|About the Book|
I seek to show how Binxs search serves as an example of intersubjectivity by challenging the scientific humanism prevalent in the mid 20th Century. Succinctly put, Binx challenges both the general and the localized versions of scientific humanism.MoreI seek to show how Binxs search serves as an example of intersubjectivity by challenging the scientific humanism prevalent in the mid 20th Century. Succinctly put, Binx challenges both the general and the localized versions of scientific humanism. Percy presents scientific humanism as a characteristic of general society, one co-opted by intellectuals, scientists, and Southern stoics to affirm their beliefs. I use a new methodology that analyzes the search as an educational experience. Binx sharpens and develops the tools necessary in challenging stoicism and scientific humanism. This paper builds on Percy criticism to show doubt and belief as the novels driving forces. Belief serves as a landing pad for the searcher who inevitably comes to doubt- the interplay between the two defines Percys new thinking individual. For Percy, doubt begets a matrix through which an individual tunes into the ideas of others by questioning their beliefs. Through this sharing of ideas --intersubjectivity- individuals form a community of namers, people who arrive at truths through a testing of ideas. In its presentation of belief and doubt, the open plot of the novel becomes a metaphor for the way all humans come to know. Localizing the searchers struggles within scientific humanism and its apostles in Binx, the book demonstrates the constant shifting between doubt and belief. The education provided by the the search, however, leads to Binxs ability to form community by engaging with them in semiotic community- a system built off the meaning of symbols as they pertain to others. Unlike scientific humanisms tendency to isolate individuals as organisms separate from a community, Percys semiotics seek to base community off an intercommunication that affirms the individuals ability to affect meaning.