Henri Bergson

Henri Bergson (äNrē´ bĕrgsôN´), 1859–1941, French philosopher. He became a professor at the Collège de France in 1900, devoted some time to politics, and, after World War I, took an interest in international affairs. He is well known for his brilliant and imaginative philosophical works, which won him the 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature. Among his works that have been translated into English are Time and Free Will (1889), Matter and Memory (1896), Laughter (1901), Introduction to Metaphysics (1903), Creative Evolution (1907), The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932), and The Creative Mind (1934). Bergson's philosophy is dualistic—the world contains two opposing tendencies—the life force (élan vital) and the resistance of the material world against that force. Human beings know matter through their intellect, with which they measure the world. They formulate the doctrines of science and see things as entities set out as separate units within space. In contrast with intellect is intuition, which derives from the instinct of lower animals. Intuition gives us an intimation of the life force which pervades all becoming. Intuition perceives the reality of time—that it is duration directed in terms of life and not divisible or measurable. Duration is demonstrated by the phenomena of memory.

See H. W. Carr, The Philosophy of Change (1914, repr. 1970); H. M. Kallen, William James and Henri Bergson (1914); P. A. Y. Gunter, Bergson and the Evolution of Physics (1969); L. Kołakowski, Bergson (1985); G. Deleuze, Bergsonism (tr. 1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Henri Bergson: Selected full-text books and articles

Henri Bergson By Jacques Chevalier; Lilian A. Clare Macmillan, 1928
Bergson: Philosopher of Reflection By Ian W. Alexander Bowes & Bowes, 1957
FREE! Creative Evolution By Henri Bergson; Arthur Mitchell Henry Holt, 1913
An Introduction to Metaphysics By Henri Bergson; T. E. Hulme Hackett, 1999
The Bergsonian Controversy in France, 1900-1914 By R. C. Grogin University of Calgary Press, 1988
The Bergsonian Heritage By Thomas Hanna Columbia University Press, 1962
The Case of the Falling Man: Bergson and Chaos Theory By Gantar, Jure Mosaic (Winnipeg), Vol. 32, No. 2, June 1999
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Paradise Reframed: Lewis, Bergson, and Changing Times on Perelandra By Schwartz, Sanford Christianity and Literature, Vol. 51, No. 4, Summer 2002
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
This Cosmic Pawnshop We Call Life: Nathaniel West, Bergson, Capitalism and Schizophrenia By Hoeveler, Diane Long Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 33, No. 3, Summer 1996
Bergson and the Stream of Consciousness Novel By Shiv K. Kumar New York University Press, 1963
Germinal Life: The Difference and Repetition of Deleuze By Keith Ansell Pearson Routledge, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Difference of Bergson"
Being in Time: Selves and Narrators in Philosophy and Literature By Genevieve Lloyd Routledge, 1993
Librarian’s tip: "Bergson: Time and Loss" begins on p. 96
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