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Walker Percy, Philosopher (8)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. To Take the Writer’s Meaning: An Unpublished Manuscript on “Peirce and Modern Semiotic” by Walker Percy Kenneth Laine Ketner Percy has been studied under several headings: Catholic, Southerner, Existentialist. Two such aspects, however, have been neglected: the strong influence of Charles Sanders Peirce, plus Percy’s deep competence in laboratory science. His typescript…

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 (7)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. Walker Percy’s Intersubjectivity: An Existential Semiotic or 3 + 3 = 4 Rhonda McDonnell Rhonda McDonnell argues that Walker Percy’s self-described “radical anthropology” is properly understood as Existentialist semiotics. The cornerstone of this anthropology is his concept of intersubjectivity, which was developed through his examination of language development in humans, his participation…

Walker Percy, Philosopher (6)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. Diamonds in the Rough: The Peirce-Percy Semiotic in The Second Coming Karey Perkins Karey Perkins makes the case for the view that Percy is more than a novelist with occasional random existential musings or themes. Although Percy begins in existentialism, his coming across semiotics sparked Percy’s interest in language as the uniquely…

Walker Percy, Philosopher (5)

Forthcoming: Walker Percy, Philosopher. That Mystery Category “Fourthness” and Its Relationship to the Work of C. S. Peirce by Stacey Ake C. S. Peirce posits that the self is known only through negation—by the knower finding out that he or she is wrong. Even more importantly he considers a man to be nothing more than a sign.…

Walker Percy Wednesday 186

AFTER READING Feeling and Form, Susanne Langer’s extraordinary work on aesthetics, one inevitably goes back to her earlier book Philosophy in a New Key, of which according to the author the former is the companion volume — not just to get one’s bearings in the general semiotic on which the aesthetic is based, but in…

Walker Percy Wednesday 185

What has this to do with existentialism? We will pass over the epistemological consequences of symbolic knowing, the possession of the thing by the symbol rather than adaptation by signal-a knowing which is indeed existential in the broad sense of knowing something by being something-and go at once to the more typical existentialia. The recognition…