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LAWLOR, Leonard, Challenge of Bergsonism. Phenomenology, Ontology, Ethics

LAWLOR, Leonard, Challenge of Bergsonism. Phenomenology, Ontology, Ethics

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  • Chapter One: The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 1
  • Chapter Two: The Concept of Memory: Ontology 27
  • Chapter Three: The Concept of Sense: Ethics 60
  • Conclusion: Think in Terms of Duration 80
  • III. The Trumpery of Nature 97
  • IV. Mystical Experience: Emotion and Image 99
  • i
  • II
  • IV

The Challenge of Bergsonism: Phenomenology, Ontology, Ethics

Leonard Lawlor


The Challenge of Bergsonism

For my parents

ELthics LEONARD LAWLOR ontinuum LONDON • NEW YORK . Ontology.The Challenge of Bergsonism Phenomenology.

ISBN: 0-8264-6802-0 (hardback). or any information storage or retrieval system. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. 0-8264-6803-9 (paperback) Typeset by YHT Ltd. New York. 11 York Road. prior permission in writing from the publishers. including photocopying. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. Guildford and King's Lynn .Continuum The Tower Building. NY 10010 © Leonard Lawlor 2003 All rights reserved. electronic or mechanical. London Printed and bound in Great Britain by Biddies Ltd. London SE1 7NX 15 East 26th Street. recording.

Contents Acknowledgements Abbreviations Preface: Memory and Life Chapter One: The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology The Artifice The Threefold Differentiation in Order to Determine the Concept of the Image The Role of the Body The Theory of Pure Perception Chapter Two: The Concept of Memory: Ontology The Primacy of Memory The Two Differences in Nature that Define Memory The Central Metaphysical Problem of Existence The Image of the Cone Chapter Three: The Concept of Sense: Ethics The Bergsonian Concept of Intuition Bergson's Philosophy of Language Conclusion: Think in Terms of Duration Appendix I: The Point where Memory Turns Back into Life: An Investigation of Bergson's The Two Sources of Morality and Religion vii viii ix 1 1 4 11 18 27 29 31 39 43 60 63 70 80 85 I. The Theoretical and Practical Objectives of The Two Sources of Morality and Religion 86 .



II. Asceticism and Sexuality III. The Trumpery of Nature IV. Mystical Experience: Emotion and Image Conclusion: The Star Appendix II: English Translation of Jean Hyppolite's 1949 'Aspects divers de la memoire chez Bergson' ('Various Aspects of Memory in Bergson'), translated by Athena V. Colman Notes Bibliography Index

91 97 99 110

112 128 136 143


I would like to thank Miguel de Beistegui who invited me to deliver three lectures on Bergson at the Collegium Phaenomenologicum in Citta di Costello, Italy, during July of 1999. I would also like to thank John Mullarkey, Frederic Worms, Renaud Barbaras, Keith Ansell Pearson and Marie Cariou for helping me understand Bergson's philosophy. Finally, I would like to thank the students who participated in two graduate seminars on Bergson that I taught at the University of Memphis (spring 1999 and spring 2002). In particular, I would like to thank Heath Massey, who proofread and indexed the manuscript. The writing of this book was made possible by a Faculty Research Grant from the University of Memphis (summer 2001). Note: Appendix II is an English translation by Athena V. Colman of Jean Hyppolite's 'Aspects divers de la memoire chez Bergsons', in Jean Hyppolite, Figures de la pensee philosophique, tome /, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1971: 468-88. Michel Meyer of Revue International de Philosphie has granted permission for this translation. I would like to thank Athena Colman for translating this text.


The following abbreviations have been used throughout. At times the English translations have been modified. Reference is always made first to Henri Bergson, CEuvres, Edition du Centenaire, textes annotes par Andre Robinet, Introduction par Henri Gouhier, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1959, then to the corresponding English translation. EC Creative Evolution, translated by Arthur Mitchell, New York: Dover, 1998 [1911].

PM The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics, translated by Mabelle L. Andison, New York: The Citadel Press, 1992 [1946]; translation of La Pensee et le mouvant. R Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, translated by Cloudsley Brereton and Fred Rothwell, Los Angeles: Green Integer, 1999 [1911].

MM Matter and Memory, translated by N. M. Paul and W. S. Palmer, New York: Zone Books, 1994 [1910]. ES Mind-Energy, translated by H. Wildon Carr, London: Macmillan, 1920. DI Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness, translated by F. L. Pogson, Mineola: Dover Publishing Company, 2001 [1913]. The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, translated by R. Ashley Audra and Cloudsley Brereton, with the assistance of W. Horsfall Carter, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977 [1935].


for him there is no call from the present to memory without the 'immanent sense' that perception makes available. for Bergson.most basically. for him. 'To perceive is not to remember'. to their distinction and to their union. perception does not make sense without memory. This identification of being and memory is why. Bergson. in Matter and Memory. the priority of memory is so extreme that we must say that being is memory. the challenge of Bergsonism is a challenge to ontology. Bergson's relentless denunciations of analyses that divide things according to numbers or according to quantitative differences looks to be a reversal in favour of quality. Even though the concept of the image in Matter and Memory looks to be a new non-phenomenological concept of presence. 'twists free' of Platonism. this book concerns itself with the concept of duration . to use Heidegger's phrase. In fact. 'Questions relating to subject and object. in the most famous footnote in Being and Time. second. while perception calls for memory. 'to imagine is not to remember' (MM 278/135). and not a 'primacy of perception'. In contrast. He twists free because memory in Bergson is onto- . In the Phenomenology of Perception. presence becomes in Bergson derivative from memory. a challenge to phenomenology.PREFACE Memory and Life Bergson himself states the challenge that his philosophy represents when he says. this formula implies that Bergsonism is a 'primacy of memory'.it can be summarized in the following formula: duration equals memory plus the absolutely new. It is possible to see in Bergson's concept of memory a reversal of Platonism. Giving the primary role to memory. and this is why Bergsonism is. Heidegger criticizes Bergson's conception of time as duration for having merely 'reversed' Aristotle's numerical definition of time. Through this distinction Bergson intends to prioritize memory over any form of imaging. To put questions relating to subject and object in terms of time means that we must think in terms of duration. should be put in terms of time rather than space' (MM 218/71. Merleau-Ponty intends to prioritize perception over memory.1 Through this distinction between perception and remembering. Of course. first. Yet. Bergson says. also MM 354/220). While Bergson defines duration in many ways .2 Indeed. including perception. Merleau-Ponty says.

there is alteration.really lets the 'alterity of the new . I relied heavily on Jean Hyppolite's 'Aspects divers de la memoire chez Bergson'. I started to wonder about the resources available in contemporary philosophy for ethical thinking. but.4 But. explode.5 Levinas can say this because he believes that Bergsonian intuition is a form of representation. to ethics . Through the concept of the dynamic schema. in fact. the absolute itself in the etymological sense of the term'. Because Bergson compares his image of the memory cone to a telescope. When Bergson criticizes the Eleatic tradition. resources other than Scheler. with stars and planets. variation. other than Sartre and deBeauvoir. The three chapters in the present volume correspond to those three challenges. movement and. Levinas also wonders whether the Bergsonian experience of duration .what Bergson calls intuition . immaculate and untouchable as alterity or absolute newness.) This new sense of being means that Bergson is not merely replacing objectivism with a kind of subjectivism.3 In his later writings of course. Chapter Three. Levinas acknowledges the importance of Bergson's philosophy for ethics. other than Levinas. for Levinas. Bergson's emphasis of the absolutely new means that his thought is not totalizing. This is why I have included an English translation of it as Appendix II. ethics in the sense of a discourse of alterity.. may be what is most important about it: it leads us away from the discourse of intersubjectivity and the logic of alterity. life. to ontology.to phenomenology. he does not subscribe to the Eleatic philosophy of the same. the slogan for this book could be that 'the whole is not given'. Between the completion of the third chapter and the writing of the first appendix. being as the unconscious instead of consciousness. ends by taking up the idea of creative emotion from Bergson's The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932). It is clear that Bergson at least reverses Platonism since he constantly criticizes Zeno's alleged paradoxes. This means that what memory recalls are multiplicities and singularities.came about on the basis of a reading of Bergson's Matter and Memory (1896). Appendix I expands the investigations of The Two Sources by attempting to think about Bergson's ethics as such (and not in relation to his so-called philosophy of language). not identities and universals. he in effect criticizes the entire logic of the same and other. I also started . Moreover.. other than Heidegger. Bergson furnishes us with a new concept of sense (a new concept of the concept) in which there is no alterity. But there is more. therefore. (In order to understand the connection between memory and being in Bergson. instead of representation. it gives us a new sense of being: being in terms of the past not in terms of the present. These three challenges .x Preface: Memory and Life logical. however. But this 'failure' in Bergsonism. He does this in what we could call a 'philosophy of language'. we can see that he has replaced the Platonic sun (the good) with the Milky Way.

The Two Sources is the only published book of Bergson's in which Bergson mentions Nietzsche by name (MR 1212/278). with some now apparently interesting 'ethical' ideas. defined Bergson's philosophy with this phrase. maintains a deep connection with the concept of memory developed in Matter and Memory.and Bergson explicitly mentions the ascetic ideal . If it presents anything. After all. a difference that perhaps overturns the results of Chapter Three. Bergson is engaged in a genealogy. Nevertheless. As archaeology and genealogy suggest.6 Deleuze. In this book I am trying to follow my own line. 'Memory and Life'. This experience is what Bergson calls mystical experience.the memory cone is a kind of telescope . in contrast to analytic philosophy's moral theory.Preface: Memory and Life xi to wonder about the possibility of an ethical thinking that is distinctly 'continental'. But it also makes one think. Mystical experience in Bergson is an experience of memory. one should note that the title of this preface is an allusion to a small book by Gilles Deleuze. I had fallen into the line called forth by the very noisy drumbeat of philosophy today: 'ethics and politics. it is the experience of the reciprocal implication of images and emotion. of course. But it is clear that.over philosophy. Instead. that Bergson himself did not directly link. In contemporary philosophy it is hard not to be swept up into trends. following the image he gives us in Matter and Memory . So. one might say. indicates a fundamental difference between Bergson and Nietzsche. of Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals. Bergson is engaged in an archaeology of originary experience. But besides an archaeology. by linking Matter and Memory with The Two Sources . He thinks that mystical experience (and its asceticism) will transform the genus humanity into a 'divine humanity'. ethics and polities'. But I hope the reader can recognize that. Again. The Two Sources privileges a religious experience . the most striking similarity between Bergson and Nietzsche is the concern with memory. it turned out that The Two Sources is engaged in a project that cannot be characterized as moral theory. The Two Sources presents an 'originary ethics'. Consequently. a super-humanity. by the way. since he says that this experience is more metaphysical than moral. as Bergson would say. his originary ethics. there is always aspiration along with pressure. into. he intended The Two Sources as a continuation of Creative Evolution (MR 1193/256) . it is not even clear that we can call what he is doing in The Two Sources an ethics in the standard sense. it is hard to be genuinely untimely.I am trying to link some now apparently uninteresting 'metaphysical' ideas. thanks again to Deleuze. looking heavenward. I have tried to show here that Bergson's 'ethics'. In fact. as I said above.two books. Memoire et vie. This 'astronomy'. When I started then to investigate The Two Sources.we must say that Bergson ethics is really an astronomy. like reversing Platonism. I was looking for similarities with Nietzsche.7 With Nietszche in mind. when I started to wonder about ethics. like absolute justice. On the Genealogy of Morals pri- .

As I have already stated. because Deleuze focused primarily on Matter and Memory . 318/181). Deleuze (and Guattari) in What is Philosophy? say: Will we ever be mature enough for a Spinozist inspiration [of immanence]? It happened once with Bergson: the beginning of Matter and Memory marks out a plane that slices through the chaos . The Essay constructed a dualism between time and space. So. 'clearly dualist' (MM 161/9). if not suppress. and the image of a thought that everywhere spreads an in principle pure consciousness (immanence is not immanent 'to' consciousness but the other way around). rather.both the infinite movement of a matter that continually propogates itself. of course) and immediately makes one think of An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. the conclusion of the Essay is that the difference between spirit and matter is a difference in nature. matter is real.xii Preface: Memory and Life vileges 'we knowers'. to 'attenuate. I am more certain than ever that. it confronts the problem of metaphysical dualism. In any case.he classified Bergson as an immanentist. This association to the Essay is supposed to indicate the progress made over the seven years (1889 to 1896) between the two publications. according to Bergson. The dualism of reality allows us then. as Bergson says explicitly in the preface of 1910. that 'science and conscience fundamentally agree provided that we regard consciousness in its immediate data and science in its remotest aspiration' (MM 333/197). Matter and Memory 'asserts the reality of spirit and the reality of matter' (MM 161/9). like the Essay. Matter and Memory is. the theoretical difficulties' which the dualism suggested by immediate consciousness and adopted by common sense has always raised (MM 161/9. The subtitle of the original French edition of Matter and Memory (there is no subtitle to the English edition) translates as 'An essay on the relation of the body to the mind or spirit' (I'esprit. Perhaps in the final analysis we have to characterize Bergson as a philosopher of transcendence rather than as a philosopher of immanence. we must rethink precisely the relation between immanence and transcendence. today. Bergson always denounces thinking in terms of differences of degree. Indeed. Therefore. in French.9 Because Matter and Memory lays out a strict plane of immanence. On the basis of this investigation. the purpose of Matter and Memory lies in showing that both consciousness (conscience. the title of Bergson's first book (Time and Free Will is the title of the English translation). con-science) and science are right (MM 191/ 41). unlike the Essay. Thus Matter and Memory is supposed to bring us to a new . But.Deleuze says that Matter and Memory contains the 'secret' of Bergsonism8 . It is not the case that matter is some sort of illusion. over the ascetic ideal. that is. between spirit and matter. the philosophers who question even the value of truth.

therefore. or more precisely. I 11 ) where substance itself is not understood as something stable but rather as unstable differentiations of spirit into matter.10 The real conclusion is memory. duration. empty and indefinite.12 it is an introduction to metaphysics. Victor Delbos noted in his 1897 review that Matter and Memory allows us 'to surmount the dualism with which the Essay had been content and which here [in Matter and Memory] is conceived only as a critical procedure resulting in a provisional conclusion'.Preface: Memory and Life xiii monism. is now being applied to matter. 'the plane of immanence'. which had been used in relation to the problem of consciousness in the Essay. This metaphysics begins with the concept of the image. He says. to the metaphysics that Matter and Memory presents. (MM 323/186-7) Commenting on this discussion. understood as a sort of monistic substance (cf. . the confused mass which tends towards extension could be seized by us on the nearer side of the homogeneous space to which it is applied and through which we subdivide it .just as that part which goes to make up our inner life can be detached from time. . The question is whether . . Bergson himself says that his philosophical method of intuition. is nothing less than a 'springboard' into ontology. and brought back to pure duration. Bergson's psychology of the immediate data of consciousness. PM 1420 n. In Matter and Memory's fourth chapter.

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THE ARTIFICE Overall. We shall also see that. in his Table of Contents. Both positions are based in views of external perception. which is found in chapter one of Matter and Memory. the second the concept of image that is introduced on the first page of Matter and Memory. unlike phenomenology. Nor does it mean that Bergsonism is a kind of materialism. either reducing the reality of matter to spirit or the reality of spirit to matter. chapter one of Matter and Memory announces that the traditional metaphysical positions of materialism or realism and idealism or spiritualism are dead. Bergson in Matter and Memory's first chapter is not making a 'phenomenology of perception'. While Bergson himself. external perception is defined by the spiritual projection of representations that are taken to be reality. its subtitle is 'The Role of the Body'. This chapter is entitled 'Concerning the Selection of Images for Representation'. divides the chapter into thirteen sections1. Finally. Most importantly. we are going to approach the concept of perception with three preliminary steps. in realism.CHAPTER I The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology In this opening chapter we are going to consider Bergsonism's relation to phenomenology. the Bergsonian concept of image amounts to a new concept of presence. and to do this we must consider the Bergsonian concept of perception. and the third 'the role of the body'. What we are going to see is that Bergsonism differs from phenomenology by means of its concept of presence. external perception is defined by the brain having the role of generating representations which are then projected out but which do not meet up with external things . as we find in Merleau-Ponty. In idealism. But this reference of consciousness to matter does not mean that Bergsonism is a kind of 'fleshism'. Bergsonism refers consciousness to matter.2 Spiritualism and materialism are reductionistic metaphysical positions. The first step will concern the Bergsonian method. we shall turn to what Bergson calls 'pure perception'. each is the reverse of the other.

but for now let us note that the turn of experience is really the Bergsonian equivalent to the phenomenological reduction. One can say that the turn of experience does not return us to perceptual faith because. In a lecture Bergson delivered in 1895. in . We shall return to the turn of experience in Chapter Three. Bergson's artifice is supposed to 'dissipate' the obscurity. To state the problem of perception well.Descartes too uses the word 'feindre'4 . he defines an artifice as something that leads some of us to a place where others find themselves naturally. the opening of Matter and Memory therefore is an 'artifice'. although.2 The Challenge of Bergsonism (cf. Like Descartes's fiction of the evil genius . So. but it is not a return to perceptual faith. 'the habits formed in action find their way up to the sphere of speculation.Bergson's artifice is needed to restrain our habits and to restrain the metaphysical theories that develop on the basis of them. when the problem of perception (like all metaphysical problems) is stated well. We can call it an artifice. 'enlarged' (MM 176/25: 's'elargit'y. or rather above that decisive turn where. where they create fake [factice] problems. also MM 162/10). in which Bergson himself is inventing the terms of the problem. it is a 'hypothesis' in the literal sense of the word. The wordfeindre. Bergson speaks of the artifice of his philosophical method. return us to what he calls 'immediate experience' or 'immediate consciousness'. consists in 'seeking experience at its source. literally means to fashion or to shape. therefore. the artifice consists in distinguishing the viewpoint of customary or useful knowledge from that of true knowledge (MM 322/186). which is 'below'. immediate experience is not common sense. he intends to call us back from the habitual ways we think about the problem of perception. taking a bias in the direction [sens] of our utility. this artifice is based in an act of liberation. So. it is a thesis. it will open itself to solutions.3 With this artifice. Reductionistic positions such as spiritualism (or idealism) and materialism (or realism) move around in a circle and are enclosed in irresolvable or badly stated problems. it becomes properly human experience' (MM 321/184. MM 317-18/181). The first sentence of Matter and Memory says: 'We are going to feign for an instant that we know nothing of the theories of matter and of the theories of spirit. The last sentence of the 1910 preface says. the year before the publication of Matter and Memory. the problem of perception needs to be restated. but which is supposed to return us to experience 'above' utility. nothing of the discussions concerning the reality or ideality of the external world' (MM 169/17. for Bergson. an act of freedom. metaphysics must begin by dissipating this artificial obscurity' (MM 168/16). Bergson starts with what seems to be a fiction. or. as Bergson says. for Bergson. cf. Bergson's emphasis). in Matter and Memory's fourth chapter. This return to immediate consciousness is Bergson's famous 'turn of experience': the philosophical enterprise. like feign in English. For Bergson. because.

what Bergson. at least not science in the normal sense. the direction towards utility. we must recognize the importance for Bergson of the word 'sens '. With Bergson. But for now. he suggests as much. we have closed all the avenues of escape which metaphysics might set open to us. rather it is intuition. knowledge. But. as Merleau-Ponty does in Phenomenology of Perception.6 This theoretical outlook based in social needs is why common sense is primarily concerned with decomposing. our analysis has perhaps dissociated its contradictory elements. of opposing logically. consequently. in Matter and Memory. Common sense in Bergson is the common (or even natural) direction. The most important comment Bergson makes in Matter and Memory concerning common sense is found in chapter four when he says.the title of the English translation). we shall return to the question of common sense in Bergson and distinguish it from what he calls 'good sense' and especially from what he calls 'superior good sense'.7 As we shall see in a moment. after having exacerbated the conflicts raised by ordinary dualism. like the German 'Sinn'. it is difficult to maintain. but not of creating or of constructing. Bergson is concerned. but also direction. In other words. this knowledge is not equivalent to science. that of consciousness. in Chapter Three. since Bergson speaks of science in its remotest aspiration. Thus. the immediate experience that Bergson is hypothesizing here is not a 'naive conviction' (MM 192/43). with the . The tendency of common sense to decompose is why Bergson throughout Matter and Memory finds himself 'correcting' common sense (MM 219/73. of common sense. It is our common theories about how to make things useful. that he presupposes 'the objective world' for the sense given to the word 'being'. (MM 318/181) This comment implies that Matter and Memory's opening hypothesis is really supposed to 'push' common sense up above to an extreme which in turn will open common sense up and allow us to escape from it. 332/196). But. Against [materialism and idealism] we invoke the same testimony. calls 'the socialization of the truth' (PM 1327/87). 329/193. it would seem that.5 Again.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 3 the 1910 preface as well as in the original 1896 preface. an Urdoxa. which shows us our body as one image among others and our understanding as a certain faculty of dissociating. we must always speak of this conjunction: 'consciousness in its immediate data' and 'science in its remotest aspiration' (MM 333/197). also MM 327/191. in the second introduction to his 1934 collection of essays called La pensee et le mouvant (The Creative Mind . So. of distinguishing. cf. just because we have pushed dualism to an extreme. willing captives of psychological analysis and. sens means not only meaning and sense.

then extension must apply to images. Bergson tells us that realism has been excessive in its conception of matter insofar as realism attempts to make matter 'a thing that produces representations in us but that would be of a nature different from these representations' (MM 161/9). the order of our perceptions depends on extension. Because extension and objectivity define the Bergsonian image. Since matter is always denned in terms of extension. We are going to start with the first difference. Bergson is dispelling the false belief that matter is a thing that possesses a . THE THREEFOLD DIFFERENTIATION IN ORDER TO DETERMINE THE CONCEPT OF THE IMAGE In the 1910 preface. 'The Survival of Images' and 'The Delimitation and Fixation of Images'). We are going to make a threefold differentiation in order to try to understand it. images are the 'common terrain' on which realism and idealism do battle (MM 177/26). Thus the opening hypothesis defines all of reality with one term. Again. we must return to the 1910 preface. and of images alone'. The threefold differentiation consists in this: the Bergsonian image differs from an affection. in the vaguest sense of the word. The problem of perception must be restated 'in terms of images. the image is defined by extension and objectivity. Here. the 'pure image' has no affection mixed in with it (MM 206/58). So. Simply. it reads: 'Here I am therefore in the presence of images. This independence is why Bergson can say that 'an image may be without being perceived1 (MM 185/35). Bergson tells us that matter is images (MM 161/9). in fact. it differs in nature from what Bergson calls affection: affection is internal. from a thing and from a representation. that of image from affection. Things that are external have an order that does not depend on our perceptions. His criticism of realism is directed at this 'thing'. the first characteristic of the Bergsonian image is extension and this means objectivity. the image is matter and not spirit (MM 355/221). 'images'. it is the lowest degree of subjectivity (MM 206/57. Thus. it is also one of the most difficult concepts. the concept of the image is the central concept of Matter and Memory. The second differentiation we can make is between the image and the thing.8 With the concept of the image. Undoubtedly. we shall also see how important the word 'image' is for Bergson and with it the word 'vibration' (ebranlement or vibration). So. unperceived when I close them' (MM 169/17). 'The Recognition of Images'.4 The Challenge of Bergsonism refutation of materialism. the first differentiation we can make is that the Bergsonian image is not affection. since the title of each chapter concerns images ('The Selection of Images'. 364/234). images perceived when I open my senses. the opening hypothesis is leading us above the 'turn' in experience.

We shall return to the priority of vision in Bergson when we discuss pure perception below. Presence. though denuded of physical qualities. this fluid. if one insists on conceiving matter not in terms of the image. then we must wonder: Why does Bergson use the word 'image'? This question is crucial. What the illuminated picture gives vision to see primarily is colour. an impotent touch. presence. with Bergson. This 'concession to idealism'. from matter . an ineffectual impulsion. it is a 'picture'. Bergson insists on the word image because it suggests vision (cf. as Bergson calls it (MM 360/229). with the image.and presence . an ineffectual impulsion. immediately in the lexicon of idealism. Bergson is privileging vision because vision is dependent on light. in particular. understood as an image. (MM 185/35) This comment means that if one denudes matter of physical qualities. a colourless light. are determined only in relation to an eventual vision and an eventual contact. we place this word. in other words. as Bergson himself says (MM 186/36). dissolve them into vortices revolving in a continuous fluid. As Bergson says: 'The truth is that there is one.it is not the thing. the Bergsonian image is composed of what modern philosophy called 'secondary . But if the image is what it appears to be. Especially after the developments of twentieth-century phenomenology.. The Bergsonian image emits light.it is not affection (and subjective) . ES 961-6/191-8). is not immediately or not yet idealistic. is why he then defines the image as 'presence' (MM 185/35). but for now. Thereby we eliminate all virtuality. PM 1355/ 118). after Derrida. So far therefore. Reduce matter to atoms in motion: these atoms.. Condense atoms into centers of force. all hidden power. So. can themselves be determined only in relation to an impotent touch. But. they are still images. these centers. these movements. the one without light and the other without materiality. Bergson always praises Berkeley for having proved that the secondary qualities of matter have at least as much reality as the primary qualities (MM 162/10). These 'things' are still images. we always tend to turn the word 'presence' into the phrase 'presence to consciousness'. not lines. Bergson's refutation of materialism is contained in this rather obscure comment from Matter and Memory's first chapter: No theory of matter can escape [the necessity of thinking in terms of the image]. we have two characteristics of the Bergsonian image: extension (and objective) . ' (MM 219/72).The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 5 hidden power able to produce representations in us (cf. and only one. one must still define these denuded things negatively in relation to perceivable qualities: a lightless vision. for Bergson. a colorless light. presence. method of refuting materialism: it is to show that matter is precisely what it appears to be. we must note that. an immaterial touch. means only that the image is what it appears to be.

We can guess . between colors. this can only be found in an act that would make us seize or guess. I see a unity composed of a multiplicity of colours all different from one another. complex or different.as the opening hypothesis of Matter and Memory says -1 see and continue to see. precisely in the immense multiplicity of movements which it executes.must then consist .9 If we think about taste. the colours flow continuously one into another. Bergson says: 'Between light and darkness. But. literally means 'copy'. something that goes beyond our sensation. I taste something. even if it is night-time. in chapter one of Matter and Memory he says that 'I call matter the whole of images' (MM 170/22). the word. smell and taste. These absolute differences between qualities like colours are what Bergson calls 'natural articulations' (MM 333/197) or 'the articulations of the real' (PM 1292-4/50-2). what it contains over and above what it yields up . it is never necessary that. Bergson says in Matter and Memory'?. because light immediately flows into this opening. even if there is virtually no light. it is still not necessary that I am going to taste something. as soon as I open my eyes . Unlike the senses of hearing. I see pictures. The impression that the image copies a thing comes from the fact that it is a surface and a surface has depth. of course. cf.6 The Challenge of Bergsonism qualities' and it is not therefore defined by what modern philosophy called 'primary qualities'. Bergson's emphasis. even if I maintain my mouth open. for example. within its chrysalis. But. somehow. in quality itself. between shades.. which are spatial relations defined by geometry. in its very depth it lives and vibrates. Its objectivity . vision does not contain intervals during which or between which it is not functioning (MM 332/197). Motionless on the surface. That there are natural articulations of the real is why Bergson constantly speaks of 'images' in the plural.. Despite this plurality of articulations. Bergson also insists on the word image because it is always a picture of something. and continuous or successive. when I see a picture. (MM 339/ 204. as soon as I open my mouth. which implies that we are still not referring the image to a hidden thing. When I see a picture.that is. The recognition that the Bergsonian image consists in secondary qualities. we have just seen that the Bergsonian image is not a copy of a hidden thing. the difference is absolute' (MM 332/196). for example. provides us with other characteristics of the image: the image in Bergson is at once simple or one. as if this sensation itself were pregnant with details suspected yet unperceived. fourth chapter: Indeed we have no choice: if our belief in a more or less homogeneous substratum of sensible qualities has any ground. also MM 376/247) In this comment Bergson emphasizes the phrase 'in quality itself. like colour in particular.

