The Creative Mind

The Creative Mind

The Creative Mind

The Creative Mind


"The Creative Mind", the last of Henri Bergson's works to be published, is a masterly autobiography of his philosophical method: how he became a philosopher, why he is a philosopher, and what philosophy must be. These, the man and his work, compose a definite critique of philosophy. His skill is matched by his intensity: his "calling" shines through on every page.

Until philosophy leaves its false paths, Bergson demonstrates, it will remain a wordy dialectic, a beating of false problems, and it will never become a search for truth. How this search is to be undertaken is carefully outlined by the author. He builds as he destroys, using the rubble of the old to build the new. His is a philosophy on the move, the rationale of man's spiritual drive, the mind gathering strength from its mastery of the of the material world to contemplate itself, to find at the core of intuition the moving element of discovery and free the possessive sense of novelty. Life is to be grasped in handfuls, but with the sure grasp of discipline.


This collection comprises first of all, two introductory essays written especially for it, and consequently heretofore unpublished. They make up a third of the volume. The rest are articles or lectures, mostly out of print, which appeared in France or in other countries. Taken as a whole, they date from the period between 1903 and 1923. They bear mainly upon the method I believe should be recommended to the philosopher. To go back to the origin of this method, to trace the direction it impresses upon research, is the particular object of the two essays which make up the introduction.

In a book which appeared in 1919 under the title L'Energie spirituelle, I collected some "essays and lectures" dealing with the results of some of my work. The present collection, in which are grouped "essays and lectures," is a sequel to the first, relating this time to the task of research.

The "Delegates of the Clarendon Press" of Oxford have very kindly authorized the re-printing in this volume of the two lectures, so carefully edited by them, which I gave in 1911 at Oxford University. I extend to them my cordial thanks.

H. B.

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