[percy-l] Scientism, Symbolic Thought, and Percy

Jay Thompson jay_thompson at rocketmail.com
Mon Jun 18 19:10:03 EDT 2012

Janet, some of the essays are indeed, extremely difficult. I simply chose to press on, tackle what I could, wrestle with what I felt I understood, and continued to hope for enlightenment for the rest. :)

What helped me to some degree with his weightier semiotic-oriented stuff is the fact that I have been reading widely in literary theory for the last ten years or so - I don't pretend to understand all of that material either! Nonetheless, I am convinced that our beloved Walker Percy was on to something quite significant in his "resurrection" (for lack of a better term) of Charles Peirce's ideas.

Having said that, we can all understand this: Percy continued to assert that stability in language exists, that truth can be known, and that our search against the tides of despair and meaninglessness is worth it. A message in the bottle does indeed speak, and even Binx can find light in a dark world.

Jay Thompson
AP Literature, AP Language
Contemporary Literature, Shakespeare
Newburg High School
Newburg, Missouri 65550

 From: janet cantor <janetcantor37 at yahoo.com>
To: Jay Thompson <jay_thompson at rocketmail.com>; Percy-L: Literary and Philosophical Discussion <percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 2:27 PM
Subject: Re: [percy-l] Scientism, Symbolic Thought, and Percy

I am finishing my reading of the letters between Foote and Percy and laughing at the many times Percy tells Foote that he understands how Foote finds the essays difficult. Foote also loves Proust and Percy resists. I think I have more in common with Shelby Foote than with Percy, after all.
One day I will try the essays, but not yet.

--- On Mon, 6/18/12, Jay Thompson <jay_thompson at rocketmail.com> wrote:

>From: Jay Thompson <jay_thompson at rocketmail.com>
>Subject: Re: [percy-l] Scientism, Symbolic Thought, and Percy
>To: "percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org" <percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Date: Monday, June 18, 2012, 1:13 PM
>I have read Lost in the Cosmos, Message in a Bottle, and Signposts. Loved all three of them and I agree that Percy's insights speak pointedly to the wasteland that Post-structuralism has created and definitely speaks to the matter of science's inability to speak to genuine human experience. The fact that the masses engage in this "scientism" is disheartening; the fact that biology, semiotics, anthropology, and the rest continue to be disingenuous all the while duping multitudes of intellectuals is worse.
>Jay Thompson
>AP Literature, AP Language
>Contemporary Literature, Shakespeare
>Newburg High School
>Newburg, Missouri 65550
> From: "percy-l-request at lists.ibiblio.org" <percy-l-request at lists.ibiblio.org>
>To: percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org 
>Sent: Monday, June 18, 2012 11:01 AM
>Subject: Percy-L Digest, Vol 93, Issue 4
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>Message: 1
>Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 08:12:07 -0400
>From: Ken Armstrong <kennenathens at frontier.com>
>Subject: Re: [percy-l] Percy-L Digest, Vol 93, Issue 1
>To: Percy-L at lists.ibiblio.org:Literary and Philosophical Discussion
>    <percy-l at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <4FDF1B17.2040106 at frontier.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>Nice to see some action on the Percy list. I'd just add that the essays 
>are not highly
 technical and many speak directly to the issues of "the 
>culture wars" today. I read Message in the Bottle first, but more from 
>Signposts struck a chord for me, maybe because I was already a convert 
>in regard to symbolic thought. Fateful Rift: San Andreas Fault in the 
>Modern Mind in Signposts couldn't be more germane to today's debates 
>centered around "scientism."
>Ken A
>On 6/18/2012 1:45 AM, janet cantor wrote:
>> Oops, I'm so self absorbed I didn't realize I just repeated a lot from 
>> my earlier post. Sorry about that.
>> And thanks John E. Riley for your response.
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