This is a remarkable description. in its remotest aspiration aims at a metaphysics of plural rhythms. it is important to note the direction of the transition that this act involves: here. which the chrysalis suggests. try first to connect together the discontinuous objects of daily experience. We shall come back to this act later in this chapter when we discuss pure perception. we go from part to whole. just as when we strike a key of the piano at the low end of the scale. there must be an act which would make us guess what goes beyond perception... all linked together in uninterrupted continuity.instantaneous views are going to be taken. towards the unperceived. and traveling in every direction like shivers. Bergson. and with it. quasi. The concept of vibration. Reestablish now my consciousness. all bound up with each other. matter resolves itself into numberless vibrations. Pure perception. there are vibrations of the larva that make the chrysalis gleam. finally. but pure and stripped of what the requirements of life make you add to it in external perception.this undivided act that your consciousness grasps in the movement that you yourself execute. attach yourself to these movements. there are the quantitatively continuous vibrations of science. MM 338/203). as we shall see. for Bergson. also emphasizes the word 'act'. means that consciously seen colours are neither the mere translation of a hidden original text (cf. pure perception is diminution instead of an 'enlargement'. the colour is not even the duplicata of a diminutive object like an atom or a corpuscle (cf. Bergson in fact describes this act by which we experience matter (MM 343/208). resolve the motionless continuity of these qualities into vibrations. Science. which are given to con-science. and by crossing over each time enormous periods of the internal history of things. which are moving in place. MM 171/22) nor the 'duplicata' of a non-present object. MM 358-9/226-7. 338-9/ 203). You will obtain a vision of matter that is perhaps fatiguing for your imagination. we go from what is for us to what is in itself. To use the language that Bergson develops in the later 'Introduction to Metaphysics'. and we shall have reason to return to it in Chapter Three: If you abolish my consciousness . the requirements of life: farther and farther. then. goes in the opposite direction. In Matter and Memory. views this . we hear the note and can see the vibrations of the string (cf. So. Deep within the light of qualitatively different colours.which we can indeed call intuition . This act .The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 7 about something that goes beyond quality but which 'is not essentially different or distinct from' (MM 343/208) quality.11 Because the chrysalis is not a relation of translation or of duplication. Deep within the chrysalis.10 The vibrations are there in the qualities. In short.is the genuine experience of matter. in this comment. by freeing yourself from the divisible space that underlies them in order to consider only their mobility .

which our eye perceives. it cannot be a thing that moves. would carve out [decouperaient] in space and fix in time inimitable pictures. therefore. not nature. therefore. that things move. for our soul would vibrate then continually in unison with nature. is 'the interior organization of movement'. movement is real. that movement depends on things. the image must itself be movement. Bergson insists on image because it suggests art. as Deleuze does. and which becomes for everyone the image of a man who runs. cinema . For Bergson. the image is material life. Bergson defines art as the picture of the vibrations of nature: What is the object of art? If it were the case that reality strikes our senses and our consciousness directly. virtually identical in Bergson. (R 135-51 458-9. While it is the case that Bergson insists on denning matter in terms of the image because image suggests vision and because it suggests surface with depth. The moving image.thanks to production techniques. the intimate nature of movement. the mobile camera and the liberation of the viewpoint . We can call the moving image cinema and ignore Bergson's famous criticisms of cinema in chapter four of Creative Evolution by noting only. we must keep them distinguished: the artistic picture is art. I really believe that art would be useless. that cinema has changed since Bergson's day. helped by memory. In his 1899 essay on laughter. which art reproduces.and yet multiple and continuous . 'the intimate nature of movement' (MM 327/191). is illusory (MM 337/202). is why Bergson in chapter four of Matter and Memory speaks of 'moving images' (MM 325/189). while the imagistic picture is nature. While we must maintain the distinction between the artistic picture created by . To be. but like the motion picture: 'cinema'. or rather that all of us would be artists. we must see that. PM 1370/135) Art and image are. It is not like the 'snapshot'. ultimately. in other words.'the successive positions of a runner'. a 'living unity which was born from internal continuity' (MM 320/183). however. In just the same way the thousands of successive positions of a runner are contracted into one sole symbolic attitude. This priority of movement over things. is one or simple . The image. as Bergson himself says. a priority that defines the Bergsonian image. cf. 'runs in place'.is art. Our eyes. if we could enter into immediate communication with things and with ourselves. (MM 343/208-9) This is the only time Bergson mentions art in all of Matter and Memory.'contracted into one sole symbolic attitude' . The image. of which the most vivid colors condense an infinity of repetitions and elementary changes. it is. so to speak.8 The Challenge of Bergsonism time pictorial. Insofar as it is nature.12 But. Nevertheless.

the idealistic excess is one of extreme non-differentiation. nor even 'presence'. the crucial word of idealism is not 'art'. but less than what the realist calls a thing . His solution to this problem lies in the following comment: 'by "image" we mean a certain existence that is more than what the idealist calls a representation. Overall. but also from the thing since the image is presence. The artistic picture is virtually identical with the natural image because it carves up the universe according to its natural articulations. let us summarize this section so far. unlike materialism. And again.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 9 spiritual energy and the natural picture created by material energy. we must also see why the two are virtually identical. This equation of the image with presence seemed to be leading us in the direction of idealism. does not reverse the relation of movement to thing. and thirdly. we have seen that for Bergson the image defines matter. If we return again to Bergson's 1910 preface. The 'more' and the 'less' in this comment . but it cannot differ in nature from representation since his criticism of materialism consists in showing that matter does not differ in nature from representation. the artistic picture remains virtually natural. it seems that the Bergsonian image is leading us in the direction of idealism since artistic creation is spiritual. First. for Bergson. which is excessive in its conception of matter as being different in nature from representation.an existence placed halfway between the "thing" and the "representation" ' (MM 161/9). we see that he criticizes not only materialism. In this way. the 'symbolization' of the artistic picture 'corresponds' to the differences in nature between colours. the artistic picture remains virtually natural. More specifically. in the artistic picture there are no intervals. of course. and especially not language. While the realistic excess is one of extreme differentiation. it suggests art. but also idealism insofar as it attempts to reduce matter to the representation we have of it. secondly. there is continuity. we have seen that the image differs not only from affection since the image is extension and objective. but 'representation'. We then saw that Bergson has three reasons for doing this that actually provide us with a very specific. there is a second reason for the virtual identity. it does not make movement a function of the thing. the painting is not a drawing. the word image suggests the visual unity of a picture composed of continuous and complex colour. definition of presence.13 Before turning to the third and last differentiation of the Bergsonian image. and new. This gives us the third differentiation of the Bergsonian image: the image differs from representation. But. idealism is excessive in its conception of matter as being identical to representation. it suggests a surface which itself implies depth: the chrysalis. The artistic picture. Bergson's so-called 'concession to idealism' then allowed us to raise the question of why he insists on the word image. But. Bergson's criticism of idealism of course implies that the image differs from representation. With this last suggestion again.

between matter and spirit. we have the first interval that breaks up the natural continuity of images (MM 185/35). fakery (MM 320/183). Thus it is not a zone of colours. As long as artifice does not reverse the priority of movement and things out of needs of utility. then it ends up enclosing movement in things. 'Below art. it is the zone of lines and drawings. representation is a decomposition of the whole. everything becomes 'inert' (MM 320/ 183).15 . towards experience. we have lost the pictures and only the 'empty frames' remain (MM 320/183). representation gives us only a part of the whole. in a word. but it is not. it carves up the moving images artificially. the representation is less than the image. So. it remains 'open'. towards 'true knowledge' (MM 334/199). then we end up with ideal schema which we take for the real. which is the grey zone of 'the turn of experience'. with representation. As Bergson says again in the essay on laughter. This recomposition is artifice (MM 325/189).'reverses the natural order of the terms' out of 'inferior needs' (MM 351/217). language and sense. But. But this first interval is not necessarily a 'denaturation' of nature. on the real. on experience. can be recomposed. as Bergson calls it in The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (MR 1234/304) . and also between life and death and between the natural and the unnatural. Then. If the understanding then works on these 'perverse' ideas (MM 351-2/217-18).10 The Challenge of Bergsonism indicate that representation differs from the image by degrees. which is connected continuously to other images in the whole. Nature is denatured. These abstract symbols and inert schema homogenize so well that it even looks as though the whole is given. although partial. No matter what.like the grey light between night and day . in Chapter Three and in Appendix I. which literally means artless. We have only mathematical or abstract symbols by means of which we designate different things indifferently (MM 297/156). Artifice is the 'zone'.14 A representation is a part cut out (decouper) of the whole. it remains turned towards the moving images. in which imagination constructs only relations and figurations. But for now. we must note that artifice remains natural insofar as it does not reverse the priority of movement and things and insofar as it does not carve up the images according to utility. representations. there is artifice' (R 418/63). as Bergson calls it in Laughter. rather it is the grey zone . if imagination . schemas and symbols. we no longer have artifice. towards the real. We shall return to this grey zone of artifice.our 'spirit of invention'. but factice.between colours and forms. a word he uses frequently in Matter and Memory. here. These ideas have turned their back on true knowledge.

the body is known from the inside by affections. he will claim that 'all division of matter into independent bodies with absolutely determinate contours is an artificial division' (MM 332/196). The body known from the outside by perceptions is continuous with the images of matter. To hold onto the appearance of matter means we realize that matter hides nothing within itself: 'the future of the images must be contained in their present and will add nothing new' (MM 169/17. but also from the inside by affections: it is my body' (MM 169/17). The difference between freedom and necessity. cf. Moreover. there is a difference in degree between the images. As soon as we talk about the body being known from the inside by affections. is due to the way I can know my body. 'but also'. In the opening hypothesis of images. let us return to the opening hypothesis (MM 169-73/17-22). what I know of matter I know by perceiving it from the outside. Again. the 'yet'. this sentence forms an important transition. Before Bergson speaks of affection. on the other. the 'but also'. on the one hand. my body known from the outside is not radically distinct from the rest of matter. My body therefore acts freely. which differentiates my body from the rest of the material world. Bergsonism cannot be defined as a 'primacy of perception'. In contrast. we have an image like all of the others. this newness comes about because in my body I do not discover 'the constraint that precludes choice' (MM 169-70/18). The 'must' in this sentence of course implies necessity. which allows for a perfect deducibility of the future from the present. later in chapter four of Matter and Memory. insofar as the spatial relation of whole-parts determines the theory of perception. It entirely determines his theory of perception. we cannot underestimate the logic of parts and whole or the logic of container and contained that Bergson sets up in Matter and Memory's first chapter. . For Bergson. we must note immediately that. But the transition does not occur at the 'pourtant'. to repeat the most basic principle of Bergsonism: all questions of subject and object must be posed in terms of time. the body known from the inside by affection is already a body conditioned by memory. Bergson defines 'my body' by the fact that it introduces something new into the universe. And. not space. in the sentence. as soon as he speaks of affection. This continuity of images is crucial for Bergson since. So. we have a difference in nature between matter and spirit. MM 174/23). when we know the body by perceptions from the outside. The starting point for Bergson is a 'holding onto the appearances of [matter and my body]' (MM 170/18).The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology II THE ROLE OF THE BODY In fact. we are on the verge of leaving matter behind for memory. What is natural is the continuity of my body with the rest of matter. it occurs at the 'mats aussf. as Bergson says: 'Yet there is one image that contrasts with all the others in that I know it not only from the outside by perceptions.

this general scientific attitude says that if the centrifugal movements of the nervous system can provoke the movement of the body or parts of the body. In any case. cf. but we can see that with them he is pointing at a general scientific attitude of his own time. to interrogate the physiologist and the psychologist concerning the system of afferent and efferent nerves that I can detect in these other bodies. from the outside.12 The Challenge of Bergsonism So. this difference in nature. one would have to maintain that since the representation of the whole material world is infinitely greater than that of cerebral vibrations. science. between the brain and the rest of matter. to hold this scientific position (which all realist and idealist doctrines since Descartes have held). For Bergson. leads us. or. as he says . how could they engender something greater than themselves? So. however. Here. an attitude that is perhaps still prevalent today. if they were of the same nature. is the only way one could explain how it could create the representation of the whole material world (MM 174/23. say. the centripetal movements or at least some of them can give birth to create or engender representations of the external world.'Every image is inside certain images and outside others. but concerning the whole of . to hold this belief consistently. we will see them always start . the material world is not part of the brain' (MM 171/ 19. this scientific hypothesis is self-contradictory. In a letter from 1897. as Bergson says. That we remain on the outside is why Bergson says in the opening hypothesis that 'On the basis of bodies similar to mine. 'The brain is part of the material world.and this is a crucial comment . as Bergson says.16 In other words. has reversed the true container-contained relation. 175/24). MM 174/23). until we come to the discussion of affections. these molecular movements are not images like others.consciously or unconsciously . What this general scientific attitude is saying implies that the image called the brain contains the representation of the whole material universe. one has to say that cerebral vibrations are something that differs in nature from an image. according to Bergson. This study of bodies similar to mine.from this radical distinction between our body and the rest of matter. we stay on the outside in Matter and Memory's first chapter. I believe that if we study all the realist and idealist doctrines from Descartes on. here not in its remotest aspiration. Since my body is separated from other bodies that I perceive. it says that a part is the whole. Bergson says. Bergson himself in Matter and Memory does not specify who these physiologists and psychologists are. we think that it is selfsufficient and that it could be conceived as attached to the soul and detached from the rest of matter. I am now studying the configuration of this particular image that I call my body' (MM 170/18).

In contrast to phenomenology. since interiority and exteriority are only relations between images' (MM 176/225). for Bergson. you erase only an insignificant detail from the immense picture. if we can use that word. representations are created without external objects influencing the afferent nerves: 'the object has disappeared while the brain persists' (MM 192/43). as we shall see in Chapter Two. spirit is primarily unconscious. the universe. So. The general scientific attitude. On the one hand. for Husserl. it does not affect spirit. For Husserl. is that the brain is an isolated material object capable of creating representations because of the phenomena of hallucinations and dreams. if you eliminate the image called the brain. Here. in contrast. One could say. spirit. Since the destruction of the world. To test this claim. there is one important difference here between Husserl and Bergson. since consciousness corresponds to cerebral vibrations and is defined by the present awareness I have of my body (MM 281/138). para. the brain and the cerebral vibrations which are part of it would be annihilated. since this object borrows its physical properties and consequently its very existence from the relations which it maintains with all others in the universe as a whole (MM 175-6/24). 'The picture as a whole. that the conclusion that Bergson draws from it is exactly opposite to that of Husserl. and it seems one must. But. we cannot say that it is inside us or that it is outside us. Bergson engages in another sort of hypothesis: if the image that bears the name of the material world were suppressed. the hypothesis of an isolated material object . after the annihilation of the world. if this is the case.implies a kind of absurdity.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 13 images. that is. there is no residuum of consciousness. Bergson does not demonstrate the existence of God to provide the veracity of our representations. Since the destruction of the world. it does not affect the immanence of consciousness. 49. one could say that both Husserl and Bergson draw the same conclusion from this thought experiment. we must go to the other interpretation of the similarity concerning the thought experiment of the destruction of the world. subsists completely' (MM 171/19). affects only transcendent being. consciousness is referred to the image of the universe.the brain for instance . and that of some philosophers. We cannot overlook the fact that this Bergsonian fiction of the destruction of the world resembles Husserl's famous fiction of the destruction of the world in Ideas /. which differs essentially from transcendent being. differs in nature from matter. In hallucinations and dreams. For Bergson. those of the modern tradition. In other words. then we might believe that perception is nothing more than what Bergson calls a 'veridical hallucination' (MM 192-3/43. 369/239). which. 215/68. for Bergson. he merely points to a very simple observation: . Hallucinations seem to suggest that there is some hidden source of representations within us. And it seems we can interpret the similarity in two ways. is consciousness. affects only matter.

cannot appear unless the external object has played its part at least once. and. therefore. that it is pure knowledge (MM 179/28). memory.. to decide which step to take among several which are all materially possible' (MM 172/20. he takes up another hypothesis: 'in thought'. to interrupt the current that goes from the periphery to periphery by way of the center. To conceive perception as having a purely speculative end. the centrifugal nerves send back the movement to the periphery. within certain limits. this sole difference. produce only one intelligible effect: that is. Such an image. cf. receiving and giving back movement 'with. The body therefore is a centre of action. yet they live and die without having formed a single visual image. as my body moves closer to or farther from other images. for Bergson. Since the body is one image in the whole of the material world. As Bergson says. plays the chief part. there is another reason philosophers and scientists believe that perception is a veridical hallucination. as Bergson says. to strip perception clean of memory. remains the same. perhaps. it acts like other images. our brains in other words. and. (MM 193/43) In hallucinations and dreams. it must have consequently actually entered into the representation.. In the opening hypothesis of images. Therefore. Sectioning of the centripetal nerves can . 'The objects that surround my body reflect its possible action upon them' (MM 172/21). that my body appears to choose. they change. its role is 'to exercise on other images a real influence. to make it impossible for my body to extract. What happens is that while the rest of the universe. 'my perception' has entirely vanished. that it is a kind of contemplation (MM 215-16/68). my body is a 'privileged centre' insofar as it regulates the other images. sever all the afferent nerves of the cerebro-spinal system (MM 173/21). amounts. even the rest of my body.14 The Challenge of Bergsonism in many people blind from birth. consequently. In fact. to cutting off its attachment to the real. this role of memory will motivate him. as aiming at some sort of disinterested knowledge. Bergson therefore is reattaching perception to the real. create representations. from among all the things that surround it. The usual role of the centripetal nerves is to transmit movements to the brain and to the spinal cord. that we. MM 356/225 and ES 965/196). But besides the phenomena of dreams and hallucinations. to reversing the relation of container and contained. at least in the first time. Farther away from my body they are removed from my possible action. To demonstrate that the body is a centre of action. They presuppose that perception has a wholly speculative interest. as we shall see in a moment. the quantity and . the visual centers are intact. to severing the part from the whole. closer they can be touched. according to Bergson. the manner in which it shall restore what it receives' (MM 171/19). consequently.

my body (MM 173/22). Besides this 'thought' experiment of sectioning the nerves. cf. we have what Bergson calls 'a division of physiological labor' (MM 179/28-9. and this comment reiterates what we have already noted about the true whole-part relation. (MM 173/21-2) Perception for Bergson occurs when the whole of images called matter is related to the possible action of one image. MM 175/23-4) For Bergson. we are bound to infer that there is merely a difference of complication. does not take place. But. however. when a vibration is received from the periphery. they tend to group themselves into systems. the brain adds nothing to what it receives.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 15 quality of movement necessary in order to act upon them. This is an evolutionary argument that follows 'step by step the progress of external perception from the monera up to the superior vertebrates' (MM 179/28). and so to choose its effect' (MM 180/30. 'even when the vibration received is not immediately prolonged into movement. automatic. Here is something that concerns action. MR 997/27). even when the brain intervenes. This spiritualization of the vibration. Here in chapter one of Matter and Memory. the reaction in protoplasm is immediate. Bergson provides a second argument to show that perception concerns action and not contemplation. as soon as we compare the structure of the spinal cord with that of the brain. a reflex. and not a difference in nature. which allows the animal to react to external stimuli with more varied movements. it appears merely to await its occasion' (MM 179/29). (MM 180/29. but he could have started with inanimate matter such as hydrochloric acid (MM 299/159) because. . and therefore Bergson describes the brain as 'a kind of main telephonic desk' (MM 180/30). 'a simple mass of protoplasm'. But as soon as we leave single-celled creatures. These divisions of cells into systems allow delays in reaction or in the reflex. he starts with 'living matter'. which then allows 'the received vibration to reach at will this or that motor mechanism of the spinal cord. So. This comment is important because the prolongation of the vibration through the complexity of cellular systems might lead one to think that 'the received impression is being spiritualized into knowledge' (MM 180/29). it goes through the centripetal fibres to the brain. Bergson says. chemical reactions' (MM 179/28). When nerve cells appear. like protoplasm. cf. hydrochloric acid 'is open to the influence of external stimulation. without delay. and answers to it with . . . between the functions of the brain and the reflex activity of the medullary system. the brain is an instrument in a very complex reflex. Bergson's emphasis). and action alone. As in hydrochloric acid. As Bergson says.

as we shall see. we are in memory. no hesitation. which the main telephonic desk indicates. if we speak of the Bergsonian body known from the outside by perceptions. and if we speak of the Bergsonian body known from the inside by affections. a hesitation. The brain opens to the received vibration 'the totality of motor pathways so that it indicates to it all the possible reactions with which [the brain] is pregnant and so that [the brain] analyzes itself by dispersing itself (MM 181/30). the brain is the large. perhaps indefinite number of sockets on the wall.16 The Challenge of Bergsonism We cannot underestimate the importance of this image of the main telephonic desk: Bergson conceives the living body as a machine. But. the Bergsonian conception of the body as a machine means that Bergsonism is not a. meaning that it leads the received vibration up to a plurality of systems of movements. Unlike the brain. Memory. there is one rather obvious difference between these two types of machine. So. on the one hand. artificial intelligence goes too fast. this conception of the living body means that we cannot make something like the lived body (Lett) or something like the flesh central to Bergsonism. With analysis. A switchboard consisted in a large table with a large number of pins attached to wires that could be pulled out of the table in order to allow any pin to be inserted into any one of a large number of sockets which were located in the wall perpendicular to the table. going from matter to spirit. if one talks about the body known from the inside. everything concerning computers and now modems and the Internet comes down to speed. The main telephonic desk includes a type of slowness. 'fleshism'. Bergson intends to make us see that sometimes the brain is an instrument of 'analysis'. and that means duration. But. Bergson says that my body is 'the mobile sharp point' of memory. the slowness in reaction. With this comparison. in other words. the brain's role is to . no waiting. has allowed nature. one has crossed a difference in nature.17 In this interval in matter. according to Bergson. a 'making wait'. For Bergson. we cannot say that Bergsonism is a philosophy of artificial intelligence. on the other hand. while the image of the main telephonic desk clearly anticipates the computer. and because it goes too fast. In chapter two of Matter and Memory. so to speak. we are in the scientific body (and ultimately the body taken up by science when it enters into its remotest aspiration). 'to make a machine that should triumph over mechanism' (EC 719/264). Now this is what we have to visualize with the main telephonic desk: what used to be called a 'switchboard'. To repeat. On the one hand. is how the body known from the inside produces something new that escapes the deductions of science. pushing incessantly into the future (MM 224/78). it makes no room for spirit. an interval.18 So just as we cannot say that Bergsonism is a fleshism. the calls would come in through the wires to which the pins were attached and the insertion of the pin into a socket would allow communication to take place. spirit has the opportunity to insert memories.

'in one case as in the other. He focuses on the brain because of a position adopted by scientists as well as philosophers since Descartes. the experiment of severing the nerves. He shows that the body is an instrument of action in two ways. When Bergson speaks of the role of the body. He argues for this difference in degree by means of the hypothesis of the suppression of the material world which shows that the brain is part of or contained in the material world. But. however. the brain is an instrument of 'selection'. With this conception of the role of the body. He also argues against the supporting phenomena of hallucinations and dreams by pointing to an obvious fact of blindness: for someone to have a visual representation. So. And no more in the higher centers of the cortex than in the spinal cord do the nervous elements work with a view to knowledge: they only sketch all at once a plurality of possible actions or organize one of them' (MM 181/30-1). he does not accept the presupposition that perception is contemplation. which shows that when perception has vanished the body cannot extract from external objects the quality and quantity of movement in order to act upon them. which shows that the brain is a 'main telephone switchboard'. . On the one hand. what we saw was that Bergson tries to show that there is only a difference in degree between the brain and the rest of matter. As Bergson says in the very first sentence of the conclusion. between the brain and the reflex function of the spinal cord. the object must have been effective at least once. Before we turn to the next section.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 17 make the vibration wait. that something in us. With selection. the brain is the pin being inserted into a specific socket. and of action alone' (MM 356/225). On the other. let us summarize what we have seen concerning the role of the body for Bergson. because in these phenomena representations are created although the object has disappeared. he is really speaking of the brain. which is material. in other words. creates the representation of the material world requires that the brain be conceived as different in nature from the rest of matter. [the brain's] role is limited to the transmission and division of movement. It also requires the presupposition that perception aims at disinterested knowledge. At other times. we now have the context within which to consider what Bergson calls pure perception. the brain. And finally. he engages in another thought experiment. creates representations. and that one has to assemble support phenomena such as hallucinations and dreams. To claim that the brain. the brain's role is to allow communication. 'our body is an instrument of action. Its role is to allow vibrations to communicate with a chosen motor system (selection) or to make vibrations wait before the plurality of motor possibilities (analysis). meaning that it puts the received vibration in relation with a particular chosen motor mechanism. he places the brain in the evolutionary scale. The brain 'leads the received [vibration] to an organ of reaction that has been chosen' (MM 181/30).

as we have discussed it here. a direct proportion between the uncertainty. its only means of perception is touch. if a phenomenology of perception consists in showing how conscious syntheses constitute the perception of an object. instead. it must choose to continue on its way and only through this 'choice' does it result in a reaction. and even the necessity. Perception .arises in the moment of hesitation before the reaction.here we have to say perception in the forms of touch and taste . the influence of an action or a vibration takes time. in an organism such as a protozoa.19 Clearly. 'Deduction' is a word Bergson always uses in relation to matter. Bergson says. this law means that there is a direct proportion between the indeterminacy of reaction and the scope of perception. and try whether we cannot deduce from it the possibility. In inanimate matter. He is not showing us how consciousness casts light on things in order to let them be perceived. there is no hesitation between action and reaction.18 The Challenge of Bergsonism THE THEORY OF PURE PERCEPTION We can see already that it is very hard to maintain. Bergson is not adopting a realist perspective on perception. is deduced from matter (MM 182/ 31). and thus the reaction is indeterminate. Within the images of matter. insofar as the same membrane reacts by moving away from the object (if . in effect. But. touch is at once passive. the 'making wait'. insofar as the organism's membrane must come into immediate contact with an object to perceive and recognize it. a reaction 'can hardly be made to wait' (MM 182/32). and active. the hesitation of the reaction and the distance over which the living being is sensitive to the actions of the object which interests it. For Bergson. Therefore. conscious perception. The starting point for this deduction is the indetermination in regard to motor reactions that the brain's complexity symbolizes: the main telephone switchboard. however. by means of the concept of image. living beings are 'zones of indetermination'. thus the reaction is always determined. he is showing us how consciousness. zones in which the strict laws of natural necessity encounter hesitations. just as much. from this indetermination as from the true principle. MM 354/221). Bergson states that there is a strict connection between the zones of indetermination and perception: 'Let us note first that a strict law connects the extent of the perception back to the intensity of action that the living being has at its disposal' (MM 182/31). For example. he always uses the word 'progress' (cf. that Bergson in Matter and Memory wants to make a 'phenomenology of perception'. so. when he speaks of spirit. that is. As it travels through the system. that is. In a being with a nervous system. 'Let us start. the vibration encounters numerous paths down which it can travel. in a rudimentary organism. of conscious perception' (MM 182/31). as Merleau-Ponty does in the La nature lectures. then this is not Bergson's project. then.

As Bergson says. a plurality of moments' (MM 184/34). but duration and memory are not the focus here in the first chapter of Matter and Memory. These two forms of memory imply that factual perception. then we start to think that perception could be an interior. explain why the relation of the organism to more or less distant objects takes the particular form of conscious perception. as we have already noted. it is the 'subjective side of the knowledge of things' (MM 184/34). Bergson says that memory (la memoire) has two forms: one that 'covers over [recouvre] a bedrock of immediate perception with a covering of memories'. To answer this question. to perceive without effort. and therefore unextended vision that would be projected outward and would somehow gain objectivity and extension (MM 184/34). so. memory in both these forms makes up the principal contribution of personal or individual consciousness in perception. on the one hand. because it is 'mixed with' or 'impregnated by' memories (souvenirs) (MM 183/33). in direct proportion to the quantity of hesitations. we have the first mention of duration when Bergson says: 'However brief we suppose any perception to be. and involves. that is. According to Bergson. one into another. but also. defines duration. on the other hand. As Bergson asks. Here (MM 184/34). 'perception has space at its disposal in exact proportion to the time that action has at its disposal' (MM 183/32). but we have not yet reached representation. which allowed us to see perception deduced from the action-reaction system of matter. 'swells' with memories (souvenirs} and. In a living being with a complex brain like a dog for example (cf.there are numerous hesitations. these memories are the source of the illusion in which we conceive perception as a veridical hallucination. consequently an effort of memory [la memoire] which prolongs.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 19 the object is a menace) (MM 182/32). allows us to perceive quickly and conveniently. In other words. So far. in fact. and one that 'contracts a multiplicity of moments' (MM 184/34). we have concerned ourselves only with action. according to Bergson. the longer the wait in reaction. it naturally occupies a certain duration. perception is 'complex and concrete' (MM 184/34). subjective. We see therefore that memory.20 This exact law governing the relation between the indeterminacy of reaction and perception of distance does not. The covering of memories especially. he constructs the famous hypothesis of pure perception (MM 184/33). In particular. there is vision and hearing and smell through which the being can be subject to more and more distant influences. the more the living being can see. If we do not realize that memories are the content of hallucinations. MM 228/82) . always offers a certain 'thickness of duration' (MM 185/34). however. for Bergson. The hypothesis of pure perception is supposed to . Anticipating the discussion of memory in the second chapter. these memories give birth to every kind of illusion (MM 184/33). Pure perception is not factual perception. 'how is it that this perception is consciousness?' (MM 183/33).

as we shall see in Chapter Two. But now we can see that. but enclosed in the present and absorbed. it is a vision. living as I live. (MM 184/33) Then. which means that pure perception is a condition of factual perception: pure perception 'is at the base of our knowledge of things' (MM 184/34). On the other hand. we can say first that pure perception for Bergson is defined by being 'in principle' rather than 'in fact'. pure perception differs in nature from pure memory. to the exclusion of all other work. since memory is subjective. since that term is really the opposite of 'concrete'. instead. but also it seems to me that we are justified in calling pure vision 'abstract'. this vision is not 'concrete perception'. but absorbed in the present. And this claim . and which is capable. On the one hand. pure perception is defined by being objective. it is 'instantaneous' (see above in the last passage cited) and 'simple' (Bergson . pure perception is a theory (MM 212/65).is no hypothesis for Bergson (MM 188/39). through the elimination of memory in all of its forms. Nothing forbids us from substituting for this perception. Thus. pure vision is immediate (cf. In relation to the elimination of memories. instead. since this vision has eliminated the 'multiplicity of moments'. which is entirely penetrated with our past. (MM 185/34) On the basis of these two comments. we have to make one more point: since it has removed the covering of memories. he says. personal and interior. First. he says. the perception that an adult and formed consciousness would have. it is not thick or complex perception.that conscious perception is true . of obtaining a vision of matter both immediate and instantaneous. the mediation that memory makes available to perception. By [pure perception] I mean a perception which exists in principle rather than in fact [en droit and en fait] and would be possessed by a being placed where I am. and since pure perception differs in nature from memory. prolongation. that is. it is 'ideal' (MM 184/33). impersonal and external or extended. since it is a vision that has eliminated the mediation of the covering of memories. is supposed to show us that conscious perception is veridical but is not an hallucination. it is a vision that has eliminated memory in both forms of prolongation and conservation in memories. Now let us turn to the elimination of the other form of memory. in the task of molding itself upon the external object. and for Bergson. Bergson provides two descriptions of pure perception. MM 319/182).20 The Challenge of Bergsonism eliminate this illusion and show us that we perceive things in the things. Moreover.

Pure perception is division or. To understand the mechanism of pure perception. we must return to the .is really part of matter.spirit that is matter . We may go further: memory does not intervene as a function of which matter has no sense and which it does not imitate in its own way. pure perception has no access to the past. Insofar as forgetfulness defines pure vision.. an act which included duration. in the two descriptions just presented. as we understand matter. We must be extremely careful in our characterization of pure vision. Bergson says. we are at the exact point. because subject to necessity.is nothing but a repetition of the same. Bergson also says that pure perception is 'absorbed' or even 'enclosed' in the present. we have been able to assemble the following characteristics of pure perception: it is a vision. having no access to the past. (MM 356/222-3) Pure perception . the other instants have been forgotten. a superficial repetition. In chapter four of Matter and Memory. this pure vision lacks all duration. But. but one that is instantaneous and therefore not the genuine experience of matter. we must not confuse pure perception with the act by which we pass from the chrysalis to what is inside it. Lacking both forms of memory. Because of being enclosed in the present.spirit without memory . So. which is determined as ideal or abstract and immediate through the elimination of memories and which is determined as instantaneous and simple through the elimination of prolongation. In contrast to this act. Each instant cannot be experienced as different. absorbed and enclosed in the present. in fact.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 21 opens the discussion of pure perception by saying 'we will first simplify considerably the conditions under which conscious perception takes place' MM 183/33). pure perception. which is the lowest degree of spirit . pure perception is an experience of matter. pure vision must be denned as forgetfulness: pure vision forgets what it sees as soon as it sees it. pure vision can be described as the experience of repetition. . it is divided. So. it unfolds a series of moments of which each is the equivalent of the preceding moment and may be deduced from it: thus its past is truly given in its present.. When we eliminate memory from perception and achieve this pure vision. This division is why Bergson compares the body in pure vision to 'a mathematical point' (MM 204/56). since in order to experience difference one must have other instants which one can compare against. better. we must say that each instant experienced by its consciousness is experienced as the same. But. a duration with a very fast rhythm. it is because it repeats the past unceasingly. where spirit is 'grafted' onto matter (MM 356/222). the mathematical point. If matter does not remember the past. in this pure vision.

limit and diminish. there is 'a purely utilitarian origin of our perception of things' (MM 299/158). In pure perception. How does the selection occur? According to Bergson. the transition goes from the inside of the chrysalis to its outside. to oppose to each action an equal and contrary reaction. there is therefore a transition from the image being in itself to its being for me (MM 186/35). Again. as we have seen. According to Bergson. (MM 186/36) The verbs by means of which Bergson always describes this transition are: isolate. Bergson. as an objective image. therefore. being in solidarity with the totality of other images. If there is a relativity to perception. defines the transition of pure perception as 'discernment in the etymological sense of the word'. In pure perception (and as well in perception mixed with memory).22 The Challenge of Bergsonism concept of the image. suppress. representation is always in the image virtually. we perceive things in them. for Bergson. to transmit the totality of what it receives. In order to transform its pure and simple existence into a representation. it subtracts a part from the whole. but to the whole universe. in other words. Bergson describes the transition in the following way: [The image of the material object appears to be in itself what it is for me] because. What distinguishes the image as a present image. to be finally only a path upon which the modifications which are propagated in the immensity of the universe pass in every direction. not in us. Pure perception adds nothing new to the image. for Bergson. perception becomes conscious. that there is merely a difference of degree. in pure vision. it is continued in those which follow it just as it is prolonged in those which preceded it. from a represented image is the necessity which obliges it to act through each of its points upon all the other points of other images. I would convert it into a representation if I could isolate it. as we have seen. to conserve from it only its external crust. are 'centres of indetermination'. as a part of the whole (MM 186/ 36). it would suffice to suppress all of a sudden what follows it. and also what fills it. it occurs because of life necessities (MM 333-4/198). detach. Pure perception implies. this opposite direction of transition is why we cannot confuse pure perception with the fatiguing act by which we reached the more rapid duration of matter. So. a 'slicing up'. Living beings. and indetermination is based on having a variety of'functions' (MM 186/36) or 'needs' (MM 188/38). its superficial skin. the image or presence of a material thing becomes a representation. what precedes it. in fact. In perception. especially if I could isolate its envelope. things turn the side of themselves that interests our functions and . or a 'selection' (MM 188/38). between being and being perceived (MM 187/37). it is a relativity not to us. according to Bergson. and not in nature.

'What interests us in a given situation. is the side by which it can respond to a tendency or a need. But we can see immediately that if pure perception gives us only confusedly distinct bodies (and not clear and distinct shades of colour). as Bergson says in chapter four of Matter and Memory. more generally. 218/71). compared to 'the perception of any unconscious material point whatsoever. one equally remote from generality fully conceived and from individuality clearly perceived (MM 298-9/158). But. our body. Later in chapter three of Matter and Memory. as we shall see in Chapter Three. and at the same time he says that 'a clear representation of general ideas is a refinement of intelligence' (MM 298/158). He goes on to say. which does not satisfy the need for nourishment.The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 23 needs. Because pure perception is poor. satisfy other needs and is therefore seen as well. a clear and distinct idea in Bergson could never be geometrical. that is his philosophical method. our functions' (MM 188/ 38. In any case.. But this luxurious perception is not intuition either. [which] is infinitely greater and more complete than ours.) Our needs therefore are like 'so many beams of light'. cares little for the individual differences' (MM 299/158). in its instaritaneousness. Pure perception for Bergson is a . in short. of course. the complexity and dynamism that only memory can provide. it cannot be intuition.21 We must not get confused here: what Bergson is calling 'pure perception' resembles what he calls 'intuition'. the apple tree. This intermediate knowledge is the poverty. In other words. beams of light that sketch out confusedly 'distinct bodies' (MM 334/198). in contrast to this luxury and refinement. As Bergson says. I do not see an apple clearly and distinctly with a specific shade of the colour green. what we are likely to grasp in it first. ideal and abstract.. conscious representation results from the suppression of what has no interest for bodily functions and the conservation of only what does interest bodily function. . he tells us that 'a luxury of perception' is 'the clear distinction of individual objects'. Bergson speaks of perception starting from an 'intermediate knowledge'. what difference does the shade of colour make for nourishment? My need for nourishment makes me see an apple as confusedly distinct from. Thus. that is.. static. or. say. In pure vision. I see an apple immediately because of my need for nourishment and because this need has been repeatedly satisfied with apples. 'Our representation of matter is the measure of our possible action upon bodies: it results from the discarding of what has no interest for our needs. since it gathers and transmits the influence of all the other points of the material universe'. only insofar as both are immediate.. For Bergson. even the crudity of pure vision. it could be nothing more than a sketch: impoverished. a clear and distinct idea must have the colours and differences. the conscious perception of a living being exhibits a 'necessary poverty' (MM 188/38). (But the apple tree could. which would allow me to distinguish it from another variety of apples. A need .


