Who is Henri Bergson?June 25, 2021
French philosopher Henri Bergson was born in Paris in 1859.
The movement was the pioneer of what he called “process philosophy”, rejecting static values according to the values of change and evolution. The thinker, who was also a good man of letters, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927.
His teaching career began outside of Paris. In his 1889 work Time and Free Will, Bergson sought to explain the concept of time as opposed to what he saw as a spatialized conceptual understanding of time measured by a clock employed by science. . He claimed that the psychological facts in the inner self of man are qualitatively different from each other and that psychologists in particular distort the facts. He criticized Fechner’s Law, which suggested that it establishes a calculable relationship between the intensity of the stimulus and the intensity of the corresponding sensation. He argued that objections to human freedom in the name of scientific determinism were unfounded.
In 1891 he married Louise Neuburger, cousin of the French novelist Marcel Proust. Meanwhile, he set out to explore the relationship between mind and body. The prevailing doctrine was psychophysiological parallelism, which asserted that for every psychological fact there is an appropriate physiological fact that definitively determines it. Although he was convinced that he had refuted the determinism argument, his own work in his doctoral thesis did not attempt to explain how mind and body were related. The findings of his research on this problem were published in 1896 under the title Matière et mémoire (Matter and Memory).
His analysis, as in his books, began with the identification of a specific problem and first studied empirical facts known to current scientific opinion. Therefore, for his book Matière et Mémoire, he did a literature review on memory, psychological phenomena, and the loss of language use. According to the psychophysiological parallelism theory, a lesion in the brain must also affect the basis of a psychological force. The emergence of Bergazi aphasia showed that this was not the case. In this way, the affected person understands what others have to say, knows what he wants to say, does not paralyze his speech organs and cannot speak. This fact claims that it is not a lost memory but rather the bodily mechanism necessary to express it. From this observation, Bergson concluded that the memory, mind, or spirit is independent of the body and is used to achieve its own purposes.
Retired in 1914, the philosopher died in Paris in 1941.
He is the son of a Jewish family who immigrated from England to France. During his high school years, he first became interested in mathematics and then philosophy. While studying philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure, he was influenced by the evolutionism of Herbert Spencer.
Evolutionism is the view that, in Charles Darwin’s (1809-1882), The Origin of Species (1859), all living things are actually descended from a common ancestor, that species do not remain as they were in the beginning or as they were created, but that they change constantly by adapting to new conditions in the world. Darwin calls the mechanism that determines which living things will exist and which will perish, “natural selection.” The idea of evolution played an important role in the emergence of biology as a science in the 19th century. The classification of living things and the biological system could be established thanks to this idea. Influenced by Charles Darwin’s theories, Herbert Spencer is a thinker who moved the concept of evolution from the field of biology to the field of philosophy and sociology.
While studying Plato’s philosophy, he was also researching the natural sciences, especially biology. Bergson taught philosophy at various high schools before teaching at the École Normale Supérieure. He was elected a member of the French Academy in 1914. He served at the Collège de France. Bergson, who went into seclusion after 1924 due to health problems, died in Paris in 1941.
Bergson’s philosophy is found in his four main works:
1. Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness (Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (1889)).
2. Matter and Memory (Matière et mémoire (1896)).
3. Creative Evolution (L’Évolution créatrice (1907)).
4. The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion (1932))
Apart from these four works, the philosopher also has two books such as Laughter (Le Rire, (1900)), Continuity and Simultaneity (Durée et simultanéité (1922)). These works apply Bergson’s general teaching to specific problems. In addition to these, the books titled The Power of Mind (L’Énergie spirituelle (1919)) and Thought and Movement (La Pensée et le mouvant (1919)) contain articles and conference proceedings compiled by Bergson himself, which shed light on the four main works mentioned above. . Bergson has willed that his unfinished texts, lecture notes and letters not be published after his death.
Bergson has a dualist understanding of being. Being, spatial matter