Henri Bergson (1859–1941) is widely regarded as one of the most original and important philosophers of the twentieth century. His work explored a rich panoply of subjects, including time, memory, free will and humour and we owe the popular term élan vital to a fundamental insight of Bergson’s. His books provoked responses from some of the leading thinkers and philosophers of his time, including Albert Einstein, William James and Bertrand Russell, and he is acknowledged as a fundamental influence on Marcel Proust.
The Bergsonian Mind is an outstanding, wide-ranging volume covering the major aspects of Bergson’s thought, from his early influences to his continued relevance and legacy. Thirty-six chapters by an international team of leading Bergson scholars are divided into five clear parts:
- Sources and Scene
- Mind and World
- Ethics and Politics
- Bergson and Contemporary Thought.
In these sections fundamental topics are examined, including time, freedom and determinism, memory, perception, evolutionary theory, pragmatism and art. Bergson’s impact beyond philosophy is also explored in chapters on Bergson and spiritualism, physics, biology, cinema and post-colonial thought.
An indispensable resource for anyone in Philosophy studying and researching Bergson’s work, The Bergsonian Mind will also interest those in related disciplines, such as Literature, Religion, Sociology and French Studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Mark Sinclair and Yaron Wolf
Part 1: Sources and Scene
1. The Roots of Bergson’s Concept of Duration Reconsidered Mark Sinclair
2. Bergson vs Herbert Spencer: Real Becoming and False Evolutionism Heike Delitz
3. Bergson at the Collège de France Céline Surprenant
Part 2: Mind and World
4. Duration: A Fluid Concept Susanne Guerlac
5. Bergson on the Immediate Experience of Time Yaron Wolf
6. The Perception of Change and Self-Knowledge: Bergson and Kant Yaron Senderowicz
7. On Freedom: Bergson after Kant Matt Barnard
8. Character and Personality: From a Privileged Image of Durée to the Core of a New Metaphysics Donald Landes
9. Subject and Person in Bergson Camille Riquier
10. Attention to Life and Psychopathology John Ó Maoilearca
11. Bergson on the Emotions Keith Ansell-Pearson
12. Bergson’s Social Philosophy of Laughter Stephen Crocker
13. The Naive Realism of Henri Bergson Robert Watt
14. Bergson and Metaphysical Empiricism Stéphane Madelrieux
15. The Psychological Interpretation of Life Tano Posteraro
16. Bergson on Virtuality and Possibility Tatsuya Murayama
17. Bergsonian Metaphysics: Virtuality, Possibility, and Creativity Adrian Moore
18. Reflections on the Notion of System in Creative Evolution Arnaud François
19. Infinite Divisibility vs. Absolute Indivisibility: What Separates Einstein and Bergson Yuval Dolev
Part 3: Ethics and Politics
20. Closed and Open Societies Alexandre Lefebvre and Nils Schott
21. Bergson on Emotion and Ethical Mobilization Arnaud Bouaniche
22. Bergson and Sociobiology Melanie White
23. The Phantom Presence of War in Bergson’s Two Sources Melanie Weill
Part 4: Reception
24. Bergson and William James Jeremy Dunham
25. Bergson and German Philosophy Caterina Zanfi
26. The Vital Impulse and Early 20th-Century Biology Emily Herring
27. From Time to Temporality: Heidegger’s Critique of Bergson Heath Massey
28. Russell Reading Bergson Andreas Vrahimis
29. The Concept of Substitution in Bergson and Levinas Miguel Paley
30. The Way of the Africans: Césaire, Senghor and Bergson’s Philosophy Souleymane Bachir Diagne
Part 5: Bergson and Contemporary Thought
31. Irreducibility, Indivisibility, and Interpenetration Barry Dainton
32. A Bergsonian Response to McTaggart’s Paradox Matyáš Moravec
33. Bergson and Process Philosophy of Biology Anne Sophie Meincke
34. Bergson as Visionary in Evolutionary Biology Mathilde Tahar
35. ‘Living Pictures’: Bergson, Cinema, and Film Philosophy Dave Deamer
36. Anti-intellectualism: Bergson and Contemporary Encounters Matt Dougherty.
Mark Sinclair is Reader in Philosophy at the University of Roehampton, London, UK. He is the author of Bergson (2020) in the Routledge Philosophers series.
Yaron Wolf is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University College Roosevelt, Utrecht University, the Netherlands.