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Now to state this proposition is enough to show its absurdity. The
I also see how this body influences external images: it gives back
But if my body is an object capable of exercising a genuine and
Now the system of images in which the scalpel has effected only
I know that external objects make in the afferent nerves a distur
The sole dificulty would consist in bringing forth from these very
The dificulty of this problem is mainly due to the fact that the
It might be stated as follows: Here is a system of images which
E\ery image is within certain images and without others; but
Now no philosophical doctrine denies that the same images can
On this condition alone a science of the universe becomes possi
Now it is just this postulate that we dispute. Even the most
But as soon as we compare the structure of the spinal cord with
That is to say that the nervous system is in no sense an appara-
The images which surround us will appear to turn toward our body
They will detach from themselves that which we have arrested on
That which is given is the totality of the images of the material
This is as much as to say that there is for images merely a differ
The whole dificulty of the problem that occupies us comes
This is no hypothesis. We content ourselves with formulating
What then do we ask of you? Merely to give up your magician's
When a lesion of the nerves or of the centers interrupts the
The cause of the general illusion on this point lies in the appar-
But the truth is that perception is no more in the sensory centers
Psychologists who have studied infancy are well aware that our
The distinction between the inside and the outside will then be
My body is that which stands out as the center of these percep
The first of these facts is that our senses require education
Neither sight nor touch is able at the outset to localize impres-
To perceive all the influences from all the points of all bodies would
The second fact brought forward consists of what was long
This third argument is drawn from the fact that we pass by
Hence it is inferred that all sensation is naturally and neces-
Before criticizing this questionable interpretation of an unques-
Let us return now to our hypothesis and show that affection
When a foreign body touches one of the prolongations of the
Now we have considered the living body as a kind of center
But this is only a metaphor. We must consider the matter more
But we have to take into account the fact that our body is not a
But the psychologist has much dificulty in accepting this idea
But before we go on to establish the precise relation between
Suppose this problem is solved. The sensations in question are
All that my vision perceives in space is verifed by my touch. Shall
We must take into account that perception ends by being merely
But behind this illusion lurks yet another that extends to the
But thenceforward all difference between perception and recol
In this way also we shall plainly see what position we ought to
But our distinction between "pure perception" and "pure memory"
For it is possible to sum up our conclusions as to pure percep-
Now the essence of every form of materialism is to maintain
But spiritualism has always followed materialism along this
Hence the capital importance of the problem of memory. If it
Let us put the same statement in clearer language. We maintain
We shall first review evidence of various kinds borrowed from nor
We pass now to the consideration of the consequences for the
Sometimes it lies in the action itself and in the automatic setting
It is true that there remains yet another question: how these
We have now to see whether experience verifies these three
I. The two forms of memory I study a lesson, and in order to learn it
When psychologists talk of recollection as of a fold in a mate
And as the acquisition of these memories by a repetition of the
It is true that the example of a lesson learned by heart is to
For the moment we will insist on neither point; we hope to
Now we may say at once that it is because philosophers have
It is alleged that the present perception dives into the depths
But the fact is that the association of a perception with a mem-
At the basis of recognition there would thus be a phenomenon of
To recognize a common object is mainly to know how to use
There is no perception which is not prolonged into movement
Ribot21 and Maudsley22 have long since drawn attention to this
Our daily life is spent among objects whose very presence invites
There can be no dispute as to the frst point. The apparent
Lissauer's observations are instructive on this head.26 His patient
Now it is a fact of common observation that the patient in such
On the answer to this question will depend the nature of the
"apperceptive"29 effort to bring perception into the field of dis-
Stage by stage we shall be led on to define attention as an adap
And the operation may go on indefinitely -memory strengthen-
The experiments of Munsterberg35 and ofKulpe36 leave no doubt
Thus we are constantly creating or reconstructing. Our distinct
We must emphasize this latter point. Attentive perception is
Now it must not be thought that this is a mere matter of words
We have here two radically different conceptions of the intellec
Sometimes the mind is supposed to be absolutely independent of
But it is time to leave these general considerations. We must
Now pathology confrms this forecast. It rereveals to us two
I. I listen to two people speaking in a language which is unknown
Between them and me where is the difference?
This difculty does not appear to have been suficiently noticed
The dificulty would be insuperable if we really had only audi
So a motor accompaniment of speech may well break the con-
I t remains to be considered how an accompaniment of this
We know that in order effectively to pronounce a word the tongue
Kussmaul45 (probably with some exaggeration) acoustic reflexes
But there is something still more perplexing: a word has an
But psychologists may be unwilling to explain in this way the
Nothing is more instructive in this regard than the history of
But how could it be otherwise? To hear some theorists dis-
But we must follow this illusion up to the point where it issues
For notice the strange contradiction to which this theory is
How should it be otherwise? Here again distinct perception
Does not this amount to saying that distinct perception is brought
This is the witness ofintrospection. But we have no right to stop
But then the contradiction we have spoken of disappears. We
We would add that this is but a much abridged version of what
To sum up briefly the preceding chapters: we have distinguished