The Challenge of Bergsonism

simple line drawing, in fact, a drawing that could, with effort, become geometrical. That pure perception is like an abstract and simple line drawing is why he compares pure perception to a photograph (MM 188/38-9). We must remember that in 1896 we are at the beginning of photographic technology: colour photographs have not yet been invented. So, pure perception is like a black-and-white photograph. The beams of light of needs only illuminate part of the surface of things, giving us only the external crust, the envelope, the chrysalis - in other words, only the contours of the thing. As Bergson says, in order to make the transition from presence to representation, from whole to part, 'it would be necessary, not to throw more light on the object, but, on the contrary, to obscure some of its aspects, to diminish it by the greater part of itself, so that the remainder ... should detach itself from [its surroundings]' (MM 186/36). Moreover, according to Bergson, the light does not really flood out from our needs; rather, it emanates from the surfaces themselves, from presence. What happens is that the light, when it reaches living beings, can no longer pass through unopposed because it encounters them as zones of indetermination. If it could propagate itself, it would issue immediately in a reaction; in this case, it would be refracted. But when light reaches a 'spontaneity of reaction', in short, freedom, the light is no longer refracted but reflected. The reflection is a 'virtual image', an image of potential reactions (MM 187/37). When I see the apple, the representation I have is an image of the fact that I have the potential reaction of eating it. As Bergson says, 'Perception therefore resembles those phenomena of reflection that result from an impeded refraction; it is like a mirage effect' (MM 187/37). Because conscious perception is a mirage of reflected light, it 'adds nothing to what is there; [it] effects merely this: that the real action passes through, the virtual action remains' (MM 188/39). Let us summarize this discussion of pure perception before we bring this chapter to a close. All perception for Bergson is connected to action, not contemplation; in fact, perception results from the 'hesitation' between action and reaction. This 'hesitation' or 'interval' is caused by the brain making indeterminate reactions possible; the brain is the 'main switchboard' for all our bodily functions. Therefore, for Bergson, what we always perceive first is what interests our needs or functions. Because living beings like human beings have lots of bodily needs, we have vision, which is subject to the influence of lots of distant things. While factual perception involves all the senses, pure perception is only a visual representation. Insofar as it is vision (and not touch), pure perception has not yet completed itself in an action. What makes pure perception pure is that it does not involve memory at all; so, it is both immediate and instantaneous. What pure perception recognizes immediately is a confusedly distinct body. This discernment of a confusedly distinct body is due, to

The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology


say it again, to our needs. In other words, the beams of light of our needs delimit the contours, and only the contours of this body rather than that one. Pure perception therefore for Bergson is 'delimitation', as the title of the fourth chapter of Matter and Memory indicates. But delimitation, again as the title of the fourth chapter indicates, is not 'fixation'. In order to fix the vision, in other words, in order to make the virtual action become actual action, we would have to restore some of perception's thickness; we would need an affection or emotion (and that means life). An emotion always makes us leap across the interval of indetermination. If we experienced an emotion of sufficient force, we would complete the drawing we make with our eyes with a real drawing on paper. Lacking such an emotion, the drawing we make with our eyes vanishes as soon as it happens; pure perception is like, as Bergson says, 'an instantaneous flash of lightning which illuminates a stormy landscape by night' (MM 325/189). It is well known, of course, that Bergson loved all psychological and psychical research. Hence, Matter and Memory is filled with discussions of cases of psychic illnesses. But, sadly, no 'Schneider' emerges in Matter and Memory to amuse us with his sexual problems and to make us read the book as if it were a novel. This lack of a 'Schneider' means probably that Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception will always be more popular than Bergson's Matter and Memory. But in the second chapter of Matter and Memory, Bergson focuses on a peculiar fact of patients who suffer from 'psychic blindness', that is, patients who cannot recognize specific objects even though their vision is perfectly intact (MM 242-3/96-8). These patients seem unable to draw pictures or at least they cannot draw pictures very well, and this leads Bergson to discuss two ways of drawing, discussion which, I believe, is very helpful in understanding Bergson's theory of pure perception. On the one hand - and this is how Bergson's poor mental patients draw — they 'fix' on paper in an uncertain way 'a certain number of points', then they connect the points up, verifying at every moment whether the image resembles the object they are drawing. Bergson calls this first way of drawing 'drawing "by points"' (MM 243/97). Clearly, the name implies that Bergson's mental patients are rather untalented geometers. But there is a second way to draw according to Bergson, 'the habitual way', which he describes as 'drawing with "a continuous line" after having looked at or thought of the model' (MM 243/97). Bergson explains this second, nongeometrical way of drawing 'by means of our habit of discovering immediately [tout de suite} the organization of the most usual contours, that is, by means of a motor tendency to draw its schema in one whole line' (MM 243/97). This habit of drawing a schema with a continuous line is at the base of our knowledge of things, allowing us immediately to draw with our eyes the most usual contours of things; this habit is not only at the base of science in its remotest inspirations


The Challenge of Bergsonism

but also at the base of art. But to have a painting and not a drawing, to have art and not artifice, to add colour and not subtract greys, we need memory. As we shall see in Chapter Two, memory differs in nature from perception and even all forms of imaging; this difference is such a radical difference that Bergson says that 'to imagine is not to remember' (MM 278/135). Although a radical difference in nature, this difference can be experienced; to have this experience will require us to pay attention to the mental illness that Bergson calls 'division of the personality' (MM 313/175); we ourselves will have to divide our personality between matter and memory. So, in Chapter Two, we shall return to some of Bergson's mental patients. But unlike the patients suffering from 'psychic blindness', whose impoverished souls make them draw by points like bad geometers, these schizophrenics have souls that are too rich: they draw by one continuous line because they see everything double.

When we considered Bergson's concept of the image. maybe the most difficult. phenomenology always remains irreducibly connected to intentionality. But no matter what. Insofar as phenomenology remains irreducibly connected to intentionality.precedes presence to consciousness. So. as we are going to see now. Consciousness is itself deduced from matter. We engaged in an investigation of chapter one of Matter and Memory in order to determine Bergsonism's challenge to phenomenology. constitutes representations. And if this is the case. When we considered Bergson's hypothesis of pure perception. but by exteriority and therefore objectivity. which is itself one of the images. Because of this definition. we saw that this concept amounts to a new definition of presence. Derrida has established that presence in phenomenology is always defined as 'selfproximity in interiority'. let us summarize what we saw in the last chapter. rather consciousness is something.. as presence to consciousness. Moreover. then we have to recognize that Bergsonian presence . it defines consciousness as 'consciousness of something'. Before we turn to the concept of memory. In Voice and Phenomenon. we saw that consciousness does not engender representations but is the selection of images from the whole of images called matter . As consciousness of something. phenomenological consciousness engenders or. material in Matter and Memory: Bergson's concept of memory. Presence exceeds consciousness and this is why Bergsonism is not a phenomenology of . we cannot define Bergsonism as a philosophy of consciousness. this means that Bergsonism is a philosophy of the unconscious. it is hard to conceive phenomenology in any other way than as a philosophy of consciousness.CHAPTER 2 The Concept of Memory: Ontology We now enter into a discussion of extremely difficult. Bergson does not define consciousness as consciousness of something. the Bergsonian image is not defined by interiority and therefore subjectivity. We must here take advantage of Derrida's remarkable clarification of the phenomenological concept of presence. we have to say that phenomenological presence is equivalent to what Bergson calls representation. in fact.the image .1 in other words. more precisely. Insofar as consciousness is the selection from the whole of images called matter.and this selection takes place on the basis of the body.

we have not really escaped from the philosophy of consciousness.Heidegger claims that Bergson merely 'reverses' Aristotle's views on time.and we can see this most clearly in his essay 'Nietzsche's Word: God is Dead'5 . as this machine becomes more complicated.4 Most generally. it is conceived as a 'central telephone switchboard'. The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. when phenomenology starts to take the body seriously.'6 If we take this comment seriously. Heidegger therefore raises the question. as Derrida has also shown. what it finds is a corporeal or operative intentionality. Thus. The slowness of the machine allows memories to be selected and to be inserted into the present. Bergson says. 'we perceive. To reverse Platonism without twisting free of it means to reverse the objectivity of the Platonic ideas for the subjectivity of the soul. we must say that Bergsonism is a 'primacy of memory'. in fact. Memory plays such a large role in concrete and complex perception that Bergson says in the fourth chapter of Matter and Memory that 'every perception is already memory'. it runs slowly.2 Here. which we are going to address to Bergson. of course. On the basis of an examination of the image of . But even here. 'the very expression of his efforts to grasp really the phenomenon'. then we are led to Bergson's famous image of the cone. rather. 24 of his first set of Nietzsche lectures. Heidegger himself. where he claims that Nietzsche merely 'reverses' Platonism without 'twisting free' of it. an image that is. It is this primacy of memory which opens the challenge to ontology. Derrida is alluding to MerleauPonty who had shown in the Phenomenology of Perception that phenomenological consciousness must really be rooted in the body. Here. But. which in Nietzsche's case is the will to power. of course. suggests that it does not. I am going to take seriously the standard Heidegger has set for ontology and try to see whether Bergson's metaphysics of memory measures up to it. in the second half of the twentieth century. 'Bergson's "images" are the very expression of his efforts to grasp really the phenomenon within the realm he takes for his theme. to repeat Heidegger. phenomenology is always a phenomenology of perception. practically only the past' (MM 291/15). Thus. In the most famous footnote from Being and Time3 . The memory-images add colour to the black-and-white photograph. I am not really going to present a Bergsonian challenge to Heidegger's ontology. this claim means for Heidegger .made famous obviously by Derrida . there is no primacy of perception in Bergson. to appropriate Merleau-Ponty's famous phrase. Heidegger says. But. Obviously. Heidegger's use of the word 'reversal' here anticipates its use in para. And. we also saw that. what we saw in Matter and Memory is that the Bergsonian body is a machine. the word 'ontology' is synonymous with Heidegger's name. not as flesh. in the flesh.28 The Challenge of Bergsonism perception. is it the case that Bergson merely reverses Platonism without twisting free of it? In his 1928 lecture course.that Nietzsche remains mired in the modern philosophy of subjectivity. in Leib.

if the brain is not sufficient to engender a memory. consequently. but actually 'twists free' of it. The present object activates our organs and nerve centres and. in other words. through a threestage process. does not somehow have the power of engendering representations in perception. I am going to try to make a case here that Bergson does not merely 'reverse' Platonism. So. then. Consequently. or. We must say that the present object is the cause of the perceptual representation. we are going to have to look at the image of the cone. as we have already seen. we are going to have to turn to what he calls 'the central metaphysical problem of existence'. in short.7 and. but we cannot point to an experience. For Bergson. But. and. if one claims that the brain is the cause of perceptual representations. initially. can provide the empirical verification of another claim . memory has to be the test case for this hypothesis. With the experience called perception and even with the strange experience called pure perception. To put this positively. then. in particular. from the brain (MM 221/75). suggest. the brain is only an instrument of action (MM 221/74). it is primary for what he calls at the end of chapter one of Matter and Memory 'the philosophy of matter' (MM 220/73). that Bergson's metaphysics of memory is not a new subjectivism.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 29 the cone. Memory becomes primary for the philosophy of matter in Bergson because we cannot empirically verify these claims about matter through the analysis of perception. regardless of whether we say that the brain does or does not engender perceptions. matter has to be understood as having no hidden or unknowable power (MM 220/73). then it ought to be able to do this when the object is absent as in a memory (MM 222/75). for Bergson. But. moreover. then we must conclude that it is not sufficient to engender the representation of a present object. Further. We can make a strong case for these claims being true because they explain perception better than other explanations (MM 221/74). at least. the claim that matter has no hidden power means that the brain. we have to examine how Bergson defines memory by means of establishing two sets of differences in nature. it always looks as though our perceptions emanate from these nerve centres. the experiential result is the same. by examining the second and third chapters of Matter and Memory. Memory. I hope to show. however. finally. we need to see why there is a 'primacy of memory' in Matter and Memory. we are always dealing with a present object. First. in other words. THE PRIMACY OF MEMORY The problem of memory is primary for Bergson because of his refutation of materialism. The first point that Bergson makes is: if the brain is not sufficient to engender the representation of an absent object.

As we are going to see. Memory. something objective rather than subjective. for Bergson. we can establish. then we must say that something entirely different from memory is going on in perception. At the end of this chapter.e.e. we have reason to argue . let me repeat: overall. If they differ in nature from perceptions. if there is a radical difference between perceptions and memories. i. more precisely. psychophysiology. indeed.that spirit is a reality independent of matter. But then third. Psychologists. The experience is primary for him in three ways. then we can conclude that perception is radically different from memory. if the survival of memories. cannot be explained by the brain. and now we can say philosophers of artificial intelligence. and not a difference of degree. that the brain does not engender perceptions. which are representations of absent objects. memory. let us turn now to the way in which Bergson defines memory. in reference to psychology or. which are representations of present objects. Second. according to Bergson. despite the fact that psychologists constantly treat the brain as 'a storehouse of memories' (MM 220/74). As we are going to see.30 The Challenge of Bergsonism made in the first chapter of Matter and Memory.is erect spirit into a reality independent of matter on the basis of 'the very example that is commonly supposed to be the most unfavorable to [spirit]' (MM 220/74). the cone image explicitly symbolizes the 'connection' between matter and memory.here leaving the philosophy of matter behind for the philosophy of spirit . But. If there is a 'radical difference' between memories and perceptions. for Bergson. Through the difference in nature between memories and perceptions. what Bergson is going to do . there is a third point he can make thanks to memory. First. is the most 'palpable' experience of spirit (MM 220/73). between the experience of matter and the experience of spirit. memories are personal. . we must say that memory is a power absolutely independent of the brain. as well. that we perceive matter in matter and not in us. But. objective. then we must also say that memory is a power absolutely independent from matter. Bergson's second point is: if it can be shown that memories differ in nature (and not by intensity) from perceptions. then we must say that perceptions are impersonal. that in pure perception we are actually placed outside ourselves in matter (MM 222/75). there is one rather surprising implication of it. But. we are going to return specifically to this experience. So. if there is a difference in nature between memories and perceptions. constantly reduce memory to matter. As we know. this dualism between matter and memory for Bergson is absolutely necessary in order to dispel all thinking in terms of differences in degree. i. perception really is the experience of matter. then we can conclude. there is a primacy of memory because memory is an experience. before we go on. for Bergson.and this is what makes these middle chapters on memory so powerful . but it is also provisional. subjective.

'passes again before me'. in other words.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 3I THE TWO DIFFERENCES IN NATURE THAT DEFINE MEMORY FIRST DIFFERENCE IN NATURE THAT DEFINES MEMORY: TWO FORMS OF MEMORY' 'THE The dualism begins by establishing a difference in nature between what Bergson calls 'the two forms of memory'. If the brain really stores memories. making progress each time. 'Some will say again that these images are memories [souvenir}. else? Bergson is going to say that they survive somehow else. The question is: do memories survive only in the brain. 'At this precise moment [that is. some say that it has become a memory [souvenir].' And. As Bergson says. it seems that the lesson is a poem. and for him the two forms of memory distinction is the first difference in nature that defines memory.is the same thing really at issue in the two cases even though the same words are used? . he describes a different effort by means of which I remember how the lesson was learned. that it is imprinted on my memory [la memoire]' (MM 225/79).he is referring . each comes back to mind. the reason Bergson believes this difference in nature is necessary lies in the fact that psychologists have always associated memory with the brain. The establishment of the difference in nature between the two forms of survival takes place by means of an example: learning a lesson by heart (MM 255/79). Again. First. I know my lesson by heart. one repeats the whole poem a number of times. Let us see how this example works. the successive readings. a difference in nature between a material memory and a spiritual memory. also MM 219/73. one reads the lesson to be learned one time. The circumstances distinguish it from those that preceded and followed it. Then. On the other hand. so. when the words. form a continuous whole]. through which I passed. I 'represent to myself the step-by-step phases. or do they survive somewhere. it is primarily discussed in the first third of chapter two of Matter and Memory (MM 225/79. that they are imprinted in my memory [ma memoire}. 184/34). Is the same thing really at issue?' (MM 225/79). On the one hand. somehow. then it seems unlikely that spirit is an independent reality. cf. which have been punctuated. Bergson describes the effort to learn by heart. Here. he continues: 'These people use the same words in the two cases. What is at issue in these two forms is a difference in nature between a memory of the body and a memory of the soul. Bergson says. memory is 'the very example that is most unfavourable' to the thesis that spirit is an independent reality. or. When Bergson says this . and I 're-see' it with the circumstances that accompanied it and that still enframe it. it is a determinate event of my history. it occupies a place in time. since he speaks of 'punctuating each verse' in this first reading.

these voluntary efforts . The role of prolongation. we could call this first form of memory 'the progressive memory'.'active' memory (MM 233/87) and active memorization . Of course we shall return to the question of the unconscious in a moment. It would seem that. That they are not what is at stake here is why this example is so perplexing. according to Bergson. Prolongation. every time I see the amber light.are not the operations of memory between which Bergson is distinguishing. prolongation contracts a perceptual image by repeating its useful effect or action (MM 227/81.are voluntary efforts. 'the example of a lesson learned by heart is artificial' (MM 229/84). 'subconsciously' (cf. So. he calls it instead 'habit-memory' (MM 231/86). I have contracted a habit. But. more and more. MM 233/87). is the operation of 'prolongation' (MM 229/83). Insofar as the operation of prolongation is directed towards future action. better. but for now we must recognize that memory in Bergson is unconscious. On the basis of the example of learning a lesson by heart. 'is merely to utilize. the difference in nature is going to be established between two operations of memory and two types of memory. it is directed towards utility and adaptation (MM 229-30/84). which will always operate into the future. is 'seated in the present and looking at nothing but the future' (MM 227/82). or. Then I will not cause an accident. since he uses the word 'progress' in the description of memorization.32 The Challenge of Bergsonism to the words 'souvenir1 and 'la memoire'. in order to organize [the movements] together and. These two 'unconscious' operations of memory divide in two different directions (cf. eventually the reaction becomes automatic. is why Bergson calls prolongation 'more natural' (MM 228/83): it makes progress (MM 228/83). as Bergson says. Although the appearance of the amber light is random or accidental. I repeat the same action. as he also says. Bergson himself.8 Later. For example. On the one hand. difference in direction always defines a difference in nature for Bergson. the movements by which the first [image] was continued. however. in a word. by setting up a mechanism. Bergson is going to distinguish between two operations that function passively. it is directed towards future 'action'. as Bergson says. The efforts described here . depress the brake pedal. In other words. In this situation. EC 616-17/143-4). to create a bodily habit' (MM 229/83-4). towards 'life'. when I start to learn to drive a car. I must press down on the brake pedal. in The Two Sources of Morality and . This direction towards the future. The first form of memory is this prolongation through repetition. towards action and towards utility adaptation. unconsciously.both the repetition of the lesson in order to memorize it and the evocation of the images of the phases of memorization . the first form of memory. 228/82). automatically. does not use this designation. to which the active process of memorization refers. I must consciously think: when approaching traffic lights and I see the amber light.

to use Bergson's terminology.the second description in which I reproduce the images of me memorizing the poem . in the plural. as we shall see in a moment. according to Bergson. as in the learning a lesson by heart example. I contract thousands and thousands of habits by means of the operation of prolongation without being aware of the process. We saw in Chapter One as well that. which puts habits somewhere in the body. It records each image as it occurs and maintains the images in the order of their appearance. These habits survive. we might describe regressive memory as a kind of writing or as a sort of ledger (a formalization or something like the white on black of the Milky Way). is always the wrong question for Bergson.refers to the operation of regressive memory. for instance. the process of evocation . which. as Bergson says.habits learned voluntarily. in other words. But. as the same situations continue to repeat themselves (even when they repeat themselves accidentally). In fact. keeping promises. This is why Bergson calls the second form of memory 'regressive' (MM 228/83). what survives is a 'memory-image' {image-souvenir} (MM 227/81). something survives.the innumerable ordinary and common habits that I have are contracted by means of 'the accidental repetition of the same situations' (MM 231/85). so perfect they look to be 'innate'. more and more foreign to our past life' (MM 229/83). habits become perfected. the question of where the memories are stored or recorded. or. We can easily see the difference in direction of the two forms of memory. the regressive memory is not a place. and the process by which I am obliged to have obligations. The whole of obligation takes place unconsciously. The distinction he is making is between particular obligations. The operation is denned by 'conservation' (MM 228/82. Unlike habit-memory. Through the recording of perceptual images. regressive memory regresses into the past. they become. what survives due to conservation are 'representations' (MM 224/78). conserves by 'recording' perceptual images (MM 227/81). Bergson will call the operation of prolongation. which are 'exceptional and rare' (MM 228/83) . 234/88). unlike the habit-memory. (The hyphen in this phrase will turn out to be significant. let us turn to the second form of memory. Because he uses the obvious metaphor of imprint to speak of memory. they are 'deposited' in the body (MM 227/81). as if memory were a big container. unlike active memorization . But. Therefore. the repetition by means of which habits are contracted.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 33 Religion. the whole of obligation is the habit of contracting habits. In the example of learning a lesson by heart. as he says later in chapter two. the 'habit-memory' of Matter and Memory. 'the whole of obligation' (MR 999/29). Now. 'more and more impersonal. and this is why they can be destroyed when my body is injured. 230/84. which makes progress towards the future.) . all obligations for Bergson are habits. In other words. which Bergson explicitly calls 'the regressive memory' (MM 229/83).

for Bergson. as Bergson says.. But this claim. but also to be free of life's necessities. and they bear the place and date of their original occurrence. Let us stop for a moment here. are spontaneous (MM 231/86). 'thought' rather than acted (MM 228/82). for Bergson. But. memoryimages cannot be repeated in the way that habits can. The spontaneity of the memoryimage means that it is 'capricious' in its reproduction (MM 234/88) and 'fugitive' in its retention (MM 231/85).34 The Challenge of Bergsonism Memory-images are personal. just comes to mind. Thus. Insofar as the regressive memory is turned back towards the past. they do not and cannot require the perfecting that habits require. what is less natural about regressive memory? What is less natural is that I do not pay attention to life when I dream or hallucinate. Here the French word souvenir is essential. they are not directed towards life. Bergson never explicitly calls regressive memory less natural. Besides being personal. that regressive memory is 'less natural'. which leads us to the last characteristic of the Bergsonian memory-images. so they are in a sense 'detached' or 'withdrawn' from the moment (MM 228/83). each is different from the next. which suggests that the habit-memory and regressive memory are really not independent but connected (cf. 'More' implies again a connection between the two forms of memory. it is less natural for Bergson. and not to pay attention to life is in a sense not only to be dead. MM 231/85). a memory. they cannot be done over. it even suggests a difference of degree. dated and non-repeatable in the sense of not being able to be done over. It comes from the Latin. what Bergson wants us to see is that dreams and hallucinations are useless (MM 228/83) and do not contribute to adaptation. spontaneously. memory-images. un souvenir. But the recording operation of regressive memory is itself natural. But. is to be more spiritual. so. We must note immediately that dreams and hallucinations are 'evocations' of the past. These images are. they are perfect. both of which suggest spirit. here. they do not look to the future. for Bergson. since Bergson explicitly says that the recording of perceptual images happens according to a 'natural necessity' (MM 227/81). Insofar as regressive memory is directed to the past. So. which means to come to mind. towards uselessless. For Bergson. in a word. which bring past images back to the present. the direction of regressive memory has suddenly changed. is extremely complicated. he says only that habit-memory is 'more natural' (MM 228/83). We shall return to this connection later in this chapter when we turn to the cone image. We can conclude therefore that to be less natural. they do not respond to the present moment. even though these memory- . subvenire. Insofar as memory-images are personal. they are therefore at home in our past life and not seated in the present. and that makes habits impersonal. it is directed not to action or movement but towards dreaming or hallucination. In fact. they are recorded just once (MM 229/84).

not under the conscious control of one's will. which is acquired accidentally. they are foreign to our past life. what survives is a habit. therefore. repeatable. the useless and thought. what survives is a memory-image. habits have the characteristics of being impersonal. Habit-memory is denned by the operation of prolongation.1 we can see that what Bergson calls a 'memory-image' is an intermediate term between . Let us simplify this discussion in order to be able to see what is at stake in it. habit-memory towards the future . perfectible. and life. 2. Because prolongation makes habits survive in the body and because habits become more and more foreign to our past life. Despite Bergson's suggestions that there is a connection between the two forms of memory. ultimately. they are used correctly for Bergson. Bergson concludes that habits are not memories and that 'habit-memory' is not the true memory (MM 229/84). they are not determined by necessity. towards dreaming (or hallucination). Memory-images have the characteristics of being personal (and not impersonal). And. conservation records step by step the perceptual image towards the past. memory-images are at home in our past life.image. by means of the operation of prolongation. If we look at Fig.e. which is a memory of our past life. because what survives is a memory. the words souvenir and memoire. memory-images are spontaneous in their reproduction (they are capricious) and in their retention (they are fugitive). to which they are never foreign. that we are not mere automatons. while they are not acquired accidentally like habits. by means of the operation of conservation. habit-memory and regressive memory are differentiated in nature: habit-memory goes in the direction of the future. but in the case of evocation and conservation. regressive memory goes in the direction of the past.. towards action. are misused. utility and adaptation. prolongation repeats the useful effect of a perceptual image towards the future. and. different (and not repeatable: they cannot be done over) and perfect (and not perfectible). By means of seeing this difference in nature . what leads to the second difference in nature that defines memory is that the element of what we have been calling regressive memory is the memory-image (image-souvenir or souvenir-image).regressive memory towards the past. In the case of memorization and habit-memory. SECOND DIFFERENCE IN NATURE THAT DEFINES MEMORY: 'THE DIFFERENTIATION ACCORDING TO INTEREST' For Bergson. withdrawal.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 35 images are capricious and fugitive.we can answer the question which Bergson asked after the two descriptions of learning by heart. i. Ultimately. Their spontaneity is the very sign of our freedom. Regressive memory is defined by the operation of conservation.

Its intermediate status is why the term is hyphenated. associationism argues that.1 represents. Because a memory is not an image. it consists in a mixture of memory and image. which means that it is an incontestable truth in general and not just for associationism. Fig. i.9 Perception in Fig. Having the memory-image as its element. like pain. not a memory. a pure memory actualizes or materializes itself in a sensation.rely on the obvious fact that Fig. in other words. Bergson purified memory of habit or bodily motion. 2. When affection is added into pure perception.1 is not called pure perception. I can feel or sense the pain again (MM 279/136).1 shows on the left 'pure memory'. and he himself italicizes this sentence: 'To imagine is not to remember1 (MM 278/ 135). between memory and perception. psychological as well as philosophical theories of association . we no longer have instantaneous perception. he did not purify it of perception: perception's element is always the image. Yet. the 'regressive memory' is still partly material. transforms or prolongs the virtual perceptual image into actual action. 'Incontestable truth' is Bergson's phrase.e. But.e. A 'pure and simple image'. that of 'the two forms of memory'.36 The Challenge of Bergsonism Figure 2. An affection. Since regressive memory has memory-images as its element. because it includes sensation or affection or feeling. This brings us to our second difference in nature. the memory-image is simply a weaker state of a present . It is an 'incontestable truth' that as I make an effort to recall an old pain. is of the present and material (MM 278/135). for him a memory is not an image. while in the first difference in nature. since pure memory actualizes or materializes itself in a sensation. as Bergson says. we have a thick perception. even though affection makes perception thick. As Bergson says. So.1 (MM 276/132) the pure memory and perception. 2. the element of perception is an image. memory purified of images. According to Bergson. i.he calls this whole group of theories 'associationism' (MM 277/ 134) . 2. on the basis of this incontestable truth that memories actualize themselves in sensations.

a moment comes when it is impossible for me to say whether what I sense is a weak sensation that I am feeling or a weak sensation that I imagine (and that is natural. through painkillers. For example. when I recall the sharp toothache I had before the painkillers. by diminishing. For associationism. without any doubt. which I had before the painkillers? It is possible. the throbbing diminishes. Bergson argues that.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 37 sensation.the memory of an acute pain equals the weak pain I am feeling now . every memory that comes to mind in an image is really a nascent sensation. (MM 279/136-7) This is an obscure passage. as Bergson says. the memory actualizes itself in a strong pain. Therefore. weak. inversely. I should experience the present weak pain as the memory of an acute pain. Do I get confused and think that this dull toothache is the memory of the sharp toothache.then it should be the case that as an intense pain diminishes into a weak pain. Since there is only a difference of degree between sensation and memory we should be able to go from a sensation to a memory as well as going from a memory to a sensation: If the memory of an acute pain. I wince at the very thought of it. that I am feeling. But never will this weak state appear to me as the memory of a strong state. Now. In contrast. throbbing toothache.10 To contest this. will. let us say I have a sharp. then. associationism supposes an identity between the memory of an acute pain and the weak pain I am feeling now. The dull toothache that I feel now is just like the dull toothache that I had last year. but. for example. an intense pain. thanks to the painkillers. that I experience the weak pain as a memory-image of a weak pain. its logic depends on this: because all memories actualize themselves in sensations which are. we ought to be able to go in the opposite direction. end up being a remembered acute pain. Associationism isolates the moment when all memories become weak images from their beginning before becoming an image and their ending when they are just like a strong perception. is only a weak pain. which is the stronger state. as I make the effort to recall it. What it overlooks is that the memory of a sharp pain actualizes itself only at first as a weak pain. at least at first. what Bergson realizes here is that associationism overlooks something in this incontestable truth that all memories actualize themselves in sensations. I never get confused and say that I experience the weak pain as the memory of a strong pain. given the hypothesis of weaker and stronger states. If these two states are perfectly identical . associationism treats all memories indif- . I have only a sort of dull pain. To repeat. since the image-memory participates already in the sensation). Now. But neither the memory-image of a dull pain nor the present feeling of the dull pain make me wince. Because of this isolation of the weak moment. The memory is therefore something entirely different.


The Challenge of Bergsonism

ferently; no matter what sensible intensity the memory represents, it is treated as a weak sensation. If all memories are just weak sensations, then a weak sensation that I am having right now should feel identical to a memory of a past strong sensation. Immediately we can see the contradiction: for associationism, a weak sensation is a strong sensation. Bergson specifies this difference in nature between memory and image in terms of interest. As in Chapter One, for Bergson, perception is not interested in speculative knowledge; in other words, it is not disinterested (MM 279/137); it is practical and interested. And what it is interested in is the present action (MM 361/230). This interest means that the images that perception receives have extension; they are actual. In contrast, as we have seen, memory is turned towards the past. But, since perception is interested only in the present, it finds memories uninteresting (MM 282/139). Simply, memories of the past do not contribute to useful actions. Because pure memories have no utility (until they are inserted into an actual perception), Bergson calls pure memories 'impotent' (MM 280/137) - they do not have the power to bring about action - and 'virtual' (MM 282/139) - they are not actual. Insofar as pure memories are uninteresting from the viewpoint of utility,11 insofar, in other words, as they are virtual, they involve no sensation and, therefore, they are unextended (MM 283/140-1). To summarize this difference in nature between perception and memory, perceptual images are present, actual and extended, while pure memories are past, virtual and unextended. As Bergson says, The memory actualized in an image differs, then, profoundly from [the] pure memory. The image is a present state and can participate in the past only by means of the memory from which it has emerged. The memory, in contrast, impotent as long as it remains without utility, is pure of all mixture with the sensation, without attachment with the present and consequently unextended. (MM 283/141) Before we turn to 'the central metaphysical problem of existence', we need to summarize the two differences in nature by which Bergson defines memory. Both differences in nature - 'the two forms of memory' and 'the differentiation according to interest' - focus initially on the difference between the power of memory and other powers or abilities. In the 'two forms of memory', we saw Bergson differentiate between conservation of perceptual images and prolongation of images in bodily movement. Then, in the 'differentiation according to interest', we saw him differentiate between memory and perception. Memory is always of the past and is therefore uninteresting. Bodily movements and perception are always 'seated' in the present, interested in the present, 'looking only at the future' (MM 227/82). But these differences in

The Concept of Memory: Ontology


nature are established not only to make us see these differences between the powers, bodily movement, perception and memory; they are also established to make us see the difference in nature concerning what survives by means of these powers. The prolongation of an image by means of the repetition of its useful effect deposits habits in the body. These bodily habits are purely material, purely objective, purely impersonal. In contrast to this so-called 'memory' of the body, the conservation by recording of perceptual images is the true memory, the memory of the spirit. Since we have noted the difference in nature between the so-called memory of the body and the true memory, it is hard to maintain that the true memory is recording memory-images in the body, or, more precisely, in the brain. Bergson spends pages in chapter two of Matter and Memory examining the literature on aphasics. While a patient suffering from a brain lesion cannot come up with a word when its definition, for instance, is given, the patient can use the word under other circumstances; what the brain lesion has destroyed, according to Bergson, is the mechanism that reacts to the hearing of the definition. The memory of the word is still intact. According to Bergson, since the motor mechanisms are in the body, they and only they can be destroyed. We must say that memory-images survive in a way different from bodily habits. But, Bergson takes the issue of survival further: memory-images are partly material, since they are images. A pure memory involves no image, no matter, not even any sensation. In other words, a pure memory is purely spiritual, purely subjective, purely personal. The obvious question now is whether this definition of pure memory as purely subjective traps Bergson in a subjectivism. So, let us turn to Bergson's brief examination of what he calls 'the central metaphysical problem of existence'.

Chapter three of Matter and Memory is entitled 'Of the Survival of Images'. The word 'survival' means a type of existence: memories, according to Bergson, survive the destruction of brain cells. How is this possible? To answer this question, he again reminds us that consciousness is primarily practical and not speculative (MM 284/141). Because consciousness is interested in present action, in general it remains unaware of what is ineffective or impotent in relation to action. Impotence in relation to action is precisely how Bergson characterizes pure memories; in fact, he characterizes them as 'radically impotent' (MM 283/141). Pure memories are, for Bergson, 'unconscious psychical states' (MM 283/141). In fact, throughout Matter and Memory., he defines unconsciousness as impotence (MM 315/176, 193-4/44). In order to help us conceive unconscious psychical states, the first thing Bergson does is


The Challenge of Bergsonism

break the identification of consciousness with existence since this identification is common in 'the psychological domain'; for Bergson, in the psychological domain, consciousness is not 'synonymous' with existence (MM 283/141). Thus, he limits the extension of the word 'consciousness' to the present, to the actually lived, to the active. And this limitation has the effect for Bergson of broadening the extension of the word 'existence'. Existence then can be attributed not only to consciousness, that is, to what is active, but also to unconsciousness, that is, to what is inactive both in the sense of being no longer lived and past and in the sense of being not yet lived and future. Because Bergson breaks the synonymy between consciousness and existence, which in turn allows him to broaden the meaning of the word 'existence', he can establish a comparison between 'the series of objects simultaneously arranged in space and the series of states successively developed in time' (MM 287/145). As he says in chapter three of Matter and Memory: 'In reality, the adherence of [memories] to our present state is entirely comparable to the adherence of unnoticed objects to the objects we perceive; and the unconscious plays the same kind of role in both cases' (MM 286-7/145). In everyday life, we do not recognize this comparison because we have contracted the habit of 'emphasizing' the differences between these two series and then of 'erasing' their 'resemblances' (MM 287/145). This operation of overemphasis and erasure occurs, according to Bergson, in three ways. First, because the objects arranged in space around me represent possible actions that I can execute at some moment in the future, space, like the future, remains indefinitely open, 'pregnant with menaces and promises' (MM 286/ 144). Unlike this open horizon of possible actions, memories are 'the dead weight of the past', dead because our interest in possible actions closes off the past in favour of the future. This is the difference, as we have seen, between interest in action and lack of interest in what no longer acts. But, for Bergson, we erase any resemblance between the series of objects and the series of states, because the indefinite or infinite horizon of extended space in front of us is pregnant with promises and menaces; this 'pregnancy' makes the infinite horizon of space appear to be given and present to us. Moreover, and for the same reason, in order to facilitate action, we pretend that we are free of the past of memories (MM 286/144-5). The result of this appearance is that what counts as reality in the material universe includes all that overflows our perception; the result of this pretence is that what counts as reality in 'our inner life' includes only the present moment. But this difference between the space extending infinitely and yet being present and our inner life being present but not infinite is only an appearance. The truth, for Bergson, is that what is unextended is partly present but also infinite, and the extended is infinite but also partly present.

as we have already noted.the openness of the future versus the closedness of the past. analogous situation. these three overemphasized differences between objects arranged simultaneously in space and states developed successively in time . and since [I] transport [myself] to [the prior situation] with a single bound. 'the strictly determinate order of these objects lends to them the appearance of a chain. In other words. Again. The capricious characteristic of memories leads us to think that the series of memories is contingent. the whole intermediate part escapes from [my] grasp' (MM 288/146). For now. 'by looking at it closely. always present in all of our decisions. when I recall. plays a role in any decision while only a small part of the external world plays a role. When I decide to do something in a given situation. we see that our memories form the same kind of chain and that our character. again. of which my present perception is only one link' (MM 287/145). The role of the will indicated here in a decision brings us to the third way the operation of overemphasis and erasure occurs. it is of course useful to recall situations which are similar to the present one. But. the reproduction of memories in consciousness is capricious. we need to recognize that this difference between a leap and a one-by-one crossing makes me think that the whole of the past does not exist intact while the whole of space does. all of our past states exist for us more than the external world since our character. I have to 'cross over one by one' all obstacles that lie between me and the completed action. In fact. there is not a process of one-by-one crossing. But. by looking closely. we see that. This strict determinateness is why it is easy for me to believe that the infinity of objects is present to me. when I recall.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 41 The second way the operation of overemphasis of differences and erasure of resmblances occurs concerns the order of the series of objects arranged simultaneously in space and the series of states developed successively in time. for Bergson. this is really a difference but one that ends up erasing the resemblance. Unperceived . We are going to return to this leap in a moment. according to Bergson. I 'leap over the interval of time which separates the actual situation from a prior. In the same decision and even in the execution of the action. For Bergson. which is the whole of our past states. as Bergson says. The order of the series of objects arranged simultaneously in space is based in necessity: there is a type of deductivity to objects in space. and the leap over states versus the one-by-one crossing of objects — do not form what Bergson calls a 'metaphysical distinction' (MM 286/144). unlike when I act. which allows me to foresee the appearance of each one on the basis of the one in front of me. As he says. I simply leap. For Bergson. there is a difference in the two orders but we emphasize it to the point of erasing the resemblance between them. in fact. therefore lacking the appearance of a chain (MM 287/145). the contingency of the chain of states versus the necessity of the chain of objects. is really the actual synthesis of all our past states' (MM 287/145-6).

Most importantly. 'doubled'. (MM 288/147) The qualifier. these two conditions show us how the extension of the word 'consciousness' has been limited. Bergson says: . and the presentation to consciousness of a psychic state is perfect 'yielding the whole of its content in the act itself whereby we perceive it' (MM 288/147). 'connected back together'. the series is the whole but the whole is divided in two. The inverse relation between unperceived objects in space and unconscious memories in time is based in what Bergson calls the two conditions of existence. and the presentation to consciousness is less than completely fullfilled (MM 288-9/147). we might say following Bergson's phrase. in the external case. rather. in external objects. When he says 'in all cases' (MM 289/147) the two conditions are 'unequally fulfilled'. we have less . to say this again. leaving ample room for contingency. Inversely. there is an 'inverse' relation between them. or fulfilled in 'diverse proportions'.. this is why Bergson says that a psychological state and a material object 'form a pan of a series'. we see that they are unequally fulfilled. But these two conditions admit of degrees and. What he is doing is connecting these two conditions of existence back together after the understanding had made a clear-cut distinction between them and turned them into two radically different modes of existence (MM 289/147-8). the connections between the links of the series is less strict. in memory. he is establishing a difference of degree between matter and memory. in matter. we must note that. existence seems to imply two conditions that are connected back together: 1) presentation to consciousness and 2) the logical or causal connection of what is so presented with what precedes and what follows.. since Bergson repeats it at the end of his discussion of the metaphysical problem of existence (MM 289/148). The reality for us of a psychological state or of a material object consists in this double fact that our consciousness perceives them and they form a part of a temporal or spatial series in which the terms determine one another. in the psychic case. the two conditions are so closely connected that they form a whole. or fulfilled in 'different degrees' (MM 289/ 147). Thus. In fact. though both are necessary. is important. In fact. 'reams'. in psychic states. the 'inverse' of what it is in memory. we have perfect presentation of a present state and less logical or causal connection between past states. 'this double fact'. In short. the connection between the links of the series is perfect. The proportion in matter is.42 The Challenge of Bergsonism objects in space and unconscious memories in time are not 'two radically different forms of existence'. after all the differences in nature have been established. he really means just two cases: matter and memory. making something like 'a mathematical derivation' possible. Bergson is re-establishing a difference of degree.

fourth. these are the true differences of degree since they are differences of degrees of the whole: matter and memory have the same ontological sense only in inverse quantities. It certainly does not suggest Platonism. the doubling relation between matter and memory consists in an inverse relation between presentation to consciousness and connection in the series. I think we can see that this strange relation between matter and memory suggests something other than a subjectivism.12 As we are going to see. We can simplify into four steps the rather complicated development we have seen so far in regard to the central metaphysical problem of existence. after all this consideration could 'lead us step by step into the heart of metaphysics' (MM 288/146-7). the present itself is not the whole. we have seen Bergson eliminate the difference of degrees which would make memory be defined by matter.in contrast to our normal habit of overemphasizing differences and erasing resemblances . But this is a false difference of degree because consciousness means present awareness and the present is a part of a whole. To put this as simply as possible. There are two sides. THE IMAGE OF THE CONE So far. But. EC 671-2/208). second. difference in direction always defines a difference in nature for Bergson. he shows us that matter and memory go in opposite directions: habitmemory goes towards the future. Already. third. by de-emphasizing differences and restoring resemblances . Then.I think we are justified in seeing them as applying more generally (cf.this is why his comments here are brief . then. So. but. Bergson is conceiving the doubling relation in terms of differences of degree. especially in the psychological domain. But.he makes us see that a comparison is possible between matter and memory. would have denned all kinds of existence by means of differences of degree of consciousness. a doubling. first. he breaks the 'synonymy' between consciousness and existence. the cone image represents this doubling of matter and memory and this connection between matter and memory. Bergson broadens the sense of existence beyond this part to include both presentation to consciousness and logical or causal connections. we have seen Bergson eliminate three differences of degrees and then establish three differences in nature. synonymy that.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 43 presentation of a present object and perfect logical or causal connection between objects that are not present. this is what Bergson is doing here. of being. while regressive memory goes towards the . To say this again. since the present consciousness is not the whole. While Bergson is considering the problem of existence primarily within the psychological domain . First. Breaking this synonymy apart allows for these different senses of being.

but if we go in the opposite direction. with its suggestion of the present. in a very general way. it seems that Platonism has defined being in terms of objectivity. which is represented in the cone image. which seems to suggest that we have lost the differences in nature between matter and memory. the ideas are removed from this world. action. Platonism. the memory of a strong sensation can resemble a perception of a weak sensation. He claims that this tradition. In the modern tradition. therefore show us precisely how Bergson reverses Platonism and twists free of it. in a word. this definition of being as subjectivity means that one defines being as presentation to consciousness. again according to Heidegger. moreover. led us to the comparison between matter and memory found in Bergson's brief discussion of the central metaphysical problem of existence. bring the ideas down to earth. Bergson is confronting us with a new philosophical idea of existence. however. from the perception of a weak sensation to the memory of a strong sensation. which comes to its completion in Nietzsche. I think. But. Because of the word 'presentation'. So.44 The Challenge of Bergsonism past. This last difference in nature. third. this reversal remains trapped in Platonism because subjectivism is merely a reversal of Platonism's objectivism. we have seen Bergson eliminate a difference in degree which would turn memory into a weak perception. The cone image should. Second. one would define being in terms of subjectivity. Bergson concludes. 'Introduction to Metaphysics'. if we go from the past to the present. Already we have to acknowledge that Bergson's 'thought of Being' is not a mere rearrangement of old philosophical ideas. but the present turns out not to be the primary determination of time and it is this realization that is the way out of modern subjectivism and Platonistic objectivism. thus we are unconscious of them but they still exist. not all psychic states are conscious. According to Heidegger. developed under the belief that there are two different ways of knowing: one. we must reconstruct. This comparison has brought us back to a difference of degrees between matter and memory. we must investigate time. If one wanted to reverse Platonism therefore. we see that Bergson considers what he calls 'the entire philosophy which begins with Plato and ends with Plotinus'. We must recognize here that what we have seen so far tells a very complicated story concerning being. the sense of being is time. the weak sensation cannot resemble the memory of a strong sensation. the contemplation of stable immutable forms and the other. Platonistic philosophy believed that one passed . unstable action or mutable movement. Then. This reversal is what happened in modern philosophy. we saw Bergson eliminate a last difference in degree which would make all psychological existence be defined by consciousness: memory-images have stopped being interesting because they are not potentially action. If we look at Bergson's famous 1903 essay. Heidegger's logic of the reversal of Platonism. For Heidegger. Before we turn to the cone image.

the present is one link in this larger chain. The past. No . a content in the container. Since the brain is an image. it is. it cannot therefore be a part of something else. this belief. though unconscious.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 45 from the immutable to the mutable by diminution as if there is more in the immutable than in the mutable (PM 1424-5/192-3). we never really doubt. The veracity of this claim depends entirely on us recognizing that the chain of memories is just like the chain of material objects. it cannot therefore be conserved in something else.are supposed to show us that each one of our past psychological states has a real. which we discussed earlier . however. Like modern philosophy and modern science. Here. see also PM 1428-30/196-7). In this regard. In chapter three of Matter and Memory Bergson develops the cone image within the question of whether memories can survive forms of material destruction like brain lesions. mutability over immutability. there is more in the mutable than in the immutable. It tends thereby. we will say. 'in itself (MM 290/149): in itself here means that the past is the whole. Bergson places the soul over the idea. If we grant this comparison. he makes a simple argument. thus it cannot be conceived as a container. like modern science (which does this even more than modern philosophy). existence (MM 289/148). is not conserved in the brain. it is one image in the whole of images called matter. the two conditions of existence show us that the past must exist or survive. of course. then we would be saying that the whole is conserved in the part.presentation to consciousness and logical or causal connection . then we must say that the chain of past memories is greater than anything present to me right now. The two conditions of existence. For Bergson. especially for Bergson. Bergson explicitly allies himself with modern philosophy and modern science: To borrow once more the language of the Platonists. by stripping the words of their psychological meaning. it must also be conserved in a container. there seems to be nothing like a return to the Greeks in Bergson. if we were to say that the past is conserved in something else. let us turn to the cone image. (PM 1426/194. Now. in other words. by calling Idea a certain assurance of easy intelligibility [Bergson's emphasis] and the Soul a certain preoccupation with life [Bergson's emphasis] that an invisible current carries modern philosophy to raise the Soul above the Idea. everything will depend on how Bergson conceives the present. which defines Platonism. is false. For Bergson. Since it is a content. to go in the reverse [my emphasis] direction of ancient thought. not the part. But does this lack of a return mean that Bergson's philosophy remains bound up with modern philosophy and thus remains only a reversal of Platonism? If we follow Heidegger's logic. a chain whose existence. movement over thing. So.

in terms of containers. it is one of the things being conserved by memory. the oldest surviving memories. the present psychic state that I am having right now is a part of the whole called memory or the past. not my consciousness. Figure 2. if we can speak this way. represents these different regions with horizontal lines trisecting the . of course. it is memory that is the container. from the side of matter or from the side of memory. which come forward spontaneously. however. At the cone's base.2) is constructed with a plane and an inverted cone. the brain is a part and not the whole. In chapter three of Matter and Memory. Bergson says we must take the two conditions of existence 'at once' (MM 289/147). 'plane P'. Bergson shows us two images of the cone. 'AB'. is the 'plane of my actual representation of the universe' (MM 293/152). it cannot therefore conserve memories (MM 290/148-9). we have an 'indefinite number' (MM 309/170) of different regions of the past ordered by their distance or nearness to the present. but right now it can help us understand what is at stake in it. The cone 'SAB'. In other words. as Bergson calls it. Bergson's image of the cone symbolizes this container-content relation of the past to the present. the past is the container. As we descend. just as the brain is one part in the whole of matter. The second cone image (Fig. The plane. if we must speak of a content and a container. 2. since it is an image.2 The first image of the cone (Fig.3). In any case. in dreams (MM 294/153). We are going to have to revise this comment about the cone symbolizing the container-content relation in a moment. 2. for example. is supposed to symbolize memory. But. we have unconscious memories. Therefore. specifically the true memory or regressive memory. and the present is a content.46 The Challenge of Bergsonism matter how we look at this. whose summit is inserted into the plane.

more than a point . Since the true memory. The two forms of memory are not really separate. Instead. In his descriptions of the cone. But we do not understand this connection or hyphen . which is thick with habit-memory. for Bergson symbolizes this connection between the two forms of memory. The cone image.here we should also recall that the phrase 'memory-image' is constructed with a hyphen . we are not dealing here with pure perception. the 'hyphen' is the 'connection'. habit-memory is repeating and prolonging a multitude of moments into action and even prolonging the useful effect of the perceptual images into repeatable actions or habits. This thickness is why Bergson calls the body a 'hyphen' . The cone really symbolizes a dynamic process. between the two forms of memory (MM 292/151). At the summit of the cone. therefore. The summit is inserted into the plane and thus the image of my body 'participates in the plane' of my actual representation of the universe (MM 293/152).3 cone.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 47 Figure 2. the true memory serves 'as a base' for habit-memory (MM 293/152). This is a surprising conclusion since we had spent so much time trying to distinguish the two forms of memory. which is concentrated into a point. is inserted into the body where habit-memory is located and where actions are happening consciously.unless we visualize what is most difficult to visualize in the cone image. as Bergson says. we are dealing with factual perception. The participation in the plane implies that my body is more than a mathematical point. into the present. 'S'. where memories are surviving unconsciously.'between the things that act upon me and the things upon which I act' (MM 293/151). we have the image of my body. This is why we cannot really say that the cone symbolizes a content-container relation: the cone is supposed to be an image of movement. with the cone image. Bergson says that my actual representation of the universe is a .

the actuality of our present consists in its actual state. On the one hand. So. In the extract quoted . matter is a presentation to consciousness that repeats the deduction of the material world and. [My body] represents the actual state of my becoming. when Bergson introduces the idea that there is an inverse relation between matter and memory. the summit is constantly 'advancing'. and this section is precisely what we call the material world. If the difference between matter and memory consists in these two opposite directions. which is reality itself. matter and memory for Bergson come together from opposite directions at the summit (cf. images are ascending up from the bottom. then we have to say that the cone image as Bergson presents it is incomplete. on the other hand. precisely at the summit.. our present is the very materiality of our existence. that part of my duration that is in the process of formation. in that continuity of becoming. my actual representation of the universe is moving. If matter. like a mirror image. but. inversely. Instead. . More generally. that part whose flowing we sense directly. this inversion is a difference of degrees. a cone of matter. and memories are 'descending' from the regions of memory (MM 293/152-3). the cone's summit is itself advancing across the plane of my actual representation of the material universe. Bergson calls it a 'moving plane'. if the memories are descending towards the summit.. inversely. insofar as it is extended in space and as being denned according to us as a present that recommences constantly. precisely at this summit. we must see that the movement of the whole cone image is double. cf. Our body occupies its center.. We must even say that.. as the memories are descending. we also have the difference of degrees between matter and memory: . this second cone would have to be the inverse of the first. since then the summit would make no progress. for Bergson. then. we must say that the moving plane is moving against the advancing summit. below the cone of memory. MM 274/129). It would be absurd to say that the moving plane is moving with the advancing summit. there is a second cone. my present consists in the consciousness I have of my body. presentation to consciousness is the very materiality of our existence. Again. take place in the present. All the differences of matter and memory. MM 290/141) In other words. (MM 281/ 139. therefore. we have the difference in nature between matter and memory. in this material world. it is. at the same time. Before we go any further.48 The Challenge of Bergsonism 'moving plane'. Being a double. But that the differences are here does not mean that Bergson is prioritizing the present.13 We have already seen that. Thus. the present moment is constituted by the quasi-instantaneous section [coupe} effected by our perception in the mass that is in the process of flowing.

memory moves between contemplation and action. what we have been calling 'regressive memory'. with the cone image. We must conclude that 'the true memory' (MM 292/ 151). Becoming or time is not. which is reality itself. This progressive movement of memory as a whole takes place. for Bergson.14 But in order to reach this new definition of being. is also the true progressive memory. since earlier we saw that he does not define existence. Bergson's prioritization of time over the present is not surprising. all memory. solely in terms of presentation to consciousness. Bergson says that memories are descending to the summit. Immediately we see that if the memories are descending from the past to the present. between the 'extremes' of the base of 'pure memory'.15 This is why Bergson says in the summary and conclusion that memory is not really regressive at all. non-subjectivistic concept of presence. The realization that Bergson's philosophy is not a subjectivism also. earlier. they are progressing towards the summit and not regressing away from the summit. we had to avoid calling habit-memory 'the progressive memory'. which is reality itself. But he is not conceiving time in terms of the present. especially not psychological existence.16 This movement of memory between immobile contemplation and moving action is intelligence (MM 371/242). Let us focus on this progressive movement. In his descriptions of the cone. and the plane where action takes place. which is immobile and which Bergson calls 'contemplation' (MM 302/163). as Leon Husson has shown. is always progressive. In a way. It seems then. Immediately. Bergson says that the present is 'a quasi-instantaneous section' in the 'continuity of becoming. is inventing a new.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 49 above. in Matter and Memory. given Heidegger's logic of the reversal of Platonism. conscious subjectivity is only the summit of the cone. the present is a function of time or becoming. that Bergson does not remain trapped in a subjectivism: for Bergson the sense of being is neither the present nor consciousness. reinforces what we saw in Chapter One. We must keep in mind. the hyphen. a function of the present. that is. according to Bergson. So. It is also why. Instead of defining being as the present or consciousness or presence to consciousness. we can see that Bergson is conceiving being as time: 'the continuity of becoming. that Bergson. according to Bergson's own usage in chapter two of Matter and Memory. So. Whether you view conscious subjectivity from the side of matter or from the side of memory. In Bergson. but always progressive (MM 3697 239). to say that the present is a function of time also means that consciousness is a function of the unconscious. memory as a whole. since the present is nothing more than a 'quasi-instantaneous section of continuous becoming'. of course. that Bergson in his early works such as Matter and Memory and 'Intellectual Effort' (which is a 1902 essay collected in . we need to examine the movement of the cone itself and leave the movement of the plane behind. he is going to define being with the past.

all differentiated and contiguous according to their dates and places of occurrences. I am immediately in the past. MM 269/125: 'thought is a movement'). Because of this sensitivity to resemblance and not to contiguity. Again. So. I must make a 'leap' (MM 288/146). the two extremes are also extremes of contiguity and resemblance. Mind-Energy in English) does not distinguish between intelligence and intuition as he will do in later works such as Creative Evolution and the 1934 collection of essays called La pensee et le mouvant (which is The Creative Mind in English). apprehends only the singular in its vision' (MM 296/155). Again. At the base of the cone . from the singular to the general. we are going to examine only one of the directions: from the singular to the general. 261/116. MM 278/149-50. for Bergson.17 Intelligence refers here to a specific mental effort. is the movement between the two extremes of contemplation and action. memory is never regressive in this sense. the immediacy that this leap represents is why Bergson uses the expression 'd'emblee'. although intuition is based on feeling. and then into actions (cf. I am going to lay this movement out in three distinct steps. First. having an extension over a multitude of individuals. and universal. So.into memory-images and representations (contemplation). for Bergson.. is to be constantly going backwards and forwards between the sphere of action and that of pure memory' (MM 301/161). in Matter and Memory Bergson says. also ES 944/170). Thus. in other words.action we have habits that are contracted by repetition and which react only to things that resemble one another.. so often in the central chapters on memory (cf. we . So. General ideas are at once singular. works for Bergson. a problem that can be solved only if I impose an order on a situation. we are speaking of what counts in Bergson for thinking: unconscious pure memory (feeling) being explicated . 'right away'. In Chapter Three.contemplation . what he calls intuition cannot be reduced to a kind of unintelligent feeling. we are going to examine what Bergson has to say about 'general ideas' (MM 296/155). By means of the leap. as Bergson says. Here. the leap or 'bound' represents that I am not making a 'one-by-one' regress into the past.moved . but we must keep in mind that the three steps refer to a continuous movement of intellectual effort. As we shall see in Chapter Three. We have already seen this leap. in fact. What I am going to do here is show how this movement of intelligence. according to Bergson. 'contemplative memory . that is. let us say I have a need in the present. having a comprehension or sense.50 The Challenge of Bergsonism L'Energie Spirituelle.we have individual or singular memories. the universal. invoking Heidegger. Concerning general ideas. to repetition and not to difference. we shall look at the opposite movement of thought. 'The essence of the general idea. thinking. which coincides with Bergson's philosophical method of intuition. as we know. from the general idea to the singular. Bergson calls the extreme at the summit. a unity (MM 296/ 155). At the summit of the cone .

without image. The idea of my character. he is pasting stamps into an album. The narrowing movement of contraction pulls the singular and personal images down the tube of the 'telescope' into general and impersonal images which resemble one another. the third effort. Now. My character is like a galaxy. Once the pure memories are fixed in images. The pure memories in which my character consists have become fixed in living colour. whose lens-holders I am rotating to bring a region of the sky into focus (MM 305/166. a multiplicity with all the singular memory-images clustered together. MM 310/171).a 'telescope' pointed upward to the night sky. all I have is the idea of my character. Now I have the image of my parents' old house in the heart of the city. Then. the differentiations again become obscured in order to correspond to the present per- . personal images. he calls this state the 'nebulosity of the idea' (MM 266/122. the cone is like . cf. I forget again about the summer of 1964. according to the size and colour. the cone 'contracts' (MM 308/168). we come to the second step: the cone 'rotates' (MM 308/169). 310/171. according to Bergson. memoryimages. as Bergson would say. without potency in the present. they are not destroyed but are surviving. 'Under the Boardwalk'. I can now walk through the different rooms of the house. on the radio: I know it is the summer of 1964. I can see the pieces of furniture and people in each of the rooms. having the characteristics of being unextended. although these pure memories are not alive. Then. is like a 'cloud'. carefully. also MM 262/122). according to the value of each. there is a song. in the region before my parents moved to the suburbs.this is Bergson's own comparison . my memory of my brother carefully ordering what he used to call his 'stamp-book' contracts into an image of his general orderliness. and right away we are in 'the past in general and then in a region of the past' (MM 276/134). singular. Nevertheless. But let us say that. without sensation. he is huddled over the little desk that we also shared. making sure to insert the hyphen. Instead of 'expanding' into contiguous. The rotation of the lens-holders continues. the movement of contraction 'narrows' or 'diminishes' the images. We shall return to this past in general in a moment. cf. white against the black of the night sky. and then I can see the events that took place in the rooms. composed of thousands of drops of water (MM 277/134). Here with contraction. even without life. according to the country of origin. Even though the leap places me in this region. The movement of rotation expands and relates memories contiguously. I have landed in a region of my childhood. In other words. I have singular and personal memories. no image appears at first because I have forgotten the events that formed my character. each memory is a pure memory. I am in the bedroom I shared with my brother.18 Thanks to the rotation of the 'lens-holders'. without consciousness.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 5I make the leap. Before these 'drops' condense. which is going on at the same time as the rotation. the stars and planets start to appear. with the leap.

But here. is like a line drawing. We must not be confused here: insofar as a general idea. This symbol. we can see that memory. in Bergson. When this happens. we are in the heart of Bergson's concept of duration. the method can be put in words and become an artifice for intelligence. in between 'the things which act upon me and the things upon which I act' (MM 293/151). Nevertheless in Matter and Memory. in the vitality of the movement of the effort. In fact. In order to be inserted into the present. as I said. can then become a metaphysical concept. but we must keep this whole process in mind as we go forward. the idea is still 'vital' and dynamic because it is based only in resemblance which means that it is still open to differences or singularities (cf. more precisely. as an artifice. PM 1299/58). This is where Bergson's analysis of general ideas in the third chapter of Matter and Memory stops. the contraction must go further. But the dynamism can be stopped. or. Especially we must keep in mind the distinction between dynamic and static ideas. we have a three-step process in the construction of general ideas: the leap. for Bergson. But we must note that the contraction can go further. we are really repeating the process we see here in Chapter Two. so that it can fit in. Through these three steps. This is when the idea becomes. universality and singularity. But the contraction can even go further: over time. when we go in the opposite direction. But. the contraction can go even further: the general idea can become 'something geometrical' where identity replaces resemblance (PM 1299/58). in Matter and Memory Bergson does not extend the process this far. the movement of contraction must make the idea of orderliness as thin as possible so that it can be inserted into the hyphen of the body. with this dynamism between generality. In Matter and Memory. the method can become a motor habit if the effects of the action are favourable. as we know from Chapter One. as Bergson says in 'Introduction to Metaphysics'. is dynamic. And it can go still further: over time. which means in Chapter Three.52 The Challenge of Bergsonism ceptual image. from the general to the singular. through repetition. 'a certain assurance of easy intelligibility'. the true universal lies in the dynamism. This distinction will become particularly important in Chapter Three. The image of my brother's general orderliness becomes an idea or even a general 'method' (cf. different. If I am to solve the present problem of orderliness. the rotation and the contraction. is always . for Bergson. The idea then loses its vitality and becomes a static inert or artless symbol for classifying things. Now. the idea becomes an action. of course. when what he also calls 'reflective analysis' 'erases the particularities of time and place from a representation' (MM 298/158). it is both general and singular. which. PM 1326/85) for solving problems of order. this is when what Bergson calls 'a refinement of intelligence' takes place. or even new action. We have to say it becomes an individual.

We have already noticed that the present for Bergson is dependent on time. arises in the interval or the hesitation or the 'making wait' which the complexity of the brain's functions makes possible. I can then evoke. as 'perfect'.. remember that the virtual image of perception. in his descriptions of the cone. which conserves by recording. We shall return to the concept of dynamic schema in Chapter Three. but also that nothing can change the past. that the base of the cone is immobile. every perception is already memory. it seems.'20 To say that the past is gewesen. the past does not come from the present but to the present. on the continuity of becoming.that I cannot do the summer of 1964 over again . We perceive. Bergson explicitly says (and I have already quoted these passages once here). in conjunction with the acquired motor habits. as we saw in Chapter One. The socalled 'regressive memory'. where change occurs. of course. Memory does not come from perception but to perception. that is.19 Jean Hyppolite has argued that we must conceive pure memories in Bergson as essences. Bergson. That memories are non-perfectible . in truth.the leap into the past in general and then into a region of the past. the rotation that expands the pure memories into singular and personal memory-images. In other words. from the other side. the pure present being the ungraspable progress of the past gnawing into the future'. from being at the mercy of acquired habits (and nature). When the two currents come together the virtual image that results from the confluence prolongs itself into useful action.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 53 progressive and centrifugal. like an electric 'current'.returns us to Bergson's definition of the sense of being as the past. that it was. the past cannot be repeated in the sense of being done over. but now we see that the present is really dependent on the past. and the contraction that contracts the memory-images eventually into a habit . This is really how. like another electric current (MM 274/129).) He says. The memories at the base are in a sense eternal. practically. defines memories in this way. where one can perfect actions. Bergson's emphasis). (What Hyppolite here calls essence Bergson himself calls 'dynamic schemas' (see ES 936-7/160). to be actualized in present perceptions. the brain makes indetermination possible and opens a loop in the tight mesh of material cause and effect. In a well-known essay.. receive vibrations. means not only that the actual object of perception has passed away. select and insert a memory-image right into the interval that opens up before the virtual image actualizes itself in action. . 'The German language allows us to bring the past and essence together (gewesen and Weseri). The selection of the memory-image to be inserted in the interval is how we stop ourselves from being automatons. This progressive movement of memory . sends memories out from the past. that is. as non-perfectible through repetition. only the past. we must understand pure memory in Bergson. '. (MM 291/150.is why Bergson says. since they have passed out of the present. which themselves.

