William James and Henri Bergson: A Study in Contrasting Theories of Life

William James and Henri Bergson: A Study in Contrasting Theories of Life

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William James and Henri Bergson: A Study in Contrasting Theories of Life

William James and Henri Bergson: A Study in Contrasting Theories of Life

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In the spring of 1912 I was asked to give a series of talks on the relation between the philosophies of William James and Henri Bergson. This book is the outcome of the meditations which compliance with that request demanded. I have sought in it to draw the "counterfeit presentment of two brothers," brothers in that they are the children of the same age, that the same blood of its characteristic and perhaps unique tradition runs in the veins of their thought, and also, it may be, in that their individualities are so strikingly distinct and unique.

"There is," William James writes somewhere, "very little difference between one man and another; but what little there is, is very important." The difference between James and Bergson has seemed to me much more than little, and of an importance difficult to calculate in advance; for the difference turns on what is ultimately a philosophic prevision of the future and a philosophic summation of the past.

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