The capital error of associationism is that it substitutes for this
That which I call my present is my attitude with regard to the
This radical powerlessness of pure memory is just what will
. or which we must experience from them. The date of fulfilment
Hence the immediate horizon given to our perception appears to
But we have great difculty in representing the matter to our-
-existence appears to imply two conditions taken together:
(1) presentation in consciousness and (2) the logical or casual con-
Rather than admit the presence in all cases of the two elements
In the fraction of a second which covers the briefest possible per
A human being who should dream his life instead of living it
We are not concerned here to settle once for all the whole ques-
In this way we may throw more light upon the office and nature of
If we consider as closely as possible the difficulties of a psy-
But this will be more clearly evident if we go back to the purely
But a need goes straight to the resemblance or quality; it cares
This amounts to saying that between the sensori-motor mecha
That every idea which arises in the mind has a relation of simi-
What we reallr need to discover is how a choice is effected
But here we discover the radical vice of associationsim. Given
But there is also another -precisely the one which we have indi-
They are not contingent forms of our psychical life; they repre
From these various considerations on the lower mental life results
We have supposed that the mind travels unceasingly over the
The activity of the mind goes far beyond the mass of accumulated
We were speaking just now of the recent hypothesis which
So dreams would always be the state of a mind of which the atten-
And it appears more and more probable that this relaxing of ten
The idea that the body preserves memories in the mechanical
CHAPTER IV
One general conclusion follows from the first three chapters of
This problem is no less than that of the union of soul and body
It comes before us clearly and with urgency because we make a
That which is commonly called a fact is not reality as it appears
But there is a last enterprise that might be undertaken. It would
We have already attempted to apply this method to the prob
Is a method of this kind applicable to the problem of matter?
Has it not traversed in turn the successive and juxtaposed points
What facilitates this illusion is that we distinguish moments
The arguments of Zeno of Elea have no other origin than this
But things wear a very different aspect when we pass from mathe
Though we are free to attribute rest or motion to any material
Descartes handles motion as a physicist after having defined it as a
Descartes Henry More makes jesting allusion to this last point:
I t may be urged that real movement is distinguished from rela
But why seek elsewhere? So long as we apply a movement to
But if this frst subdivision of the real answers much less to
This is precisely the object of chemistry. It studies bodies rather
Now certainly the difference is irreducible (as we have shown in
As it is overlooked in the doctrine that regards sensation as entirely
400 billion successive vibrations. If we would form some idea of
Now the smallest interval of empty time which we can detect
250 centuries of our history. Is this conceivable? We must distin-
The glance which falls at any moment on the things about us only
Homogeneous space and homogeneous time are then neither
But our erroneous conceptions about sensible quality and space
The essence of English idealism is to regard extensity as a prop-
Al sensations partake of extensityj all are more or less deeply rooted
Contemporary psychology is more and more impressed with
Thereby also some light may be thrown upon the problem
The mistake of ordinary dualism is that it starts from the spa-
Hence hypotheses which are and can be nothing but disguised state-
But does the relation of body and mind become thereby clearer?
We substitute a temporal for a spatial distinction: are the two terms
But have we here anything but a metaphor? Does not a marked
I. The idea that we have disengaged from the facts and confirmed
The body retains motor habits capable of acting the past over again;
II. All the dificulties raised by this problem, either in ordinary
I am quite unable to understand why certain cerebral phenomena
But whereas observation shows me that the images I perceive are
Do we turn to memory? We note that its primary function is to
But this is not all. By allowing us to grasp in a single intuition
III. To take perception first. Here is my body with its "perceptive
Let us mark out at once the intermediate place which we thus
IV. But this theory of "pure perception" had to be both qualified
But the more the distance diminishes between these bodies and
In this interiority of affective sensation consists its subjectiv
(because the effort it involves is an indistinct effort) at once he
V. But, as long as we confine ourselves to sensation and to pure
VI. The theory of memory, around which the whole of our work
We will not here recapitulate in detail the proof we have tried
We were thus led to follow through its windings the progres
But what is this pure memory and what are pure recollections?
By the answer to this inquiry we completed the demonstration of
VII. Let us point out to begin with the metaphysical, and no longer
We have thus transposed a metaphysical problem so as to make
How is it that the testimony of consciousness on this point is
We understand then why a remembrance cannot be the result
VIII. It was not our task to explore this domain. Placed at the
What is the cardinal error of associationism? It is to have set
Yet this is the original vice of associationism
Between the plane of action -the plane in which our body has
IX. By representing elementary mental activity in this manner to
For after having successively studied pure perception and pure
First. If we imagine on the one hand the extended really divided
But this opposition between perception and matter is the artif
Second. Far less artificial is the opposition between quality and
For if you suppose that the qualities of things are nothing but
Third. But if we regard in this way the relations of the extended
The purpose of this bibliography is threefold: (1) to recall the dates
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TOUT Bergson Matter and Memory

TOUT Bergson Matter and Memory

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Published by Ashkan Sepahvand

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Published by: Ashkan Sepahvand on May 31, 2013
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