But to say that the past cannot pass away leads us to conceive memories not just as gewesen but also as Wesen. the past fits the general definition of 'a past which was never present'. They are no longer tied to factual conditions. affecting present experience or conditioning it. the conditions of experience must be conceived as at once experiencible and yet not reducible to experience. the memories can be evoked and. Bergson in chapter three of Matter and Memory speaks of 'the past in general' (MM 276/134). then I think we are justified in introducing another strange expression. a priori conditions now must be conceived as temporally determined. due to certain criticisms of Kantianism coming out of the early days of phenomenology. But as soon as we say that the a priori must be experiencible. since we normally think of essences as eternal. if we want to resort to a strange word from Deleuze.they can pass only out of the present . but still not themselves present. that is. that they cannot be reducible to experience.we really cannot call them 'eternal'. If the contractions bring forth something like an essence. then it would no longer be a priori. so that the present action I am considering can base itself on them. a priori conditions must be experiencible. insofar as they constitute our character. Because the memories have passed out of the present. we realize. they have not. so to speak. passed out of time. Deleuze. Now let us come back to Bergson. they are 'quasi-eternal' or.it always refers to what we used to call an a priori condition. as the early twentieth-century neo-Kantians did. So. and because we must conceive the present as a function of this past. As we have already seen. In the twentieth century. this construction was still speculation in the worst sense of the word. so to speak. Instead. This 'at once' means that the conditions must be in the present experience. Whenever this phrase occurs . Since the memories have not and cannot pass out of time .21 This term means that memories cannot pass away. not in the sense of doing them over again but in the sense of unifying them on the basis of resemblance. if the a priori is reducible to experience. one that is common in twentieth-century French thought and which probably in fact derives from Matter and Memory. they would no longer be prior to experience. we can say that they are 'impassible'. if they were actually present. Because we must conceive the past in Bergson not as a function of the present.whether it is in Derrida.54 The Challenge of Bergsonism But although the memories have passed out of the present. however. they continue to affect the present. they cannot be merely constructed. This detachment from the object allows memories to be repeated.22 We must conceive of this as always . as well. The phrase is 'a past that was never present'. as we have seen Bergson also claim. Levinas or MerleauPonty . The cone's contractions bring the memories together into a unity which. can be generalized. they are detached from the factual objects which caused them. forgets the differences.

In Bergson. Bergson's idea of a pure past functions as a general condition of present experience. To say that the past in general coexists with the present means that it is impossible to conceive of an experience that is not conditioned by the past or that has not had the past affect it. the ideas existed in the past and we humans had contact with this past before our souls acquired bodies. then we must conclude that there has never been a present experience that is prior to its memory. making it pass. But even this statement is misleading. But since the ideas for Plato are immobile . be something past. just as my character affects every present decision I make. virtually invisible. that there has never been a beginning or origin of the past in the present. they exist therefore in a sort of mythological present. affecting it. So. it is the present that is copying the past. let us assemble some of Platonism's most obvious claims. as the divided line indicates. Therefore. The progression from the past to the present is a progression. become past. The past in general therefore makes the passing of the present possible. memory in Bergson has no object because the factual object has disappeared. in images of the ideas.and the myths imply this immobility of the ideas . Before . For Bergson. the current of light that the past emits is dim and distant. if the past is always coexisting with the present. 'from obscurity or darkness into the light of day' (MM 278/135). according to the myths in the dialogues. which means that the ideas for Plato must be denned by a past present. we must always say that the past is the origin. it is not merely general or indeterminate. it is not the past that is copying the present. without the coexistence of the past with the present. Bergson's pure past implies not that memory repeats perception. and as singular conditions affecting the present. Paradoxically. The past in general is concrete in all the past memories. that is. and yet. This means that the memory that records perceptual images is actually developing perceptual images. So.they are constantly present. it is a general condition which makes every perceived image pass. for Plato. In Plato. No matter what present we have. It seems that every attempt to reverse Platonism must conserve certain elements of Platonism. we could not explain why any present would pass or change. since the past is a past in general.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 55 coexisting with the present: all the doublings or dualisms in Bergson derive from the coexistence of the past with the present. On the other hand. being past. there is always a past that is prior to it. the present images repeat or copy past ideas. because we must not think that an object is there in the past that is being copied. insofar as this past in general is not abstracted from past experiences. the coexistence of the past with the present seems to happen in two ways: on the one hand. it is itself not present. material reality consists in images of the originals. As the telescope image suggests. but rather that perception repeats memory. as Bergson says. so. Now we can see exactly how Bergson's metaphysics of memory reverses Platonism and twists free of it. actual.

This is the most radical thing Bergson does through the cone image: he has mobilized every idea (EC 673 n.e. goes in two directions at once. towards pure memory and pure forgetfulness. unlike common sense. even the idea of the good (MR 1026/61. This disequilibrium explains why good sense. so is the possibility of profound forgetfulness. in ideas (or essences. In Bergson's cone image. which concerns itself with identity or universality. there is a fall into matter that makes us forget our original contact with the ideas. not even in a mythological present. we know that ultimately we contemplate the idea of the good. But unlike Platonic contemplation. let us turn to Bergson. Bergson has identified ideas with the movement of thought and has spread thought throughout the cone. for Bergson. If we combine the analogy of the sun with the allegory of the cave. Now. the Bergsonian contemplation is a vision of singularities or multiplicities. Bergson also conserves from Plato that the activity of the soul at the uppermost part of the divided line is noesis. a contemplation which the divided line places at the top. For Plato. we cannot say this because the cone really has no divisions in it. Therefore. they consist in a past that has never been present. One can enclose oneself entirely in habits and habitual ways of thinking. Although we shall return to good sense in Chapter Three and in Appendix I. we might say. Bergson conserves from Plato that the original of perceptual images lies in the past. we contemplated these immobile ideas. Bergson says that good sense consists in a 'superior' equilibrium between the base and the summit. when our souls fell to earth and acquired bodies. unlike Platonic ideas. With Bergson we cannot. however. between singularities and universality. which is unidirectional. The last thing Bergson conserves from Plato is the source of forgetfulness. while it is tempting to say that the cone image is Bergson's equivalent to the divided line. Bergson has what he calls 'good or practical sense' (MM 294/ 153). But. it moves 'indefinitely' (MM 301/161) towards pure contemplation and pure action. for Plato. Instead of an idea of the good. 1/210 n. without exception. of the divided line. like a pendulum. matter makes us forget the ideas. the uppermost part is not the summit of identity but the base of singularities. to appropriate Hyppolite's insight again). Bergsonian ideas must be defined by a past past (and not by a past present). one can stop the indefinite movement of . But because matter is always there. And. In effect. i. 1).56 The Challenge of Bergsonism we acquired bodies. 1205/270). is double. Bergsonian ideas were never present. doubled between matter and memory. 'matter puts forgetfulness in us' (MM 316/177). This contemplation was disrupted. speak of a fall into matter because being is always from the beginning doubled. contemplation. however. we can now say that good sense. But superior here means that good sense is unbalanced in relation to the balance of'inferior' common sense. it is all movement. and Platonic reminiscence is supposed to put us back into the contemplative vision of the ideas. which is located above at the very 'summit'.

For Heidegger. Whether one views present consciousness from the side of matter or from the side of memory. we are able to see. one must in short reconceive time. in fact. Bergson places mobility over immobility. he mobilizes all of the ideas. present consciousness. Bergsonism is not a philosophy that defines being as conscious presence . First. but rather one must reconceive the entire relation between the division anew. immediately. When we realize that the cone is moving. it returns not to universals (in the strict sense) but to singularities.23 Now I am going to summarize the discussion concerning the image of the cone. as Plato makes the slave boy remember in the Meno. But. like Heidegger.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 57 thought. we came closest to showing how Bergson's philosophy represents a challenge to ontology in the Heideggerian sense. one must stop thinking in terms of the present. But. we focused on the cone image. We were able to see that Bergsonism is more than a mere reversal. looking for the Milky Way. the current metaphysical sense of being that originates in Platonism conceals the true sense of being as time. we specified this reversal in favor of mobility in three ways. In order to . And to do this. We need to remember. because the 'connection' between matter and memory is the present consciousness I have of my body. for Heidegger. Thus Bergsonian reminiscence in Plato's eyes would be forgetfulness. Bergson's memory returns not to immobile ideas but to immobile memories. This has not really been a challenge to Heidegger's philosophy as such. The Bergsonian reversal of Platonism consists in this: Bergsonian reminiscence is Platonic forgetfulness. present consciousness is conditioned either by the vibrations of matter or by the unconscious of memory. one cannot simply turn the divided line upside down. we raised the question of the sense of being in Bergson through his brief discussion of the 'central metaphysical problem of existence'. After the sun has set. we saw that the most important but also the most difficult thing to visualize is that the entire cone image is moving. that Bergson is reversing Platonism. When this happens. Since Bergson represents this present consciousness by the summit of the cone inserted into the plane of the material universe. we were able to conclude that Bergson's reversal does not end up in a subjectivism. then we need to evoke the past. To understand this thinking in terms of the past. we have tried to show that Bergson's metaphysics of memory does not think in terms of the present: Bergson thinks in terms of the past. it is moving in two directions at once. Most generally. even the idea of the good. To retrieve the true sense we must not only reverse Platonism but also twist free of it.such a philosophy would be a mere reversal of Platonism. is conditioned by two sides or by two electrical currents. Instead. So. we need to point our telescope up at the night-time sky. Here. we have accepted the standard he set for thinking about our relation to being. because the cone image represents the 'connection' between matter and memory. we can say. Here.

that is. But unlike Plato who conceives this past as a present. if Plato looked at Bergsonian reminiscence.58 The Challenge of Bergsonism determine Bergson's reversal of Platonism precisely. The experience of memory that Bergson is seeking is one that verifies that memories survive brain lesions. Bergson. Unconsciously. without going into a general theory of mental pathology. only such an experience would allow us to establish an independent reality for spirit. he would see forgetfulness. The most precise determination of Bergson's reversal of Platonism is that Bergsonian reminiscence is Platonic forgetfulness. that mental illness results from a 'relaxation or a perversion of our attention to life'. Attention to life is our attention to action. Bergson tells us that 'the attention to life' is one of the 'guiding ideas' of Matter and Memory (MM 166/ 14). Here we return to Bergson's sad mental patients. because the cone image implies that the past always coexists with the present. to solving problems. it is equivalent to the summit of the cone (MM 311-12/172-3). we had to say. If this is the case. We are going to conclude by thinking a little bit about this experience. the past does not repeat the present but rather the present repeats the past. Because the unconscious or the past always conditions the present. to overcoming obstacles found in the present. indeed here in the preface. Such an explanation of mental illness implies that when the attention to life becomes 'perverse'. when the jaws of the vise become so tight that memories cannot be inserted. brought us to the realization that. And. Bergson proposes. the original of all perceptual images lies in the past. we have a pure experience of life. it engages in contemplation. but pure memory is a vision of singularities. The recognition that the cone itself represents the unconscious led us to the second specification of Bergson's reversal of Platonism. Bergson compares the attention to life to a vise whose jaws are tightening. the past always both conditions the present as what makes the passing of the present possible and affects the present as our character which supports every decision we make. We were able to introduce this phrase to help us conceive the Bergsonian movement of general ideas. in the preface. we noted that the reason the problem of memory is central for Bergson lies in the fact that memory is an experience. Bergson's conservation of contemplation as denning pure memory. In the 1910 preface. The cone image implies a fundamental doubling of the present with the past (and therefore of consciousness with the unconscious). but as defining pure memory as a vision of singularities. Like Plato. For Bergson. The third specification came from the recognition that Bergsonism conserves elements of Platonism. that the perversion of the . At the beginning of this chapter. contemplation is pure memory. As in Plato. we must keep in mind that the cone itself represents the unconscious. Bergson conserves the idea that when our soul is most removed from action. conceives this past as a past and that means as a past that was never present.

it is lifeless. that Bergson's philosophy is a 'philosophy without death'. But.always says. But even if his theory of memory really concerns the survival of the soul after death. after Matter and Memory. in his 1912 essay 'The Soul and the Body'.The Concept of Memory: Ontology 59 attention to life is pure life. when the attention to life becomes relaxed. Thus. it is probable that the soul survives for a time after the destruction of the body (ES 859/58.24 That the experience of pure memory must be an experience of death is further confirmed by the fact that throughout the second and third chapters of Matter and Memory. this concern with death is really a concern with superlife. we must conclude that Bergson's ontology of memory does not concern life but death. that since memories survive the destruction of parts of the brain.25 Perhaps here we have been speaking of nothing but death. 'my whole life flashed before my eyes' (MM 285/155. when the jaws of the vise are wide open. a person who almost died violently . also PM 1387/180). la survivance. then we must say that. even cold (for example.by 'drowning' or by being 'hanged' . can we say that this Bergsonian experience of death is an experience of the other? . Of course. Bergson repeatedly says that until a memory reaches the present. we have a pure experience of death. for Bergson. he will even suggest. This experience is why Bergson is so fascinated with what he calls 'the panorama of the dying'. also MR 1199-200/263-4). it is difficult to maintain. Only such a pure experience of death can verify that memories survive independent of the body. as Levinas does in Time and the Other. MM 311/173: 'if the idea is to live').

however. we attempted to understand the complicated story Bergson has to say about existence.we were able to say that Bergsonian memory is Platonic forgetfulness.CHAPTER 3 The Concept of Sense: Ethics In Chapter One. which implies a monism. we also tried to see whether. since the cone image is supposed to be an image of movement. Bergson's metaphysics of memory therefore seems to be more than a reversal of Platonism. Bergson's philosophy not only 'reverses Platonism'. he mobilizes all of the ideas. The major point here was that while Bergsonism deduces consciousness from matter. Most generally. as we saw. this dualism is also 'connected' by a difference of degree. and therefore being. This complicated story should be enough to alert us that Bergsonism confronts us with a new philosophical idea (called 'duration') of how reality is arranged. We were able to see that Bergson reverses Platonism in two ways. this was not really a challenge to Heidegger's thought of being. (We shall return to the concept of duration in the Conclusion. but. but. we must characterize it as a primacy of memory. This brought us to what I called a challenge to ontology in the Heideggerian sense. in terms of the present. The major point. . while we came to recognize the great novelty of Bergson's thought of being. rather.) Nevertheless. Bergson prioritizes the soul or movement over the ideas or immobility. On the other hand. was that Bergson does not define time. since he specifies the base of the cone as a memory of 'impassible' or 'quasi-eternal' singularities and not as a memory of eternally present ideas . On the one hand.we must remember that the cone is inverted . he defines it in terms of the past and this allows him to escape from any charge of subjectivism. consciousness is not fundamental for Bergson. we tried to see exactly how Bergsonism differs from phenomenology. in Chapter Two. of conscious perception. including the idea of the good. Thus. For Bergson. we cannot characterize his philosophy as a primacy of perception. being is dual or doubled by the difference in nature between matter and memory. The recognition that consciousness is not fundamental led us to see that the unconscious plays a fundamental role in Bergson. but also 'twists free of it. to use Heidegger's words.

this can be achieved only through intuition. we had been speaking of nothing but death. Levinas defines the face as immediacy and as . survivance. Bergson describes the inverted cone as an inverted 'pyramid' (MM 312/ 173. so to speak.the trace . rather. But. In contrast. superlife. it seems that we can say that the experience of memory is something like an intensification of death. but let me make my suspicion more specific. can we also say that the experience of memory is an experience of the other? This question brings us to what we could call a Bergsonian challenge to ethics in the Levinasian sense.the past as a 'dead weight' (MM 286/145) and. since we were taking Heidegger's ontology seriously. It is relative because language for Bergson is social and societies are established in order to satisfy needs of adaptation. There is some textual evidence to support this claim about death in Matter and Memory. Levinas spent a lot of his later career trying to clarify his idea of linguistic immediacy . is a relaxation of the attention to life. for Bergson. it nevertheless allowed us to raise a new question in regard to Bergson: if we can say that the experience of memory is something like an experience of death.a pyramid. it seems to me that such a prioritization does not take place in Bergson because for him. For instance. we had to raise the question of death eventually. we will not really see a challenge to Levinas. if there is an affinity between Derrida and Levinas. any philosophy that bases itself on language is relative and mediate. Now. for Bergson. Levinas defines ethics as 'the Same taking the irreducible Other [Autrui] into account'. Instead.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 61 It is possible that with Bergson's metaphysics of memory. Clearly.3 Levinasian ethics therefore is bound up with a sort of linguistic immediacy. only intuition can give us 'immediate consciousness' or the . But. in chapter three. of course.2 Of course. finally. this is due to the fact that both prioritize language over intuition. Here. cf. Now. Maybe this is obvious. it must be absolute and immediate. If it is a relaxation of the attention to life. for Bergson. more importantly. We found the experience of death in Bergson by stressing that the experience of memory.this is his phrase 'the imperative of language'. the Other for Levinas is the face. in fact. the question that I just asked is clearly indebted to Levinas's philosophy. philosophy must not be relative and mediate. is a tomb .in light of certain criticisms levelled by Derrida in his 1964 essay 'Violence and Metaphysics'. the sudden reappearance of a memory as a 'ghost' (MM 286/145). what I intend to follow here is a sort of suspicion that important consequences follow from prioritizing intuition over language or language over intuition.1 with. as discourse. And. while we had to acknowledge that the Bergsonian concern with death is really a concern with survival. In his 1961 Totality and Infinity. also ES 886/94) . a philosophy based in language is mediate because the repeated satisfaction of needs leads to habits and habits are expressed in static or inert general ideas through which we perceive the world. Of course.

pure becoming. In other words. the absolute itself in the etymological sense of the term'. more recently in the 1980s. then we can reach Levinas's philosophy from Bergson only by interpreting the concept of duration on the basis of the love that Bergson describes in his only ethical text.the direction that we are following in this chapter8 . philosophy must inhabit a 'world without others'. if philosophy cannot be social. But.more fundamental than duration. if one prioritizes intuition over language. pure 'alteration': pure movement.5 Levinas. while. immaculate and untouchable as alterity or absolute newness. then one has a philosophy of the other as you find in Levinas and now Derrida. however. let me specify the suspicion I am going to follow a little further: it seems to me that if one prioritizes language over intuition. it creates a concept (sense) which is neither a constant nor a variable. Time and the Other..again what Bergson calls intuition . ethics con- .9 The challenge to ethics that we are about to enter does not concern moral prescriptions or moral theories. For instance. of course. So. If intuition is representation and thus embedded in theoretism.the love of the Other . is the great philosopher of transcendence and Deleuze is the great philosopher of immanence. at least not like the one we find in Derrida and Levinas. one very large fact weighs against it: the immense influence of Bergson on Levinas.. In other words. the 1932 The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. It seems obvious but perplexing that there is no discourse of alterity in Deleuze. you become a philosopher of immanence. whether the Bergsonian experience of duration . explode. Let me put my suspicion in another way: it seems to me that if you prioritize language over intuition. you become a philosopher of transcendence.. if you prioritize intuition over language. In this direction . Yet it is possible to go in a different direction.6 Levinas is able to wonder whether intuition lets alterity be absolved from the same because he thinks (and thinks this starting very early in his career with The Theory of Intuition in Husserl's Phenomenology7") that intuition (be it Husserlian or Bergsonian) is always a kind of representation. it concerns the relation of thought to unthought. one would have to make the call that brings forth the love of God . One can interpret the love that Bergson describes in The Two Sources on the basis of the concept of duration. also wonders. a concept that is pure variation. Levinas says that Bergson's elan vital is what he calls 'fecundity'. in his 1946-7 lectures.4 a phrase I take from a 1967 essay by Deleuze on Michel Tournier's rewriting of the Robinson Crusoe story. Foucault has shown that in the contemporary period.really lets the 'alterity of the new . indeed.we can say that intuition is creative (and not therefore embedded in theoretism). then one ends up with a philosophy of alteration (not alterity) as I believe it is conceived by Bergson and now Deleuze.62 The Challenge of Bergsonism 'immediate data of consciousness'. Levinas. again. but. this opposition is only a suspicion.

as we will see. upon which you insist a lot more than upon the theory of duration. this claim is hard to understand since there are at least four texts that deal with language explicitly: Matter and Memory. So. then we must start from one of his later works. his 1903 'Introduction to Metaphysics'. I intend to extract bits and pieces from all four of these texts in order to construct something like a Bergsonian philosophy of language. In fact. that Bergsonian intuition has a lot to do with feeling. Bergson tells us what intuition is not. There is a common perception that Bergson does not thematize language. here in the second introduction what Bergson wants to steer us away from is thinking that intuition is just any sort of feeling of Anteriority or . as Bergson says in a letter to Harald Hoffding. 'Dynamic Religion'. Now. in the section on 'attentive recognition'. this chapter is entirely devoted to the Bergsonian concept of sense. and his very important second introduction to the 1934 collection of essays called La pensee et le mouvant (The Creative Mind in English). To do this. Bergson's philosophical method is an empirical one. chapter two. of my own duration. we must first recognize the aim of intuition: it is the attempt to experience directly or immediately the flow of my own interior life. 'The theory of intuition. he says that it is not instinct and it is not feeling. the experience he relies on is called intuition. we can ask: what is intuition? In the second introduction.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 63 cerns an imperative found within thought itself to think what resists thought (the unthought). To orient ourselves. and finally. beyond recognizing this aim of enlargement. of 'immediate consciousness' (PM 1273/32).'11 If we are to understand anything about intuition in Bergson. which is collected in L'Energie spirituelle (Mind-Energy in English). the 1902 essay 'Intellectual Effort'. and that means intuition is an intuition of memory. like the second introduction to La pensee et le mouvant. THE BERGSONIAN CONCEPT OF INTUITION As we have seen from our investigation of memory in Chapter Two. again the important second introduction to La pensee et le mouvant'. towards the end of chapter three.10 Is the relation of thought to the unthought to be conceived on the basis of intuition or on the basis of language? So what we are concerned with here is the priority of intuition over language. sentiment (PM 1328/88). in the 1932 The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. It is an attempt to 'enlarge' consciousness to include the unconscious (PM 1273/32). I am going to draw on a number of texts: Bergson's famous comments in chapter four of Matter and Memory on the 'turn of experience'. So. But. became clear to me only a long time after the theory of duration. but with a specific sort of feeling. it is going to turn out. Thus we are concerned with Bergson's concept of intuition and his so-called philosophy of language.

it must be an intuition that has reversed this customary direction of our senses to divide according to utility. which our needs establish (MM 198/49). the only method of philosophy. precisely because of its continuity. because in general our senses are coordinated to bodily needs. we value effort' (PM 1328/87). 'To philosophize is to invert the customary direction of thought' (PM 1422/190. Bergson prioritizes vision. like a vision .and this passivity of intuition is why Bergson associates it with instinct in Creative Evolution . We recommend a certain difficult manner of thinking. But. the priority of vision is why he calls intuition 'reflection' (PM 1328/88). The problem with instinct and feelings in general for Bergson is that they come to us too easily: '. alone. In any case. vision gives us only one part divided from the other parts that the other senses can give us. But for Bergson there is no thinking that does not start in intuition.64 The Challenge of Bergsonism just any sort of feeling of memory. we must. then we have not inverted the customary direction of thought. Since . indeed. 'harmonize' them. as we shall see. the requirement of intelligence is why Bergson can call it a method. it is the sense that informs us most about possible action. 1329/89. EC 632/162). As Bergson says in his 1904 'Introduction to Metaphysics'. once our eyes are open we see images continuously or without interruptions. 'harmony' is the word Bergson uses in Matter and Memory when he speaks about the need to educate the senses (MM 197-8/48-9). We must keep in mind the etymological connection between sentir and sens as we go forward. To do this inversion of our senses. intuition is a difficult way of sensing.12 If Bergsonian intuition is an educated intuition. which is duration. And. if Bergson most frequently characterizes intuition in terms of the sense of vision or sight (PM 1364/127. above everything else. Simple here means continuity. The simplicity of the intuition means that. Thus it requires intelligence. it has a connection to light. amounting to a filling in of all the gaps established by our different senses insofar as they are 'the beams of light of our needs'. 1350/112). At the least. cf. vision will have to be harmonized or made continuous with touch and hearing.it demands to be explicated into representations and actions. for Bergson. it is a particularly difficult way of sensing. Although intuition may happen to us. the education of our senses 'fills in the intervals or gaps'. vision alone is not enough. If intuition is a sensible intuition. we repudiate facility.. In other words. intuition in Bergson is always an intuition of the most simple idea.. then we must realize that it is above all else 'a simple intuition' (PM 1348/110). If our intuition is complex or complicated. we must not believe that intuition is some sort of special faculty above or outside of the senses. therefore. As we saw in Chapter One's discussion of the Bergsonian concept of the image. Although thinking starts with intuition. they are directed towards dividing the world up according to possible satisfactions of needs. sentir (PM 1364/127-8). vision strictly concerns only images. due to this connection to light. 'intellectual effort'.

. 'Auscultation' is a technical term in medicine meaning to listen attentively to organs either by the ear directly or by means of an artifice like a stethoscope. in a word. since intuition is an enlargement of consciousness towards unconscious memory. it is helpful to recall the true perception of matter that we discussed in Chapter One: the direction of the true perception of matter goes from the surface of the image to the vibrations deep inside. and through a kind of spiritual auscultation. must go into the depths of the 'chrysalis'. And. the image is destroyed. which implies that intuition cannot be maintained for long (PM 1275/35). We shall return to the transitory nature of Bergsonian intuition. Bergson describes intuition in this way: intuition 'proposes .The Concept of Sense: Ethics 65 intuition must invert the customary direction of thought towards actions and if you recall the cone image . but let us note now that it is the simplicity of the intuition that is fatiguing and thus transitory. as soon as I rip the surface open. for complication. In this auscultation we find the effort of Bergsonian intuition. once I start to rub my hand across a surface. it is time for the elaboration of the intuition. But unlike vision. The problem with touch is that I can gain no tactile access to the depth unless I rip the surface open. for Bergson. we recall. To listen to these quiet sounds. in other words. even vision and touch are too easy. to sense [sentir] its soul palpitate' (PM 1408/175. Bergson actually says that intuition can be internal or external (MM 319/183) .. one must really concentrate. it is actually going up above the images towards pure memories.therefore towards dreaming at the base of the cone. So. an intense intuition in which one recognizes differences and continuities (PM . to penetrate the life of [the self].I can sense depth. but. I am in immediate contact with it. Pure memories. touch is not a sense of distance but rather of proximity. to listen to time. To reach this depth. like external perception. he calls it contact. in short. Bergson also characterizes intuition. of course.then we must say that intuition. vision itself will have to be enlarged. auscultation implies that intuition is like a doctor listening through a stethoscope to a heartbeat or to the breathing of the lungs. then. as I feel the surface. Once the simple intuition has vanished. requires a fatiguing effort. this is where we find the pure memories. one must really listen. If this description can also characterize Bergsonian intuition . because contact implies an uninterrupted experience. Thus. unconscious memories by means of which I can enlarge consciousness? In his 'Introduction to Metaphysics'.in Matter and Memory. Nevertheless. differ in nature from images insofar as pure memories are virtually invisible. When one auscultates. to these rhythms. by means of the sense of touch. besides vision. Bergson's emphasis). Here. Touch is similar to vision. as I move my hand across the surface. I can feel the variations of levels . How can I gain access to the depth of pure. the image of the auscultator tells us that Bergsonian intuition is like a doctor's intuition. I experience no interruptions.

