The Route of Henri Bergson’s Philosophy

The Route of Henri Bergson’s Philosophy

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

Bergson distances himself from metaphysics, which has dominated thought since the seventeenth century, and turns to positive sciences. He believes that in the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer he has found a natural philosophy suitable for the development of contemporary biology. However, the idea of ​​time in Spencer’s philosophy is suitable for physics and mechanics. Bergson is of the opinion that this understanding of time cannot explain the reality of time. This view leads him to investigate how time is given to consciousness. Bergson finds the understanding of time of the sciences inadequate and turns to time as “duration”. Coming from the natural sciences, he focused on psychology and made the data of consciousness the subject of research.

In Bergson’s Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, he explains consciousness (consciousness), psychic life, and defines consciousness as memory and treats duration as a principle of existence. Thus, the philosopher asked, “What am I?” It aims to give an answer to the question. His second work, his important work Matter and Memory, deals with the question of what the relationship between the self and the universe is. In order to answer this question, Bergson needs to deepen his understanding of matter. The third important question is a cosmological one: “What is the universe?” Here, Creative Evolvement was written to answer this question. His fourth work, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, shows us how a moral life can emerge from such a metaphysics.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook