming a Radical (Anthropologist) Scott Cunningham Walker Percy was singularly focused on understanding the structure of symbolic behavior, what he called one of the “essential features of symbolic knowing.” Percy sought understanding of…

Rob Haskell

Today marks the death of my chum Rob Haskell. With hindsight, so much of what Rob told me in his last two years (in person and telephonically) reveals just how profoundly hurt he was: a hurt perpetrated not just by departmental bullies but also by a cowardly lack of gumption in coming to his defence…

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.…