Obviously. . In his 'Introduction to Metaphysics'. that we can then sympathize in the normal sense with others. we sympathize only with ourselves. un regard. in fact. for Bergson. The duration wherein we act is a duration wherein our states ground themselves in other states. 'detached' and 'discontinuous'. But. we cannot characterize Bergsonian intuition as an objectifying 'look' or 'gaze'. self-sympathy. the experience of classical empiricism. and in which it is useful that we should look at ourselves. that intuition is a sort of intersubjective experience. But what is important here is to see what motivates . He says. Bergson says: There is at least one reality that we grasp entirely from within. (MM 322/ 186) In this quote Bergson uses the verb regarder. When a doctor auscultates. is the basis of the true empiricism. like a doctor's intuition. It is our own person in its flowing across time. for Bergson. for Bergson. It is only from this position. in harmony with touch and vision.. (PM 1396/162-3) It is hard to renounce the habitual way of conceiving sympathy as a sympathy with others. we have to be very careful about Bergson's frequent characterizations of intuition as sympathy. Here we must be careful: intuition understood as a kind of intense listening. Bergson says. as he calls it (PM 1408/175). from this self-sympathy we can even sympathize with the entire universe (PM 1273/32-3). through intuition. In fact. In chapter four of Matter and Memory. un regard is precisely. It is our self which endures. he or she finds the one simple source of the illness without cutting the patient up. The experience classical empiricism values is one that is 'fragmented'. it is perhaps needless to say that. In connection with this question of others. because sympathy. We can sympathize intellectually or rather spiritually with nothing else. Bergson distinguishes his 'true empiricism'.66 The Challenge of Bergsonism 1319-20/79). too. however.. '[the] error [of classical empiricism] is not that it sets too high a value on experience'. But we sympathize surely with ourselves. The duration wherein we look at ourselves acting [nous nous regardons agir]. strictly. Intuition. the true experience. the error lies in that it values 'an experience that is disarticulated and consequently undoubtedly denatured' (MM 320/183). is a duration whose elements are dissociated and juxtaposed. from classical empiricism. the experience that empiricism values is exactly the opposite of Bergsonian intuition. suggests intersubjectivity. for Bergson. in a section entitled 'The Method We are Following' (MM319-24/183-8). of course. does not mean that we have a relation to the other in intuition. In the same chapter.

in the 'adaptation of the real to the interests of practice and to the requirements of social life' (MM 319/183). If there is a relativity to knowledge. What differentiates humans from bees is that humans invent their own tools. it is a natural experience for Bergson. in a word. in fact. Directed towards utility. a turning away motivated by 'the inferior needs'. according to Bergson. 'bodily functions' (MM 321/184). 995/25). according to Bergson in The Two Sources. he noted that. each organ within one organism becomes specialized and. the need to adapt. is needs. traditional metaphysics . false. towards adaptation. when he speaks of 'the error of empiricism'. which literally means 'a twist'. which replicate the original divisions of labour within the organism. But. this 'habit of contracting habits' is at the root. the motivation for the fragmentation lies. According to Bergson. As we saw in Chapter One. but a turning away from the true experience. Overall. like the English word 'tort'.what Bergson calls 'dogmatic metaphysics' . each organ must work with all of the others. and to facilitate the satisfaction of these needs there is always 'a system of more or less deeply rooted habits' (MR 982/10). in other words. towards the satisfaction of needs. what we called habit-memory consists in the contraction of habits of action and thinking by means of repeating the useful effects of perceptual images. The experience at the base of empiricism is not really a mistake. these habits directed to societal needs and . This 'turning away' based on needs for adaptation turns towards. but these needs are not 'definitive' (MM 321/184). i. they manufacture artifices. as Kantianism suggests. in order to achieve a task. what defines social life. the fragmentation occurs on the basis of 'inferior needs' (MM 321/184). of all obligations . therefore. this knowledge is relative to our needs. he uses the French word 'ton'.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 67 the fragmentation of the experience. these metaphysical constructs are really artificial and fake.which constructs arrangements of the fragmented parts of experience. ultimately. as organisms become more and more complex. This natural tendency to divide labour among different organs within one organism has destined certain organisms to live in societies. the fragmentation of the true experience has been done 'in view of the requirements of practical life' and 'for the greater facility of action and language' (MM 320/183-4). bees (MR 996-7/26-7). In chapter one of Matter and Memory. In other words. Because the experience at the base of empiricism is not a false experience but a turning away.e. this evolutionary tendency to put organisms into societies diverges into two lines: humans and hymenoptera. according to Bergson.13 But it is precisely these duties.including moral duties (MR 996/27. despite this difference between humans and bees. Bergson does not call the fragmented experience a false experience. according to Bergson. these obligations to society. nature establishes a sort of 'division of physiological labor' within the organism (MM 179/28-9). as we ascend in the evolutionary scale.

a phrase he uses twice in chapter four of Matter and Memory. To renounce certain habits of thinking. the dawn of our human experience begins. (MM 321/ 185) Of course. which can become inert or artless general ideas. with the infinitely small elements of the real curve which we in this way see. If philosophy therefore. when we have placed ourselves at what we were calling the turn of experience. (MM 321/184) Then. intuition is a sort of experience of death. he says. This turning away is the negative part of Bergson's philosophical method.68 The Challenge of Bergsonism utility that require us to turn away from the true experience. bending itself in the direction [sens] of our utility. to spirit (PM 1292/50. for Bergson. in these passages. a turning away from the . illuminating the passage from the immediate to the useful. society and literal human experience. mediate our relation to the true experience. he says. and not relative. in a word. But there is one last enterprise to attempt [after empiricism. Bergson in fact says in The Two Sources that Robinson Crusoe is still social (MR 987/16). Turning from action. Bergson says that intuition is 'the attention that spirit gives to itself in surplus over [the attention it gives to life]' (PM 1320/79). we still have to reconstitute. is to turn to the true experience . is far from easy: yet this is but the negative part of the work to be done. Obviously. and even of perceiving. a turning away from social life and practicality. To turn away from or to invert the customary direction of thought towards utility means to turn away from action and matter. hence his loneliness in Matter and Memory. and when it is done. The philosopher. the form of the curve itself which extends itself into the darkness behind them. these habits. We saw in Chapter Two that action and matter are located at the summit of the inverted cone. the turn of experience is a turning away from utility. As we have already seen. for Bergson. we must pay attention to the directions. we are approaching Bergson's famous 'turn of experience'.it must turn its back on social life. 1272/32). must therefore inhabit a world without others more radical than that of the famous Robinson Crusoe. it becomes literally human experience. intuition therefore is a turning to dreaming and memory. when we have taken advantage of the nascent light with which. First. In the second introduction to La pensee et le mouvant.to turn to true. knowledge . On the one hand. This would be to go to seek experience at its source. or rather above the decisive turn where. with all of these turns. dogmatism and critical philosophy].

once I have seen grey. which not only rotates but also contracts. the turn of experience places us right in the grey light between the night of dreaming and day of practical action. is still in the dark. memory and matter interpenetrate and double themselves (cf. In fact. we must take advantage of the nascent light of practical action in order to see the infinitely small elements of the real curve and reconstitute its whole form. the turn not only turns to but also turns back or re-turns to matter. The form of the curve.14 Again in 'Introduction to Metaphysics'.15 The grey zone implies that Bergson could have given Matter and Memory another name. I shall never imagine how black and white interpenetrate each other if I have not seen grey. Exactly like the cone. the 'turning to' of experience therefore is like the rotating of the cone. Yet we know from Chapter Two that spirit is not identical to consciousness. Bergson says. then we must see that the turn of experience is bi-directional. death and life. the turn of experience is the place where one can see how nature and art. Bergson tells us. we must keep in mind that this grey source of experience is also the source sought in Bergson's later Two Sources. (PM 1430/198) Like grey. a seeing of the infinitely small elements of the passage from the immediate to the useful and a reconstitution of the whole form on the basis of this seeing. If we realize that the turning to of experience is like the rotation of the cone of memory. it must be 'reconstituted'. if we do not understand that Bergson is setting up a certain relation to language here in the turn of experience. which means we might even say that the turn of experience lies between what is premoral and what is moral. Insofar as it rotates and turns to memory. which. it includes unconscious memories (PM 1398/164). It lies precisely in what we called earlier 'the grey zone'. to spirit. So. On the Genealogy of Morals. PM 1430/198). Bergson defines metaphysics as 'the science that claims to dispense with symbols' (PM 1396/162) and not as the science that dispenses with language.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 69 external in order to pay attention to the internal. Indeed. In 'Introduction to Metaphysics'. like The Dawn. We must realize that the turn of experience establishes a certain relation to language. then we cannot understand the positive part of Bergson's philosophical method. or he could have called The Two Sources. as Bergson says. is the passage going from the immediate to the useful. if we see that Bergson's philosophical method has two sides. Thus.16 In any case. how one can consider it from the double viewpoints of black and white. But to . then we can understand the light image found in Bergson's descriptions of the turn of experience. what is important to see here is that the grey zone of the turn of experience does not imply that all artifice is excluded. Enlarging consciousness to include unconscious memory. but I have no difficulty in understanding.

as we shall see. we must go from the source down to the human. like the idea of the good. then the experience is immediate.I must turn away from the fragmented and discontinuous experience of social life and inhabit a. intuition is not language. Language is division into words because it is directed . we come back down to human experience. or language. I try to see the infinitely small differences in which experience consists and I try to reconstitute the whole curve of experience. by what Bergson calls 'the socialization of the truth' (PM 1327/87). which derive from the fragmentation of experience due to social needs. from experience above to human experience below. In this attempted reconstitution. we can see the good direction. I return to social life. Here. it is an intellectual effort in which I put my senses in continuity with one another. In order to obtain this intuition . Bergson's philosophical method can be characterized as an 'intuitionism' or an 'empiricism'. In this loneliness. in short. not from the human up to the source. If we get the direction right. if we want to be good metaphysicians. we get up to the source only by a leap or a bound. so to speak. habits and static general ideas of social life. I enlarge my consciousness to include unconscious memory. In other words. I am going to summarize what we have seen so far. the source will be mediated by static general ideas.here is the effort . because intuition is the continuity of duration. true. even in this brief description. it is unmediated by the regress from social life and thus it is unmediated by the obligations. clearly. The wrong or the bad direction is to regress from human experience to the source above. Then. this enlargement. in Bergson's intuitionism. Intuition is not language. although Bergson does not say this here. For Bergson. for Bergson. I am in the grey zone between the day of practical action and the night of dreaming. everything depends on getting the direction right: one must get up to the source above the bend where experience becomes literal human experience. there is a difference in nature between them. Indeed. so to speak. while language is the division of words.70 The Challenge of Bergsonism understand this bi-directionality. is the intuition of duration: I am listening. and. BERGSON'S PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE The first thing we have to say here is that. But before we turn to the relation between intuition and language. Again. in which I especially listen carefully to my own interior life. or action. in which intuition or experience is not understood as a sort of easy instinct or feeling. Now let us turn to Bergson's so-called philosophy of language. in the middle. If we regress. The 'good' direction determines the relation between intuition and language in Bergson. 'world without others'. we end up in Platonism. to the rhythm of my own heartbeat.

like that which lies behind speech. The morality of a human society may indeed be compared to its language' (MR 998/28). and what we can call. particular moral obligations are conventional. in regard to language.. we can say that Bergson is making a distinction between linguistic conventions such as the particular forms of words and particular linguistic codes or rules of syntax in which a particular language consists. Bergson suggests such a parallel distinction when he says that '[Obligation] is a virtual instinct. Now. In other words. it would be the absolute of language.. following the terminology of The Two Sources. The whole of language then would be at the source of the particular languages we speak.17 but it does not mean that we have excluded every relation between intuition and language. which are particular acquired and transmitted habits. So. And finally. what is the primitive function of language? It is to establish a communication with a view to cooperation. but with this difference. 'thought. Even though each word of our speech is conventional. that the ant possesses ready-made means of attaining its end. language gives us only rearrangements of the old.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 71 towards social needs (PM 1321/81). (PM 1320-1/80) What we must see here is that he is making a distinction that is parallel to one found in his Two Sources of Morality and Religion. It would be entirely un-Bergsonian to say that things that differ in nature have no relation to one another. This difference in nature between intuition and language is why Bergson rejects. 'the whole of language'. where he speaks of particular moral obligations. In contrast. Therefore. and it is as natural to speak as it is to walk. and he speaks of the 'whole of obligation'. which is the general habit of contracting habits. Language transmits orders or warning. in fact. while we bring what is necessary to reinvent them and to vary their form. the whole of language would be the habit of contracting the habit of speaking a particular language. 'the whole of language'. in contrast. while 'the philosophic spirit is sympathetic to the endless renovations and re-inventions which are at the bottom of things' (PM 1322/82). in The Two Sources. perhaps infamously. As Bergson says. Man is organized for city life as the ant is for the ant-hill. It prescribes or describes. language is not therefore a convention. while the whole of obligation is natural. intuition is continuous because it is directed towards our interior life. Bergson defines language in this way: What is the scope of words? One must not think that social life is a habit acquired and transmitted. In the second introduction to La pensee et le mouvant. if we can coin this phrase. always utilizes language' (PM 1275/35). all forms of verbalism. the particular languages we speak are relative to the communities in .

When we make use of general ideas. In other words.enclose us. So. it is a philosophy of 'the whole of language'. Philosophy. so handy. He illustrates this with the following example: . of course. let us go back to this chapter. comes in two forms. the two forms of memory for Bergson are not separate from one another.which are. inattentive recognition works entirely in terms of generality and is easy. The intermediate state between the two forms of memory is recognition. Insofar as it is concerned with habits and useful effects. On the one hand. So. We recall that the one form is 'habit-memory'. recognition itself. Insofar as it involves memory-images and is not concerned with useful effects. there is inattentive or automatic recognition. And. and in which our movements ''lead us back to the object in order to emphasize its contours' (MM 244/98). the memory that conserves images. there is attentive or voluntary recognition. We can see that with the two forms of recognition we again have the summit and the base of the cone. On the other hand. Remember. the other. if we can speak of something like a 'philosophy of language' in Bergson. Bergson's disdain for dialectic or dialogue or conversation explains his linguistic example found in chapter two of Matter and Memory. which works entirely by habits. That Bergson is concerned with the whole of language is why he says in the second introduction that the philosophical method cannot be dialectic or dialogue or conversation (PM 1321-2/81). inert or static general ideas of those communities. artifices . or habits is not thinking. according to Bergson. cannot be conversation because all conversational or dialectical philosophies merely cut reality up according to the already established divisions of a particular language (PM 1321-2/81). consequently. we are in inattentive recognition. to use the terminology of The Two Sources. it is not freedom. the habits of speaking are so easy. Only the whole of language can open us up and allow us to move. In fact. and in which 'our movements prolong our perception in order to draw from it useful effects and thus distances us from the object' (MM 244/98). like the two forms of memory. especially static general ideas. Bergson is trying to differentiate between the two forms of memory. that we move outside them only with difficulty. as we saw in Chapter Two. Bergson is primarily interested in attentive recognition because it involves memory-images. Here. with the intermediate state of recognition we are again at this very connection. requires effort. So. in fact. But. he then turns to what he calls 'the intermediate states' between the two forms (MM 235/89). for Bergson. to remain trapped within a particular set of conventions. particular linguistic conventions . attentive recognition works entirely in terms of singularity. in short. we do not want to move outside them. he intends the cone image to illustrate the 'connection' between them. which involves memoryimages and. To see this difference. artifices.72 The Challenge of Bergsonism which we live and consequently they mediate our experience with the acquired.

for these people there is no recognition of difference or singularity and no movement outside the conventions. his descriptions focus on the one who does not know the language. where is the difference? (MM 254/109) Clearly. Bergson constructs this example in order to illustrate attentive recognition. general ideas of their community. and we shall return to it in a moment. So. and they might even start to yell at you. Bergson points to an obvious feature of this experience when he talks a little later about raising the volume of the sound (MM 254/109). Between them and me. the two interlocutors disentangle vowels and syllables that hardly resemble one another. We have already mentioned this leap once in this chapter. However. they probably start to think that you are a little crazy. inhabits a world without others. to interpret speech. I remain captive to the static general ideas or conventions of that particular language (cf. they speak louder. This is important: for Bergson. in particular. and finally distinct words. and these ideas eliminate the very possibility of experiencing difference.this person. in relation to their own language. Is that sufficient for me to understand them? The vibrations that come to me are the same that strike their ears. I perceive only a confused noise in which all of the sounds resemble one another. there is only recognition based on habits. Because Bergson is interested in how memory functions in attentive recognition. when you still do not respond to them. Of course.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 73 I listen to two people speaking in an unknown language. under these ideas. we can imagine that they are talking about practical matters and therefore are utilizing conventional forms of speech and interpreting one another in general ways or according to the acquired. I distinguish nothing and I could repeat nothing. if it is a normal conversation. In fact. Indirectly. we could say. the example of the person is supposed to illustrate. we must be able to leap outside the particular world that we inhabit together.unable to recognize. subsumed. Bergson does not tell us what they are speaking about but. precisely like this person in relation to an unknown language. In this same sonorous mass. If I do not make the leap. to recognize the difference that defines that person. the difference lies in that they know the language and I do not. the louder voices only make you feel more outside their world and. Since these general ideas mediate their conversation. We all know this feature: when people realize that you do not understand what they are saying. there can be no experience of alterity or alteration here. As I said. in contrast. Bergson constructs this example because he thinks aphasics are. Therefore. static. everything that is said is analysed and synthesized. . but let us think a moment about the ones who do know the language and who are engaged in a conversation. unable to communicate . in other words. if we are to understand another person. being a little crazy like an aphasic . MM 261/116-17).

according to generalities. In fact. of course. Therefore. what I and. So. the aphasics lack is the ability to decompose the sounds into articulate words. it seems. I do not hear what is different. I can then 'punctuate the sentence which is heard and . the recognition is so easy that we do not really have to pay attention. then. Let us say that now I have had some training in this language.. I am enclosed in this particular language with its particular set of conventions. This muscular formation. But for Bergson. Even if I am fluent in a language. takes place by repetition (MM 256/111). the language becomes easy. emphasize its main articulations'. certain aphasics lack the ability to recompose the words into sentences. the muscular ability to discern the internal articulations of the sentence as well as the muscular ability. But in order to listen to what is being said and understand it exactly. what keeps the person who does not know the language and the aphasics from recognizing or understanding what is being said. Even with this training.. this first side of attentive recognition entirely concerns the body: when the repetitions have had their effect. But when I know a language 'imperfectly' (ES 944/170). I must reflectively form my ear and throat. in which we almost literally form the inner membranes of our ears upon the shapes of the sounds that we are hearing. So. we almost literally form the muscles of our throat and lips into the sounds we are speaking. While the first form of attentive recognition concerns the body. 'to sketch' these same articulations with our voice. it seems. the second side concerns spirit. that is. at the moment when the habits have taken control. When I hear a language I do not know. Similarly.rapidly. similarly. But this ability to 'sketch' the motor schema with our ears and throat is only one side of attentive recognition for Bergson. we can speak it like an automaton . I and. What I have is a sort of manual dexterity with the language that allows me to decompose and recompose the sentences according to the motor schemas or habits. PM 1325/85). the words all flow into one another and resemble one another. perhaps even without thought. there is also a second side.74 The Challenge of Bergsonism for Bergson. I must make an effort because the motor schemas are not entirely in place. Here. the . singular and new in a sentence. the first side of attentive recognition does not really tell us much about the form of recognition in which I really have to pay attention. so to speak. What Bergson realizes here is that a part of any language training consists in a sort of 'manual education' (cf. or perhaps because I am fluent in a language. When my ear and throat have been so formed. Like the first form of memory. I am in a different situation. that is. it is not enough to know the general motor patterns of the language. we have what Bergson calls 'the motor schema' (MM 255/ 110-11). When we speak a foreign language fluently. the motor schema is a motor habit. I am extending the example Bergson gives in Matter and Memory of a person hearing a conversation in a language I do not know.

.. in order to find this 'soldering' sense.18 And. to reconstruct intelligently . my emphasis. on my sense. where we see language connected to memory. if I am to understand. sense is what Bergson calls a 'dynamic schema'. (MM 262/118. this leap into the past also means that we have escaped the particular language and now we find ourselves in the whole of language. In Chapter Two. also MM 269/124 and ES 945/170) The word 'anastomose' is a biological term that means flowing into something else by means of an outlet. if I tried to regress from each distinct word to an idea. In fact. It suggests that a sentence is a complicated but unified pattern of flows or rhythms. in the case of listening. I would never find the pattern. on my memory.the continuity of sound that the ear perceives' (MM 261/116-17. as Bergson says. a word has individuality for us only from the moment we have been taught to abstract it. Here we return to the leap. because it implies already that. not thought. from thought to action.'in the midst of the corresponding ideas' (MM 261/ 116). because words. if there is alterity in this experience. of understanding. I must leap right into the sense. In the second chapter of Matter and Memory Bergson says. 'wandering' from word to word (ES 945/170). A motor schema. their sense is always relative to what follows them and what precedes them. Therefore. So.. What is sense in Bergson? As we have noted earlier. with the leap we are back inside the cone. it is really impossible to regress from the words that I am hearing to the ideas. Bergson says that sense or the idea is the 'solder' of the words (MM 267/122). my emphasis). what is most important about the leap in Bergson is that it is not a step-by-step regress. cf.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 75 rules of syntax and the vocabulary. In other words. 'To understand the speech of another is . like the criss-crossing of blood vessels or the channels of a river. I must place myself 'immediately' . and that means into the past in general and then into a region of the past. We must keep this direction in mind.d'emblee . as with the cone. Indeed. we encountered the con- . I would be 'at a loss'. A word is always anastomosed to the other words that accompany it and takes different aspects according to the cadence and movement of the sentences of which it makes an integral part: just as each note of a theme vaguely reflects the whole theme. But. it is going to be dependent on my own interior life. Bergson goes on to make the following comparison: . the direction of intelligence is from the ideas to the images. As we have seen. I must not regress. for Bergson. concerns only action.that is. starting from the ideas . from the sense to the distinct words. and he discusses this concept most in his 1902 essay 'Intellectual Effort' (ES 936/160). We do not first learn how to pronouce words but sentences.. have no 'absolute sense'. instead.

In other words. he or she has an intuition of the whole and the differences that can be developed from it. Then. He notes that a skilful player can play several games of chess at once without looking at the chessboards. Similarly. is as complete as the images that develop from it. an example or a symbolic vision and is what we were calling in Chapter Two a dynamic general idea . Instead. a dynamic schema is not what the images taken together 'signify'. the player retains and represents to himself 'a composition of forces or better a relation between allied or hostile powers' (ES 938/162).it is not. that this player does not have the image of each chessboard in memory 'just as it is. an 'impoverised extract or summary' of this particular series of images (ES 937/160). this would imply that the whole is given. for Bergson. So. 'He thus obtains a representation of the whole that enables him at any moment to visualize the elements' (ES 938/162).76 The Challenge of Bergsonism cept of dynamic schema in our discussion of a past that was never present. the bearing. or 'reconstitutes' the successive events that have led to the present situation. in a word. the power. as Bergson says. for each game. while the logical meaning has too large an extension. we said. in which there are unforeseeable developments. "as if it were in a mirror"'. the schema would be limited just to that series of images. 'internal complica- . So. that the chess player has the whole as such. in other words. it is a 'representation' of the whole that can be developed into multiple parts or elements. In other words. while an impoverished extract is too limited to be a dynamic schema. which is 'developable' into 'multiple images' (ES 936/160).it is also what we are going to call. the whole is never given.. in Appendix I. In 'Intellectual Effort'. A dynamic schema. consequently. And. Even though the dynamic schema is an 'outline' .. Bergson defines a dynamic schema in this way: a dynamic schema is . But. he or she 'remakes' the history of the game from the beginning. if it were an extract or summary. We cannot think. the chess player has the whole as a schema. according to Bergson. however. the extract has too small an extension. and the value. Therefore. Instead. the player 'retains and represents to himself. What the example implies is that the chess player has something like what Bergson would call an intuition. it is not a 'logical meaning'. it has 'reciprocal implication' and. is a sort of essence. a dynamic schema.a 'simple' 'outline of temporal relations' (ES 950/177). as Bergson says. nor does he have 'a mental vision of each piece' (ES 938/161). because a logical meaning 'may belong to quite different series of images' and therefore would not allow us to retain and reconstruct one definite series of images to the exclusion of others (ES 937/160).these are Bergson's words . the function of each piece' (ES 938/162). and then the chess player would be unable to play new and different games. Bergson gives a very good example of a dynamic schema: the memory of a skilful chess player (ES 937-8/161-2). in other words. a logical meaning is too unlimited to be a dynamic schema. at every move the player makes an effort of 'reconstruction'.

Bergsonian sense is creative. But while this . This idea directs my progression towards distinct elements or auditory images such as words. according to Bergson. Similarly. to repeat an image from Chapter Two. When I have the sense suggested or the 'corresponding idea'. It may seem that I start from the sounds I am hearing but. in the case of hearing a language I know imperfectly. The idea anyone has of his or her character would be an example of a dynamic schema in Bergson. I understand exactly what has been said in its singularity. or verbally explained to me. From them. which are developable into singular images of action. which seems to be determined by the teleology towards an object. 'the nebulosity of the idea' (MM 266/122). But only if I can repeat the sentence completely can I say I really understand it. they are nothing but suggestions. The idea I have of my character is a simple outline of forces. I understand the solution to the problem when I can do it myself. His conception of sense as an outline of temporal relations or as a relation of forces and powers distinguishes it from the phenomenological elaborations of sense. if we return to the problem of understanding another person who is speaking a language that I do know well. we can see that it requires an intuition of sense like that of the chess player. I do not understand the solution to the problem unless I do it myself. but I do not see the different drops until the cloud condenses. In other words. or re-say his or her sentence. I repeat or double what the other person has said. Bergson compares this process to the operation of solving a mathematical problem (MM 261/116. I make the leap into sense. on the basis of the sense. which the elements or images develop.19 Bergsonian sense is a tendency. Because of the starting point in sense from which I develop the singular images of words. In fact. it is not the understanding given to me either by the motor schema or by a static general idea. The dynamic schema or sense in Bergson is. but an unpredictable direction. Similarly. printed in books. this starting point is an illusion: the articulate words I can discern act as nothing more than 'suggestions' or 'benchmarks' for me to follow (ES 943/168). it really is a direction. A cloud is a whole composed of thousands of drops of water. This is sense in Bergson. and this understanding is not that of generalities. but I do not see those singular events until I rotate the cone. into the past in general and then into a region of the past. that is. ES 943/ 168). Now. Both in Matter and Memory and in 'Intellectual Effort'. I must say the sentence over again just as rapidly as the person speaking in order to keep up. Even if the solution to a mathematical problem is written on the blackboard. I understand the other person when I reconstruct. unless I do it over for myself. the idea I have of my character is composed of thousands of singular events. Again the chalk marks on the blackboard or the symbols in the book or the sounds I hear do not lead me to the idea. I then have what Bergson calls the 'directing idea' (ES 956/184).The Concept of Sense: Ethics 77 tion'.

Again. in the 1895 speech Bergson says that good sense neither sleeps nor dreams. we find in The Two Sources of Morality and Religion that intuition is based in a specific sort of emotion. in their very difference. which means that for him intuition is never simply knowledge.and we must say develops without a mediating general idea. from 'an intense warmth that has become light'. it is dynamism itself. In fact. insofar as I leap into sense. but always also active. This direction is what Bergson throughout his writings calls 'good sense'. we must realize that the understanding of these specific words. in a speech he made in 1895. its direction towards action must be understood through its primary characteristic. it develops immediately . Yet. He also calls good sense 'an intuition of a superior order that is necessarily rare'. but always makes the leap and then progresses from the sense or dynamic schema to action and language. we must even see the rhythm of the other's speech as a function of my own rhythm. or. therefore. which Bergson calls creative emotions. it swings back and forth like a pendulum. So. In chapter three of Matter and Memory.from my intuition of my own sense. More precisely.23 Both of these comments suggest that intuition in Bergson is based in a type of feeling or emotion. For Bergson. it is from my character to actual actions. The leap and the progress towards action and language is why we have to define good sense as doubly directed or bidirectional. this entire speech implies that what Bergson throughout his writings calls intuition is good sense.78 The Challenge of Bergsonism understanding has had its suggestions and benchmarks in the speech I hear.e. Indeed. the direction is not from the other to me for Bergson. Bergson tells us that good sense's love of action conies from being 'profoundly moved for the good'. it never regresses. Almost 30 years after this speech and Matter and Memory. This dynamism is why. directed towards action.22 In fact. this is why good sense is so fatiguing (ES 892/102). the plurality of rhythms develops . never simply speculative. Indeed. good sense is primarily defined as being 'well balanced' (bien equilibre) between the extremes of the cone. in the 1895 speech. Finally. is dependent on my sense. Bergson calls good sense practical sense. the direction is from the dynamic schema or sense to the distinct words and sentences. not you. which means that its direction is towards action. Bergson calls good sense 'intellectual work itself. insofar as good sense is 'well balanced'. the understanding of the sentence develops from me. one year before the publication of Matter and Memory.21 It is docile enough to use memory-images to recognize the singularity of the present situation and energetic enough not to fall asleep and dream. I must make the leap to understand the sentence but. but from me to the other. i.20 Nevertheless. and while Bergson calls it a 're-construction' or a 're-constitution'. Bergson says that good sense 'loves actions'. He defines creative emotions . between the 'docility' of the dreamer and the 'energy' of the person who acts (MM 294/153).

in other words. Thus. to the entire universe (MR 1007/ 38). an example would be joy (and not pleasure). Another example would be the religious emotion of mystical ecstasy. But such insanity amounts to a leap outside the habits and conventions that are relative to one society. in relation to common sense. mystical rapture is an intuition of duration. Bergson provides a defence of mysticism which consists in arguing that mystics have 'superior good sense'. to plants. or ecstasies. but. we might think that this superior form of love actively directed at all humanity. at the entire universe. as Bergson insists.24 . there are also emotions that precede the representations and are in fact 'pregnant' with representations. in fact. As is well known. This 'disequilibrium' is why mystics are frequently classified as insane (MR 1183/245). MR 1156/213). This superiority conies from the visions. Now. And the action it is directed towards is love of all humanity. But. for Bergson. But such a rare and transitory experience upsets one's normal mental equilibrium. deep-rooted mental healthiness' (MR 1169/228). we are going to conclude with a discussion of duration.The Concept of Sense: Ethics 79 as those that generate thought (MR 1011/43). as with everything in Bergson. defines duration. In other words. In fact. of the very principle of life in general (MR 1187/250). then. the mystical soul is so open that its love extends to animals. These emotions are rare (cf. here the emotion is the cause and the representation is the effect. in The Two Sources. Therefore. superior good sense is not enclosed in one society but is open to all. the emotion that comes up from the depths. but rather we must redefine love on the basis of Bergsonian duration. Most emotions. So. for instance. arise as a consequence of a representation. to all nature. we must not take this mystical love as a metaphor to help us understand duration. according to Bergson. if the disequilibrium is like the leap. what is truly important about superior good sense is its directedness towards action (MR 1169/228). the 'disturbance is a systematic readjustment with a superior equilibrium' (MR 1170/229). Bergson interprets this emotion as a fleeting vision of the continuity of our inner life. I feel pleasure. he insists that mystics have 'an exceptional. for better or worse. when I see someone I know. of the very roots of our being. raptures. Here the cause of the emotion is the representation. 'from the darkest depths of the soul' (MR 1170/ 229). the balance of superior good sense is a disequilibrium.

we must see that duration redefines memory. I improve my recitation of it. movement. which can be repeated. We must not define duration with these terms. Bergson describes this connection between the first claim and the second. In general. . this does not help us understand duration. i. But no matter what term we decide to favour. each time that I repeat the poem on a particular day. between the survival of the past and the novelty of the future. is an unrepeatable event . but now. in a number of ways: prolongation. or with biological or artistic creation.l we can define duration with two simple claims.e. to name the most obvious. this connection confronts us with an obscure logic. It seems to me that. this impassible character of the past means that duration is irreversible (EC 499/6). each recitation. I repeat or do over the poem an indefinite number of times. in these investigations. As we already know. we have done nothing but think in terms of duration. that Bergson defines duration with memory. The second follows from the first: the moment coming from the future is absolutely new. This explanation gives us the Bergsonian idea of the irreversibility of the past.unlike the poem itself. But even if we can say this. as he does for instance in his 'Introduction to Metaphysics' (PM 1411/179). we are going to be as precise as possible about it. continuity. traditional metaphysics has defined these phenomena as a synthesis of discontinuous elements. it cannot be changed or done over. which I cannot repeat. or that he defines it with change or movement. To use the example we saw in Chapter Two. Most generally. each time I do it over.CONCLUSION Think in Terms of Duration The challenge of Bergsonism is to think in terms of duration and. if I am in the process of memorizing a poem. As we saw in Chapter Two. we know already this synthesis of already analysed or juxtaposed elements cannot be duration. in a particular place. progress and passage. I am going to try now to throw as much light on it as possible. creation. this particular recitation is an event of my personal history. Each time. The first is perhaps at the heart of Bergson's philosophy: the past survives. the survival of the past implies that the past is impassible. change. despite Bergson's numerous and varied descriptions of duration in his corpus. perhaps. For Bergson. Bergson defines duration as memory. But no matter what.

like the repetition of the poem. Nevertheless. let us change the image. Perhaps we can visualize this connection between survival of the past and the coming moment in this way. the coming moment cannot be doing them over. The past is adding memory-images to the perceptual image. I can see that it is different from all the others because they are still there. we would start to think .Conclusion: Think in Terms of Duration 81 The next step in the explanation of duration is crucial: if duration or time were reversible. As each leaf is presented to me. which are still surviving. I must conclude that each coming moment is new in relation to the past moments. memory itself has changed. we perceive no difference. then. with each different moment. between the future and the past. When each leaf is taken away. I can see this even though the leaves resemble each other almost to the point of being indiscernible. in other words. it includes the whole of the past plus one more moment. as each moment comes. but is at least singular. we must conclude that the survival of the past implies that the coming moment is not a repetition of the past. for example. So. we can see that memory is constantly and spontaneously rotating and contracting past memories in order to insert them into the present. it seems to me that it only gives us difference. this rearrangement certainly would not be new. We can see why Bergson insists on the novelty of the coming moment if we realize that. If this image makes sense. then. and since the past moments are still surviving. Yet. then I could say that the coming moment is a mere rearrangement of past moments. Bergson says that 'Each [moment of our life] is a kind of creation' (EC 500/7). this way of characterizing the connection between the survival of the past and the singularity of the future does not really give us newness. like an artist painting a portrait (cf. Granted that the difference of each coming moment from the past gives us a new organization of the past or a new organization of duration as a whole.because the leaves are so similar to one another .that this person is presenting the same leaf over and over again. memory as a whole has a constantly new organization. this person is laying each leaf down side by side on a table in front of you and he is not taking any of them away as he lays down a new one. we perceive difference. since duration or time is not reversible. with Bergson. If we now move from the past to the present. I think we can start to see why Bergson would call this swelling of the past by different moments creation. the past moments done over. Now. nevertheless I think we probably would not yet call this 'swelling' of the past creation. So far. into the hesitation. we have been characterizing duration only from the direction of the future to the present. now. But. . in Creative Evolution. In other words. it is added onto the whole of the past. when they are still there. Imagine that someone is holding a bunch of leaves from the same tree behind his back. if we change direction. Imagine that the person holding the leaves is taking each leaf away immediately after he has laid it on the table.

