Henri Bergson

Henri Bergson

Henri Bergson

Henri Bergson

Excerpt

The pages which follow do not in any way aspire to be exhaustive, or even original. The circumstances which gave rise to them will sufficiently account for this characteristic, and will serve the author—at least he hopes so—as an excuse to those who may be inclined to reproach him on that score.

In the spring of 1924, a few weeks before the opening of the holiday courses for foreign students given every year by the Grenoble University, I was asked if I would devote six lectures to the philosophy of Henri Bergson. I agreed, but as a matter of fact, time was lacking to reread the philosopher's works in their entirety. Nor was it possible to set forth, in six lectures of an hour each, the intricacies of so vast a doctrine, the wealth of proofs and analyses it contains, and the vistas it opens up in all directions of human thought. For both these reasons I had to practice intellectual asceticism, and felt constrained to omit a very great deal. By concentrating upon, I will not say essentials, but upon certain aspects of Bergson's philosophy which were most familiar and congenial to me, because they had allowed of my handling its substance and arriving at its core, I might hope that my audience by pursuing the same path with me would reach it also. I therefore sought, by a kind of reflective self-communion, to live over again those . . .

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