Bergson (Arguments of the Philosophers) by A.R. Lacey

By A.R. Lacey

Bergson used to be one of many most efficient thinkers to come back out of France within the past due 19th century. A.R. Lacey examines his arguments from theories of metaphysics, identification and psychoanalysis to his ethical philosophy and philosophy of technology. This booklet may be of curiosity to academics and scholars of philosophy.

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If it means how could they coincide, we can simply ask, why shouldn’t they? e. why should we expect them to, the point is presumably that they are widely different sorts of things. f I erent they are. It could at most have a certain persuasive force. Bergson pushes the argument a bit further when he insists that duration cannot contain instants in the way that space contains points, just because of this unity of any change, though the apparent analogy with space tempts us to postulate such instants.

But there are many consciousnesses, and the rhythm of duration may be different for each: ‘there is no one rhythm of duration’ (MM, 275), and ‘that homogeneous and impersonal duration, the same for everything and for every one, which flows onward, indifferent and void, external to all that endures’ is, as we saw, ‘an idol of language’ (MM, 274). It is this second-rate homo eneous duration, time rather than duration proper, which wou Kd provide an absolute framework if anything did. (But cf. CM, 212 - 13 (180)) So in what sense is duration absolute?

In the footnote that opens this second chapter he considers a possible case where we seem not to need space, namely when we count simultaneous impressions received by several senses. ’ Two points here call for comment. First, the reason given for needing space is not now that the things must coexist but that they must be individuatable, as though they were as like as two peas. But they weren’t. They were radically different, being impressions of different senses, which we then assimilated by eliminating their differences.

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