For instance. I should have said here that an artist painting a portrait is like duration or that an artist painting a portrait is even in duration. which implies a kind of homogeneity. with the creation of the perceptual image by means of the addition of memory-images. the past is spontaneously adding memory-images to the perceptual image. This is why Bergson says in his essay on laughter that 'As paradoxical as this assertion may appear. the present repeats the past (even though the past is irreversible). and. the pain reaches a level where I sense that I have to do something. Instead. we do not believe that the observation of other men is necessary for the tragic poet' (R 466/148). indeed. But. indivisible and divisible. I think we can see why Bergson constantly characterizes duration in contradictory terms: unity and multiplicity.a multiplication or division of the poet the poet plumbing the depths of his own nature in so powerful an effort of inner observation that he lays hold of the virtual in the real. and takes up what nature has left as a mere outline or sketch in his soul in order to make of it a finished work of art. duration is the same becoming-other. the picture that results from this process is always unpredictable or unforeseeable. on the one hand. I think we can see that. as a pain grows. of course. simplicity and complexity. Here is what Bergson says. in a word. at a certain moment. The right word to characterize duration is immanence. in the passage between the past and the future. This starting point in immanence is why we have to say that the logic of duration is not one of same and other. not really the right word here. But no matter what. Nevertheless. there are both quantitative differences and qualitative differences. again. the coming moment is always adding different perceptual images to the whole of memory. it is only because they are the poet himself . Homogeneity is. Moreover. inner observation is necessary intuition. Of course. in his essay on laughter: If the characters created by a poet give us the impression of life. Thus. since there is always potential complexity in duration. but a logic of alteration.82 The Challenge of Bergsonism EC 499-500/6-7). my decision and consequent action is a qualitative change and implies a kind of heterogeneity. I can say that it is getting worse. what is truly important is that. we can say now that. If we keep this difference in mind between each coming moment being different in relation to the whole of the past and the spontaneous contributions of memory to the creation of the perceptual image. with homogeneity. and then I decide to act. it differs by degrees from the past moments. Each different moment being added onto the ever swelling past does not necessarily bring forth a new existence or work or action. like any artistic creation. in a sense. on the other. (R 467/150) . it is unforeseeable because. simplicity and indivisibility. I can describe the pain on a numerical scale. the connection between the survival of the past and the absolutely new is not a contradiction because we must start with unity.

each coming moment must therefore be new. if we use Bergson's terminology. This inexpressibility of the intuition of duration is why Bergson was interested. in fact. still. no matter how precise the expressions of the logic of duration have been here. he thanks his luck for every partial success. near the end of The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. no formula ever gives us the whole of the experience of duration (PM 1288/45). Second. everything depends on the direction. there is a result and one that may be 'original and vigorous' (MR 1190/253). of course. throughout his career but especially at the end. Bergsonian duration therefore is a simple idea. First. just as the punster might thank the words he comes across for lending themselves to his fun' (MR 1191/254). we could call it 'superior love'. nor Othello. in which case the words are. And. there in the discussion of wit . success is never certain. 'fragments of [the emotion's] own materialization'. R 444/ 111. As a result of this forcing and violence.Conclusion: Think in Terms of Duration 83 Shakespeare was neither Macbeth. one works from the emotion to the words. because the past survives. This point in the soul is a creative emotion. inexpressible (cf. of course . In fact. nothing would be communicated. to un faiseur de calembours. but. MR 1189/252). indeed. Third. This reference to a punster. according to Bergson. of course. the past survives.esprit. not being a rearrangement of the old.2 He gives us the following excerpt from a letter from Madame de Sevigne to her ailing daughter. one can take ideas and words made readily available by society and rearrange them. This is as precise a formula as we can construct for Bergson's idea of duration. as Bergson says. Bergson admits that. what these expressions refer to remains. cannot be entirely new. he speaks of two ways of writing. So. As an example of esprit. not the alterity from transcendence. But then there is the other way of writing: 'It consists in re-ascending from the intellectual and social plane to a point in the soul from which there springs an imperative demand for creation' (MR 1191/253). Then. Madame de Sevigne's love for her daughter is famous. On the one hand. each coming moment cannot be a mere rearrangement of the old moments. with this way of writing. sends us back to the essay on laughter (cf. the movement from the emotion to the words will be one in which the words are forced and violence is done to them. Bergson gives us an expression of the love between a mother and a daughter (and not an expression of a love between a father and a son). 'the writer wonders at every step if it will be granted to him to go on to the end.we find what may be the most perfect linguistic expression of the intuition of duration. Some would think that it is insane. where Bergson speaks of the calembour). And. no formula of duration is ever adequate to the intuition of duration. I can reduce its complexity down to three sentences. if they were. These words. for Bergson. nor Hamlet. . This is alteration from immanence. So. in the construction of expressions. Yet. he might have been them.

instead.84 The Challenge of Bergsonism Here is the witticism: 'The cold wind of your chateau makes me hurt in your chest' (R 438/100). .3 I shall end by noting that. this witticism makes us neither cry nor laugh. it only makes us smile (R 437/97). according to Bergson.

first. or better. The Two Sources therefore is attempting to dig through this layer to the 'rock' below. we are going to. a memory-image. In The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. the origins of morality and religion. hidden and yet still present. ethics is defined neither by decision procedures nor by the theoretical justification of moral judgements. Therefore.APPENDIX I The Point where Memory Turns Back into Life: An Investigation of Bergson's The Two Sources of Morality and Religion For Bergson. The text that follows investigates Bergson's genealogy of morality and religion. turns back into life or emotion. our 'today' is defined by being 'aphrodisical' (MR 1232/302). Bergson's genealogy aims at a transformation of our current situation. Bergson is not doing moral theory. The memory [souvenir] of forbidden fruit is what there is oldest in the memory [memoire] of each of us. determine what Bergson means by 'today'. the counter- . The Two Sources is more than an archaeology. civilization or acquired knowledge and habits are 'the thick layer of vegetative earth that today covers over [reconvert] the rock of original nature' (MR 1045/83). as the title itself indicates. as in the memory of humanity. it seeks the very point where memory. It seeks to find the point where memory turns back into life. (MR 981/9) But. we must call it a genealogy. as for Levinas. if this memory [souvenir] was not covered over [reconvert] by others. he is attempting to determine the origin. As we shall see.1 And like Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality. We would notice this. to which we prefer to relate ourselves. For Bergson. a word with which he repeatedly qualifies his comments (cf. as Bergson would say in Matter and Memory. The first two sentences of The Two Sources say. which means that it is a work of memory. it is an attempt to remember the very forces of life. We must therefore call what Bergson is doing here an archaeology. our 'today'. For Bergson. the genealogy of morality and religion. MR 1215/282).2 In order to reach the point where memory turns back into life. Instead.

We shall therefore begin our investigation with identifying the book's purpose. we must identify clearly the problem with which The Two Sources is concerned. . And just as there is now . And. But before we turn to what Bergson means by 'today'. cf. And this misdirection of nature is at the heart of the Bergsonian mystical experience.86 The Challenge of Bergsonism weight to the aphrodisical nature of our whole civilization is asceticism. the double frenzy works like a 'pendulum' (MR 1123-4/292). which means 'inflammation of the brain' . THE THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL OBJECTIVES OF THE TWO SOURCES OF MORALITY AND RELIGION In the 'Final Remarks' of The Two Sources. Now. second. which means that the frenzy is based on the artificial extension of the vital need for food (MR 1229/298). Unlike his 1896 Matter and Memory. I. in The Two Sources. 'can [the origins of morality and religion] help us practically"?' (MR 1206/271. The word frenzy (frenesie) derives from the Greek phrenesia. Bergson states explicitly that 'The objective of the present work was to investigate the origins of morality and religion' (MR 1220/288). The form of the mystical experience will bring us to 'the point where memory turns back into life'. madness. for Bergson. a frenzy for luxury. The frenzy for luxury will eventually (but not necessarily) swing back towards asceticism. Bergson was involved actively in world politics during and after the First World War.a frenzy for luxury. just as the League of Nations was intended to prevent war. If there is something like a philosophy of history in Bergson. But. According to Bergson. we are going to see that there is a certain 'misdirection' (une tromperie) of nature that allows for this pendulum movement. my emphasis). it consists in a pendulum movement between 'asceticism and sexuality'.'today'. and especially with practical matters such as the formation of the League of Nations. Thus. the frenzy is double (MR 1227/296). for which Bergson provided a preface 15 years after its first publication. What is important is that Bergson does not rest with the theoretical conclusions about these origins. we shall investigate what Bergson means by mysticism. and this is not as easy as one might think. EC 537-8/50-1). he says . The Two Sources possesses no such guide. there was in the Middle Ages a frenzy for asceticism. What we should notice here is that Bergson describes the two positions of the pendulum as 'frenzies'. He asks. Bergson's practical aid consists in showing how what he calls the 'war-instinct' 'will be able to be repressed or turned aside' (MR 1220/288. Bergson's explanation of the war-instinct depends on the idea of a 'frenzy'. in particular. mystical experience in Bergson is memorial. we shall see that 'the form of the mystical experience' consists in a certain relation between emotions and images.in a word.

unlike animals.3 The reason we associate mysticism with unbalanced states consists in the fact. and 'absurdities' (MR 1061/102). from unbalanced states. On the one hand. The visions and emotion are only a 'systematic rearrangement aiming at a superior equilibrium'. For Bergson. we must understand mysticism. he must distinguish what he is calling mysticism from mental illness. In other words. to engage in idle talk. cf. The 'morbid states' of 'a lunatic' (un fou) resemble mystic raptures and ecstasies (TMSR 1169/228-9). possess intelligence. 'Static Religion'. What Bergson is calling here 'static religion' refers not only to all the polytheisms such as the religion of ancient Greece. Most importantly. this superior equilibrium results in action. which is located in chapter two. This charlatanism brings us to Bergson's second theoretical objective. he must distinguish from the normal view we have of it. concerns precisely Bergson's definition of mysticism. intelligent beings like human beings are the only creatures to believe in superstitions (MR 1067/109). Bergson distinguishes between mystic abnormality and morbid abnormality by showing that the 'great mystics'4 themselves (such as Joan of Arc) do not define themselves by the mystical visions and emotional disturbances they undergo. In other words. including the belief in evil spirits and magic. Bergson says that 'mysticism calls forth asceticism' (MR 1238/308). and therefore not to act. which Bergson admits. not only to all the forms of paganism. What a tissue of 'aberrations'. He will explain these aberrant beliefs by means of the fact that human beings. to understand the frenzy of asceticism. we can now determine three interrelated theoretical objectives that Bergson is pursuing. but this ability to manufacture tools requires reflection (MR 1153/210). intelligence consists in the ability to manufacture tools. but also to all superstitions. Bergson begins chapter two with an obvious fact: 'The spectacle of what religions were and of what certain religions still are is humiliating for human intelligence. 'errors'. his second theoretical objective consists in showing why rational beings. And indeed. So. for Bergson.Appendix I 87 With this double frenzy in mind. are the only beings that believe in 'irrational things' (des choses deraisonable} (MR 1062/102). MR 1169/229). chapter three. 'Dynamic Religion'. If we define mysticism as action. for Bergson. In the 'Final Remarks'. reflection gives humans a kind of 'foresight' . 'Homo sapiens'. defines mysticism. then we can distinguish the frenzy of mysticism from what he calls 'charlatanism' (charlatanisme) (MR 1184/246. Reflection then produces two kinds of danger (MR 1153-4/210). of The Two Sources. Action. normally what we see in mysticism is only 'pathological [mental] states' (MR 1183/245). Here. that mystical states are 'abnormal' (TMSR 1169/228). The word 'charlatan' literally means to prattle. states of 'disequilibrium' (desequilibres) (MR 1183/245). But in order to define mysticism. So. in these non-mystical religions we really have madness. each one corresponding to the three chapters in which The Two Sources consists.

Bergson also calls it 'decadent' (MR 1094/140). nor does he go to the distant city and attack his enemy. So. according to Bergson. TSMR 1118/169. On the other hand. At first. This is not where the madness is. also EC 519/29). But we become unbalanced in a second way. death. But even this idle chatter is not quite madness. the images of this efficacious presence become individual gods. according to Bergson. the 'tabulation function' (MR 1066-7/107-9). reflection allows humans to reflect on themselves. the gods intervene in human affairs in order to forbid egoism and thereby ensure social cohesion. Confidence is lost. Bergson thinks that this restoration of balance occurs naturally and that there is no madness here. The gods therefore restore the balance lost through intelligence. are extended in the direction of the magical 'recipes' or 'formulas' that are used to conjure up the spirits. we had the images of the evil spirit. on the one hand. We are now in the domain of magic. And. however. who merely utters 'incantations'.88 The Challenge of Bergsonism (prevision) that allows them to be aware of future dangers. as soon as we begin to think of ourselves. intervene in human affairs to ward off the future dangers that we cannot control. on the other hand. for this individual. the first images attract more. nature uses one of intelligence's functions. Here we return to the idea of charlatanism. according to Bergson.6 These first images of evil spirits. For example. he does not act. in particular. these images were extended in the direction of formulas. Then the fabulation function takes over and starts to produce images of evil spirits to attack the enemy or to explain the ruined crops. Because of intelligence. As if under the influence of the magic incantation 'like is equivalent to like' (cf. Nature. human beings become unbalanced. the individual can neither reach the distant enemy in order to strike back nor obliterate the disease. that is. The gods. The result of this vision of death is that humans become depressed. Eventually.5 they then lose 'confidence' (MR 1085/130) in their ability to act and finally detach themselves from life. it occurs when an individual is afraid or feels a need (MR 1090/136). Thus in two ways things need to be set right again. an enemy in a distant city threatens the individual or disease has destroyed his crops. But then. the images continue to extend themselves. he is not just an imposter but also someone who merely talks. The magician is a charlatan. similar ones. the entire world ends up being 'peopled' with evil spirits. a specific form of the imagination. Eventually. we become egoistical. 'voluntary hallucinations' (MR 1141/195). The magician does not engage in scientific research to cure the disease. This unstoppable 'proliferation' (MR 1118/169) of images is 'monstrous' (MR 1091/137). has generated humanity to live in societies and societal life demands disinterestedness. for Bergson. . out of the feeling that there exists an invisible but efficacious presence that has 'its eyes always turned towards us' (MR 1124/176). In short. To do this. The fabulation function invents images.

Appendix I


On the basis of this consideration of the first two theoretical objectives, we can see already why Bergson called his book 'The Two Sources of Morality and Religion'. We have seen two sources or origins of religion. On the one hand, nature is the source of static religion. That is, the evolution of nature has produced intelligence, but intelligence unbalances the individual. This unbalance produces a natural need which in turn develops the fabulation function in order to restore the balance. On the other hand, a certain kind of psychological state, which is abnormal, is the source of dynamic religion. That is, a mystical rapture unbalances the normal balance of the individual resulting in a different kind of balance. Superior equilibrium results in action. Obviously, since both sources - nature and mysticism - concern different kinds of balances and equilibriums, we are again speaking of the image of the pendulum (to which we shall return below). But just as obviously, if we think only of the title Bergson gave to this book, we can see that one of its theoretical objectives is to differentiate between these two sources. But why do they need to be differentiated? This question brings us to the third theoretical objective. The third theoretical objective is located in the first chapter of The Two Sources, 'Moral Obligation'. Unlike the titles to chapters two and three - 'Static Religion' and 'Dynamic Religion' - which together indicate a difference, the title for chapter one indicates a unity, within which Bergson is going to make a difference. This difference is that of closed morality and open morality. Closed morality is the morality of a group, the morality of the city, and here we should keep in mind the old walled cities of Europe. The closed morality aims only at the self-preservation of the group and thus social cohesion. It consists in customs.7 Society therefore trains the individual in these customs to the point where the individual is habituated. The closed morality is entirely about habituation, even automatism. In contrast, the open morality is entirely about creation. For Bergson, the open morality refers to the great moral initiators, the mystics, and in particular, Jesus. Jesus gives us the image, according to Bergson, of an individual who loves all humanity, not just one's friends, not just the group. In fact, the openness of this love is such that it has no object and thus extends to infinity, to every single thing. Here, we do not have customs but an example (the image of Jesus given -in the Gospels) to follow or, more precisely, to which one aspires. Here, in the open morality, we do not have habits, but emotion and therefore, for Bergson, effort. As I said, the title of the first chapter, 'Moral Obligation', implies a kind of unity. The two kinds of morality, the open and the closed, can come to be mixed together and therefore be indistinguishable. But also, the title of the first chapter quickly makes one think of duty and thus of Kant's moral philosophy.8 According to Bergson, Kant has made a 'psychological error' that has 'vitiated many theories of ethics' (MR 991/20).


The Challenge of Bergsonism

The psychological error is this. In any given society, there are many different, particular obligations. The individual in society may at some time desire to deviate from one particular obligation. When this illicit desire arises, there will be resistance from society but also from his habits (MR 992/21). If the individual combats these resistances, a psychological state of tension or contraction occurs. The individual, in other words, experiences 'the rigidity' (la raideur) of the obligation. Now, according to Bergson, when philosophers such as Kant attribute a severe aspect to duty, they have 'externalized' this experience of obligation's inflexibility. In fact, if we ignore the multiplicity of particular obligations in any given society, and if instead we look at what Bergson calls 'the whole of obligation' (MR 995/25), then we would see that obedience to obligation is almost natural. Obligations, that is, customs, arise because of the natural need an individual has for the stability that a society can give (MR 9867/15). As a result of this natural need, society 'inculcates' habits of obedience in the individual (MR 1057/97). And, habituation means that obedience to the whole of obligation is, in fact, for the individual, effortless (MR 990/19). The psychological error then consists in externalizing an exceptional experience - which Bergson calls 'resistance to the resistances' - into a moral theory. Duty becomes severe and inflexible. But there is more to this error. Philosophers - and again Bergson has Kant in mind - 'believe that they can resolve obligation into rational elements' (MR 992/22). In the experience of resistance to the resistances, the individual has an illicit desire. And, since the individual is intelligent, the individual will use intelligence, a 'rational method', to act on itself. According to Bergson, what is happening here is that the rational method is merely restoring the force of the original tendency to obey the whole of obligation that society has inculcated into the individual. But the tendency is one thing, the rational method is another (MR 993/22). The success of the rational method, however, gives us the illusion that the force with which an individual obeys any particular obligation comes from reason, that is, from the idea or representation, or better still, from the formula of the obligation. But it is this rationalization of the force of closed morality into formulas that really leads to the need to differentiate between the closed and the open morality. The open morality, for Bergson, is identical with the dynamic religion, with mysticism. Here too we have a force. This second force is what Bergson calls 'the impetus of love' (elan d'amour) (MR 1057/96). Here too we must speak of an experience, but one that is different from the experience of resistance to the resistances. When a mystic has the experience of the impetus of love, this mystic, according to Bergson, undergoes a specific emotion and specific images (MR 1170/229).9 Both the emotions and the images can, indeed, must, be explicated into actions and representations. But this process of explication can be extended. The representations that the mystic explicates

Appendix I


can be further explicated into formulas, for example, the formula of each person being deserving of respect and dignity. These formulas, which are the expression of creation and love, are now able to be mixed with the formulas that aim solely to insure the stability of any given society. Since we are now speaking only of formulas, this mixture of creation and cohesion is found on, as Bergson says, 'the plane of intelligence'; the two forces now are mixed together, in other words, in reason. As before, where the rational method used in the experience of resistance to the resistances comes to explain force of obedience, here in the mystical experience of the impetus of love, the formulas come to explain the force of creation. A reversal has taken place. The very forces which, Bergson says, 'are not strictly and exclusively moral' (MR 1056/96) that have generated the formulas are instead now being explained by the formulas. We can see the difficulty that rational moral theories encounter. How could 'some representation of intelligence have the power to train the will'? How could 'an idea demand categorically its own realization'? As Bergson says, 'Re-establish the duality [offerees], the difficulties vanish' (MR 1057/96). Before we proceed to the next section, let me summarize what we have seen so far. In Bergson's The Two Sources of Morality and Religion., there are four objectives, each one corresponding to one of the book's four chapters. There are three theoretical objectives. Corresponding to chapter one, there is the theoretical objective of righting the relation between intelligence or reason and the forces of morality. Again, as Bergson says, 'Re-establish the original duality [offerees], the difficulties [found in intellectualist or rationalistic moral theories] vanish' (MR 1057/96). Corresponding to chapter two, there is the theoretical objective of explaining why the only beings with intelligence believe in irrational things. It is intelligence itself that brings about this belief since intelligence unbalances the individual. Corresponding to chapter three, there is the theoretical objective of differentiating between two unbalanced psychological states, between mystical states and morbid states. The difference is that mystical states result in action, while the morbid ones do not. Then, corresponding to the 'Final Remarks', we saw the practical objective, which consists in finding a method to repress the war-instinct. We shall now turn to a more thorough investigation of these 'Final Remarks' concerning the repression of the war-instinct.

We can only 'repress' or 'turn aside' the 'war-instinct', and not abolish it because, as for Nietzsche,10 for Bergson, war is natural (MR 1023/57, 1217/ 284), 'inevitable' (MR 1210/276), even normal (MR 1001/31). War is natural

Thus it is impossible that humanity should renounce 'these habits of life' (MR 1221/293). because closed societies. contact is necessary or essential because of the nature of the tools humans invent. absolute authority of the chief. Yet. under certain conditions. For Bergson. which exists independently of any motivation (MR 1220/288). however. however. 'there are biological laws. war would have remained only 'virtual' (MR 1023/57).they will experience the 'resistance to the resistances' . for instance). then it means that each small community. will take what it needs and protect itself from any other small community that threatens it. we might say that sociability and unsociability at once take place. if human communities had remained small (MR 1023/57. Closed societies are defined by 'self-centeredness. on war (MR 1221/293). humanity has necessarily the 'property' of its instruments. pertain to biology on this particular point'. the instinct for the conservation of the species is a warinstinct. war would have not necessarily broken out. humans differ from other animal species. As we shall see in a moment. aim at selfpreservation and therefore command disinterestedness imperiously. again. We 'construct' or 'invent' tools ourselves. that is. Yet. and therefore isolated from one another. insofar as they are partly willed by nature. gives us the origin of war. is contact between human communities. because nature gave humanity a 'tool-making intelligence' (MR 1216/284.92 The Challenge of Bergsonism because humanity is an animal species like any other. for Bergson. we have an instinct for the self-preservation of the species. all of which. At the moment when two communities meet.11 The sufficient condition. 1209/275). like every other animal species. So. like the closed society of the hymenoptera. this instinct for the conservation of the species includes an instinct for the multiplication of individuals. But. according to Bergson. The virtuality of war at this moment does not mean that there are no conflicts. is the necessary condition of war. And this instinct means that we must form ourselves into small communities (tribes. there is a 'radical distinction' between different individuals within one community and different closed societies. While. there is no inescapable historical law. the war-spirit' (MR 1216/283). for Bergson. if communities had remained small and isolated from one another. One human community must expand geographically because the tools . Because of the egoism that comes with intelligence. hierarchy. EC 613/139). and the human societies. In any case. While the war-instinct. 'means discipline. however. cohesion. Therefore. For Bergson. property.to find a way to adjudicate the dispute (MR 1220/287). it is 'the egoism of the tribe' (MR 1211/277). however. two different individuals who are quarreling with one another will feel the pressure of their habits and the pressure of society . the war-spirit would have remained virtual. As Bergson stresses. conflicts between different individuals within a small closed society break out necessarily.

according to Bergson. although it is originally independent of any motivation. On the one hand. we have the phenomenon where each group compares itself to the other. thereby forcing a community to seek out other lands. certain wars take place in order to prepare and train for essential wars. there are also what Bergson calls 'accidental wars' (MR 1219/286. the war-instinct 'hooks itself (s'accroche) onto 'rational motivations' (MR 1220/288). it is rational to support the population. Connected with wounded pride. and the sufficient condition for war is fulfilled. and the sufficient condition for war is fulfilled. Bergson calls this kind of war an 'essential war' (MR 1219/286). At this first phase. for Bergson. 'So far. Here. other lakes on which to use its tools and thereby support its population. human communities then clash over the matter on which the tools work (MR 1217/284). Three times Bergson punctuates his description with a claim about there being no war or about war emerging. 1220/288). Two different human communities come in contact. but becomes. of course. and the population increases parallel to the yield of the soil. Bergson presents a schema of the conditions that lead to war today (MR 12201/288-9). In contrast to essential wars. One group recognizes the superior strength of the other group due to its tools. in order to understand the wars of today. any given nation produces enough food to feed the population. the sword sharp (MR 1217/285).Appendix I 93 it has invented are intended to do work on specific 'matter' (MR 1217/284). These three terse but emphatic comments allow us to divide the description into three phases. Although Bergson does not make this distinction clearly. Bergson states that an excess (un trop-pleiri) of population occurs. we come to a second phase. This contact might be due at first to essential reasons connected with the matter on which the tools work. certain wars take place out of 'wounded pride. But. so good'. 1217/285). 'the wars and conflicts of today' differ from the essential and accidental kinds of war (MR 1219/286. is wounded vanity (MR 1230/300). Since it is easier to take the tools that are already made than to make them oneself (MR 1217/284). Yet. irrational. they see each other's tools. accidental wars seem to arise for two reasons. So. The wars of today are connected to the industrial character of our civilization (MR 1220/288). thus one group then experiences wounded pride and vanity. we have to think about nations as purely agricultural populations. war breaks out. On the other hand. In accidental wars. we must say. to keep. no war. Without telling us why. Thus we now have an over- . so to speak. in short. in the case of accidental wars. prestige or glory' (MR 1219/286). Then this community will inevitably encounter another. Following the egoism of the tribe. A plot of land or a forest or a lake will inevitably become exhausted. the war-instinct does not hook itself onto rational motivations of self-preservation. As Bergson says. to feed it. other forests. Now.

which really defines the wars of today. although the excess remain citizens of the nation in which they were born. On the other hand. in effect. in particular. But. Yet. for Bergson. in the third phase. From this need for luxuries.unless they decide. Industry puts the excess population to work in factories. the rational motivation to acquire food to stop starvation. as an outgrowth of industry. if the nation that is indirectly employing the excess decides not to employ it. Bergson says that 'the most serious [among the causes of the wars of today] is over-population' (MR 1221/289). Industry has therefore found a way of feeding the excess population. But. the demand for certain products declines. sexual pleasure. for other nations. and luxury [le luxe]' (MR 1221/289). There will be war' (MR 1221/289. what has happened. Here the egoism of the tribe determines not only that the excess population does not want to emigrate but also that other nations do not want the overflow. rather overpopulation causes the shortage and thereby provides the motivation for war. the 'need' for luxuries brings forth war.then the overpopulated nation takes from the other nation by force. . the excess population of another nation. In short. This brings us to the third phase. these two causes are interconnected through the question of pleasure. but primarily for food. instead of immediately attacking another community in order to take its food. the schema for wars of today differs in two ways from essential wars. according to Bergson. to go and take what is refused to them. there is a 'need' for luxury. my emphasis). the wars of today occur because of the way industry arranges things. So. pleasures [I'amusement]. in short. which then leads to unemployment in the overpopulated nation . the causes of the wars of today are overpopulation and the need for luxury. as an outgrowth of modern science and 'the spirit of invention'. In the wars of today. Yet.94 The Challenge of Bergsonism populated community. as Bergson says. people are not really threatened with dying of hunger. however. The result is that the excess population becomes. and the factories produce products to be exchanged with other nations for all kinds of goods. carrying the whole country with them. The contact. When the situation in the nation that indirectly employs changes . is that 'people consider that life is not worth living if they cannot have comforts [le confort]. Instead. it is not the case that the matter has exhausted itself and therefore there is a shortage of food. and this fulfils the sufficient condition for war. 'internal emigrants'. One nation employs. The contact comes because 'industry will arrange things'. On the one hand. 'war can emerge' (MR 1221/289). which is contact with another nation. does not occur because of emigration. indirectly. the excess 'is condemned to die of hunger . putting the excess population to work.say. The schema for the wars of today that Bergson has set up resembles the description of what he calls essential war insofar as the war-instinct hooks itself onto the rational motivation to take the matter on which the tools work.

there is no difference in kind from one sexual act to another. Let Venus have her way and she will bring you Mars. to satisfy the most basic of all needs. as Bergson does. which means that sexual pleasure is 'a psychical transposition of a physical stimulus' (MR 1011/ 43). then the pleasure. There is in humans an instinct to reproduce. 'the demands of the procreative sense are imperious' (MR 1232/302). It is easy to understand why he calls the sensation 'strong'. In no other matter [that is. has another effect. even 'rationed' (MR 1222/290). If intensity. This instinct demands that we preserve the species by producing as many individuals as possible. Clearly. we must conclude that for Bergson. one other than overpopulation. As Bergson says. The instinct for conserving the species by means of multiplying individuals.12 which tells us that while overpopulation is the most serious cause of war for Bergson. He also thinks that industry should be arranged to provide enough food. is always essentially the same. 'strong but impoverished' (MR 1232/ 302). Bergson thinks some sort of birth control must be enforced on a national or even international scale in order to attenuate this cause of war (MR 1222/290). just as there is in other living beings (MR 1022-3/56-7). in procreation] is it so dangerous to rely upon instinct. since it is an intense pleasure. it is necessary to recall. then sexual pleasure is based only on differences of degree. (MR 1222/290) This instinct for reproduction reinforces Bergson's claim that war is natural and must be controlled in a rational way. precisely because the sensation is strong. The demands must be satisfied and when they are. sexuality. we experience pleasure. feeding the world's population (MR 1236/306). So. he is confident that industry can do this. if there are only differences of degree. If we let this instinct determine our actions. defines the sensation. even as it varies from one partner to another by degrees. In fact. For Bergson. an obvious fact about human sexuality. In other words. Ancient mythology realized this when it coupled the goddess of love with the god of war. one partner is better than another insofar as that partner gives a more intense pleasure. it is not the most prevalent cause. it . As we all know. we will find ourselves in a situation of overpopulation and therefore in the threat of people dying of hunger: 'there will be war'.Appendix I 95 In relation to overpopulation. But. Bergson calls this sensation of bodily pleasure 'forte mais pauvre'. sexual pleasure is a sensation and not an emotion. The instinct for conserving the species is demanding. These differences of degree can explain our preference for one sexual partner over another. however. by multiplying as much as possible. that is. from one partner to another. in short. it is physical and not spiritual.

and we have quoted this passage before. cotton sheets is even more pleasurable. are artificial or anti-natural. an ascetic ideal had predominated. as we noted in Section I. this frenzy was a 'reaction' to another frenzy. from which it has made emerge a constantly growing number of harmonics and timbres (MR 1232/302). Bergson uses the image of the pendulum to describe this movement from one frenzy back to another. this need for pleasure that only luxuries can satisfy is a kind of frenzy today. say. as we have already noted. the soft bed and the cotton sheets are physically pleasurable. with exhaustion.. therefore. according to Bergson. 'conveniences' (le simple agrement) (MR 1233/302). 'at the beginning [of this scale going from conveniences to comforts to luxuries] was vanity' (MR 1233/303). 'all of our civilization is aphrodisicaF (MR 1232/302). Having the convenience of. Bergson calls this sound of sex an obsession (MR 1232/302). the war instinct has hooked itself onto irrational motivations: the need for luxuries. but having the luxury (le luxe) of. humanity. a bed is pleasurable. at least. As he says. Pride too is at the beginning of this scale. there is more to this 'love of pleasure'. . Yet for a pendulum to swing back and forth. one must be 'sociable'. we must find ways of experiencing pleasure. These needs. a room . it must be suspended from a point. In this scale. and the sound calls to us. indeed.96 The Challenge of Bergsonism is 'impoverished'. Here already you had frenzy' (MR 1229/298). for Bergson. the act always ends in the same way. for Bergson. But for Bergson. since it makes us imagine the sexual act. as Bergson says. Pleasure itself has become the goal or end of sexuality. If we love pleasure. a shoe. All the pleasure in the loving of pleasure. having the comfort (le bien-etre) of a soft bed is better. in the wars of today. In this ascending scale from conveniences to luxury. The need for luxuries. however . Yet. If you 'strike' any object .13 For Bergson. The sensation is always the same. it is necessary to have. Thus. comes down to the pleasure of being desired by someone else for one's luxuries (MR 1051/90). to our senses.luxuries that we take for comforts and comforts that we take for conveniences . Of course. the frenzy for asceticism of the Middle Ages. In this case. All that we love is pleasure. But to experience pleasure. the only natural need is the need to satisfy the demands of the procreative sense. As Bergson says. it is pleasurable to love pleasure.leads to war. 'Throughout the Middle Ages.you hear the 'sound' of sex. the appreciation given by someone else for one's luxuries gives one pleasure. we see developing an ascending scale of needs. Thus Bergson claims that it is not impossible that . say..of course. has taken sexual pleasure as a fundamental 'musical note'. an odour. which means that in 'our civilization' the object of love is not a person or God or all things or something created like a child. Again. one must attract a partner. and if we must experience pleasure. Despite the impoverishment of the sensation and because of its strength. needs that arise from the love of pleasure.

Mysticism might be able to turn the war-spirit aside. Here Bergson changes his image. that of asceticism. But. by giving us intelligence. THE TRUMPERY OF NATURE Bergson thinks that 'we would finish with these demands [of the procreative sense] quickly if we held ourselves to nature' (MR 1232/302). Thus. my emphasis) . the Renaissance and the industrial impetus . Bergson describes the transition from the closed morality to the open morality: . since. which is so knowing and yet so naive. if industry were organized to increase 'leisure for something other than the so-called pleasures. If we restricted ourselves in this way. these two faces of the ascetic ideal are indeed frenzies. like our moon.against 'the form taken until then by the Christian ideal' (MR 1238/308). everything seems to revolve around sex. the sexual act would be a means to an end.. It has not therefore foreseen that. to misdirect nature? In chapter one of The Two Sources. which an ill-directed industry has put within the reach of all'. according to Bergson. How is any frenzy possible? We must return to the procreative sense. humanity might swing back to the other frenzy. III. (MR 1022-3/56-7. It might just as well turn back. humans would engage in the sexual act and be done with it.. intelligence would discover immediately the means of cutting the sexual act off from its consequences. like all the other living beings. now the other. the end being the multiplication of individuals in order to conserve the species. The frenzy for the complications of an aphrodisical civilization might turn back into a frenzy for a simpler life.the Reformation. The planet. nature intended that humans should procreate endlessly. and that humans could abstain from reaping without renouncing the pleasure of sowing. Nature has taken the minutest precautions in order to insure the conservation of the species through the multiplication of individuals. How is it possible to go in the opposite direction from nature. if we restricted ourselves to the natural function of procreation like other animal species. Yet. This new asceticism would allow humanity to develop spiritually. revolved: the frenzy for asceticism turned into the frenzy for sexual pleasure. now showing one side. The Christian ideal is like a planet revolving. Surely. something has happened to this means-end relation. there are numerous cases where humanity has deceived [a trompe] nature. in other words.Appendix I 97 there was a 'kinship' among the three reactions . today. The direction (sens) of sexuality has changed from its natural direction.

