Browse by:

Walker Percy Wednesday 176

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SYMBOLIC ASSERTION AND A SPACE-TIME EVENT If one examines the characteristic moments of the scientific method, one will discover that they are basically assertions. Even if one happens to be an operationalist and maintains that the business of science is defining the physical operations by which concepts are arrived at and…

Walker Percy Wednesday 175

THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD issues in statements about the world. Whether one is a realist, pragmatist, operationalist, or materialist, one can hardly doubt that the various moments of the scientific enterprise–induction, hypothesis, deduction, theory, law–are all assertions of sorts. Even observation and verification are in the final analysis not the physiological happenings in which the retina…

Walker Percy Wednesday 174

A Tertium Quid: The Lady Novelist? Tolstoy once said that a talented lady novelist could spend five minutes looking through the window of a barracks and know all she needed to know about soldiering. If she can see so much in five minutes, how much more must the talented therapist see after, say, a hundred…

Walker Percy Wednesday 173

The question must arise then: If triadic activity is overt behavior and as such is the proper object of investigation of a factual behavioral science and is not formulable by the postulates and laws of conventional behaviorism, what manner of “postulates” and “laws,” if any, would be suitable for such a science? Or is the…

Walker Percy Wednesday 170

The longer we think about it, the more mysterious the simplest act of naming becomes. It is, we begin to realize, quite without precedent in all of natural history as we know it. But so, you might reply, is the emergence of the eye without precedent, so is sexual reproduction without precedent. These are nevertheless…

Walker Percy Wednesday 169

THE MYSTERY OF LANGUAGE LANGUAGE IS an extremely mysterious phenomenon. By mysterious I do not mean that the events which take place in the brain during an exchange of language are complex and little understood-although this is true too. I mean, rather, that language, which at first sight appears to be the most familiar sort…

Walker Percy Wednesday 168

The American Christian novelist faces a peculiar dilemma today. (I speak, of course, of a dilemma of the times and not of his own personal malaise, neuroses, failures, to which he is at least as subject as his good heathen colleagues, sometimes I think more so.) His dilemma is that though he professes a belief…