Bergson. continuing the extract quoted above says: It is in a wholly other direction [sens] that humans misdirect [trompe] nature when they extend social solidarity into human fraternity. And as soon as I reflect. and of which we can still perceive the plan in the innate and fundamental tendencies of modern humanity. required that the group be closely united. like Madame de Sevigne's love for her daughter. Love becomes the love of pleasure in and of itself. for Bergson. in another way. (MR 1023/57.14 can be repeated to everything.. These two 'misdirecting' senses become. since its function is to manufacture tools. the two frenzies of history.. it must be able to reflect (MR 1158/210). This side of the deception is a superficial repetition of the same. Those societies whose design was pre-formed in the original structure of the human soul. we were always to be prepared for attack or defense. but that between group and group. since the 'trumpery' that intelligence plays on nature separates the sexual act from its natural goal. there should be virtual hostility.from its natural goal. In other words. however. But. We saw that its impoverishment was due to the fact that the variety of sexual pleasures amounted to nothing more than differences of degree. The very same misdirection allows humanity to open and go against nature by going either in the direction (sens) of pleasure for its own sake or in the direction (sens) of the love of all beings. [and] re-open what was closed. of everything. The form of love can be repeated. but humans mislead nature nevertheless.the sexual act and its pleasure . who have broken down the gates of the city. intelligence has found a way of'cutting off the means . The love that I have for one person. Intelligence misdirects or trumps nature. my emphasis) Nature aims only at the closed. the pleasure creates nothing. as Bergson says.98 The Challenge of Bergsonism The 'misdirection' (la tromperie) that intelligence plays on nature allows us to enjoy the pleasure of sex without producing children. Those great leaders of humanity drawing humans after them. The point suspending the pendulum of the two . as soon as I think. I think of myself. which we noted above. pleasure is not used. Now we can understand the impoverishment of the sexual sensation. This would be repetition not of the same. Pleasure has no goal. It has found a way of turning Venus's love into an end in itself. Not of course that nature designed war for war's sake. not a superficial repetition but a deep repetition of difference. But we can see already the point from which these two frenzies are suspended: the repeatability of the form. seemed indeed thereby to have placed themselves again in the current of the vital impetus . aphrodisia and asceticism. because intelligence has this function. As we have already seen. pleasure has no direction.

Yet. Or. as in 'im-pli-cation'. there is a kind of imbalance or disequilibrium between the past and the future (which explains what Bergson. the power of the vital impetus. without which there would be no open morality (MR 1002/33).15 Reflection (and not a reflex). folded. it is always already memorized.16 The form and sense can be hooked or unhooked. MR 990/19). are reciprocally implicated in the elan vital.Appendix I 99 frenzies is auto-affection. even to unnatural or irrational objects.if we are to understand what is original. Thanks to the hesitation. we must seek out 'exceptional experiences' (MR 1111/161). like the two frenzies.this defines his 'superior empiricism' . it goes back up above the turn in experience. But these two forces. there is a loss of confidence (as we have seen) in self-reflection.puts an interval between the stimulus and reaction. with Nietzsche in mind.or the force of religion or intuition or emotion . But this disequilibrium means that the returning form is freed from the present. as Bergson would say. in the 'Final Remarks'. For Bergson. de-folded. the primitive force. a 'lack' (MR 1155/211). as Bergson stresses. depression. 'transformable'. formalized. We cannot but think of Nietzsche: 'the form is fluid. the past returns and the future is already seen. calls the 'law of the twofold frenzy'). 'corn-plication' and 'sim-pli-fication' . It is self-imitation (cf. MR 1102/149. Although the derivation is unclear. this fold . it generates 'dynamic religion'. artifice and artificial. or 'transferable' from one object to another. The paradox is that if the self can be imitated. mystical experience re-ascends to the impetus of life itself. We might even say that it is always already art. Thus the form of what returns is iterable or.the procreative sense is imperious . There is an 'interval' (MR 1005/37) between the present and the future. we must ask: what does the hooking and unhooking? In Bergson. but the sense [Sinn] is even more so'. is empirical. 'imaged'.creative emotion. 'we have no choice' (MR 1008/39). 1118/168). IV. There is a disjunction here between the two sides because . there is a hesitation (cf. Hence his interest in mystical experience. One is no longer confident that what returns from the past into the present will go in the right direction (sens). then the self is always already doubled. Consequently. There are always and only two forces: the force of nature or instinct or habit . MYSTICAL EXPERIENCE: EMOTION AND IMAGE Always for Bergson . the word 'trompe' is associated with infidelity. 'transfigurable'. perfidy. We are going to reconstruct Bergsonian mystical experience in terms of two sides: emotion or image. re-folded. Here we have what must be called 'the paradox of the double'.'pli'. meaning that it can be experienced (MR 1073/115). There is a 'deficit' (MR 1159/210). If self-imitation is fundamental. Unlike the abstract concept of the will to live. imitated.

the form of the mystical experience requires this voice. 'we run a risk in disturbing the normal relations between the conscious and the unconscious. what precisely in the mystic is out of balance? We can answer this question only if we return to the individual in a closed society. and (c) the detour. Bergson gives us three different ways to construe the reciprocal implication: (a) the voice. 1013/46). since Bergson stresses that the emotion that opens the mystical experience is 'inexpressible' (MR 1189/252. The idea is clear: one feels happy when the moral obligations are in balance with egoism. in Section I. But even before the mystic undergoes an image. Bergson claims that this feeling of well-being resembles pleasure rather than joy (MR 1018/51). the reciprocal conditioning between individual and society (MR 1170/230) . When this balance of the closed society is disturbed . that Bergson aims to distinguish mystical experience from the morbid psychological states that afflict the mentally ill.17 The other side of the mystical experience is an image. FIRST WAY OF CONSTRUING THE 'RECIPROCAL IMPLICATION' BETWEEN EMOTION AND IMAGE: THE VOICE We have already seen. in contrast to a lunatic. An individual in a closed society lives in a feeling of 'well-being' (bien-etre). These times (a des heures) of emotional disturbance are the beginning of mysticism. We might even say that in general the mystical experience is the mystery of the voice. But. The .we stop the circular movement. There is a lack of well-being 'at the times when one's customary maxims of conduct look to be insufficient' (MR 1004/34). This disjunction refers to what Bergson himself calls the 'reciprocal implication of the vital impetus' (elan vital) (MR 1072/115). In both. thereby cancelling each other out (MR 1024/58). she18 experiences 'a call' (un appel) (MR 1003/34) or a 'voice' (MR 1170/230). Nevertheless. the form of an image or an emotion' (MR 1170/229. if it be intense enough. As Bergson says. There is a 'reciprocal implication' between emotion and image that defines the form of the mystical experience. what rises to the surface and attains consciousness takes on there. which one undergoes if the various resistances 'interfere' with one another. The first side of the mystical experience therefore is the feeling or emotion that disturbs well-being.100 The Challenge of Bergsonism Bergson himself puts one there: 'When the darkest depths of the soul are stirred. my emphasis). The reason we associate mystics with those who suffer from mental illness is that both undergo 'abnormal psychological states' (MR 1169/228). there is an experience of imbalance or disequilibrium. We must not be astonished therefore if nervous disturbances at times accompany mysticism' (MR 1170/229). (b) the tests.then we are about to enter the mystical experience.

for Bergson. he says that prayer in dynamic religion. The joy comes from the pure con- . of the silent voice. we must say that this silent voice is a non-vocalized voice. the mystic 'senses [sent] an indefinable presence or divines [devine]' it (MR 1170/230). Bergson speaks of'silent conversations' (des entretiens silencieux) (MR 1173/233). not by the voluntary hallucinations of static religion. in Bergson. that is. moreover. 1172/232). however. into a memory-image. the invisible and silent presence . the detachment from life means attachment to God.has transformed itself into an image. as Bergson says. As Bergson says. MR 1011/43).Appendix I 101 emotion. being an emotion. a 'symbolic vision' (MR 1170/230. The voice therefore. MR 1110/159. If. all-absorbing ecstasy or an enthralling rapture' (MR 1170/230). is non-linguistic. 'is indifferent to its verbal expression. in the mystical experience the normal relations between consciousness (the inside) and the unconscious (the outside) are disturbed. we might say. which means that the voice is internal. This presence is at first an 'invisible presence' (cf. silent. This detachment from life means that the mystic is now in God (MR 1170-1/230). that is.the vibration. 'then comes a boundless joy. the sensing of the presence is not perception and not the fabulation function.22 we might say. But the sensing of the presence. SECOND WAY OF CONSTRUING THE 'RECIPROCAL IMPLICATION' BETWEEN EMOTION AND IMAGE: THE TESTS The Bergsonian mystical experience therefore is an experience of the emotion joy. and not of well-being or pleasure. into. he says that dynamic religion supports humans not by 'imaginative representations' (MR 1127/179). As we noted in the previous paragraph. the 'auscultation'. then this sensing of the presence is memory. Indeed. also MR 1125/176) found not out in nature but in me:20 God in me. By means of memory. brings forth images. must be 'tacit' (MR 1004/35) or 'silent' (MR 1173/232).21 Mysticism. In addition. The mystical experience is an internal dialogue (auto-affection). the 'apperception' of it (MR 1172/232). in mysticism. it is an elevation of the soul that would be able to do without speech' (MR 1146/ 201). The result of this image is that the mystic has detached herself from life. the voice. That there are images in the experience is why Bergson (quoting the great mystics) warns that the images may be hallucinations (MR 1170/229). is 'entirely interior' (MR 1127/179) and yet this presence comes from 'the outside' of consciousness (cf.19 By means of listening to this voice (which is in the mystic). To define it in the most minimal way. deep within the chrysalis that is me or the base of the memory cone with its purified memories . Bergson stresses that the sensing or divination of the presence is not a direct perception (MR 1170/230).

Here Bergson adopts St John of the Cross's phrase: 'the darkest night'. for Bergson. But if the mystic's joy relinquishes its space in the mystic's soul to anxiety (inquietude). of course. He says this because the darkest night brings on the 'definitive phase' of complete mysticism. even though there is no longer any 'distance' between thought and the object of thought. in Christian mysticism' (MR 1171/231). when this feeling of anxiety has grown to the point that it resides everywhere in the mystic. desolate. we must keep in mind that this phrase implies that the vision is a kind of star in the night sky. as it did in ancient Greek mysticism and in the eastern mysticisms. As Bergson says in the 'Final Remarks'.23 The second reason consists in the fact that the mystic's life is not yet divine. We must understand these tests as a kind of ascesis. in any case most instructive. a kind of asceticism. The union then is not 'total' and therefore not 'definitive' (MR 1171/230). Here we can see that the two reasons for anxiety are connected. that 'rests' (MR 1171/230) in contemplation remains 'incomplete mysticism' (MR 1166/225). according to Bergson. 'mysticism calls forth asceticism' (MR 1238/308). lost in the shadow (MR 1171/231). it is as if the vision died (and the mystic herself is indeed detached from life).102 The Challenge of Bergsonism templation of the symbolic vision. mysticism could stop here. in this experience the pendulum is swinging back. This exteriority of the will and action in relation to God brings forth anxiety and agitation. Indeed. calls for a simpler life: no luxuries. The first reason for the mystic's anxiety is that the vision does not endure (MR 1170/230). Bergson says that we cannot analyse this final preparation since the mystics themselves have barely caught a glimpse of it (MR 1171/231). That the vision does not endure means that it fades into the past. there is still something of the mystic that remains 'outside' the union. Why does anxiety occur? Bergson gives two reasons. Now. For Bergson. then the mystic will move forward into complete mysticism. even though there is no longer a 'radical separation' between the one who loves and the one who is beloved. her action would be based only on herself. she would be reattaching herself to life and moving forward into the future. In any case. the mystic submits herself. and we have already quoted this passage earlier. But he tells us that. on her human will. in this final preparation. The mystic therefore 'eliminates' . each part of herself'to the hardest tests' (aux plus dures epreuves). thereby displacing the joy that comes with the vision. then this anxiety becomes 'the impetus' (elan) for the mystic to move forward beyond contemplation. Bergson says that the idea of the darkest night is 'perhaps what there is most significant. Mysticism. Thus Bergson does not provide a detailed description. any mysticism that stops here. If the mystic acted. The vision has faded and the mystic finds herself alone. thereby forcing the vision into the past. Even though the union with God is 'close' (etroite). What is still not absorbed in God is the mystic's will. and this is the final preparation for action. If the mystic acted.

I am going to summarize what we have seen in the first two. 'for the soul there is a superabundance of life. Instead. Before turning to the third way of construing the 'reciprocal implication' between emotion and image in the Bergsonian mystical experience. we saw the feeling of disturbed well-being transform itself into the joy. from any obstacle she confronts. the decisive act. even though she is elevated. she is attached to life but God is in her (MR 11121 232). The first two ways also chart a movement of inside and outside.achieve this. In the first way. As Bergson says. she feels no pride or vanity. promises such as were out of the question when the species was constituted' (MR 1023/58).24 But insofar as they eliminate and simplify. she is the one who is sovereign. now. 1169/228). or rather an acquired innocence. What links the first two ways is the fact that the vision does not endure. There is an irresistible impulse that hurls it into the most vast enterprises' (MR 1172/232). There is a boundless impetus. God needs to be brought into the mystic's will. which eventually transforms itself into humility. MR 1025/59). through which the mystic experiences joy.mystical asceticism . This fading of the vision causes the feeling of anxiety in the mystic. but as it became a vision the mystic unifies herself into the vision. She is the one who is allowed to make promises.Appendix I 103 everything from her substance that 'God cannot use' (MR 1172/231-2. it fades into the past and becomes a memory. the word that has no rejoinder' (MR 1172/232). the tests are precisely tests of the will (MR 1172/231). in a word. 1172/232. The 'definitive consequence' of the tests is that the mystic becomes a 'genius of the will' (MR 1023/58. While in contemplation. 'An innate science. The mystic now is able to follow the example. In the first way the voice had started out as being internal to the mystic. thereby God acts in . So far. Between the two emotions is the tacit voice that expresses an invisible presence calling to the mystic. But the mystic also feels anxiety insofar as her will is external to the union with God experienced in the vision. my emphasis).25 The mystic has 'superior good sense' (MR 1169/228). the mystic's soul was attached to God. the joy she felt in the contemplation of the symbolic vision has become 'great humility' (MR 1173/232). The tests . after the tests. By means of the tests of herself. But how? The image in the vision becomes an example and that is why Bergson speaks of the vision being 'symbolical'. into action. This voice then transforms itself into a vision. beyond the good and evil of any closed society. Even though the mystic's actions now 'flow from a spring [source] which is the very impetus of life' (MR 1172/232). 'for the future of the species. the mystic does not feel the deprivation of what she has eliminated (cf. The mystic obtains from matter. we have charted the transformation of both emotions and images. she was in God. suggests to her at the first blow the useful procedure. The second way starts out with the recognition that the mystic's will is external to the union. As Bergson says.

it generates representations.104 The Challenge of Bergsonism the mystic's action. there are emotions. it still produces something new. They have not therefore been extracted from life by art. That emotion is not sensation means that it is not a 'psychical transposition of a physical stimulus'. they are acts of love. of the melody or symphony. one's fellow citizens. the sensation causes the emotion. new feelings adhere [adherent} to each new musical work. If we ascend from our family to the nation. We also saw in Chapter Three that Bergson in The Two Sources distinguishes between creative or supraintellectual emotions and infra-intellectual emotions. an 'affective state' (MR 1011/43). repetition. Bergson had suggested that music is a creation ex nihilo. in the mystical experience we are. Now. this emotion varies only by degrees. that come temporally after representations or sensation. Although creation is repetition in Bergson. As he says in The Two Sources.2f> By the time of Creative Evolution (1907) Bergson criticizes the idea of creation ex nihilo (EC 747/298). But what are these acts? According to Bergson. This difference in kind implies that mystical love is a genuine origin. THIRD WAY OF CONSTRUING THE 'RECIPROCAL IMPLICATION' BETWEEN EMOTION AND IMAGE: THE DETOUR We have already seen that Bergson separates emotion from sensation. new feelings that are denned and delimited by the very design. Indeed. This criticism means that creation is only ever for Bergson replacement (EC 732-3/2810) or. A supra-intellectual emotion comes temporally before representations. although emotion is a 'feeling' (sentiment) or a 'manifestation of sensibility'. This is why Bergson calls it creative. Here we have a difference in kind between patriotism and mystical love. In an early text. we are concerned with the emotion of love. concerned with creative emotion. as he did throughout his career. according to Bergson. (MR 1009/40-1) This comment means that the emotions created by the musical design are not . This example and this love bring us to the third way. On the other hand. Bergson compares mystical love to the emotion expressed in music. of course. based on nothing but itself. we might say. of all things in fact (MR 1006-7/38). indeed. unique of its kind. in fact. The love that forms a side of the mystical experience is not the love of one's country. Yet the mystic's love is a love of all humanity. from the period of Matter and Memory. indeed. The distinction is simple. like pleasure. new feelings created by that music and within that music. or one's family.

Bergson says. which remained however contiguous and as it were soldered to it [y: to desire]. ''qui lui etaient adherents''. Bergson speaks first of all of the emotion felt in the face of a mountain: 'Thus the mountain has been able. from always.Appendix I 105 mere copies of emotions found already in nature. which are themselves neighbours of the sensation of seeing the mountain. Bergson continues: 'But [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau has created. We can see with this word 'contemplation' we are very close to the mystical experience. 'communiquer a'. sensation and love reversed itself. participating in it. provoked directly by the mountain came to be harmonized [s'accorder] with the new emotion' (MR 1009/41). this is a creative emotion. This distinct yet contiguous emotion would be love and not desire. participating simultaneously in feeling and sensation' (MR 1010/42). But Bergson not only speaks of the mountain. desire.'a propos d'elle'. we are very close to the mystical experience since we have a new emotion. the pendulum swung. there is an emotion. it is not yet a creative emotion. it was created in the Middle Ages (MR 101/32). that is. in relation to it [a propos d'elle. the relation between desire and emotion. neighbours [voisins] of the sensation. Nevertheless. contiguous with the sensation. we must say duplicates or repeats . we do not have creation out of nothing. 'someone suddenly thought of absorbing [I'on s'avisa d'absorber] . 's'accrochdt a' . This emotion sprang from the soul of Rousseau. Being new and separated by the dative relation (the preposition 'a') from the elementary feelings. Rousseau would not have been able to put the emotion in circulation and allow it to become well known. if the emotion were not some sort of repetition. In order to define this relation. Indeed. in other words. Yet. Yet. they are not caused by nature. 'Rousseau's emotion'. he also speaks of woman: 'from all time woman must have inspired in [inspire a] man an inclination distinct from desire. this emotion cannot be a mere copy. the emotion 'hooks itself onto' (s'accrochdt a) the mountain because 'the elementary feelings. Bergson claims. some relation between creative emotions and the emotions that nature has already caused. joy and not pleasure. to communicate [communiquer a] to those who were contemplating [contemplaient] it certain feelings [sentiments] comparable to sensations and which were in effect adherent to it [qui lui etaient adherents]' (MR 1009/41). which stimulates the procreative sense of men. a new and original emotion' (MR 1009/41). Yet. Although the emotion was there from all time (de tout temps'). which stimulates. from all time. and yet distinct from it. in relation to the mountain. Here we return to the question of sexuality. soldered to it. Bergson is saying that. There is.another emotion and another representation. At this moment. Bergson claims that 'romantic love' has a date. there has been the sensation of woman. la montagne]. that is. the emotion here is caused by the representation of the mountain. however. Again.

Indeed. that sex was included in love as a part in relation to the whole. someone got the idea that love was vaster than sex. is: a personality brought up from the depths of the soul into the light of consciousness. the personality that we are to become or to which we aspire is outlined . which we shall make our own. and to which we wished to attach ourselves for the time being. It is found in chapter one of the The Two Sources. Yet the love Bergson is describing in the mystical experience is more than the love of a man for a woman (or vice versa). This heterosexual love would still be closed. to the depth of what we see: fidelity. we err in relation to the surface of what we see: the face of the beloved is not what it seems due to adornments.27 Bergson is speaking of the love of all humanity. which is ideally the generator of a form to be taken. If we love. her love would only copy the representation. As a matter of fact. we err in relation to what we expect of love. was no longer an end in itself but had become a means to an end. Between the two there are different kinds of illusions of love.106 The Challenge of Bergsonism natural love into a feeling that is somehow supernatural. pleasure had a use in the love of all things. into the religious emotion that Christianity had created and launched into the world' (MR 1010/ 42). it can create only by means of what Bergson calls a 'detour' (MR 1002/33). its ascetic ideal). At this moment. this personality is outlined from the day we have adopted a model. pleasure. since it includes not just all humanity. At this moment (and we have already noted the importance of the Middle Ages for Bergson. but also animals. The detour. as the disciple does to the master. indeed sexual pleasure with another individual. the desire to resemble. which we felt might completely pervade us later. stirring into life within us. he distinguishes between pleasure and love by means of vanity. It is only because the mystic cannot represent the object of her love that the love can be creative. (MR 1004/35) Thus. If we desire. plants and all nature (MR 1006-7/38). the word. Bergson calls this reversal or repetition or duplication of pleasure and love a 'transfiguration' (MR 1010/42). But the object of this love cannot be represented. since it would exclude other people (and therefore include a kind of hatred [MR 1007/39]). the emotion would only be infra-intellectual. What is this detour? We come now to the most crucial description of the 'reciprocal implication' of emotion and image. past. Bergson says that the object is too vast (MR 1005/36). is already resemblance. If she could represent the object of her love. present and future. Because the mystic has no representation of all of humanity that could be copied. Bergson says. is the word whose echo we have heard within ourselves.

something or someone singular. for example]. in order to search in that point the acceptance or the rejection [of a musical phrase.could indeed be a model. this depth is emotion. the repetition ideally creates the form that is to be taken. the image or vision could become entirely representational or symbolic. But this is a strange repetition since. 'the materials furnished by intelligence first fuse and then solidify again into ideas . There is a desire to resemble a model or an example (MR 1003/34) or an image. where one frenzy replaces another. Bergson again compares this creation to musical composition: What is there more systematically architectonic. that is. which intelligence doubtless helped to unfold [s'expliciter] into music. The image . it is the silent voice calling to me like an electric current passing through the telephone wire. This creative repetition happens.he also speaks of imitation (MR 1003/34) . . in other words. It is the precise point where the past turns into the future. that is.and here we understand again why Bergson in his description of the mystical experience speaks of a symbolic vision . the inspiration. Next. (MR 1190/252-3) This is the point where form is transformed. it duplicates that which is to be doubled. Bergson says that the model might be a 'parent' or a 'friend' that we evoke in thought or that it could be a person whose life story we have heard. but which was in itself something more than music and more than intelligence. according to Bergson. when the formulas are filled with matter and the matter is animate (MR 1005/36). like a poem or a prayer. We are again speaking of the paradox of the double. The mystic feels the need not just to act in order to save humanity this kind of action would be based on an emotion caused by the representation . It could even be a mediocre professor mechanically teaching a science that had earlier been created by geniuses (MR 1158/215). the direction. it creates the form that is to be repeated. informed by spirit itself (MR 1014/ 46). Then the desire to resemble is replaced by love. carried out on the intellectual plane. Because Bergson speaks of resemblance and echo here . where pleasure become joy.this relation between personality and image is a duplication or repetition.Appendix I 107 from the day we have adopted a model. more reflectively elaborate than a Beethoven symphony? But through all the labor of arranging. the precise point where memory turns back into life. It comes from the unconscious 'into' (a) consciousness. But it could just as well be something we had to memorize during childhood. In other words. Memory being turned back into life means that the mystic is going to create a new genus. the depth of the soul has to rise to the surface. the musician was turning back to a point situated outside that plane. according to Bergson. selecting. rearranging. at that point there lurked an indivisible emotion. . a linguistic formula.

. Bergson's privileging of Joan of Arc explains why we have insisted on using the feminine pronoun when describing the form of the Bergsonian mystical experience. Here we have equality between different things established by measuring them against a definite third thing. the very image of God (MR 1002/33). has always evoked ideas of equality. Of course. Bergson makes us 'recall the tone and accent of the prophets of Israel' (MR 1038/76). Indeed. But he continues. 'the great mystics are indeed. caused by the representation of the human genus.32 Perhaps.31 Yet Joan of Arc. As Bergson says. Bergson himself temporarily distinguishes the form of the experience from its content. in a scale or balance. When a 'great injustice has been done and condoned'. because. The mystic feels a need. of course. of compensation. it is not even possible to understand the example of Joan of Arc completely without referring to Christianity. The mystic therefore wants to create beings who love to create. '[the Jewish prophets] raise their protest from the depth of the centuries'. We have so far considered only 'the form of the mystical experience'. had a passion for justice. In chapter one of The Two Sources.30 Bergson stresses that the 'beginning' of mysticism. it is not possible to understand the form without referring to Christianity. At the beginning of Christian mysticism. Much like Nietzsche. We might say that the mystic in Bergson wants to create a superhumanity. too. in fact. to transform humanity itself. before 'the Christ'. one of the voices she heard was also the cry of injustice (cf. while he distinguishes the form of the experience from its content. the imitators. demanded [redamerent] it in the name of the God of Israel' (MR 1179/240). The image into which the mystic detours is. of proportion. Because justice is established in . he presents Joan of Arc as an example of a great Christian mystic28 who separated the form of the experience from the content of spreading Christian faith and dogma (MR 1168/228). Thus. 'mysticism and Christianity condition one another indefinitely' (MR 1178/239). The prophets of Israel provided 'the impetus' (I'elari) for Christian mysticism since they 'had the passion for justice. however. it was closed. 'Dynamic Religion'. the 'origin' of Christianity is 'the Christ' (MR 1178/239). as God Himself creates (MR 1191-2/ 254-5). and original but incomplete continuators of what the Christ of the Gospels was completely' (MR 1179/240). not open. in the third chapter of The Two Sources..108 The Challenge of Bergsonism of suffering humanity. by weighing them in a pendulum device. he claims that 'the idea of justice must have already taken shape as far back as the days of exchange and barter' (MR 1033/69). this protest for justice was for the Jewish people alone. The cry of injustice helps us understand better the pendulum image. 'He Himself can be considered as the continuator of the prophets of Israel' (MR 1179/240). the mystic wants to create a 'divine humanity' (MR 1175/235). MR 1039/76). Justice. Bergson makes a distinction within justice just as he did within moral obligation.29 Nevertheless.

Playing on the etymology. absolute justice or charity involves a complete representation only 'at infinity' (MR 1036/74). but. In this sense. charity is always 'unjust charity'. could not give up slavery. arrived at mechanically and always transitory. Unlike relative justice in which each individual has a measurable value. But when the inequality of class comes to look suspect. In fact. in the literal sense of the word: cams. this charity is the essence of mysticism (MR 1238/309). According to Bergson. Because it cannot be completely defined. which makes it swing. being barbarians.Appendix I 109 relation to a third thing. insofar as being human. The ancient Greeks. Not even 'the Stoic who was an emperor [that is. he seems to have ancient Greek democracies in mind (MR 1037/74). it is for- . comes only after Christianity (MR 1040/77). the step was taken towards universal brotherhood. Marcus Aurelius] considered the possibility of lowering the barrier between the free human and the slave. or the idea that foreigners. between the Roman citizen and the barbarian' (MR 1040/77-8). like that of the balance held in the hands of ancient justice' (MR 1037/74). The other kind of justice.33 And even this gift of oneself does not balance the scales. also MR 1007/38. With Christianity. and the third thing is determined by the society (by the customs of a closed society). absolute justice is actually charity. This kind of proportional equality allows for orderly societies. could claim no rights (MR 1040/77). does not break free of closed society. 'outside of the weighing'. insofar as each individual is priceless. towards 'the idea that everyone. we can say that 'ex-pensive' means 'outside of compensation'. Bergson stresses. were of equal worth and that the community of essence conferred on them the same fundamental rights' (MR 1040/77). in absolute justice each individual has an incommensurate value (MR 1037/74). Even democracy.equality measured by a third thing but will extend it into a ratio or proportion (MR 1034/70). Christian love of the neighbour. MR 1025/59. This sort of democratic society still seeks 'equilibrium. Bergson gives the example of Plato's republic but he is speaking of any kind of aristocratic or oligarchic society (MR 1035/71). The pendulum is always unbalanced. which constantly evokes equality. It is the love of all humanity. Here justice has become 'categorical and transcendent' (MR 1039/76). But Bergson's concept of absolute justice goes further than equality of rights. Now Bergson does not specify these democracies. Bergson calls this first kind of justice 'relative justice' (MR 1035/72). 1016/49). He notes that a closed society with a class structure will maintain the same definition of justice .34 Being essentially unjust. it remains true to its 'mercantile origins' (MR 1035/71). 'the aristocracies tend to merge into democracies' (MR 1037/73). because he immediately says that many of them allow the inequality of slavery. 'outside of the balance'. Each person is so 'dear' or 'expensive' that justice can be rendered only by giving oneself (MR 1166-7/225). which Bergson calls 'absolute justice'. cher (cf.

we have alluded to similarities between Nietzsche and Bergson in this investigation. CONCLUSION: THE STAR Almost 40 years later. This way of proceeding is also true of democracy after Christianity. at least in intention.complete Bergson's description of the movement of the memory cone in Matter and Memory pure memory (emotion) and memory-image (symbolic vision). In fact.36 Bergson is a . after the Middle Ages (MR 1040-1/78. The Two Sources is the only published work of Bergson's which mentions Nietzsche's name (MR 1212/278). We find ourselves again at the trumpery of nature. It is an archaeology of the originary experience of the reciprocal implication of emotion and image. today? (MR 1215/282)35 Thus Bergson claims that the democracy of the post-medieval period 'is indeed the most distant from nature. the only one to transcend. the conditions of the "closed society"' (MR 1214/281).I 10 The Challenge of Bergsonism mulated precisely and categorically only by prohibitions. it consists in 'a mighty effort in the opposite direction [sens] from nature' (MR 1216/283). we must say that ethics is fundamentally mnemonic. 1238/308). If The Two Sources is genuinely a book of ethics. while its positive formulas proceed by successive creations (MR 1037/74). then we must say that this ethics is an 'originary ethics'. Bergson says. But the connection between Matter and Memory and The Two Sources is deeper still. Again. as already mentioned. Repeatedly. perhaps of conception. The latter is a book of memory. It is a genealogy of forms and forces in order to transform the human genus. the descriptions of mystical experience in The Two Sources . How is it possible to ask for a precise definition of freedom and of equality when the future must lie open to all sorts of progress. It is not an accident that its first line describes a memory. Bergson calls the example that one follows in open morality a 'memory that remained alive' (souvenir reste vivanf) (MR 1060/99). if we must speak of an ethics in Bergson.the 'reciprocal implication' of emotion and image . the love that defines the mystical experience in The Two Sources is 'essentially still more metaphysical than moral' (MR 1174/234). by negative formulas. Indeed. and especially to the creation of new conditions under which it will be possible to have forms of freedom and equality which are impossible of realization. Objections occasioned by the vagueness of the democratic formulas arise from the fact that the original religious character has been misunderstood. Just as the concept of memory in Matter and Memory was not just psychological but ontological.

Appendix I III reverser of Platonism. His 'Zarathustra' does not descend from his mountain back down to the earth. more than a genealogy. a shining star (un astre). The setting of the Platonic sun in Bergson reveals. But the sinking of the sun in Bergson does not return us to the earth. a night-time sky. . Bergson's mystical ascetic. his star-gazer. turns his eyes to the heavens (cf. MR 1175/235). his 'Zoro-aster'. Bergson's anti-Platonism is an astronomy that looks for other forms of life. More than an archaeology. that sometimes shows one side and sometimes another (cf. with a point. re-ascends. MR 1238/308). across the grey light. using his 'telescope' of memory.

as Bergson notes in chapter four of Matter and Memory.is not a series of distinct terms outside of one another. One will note already this truly new meaning of the word 'memory'. in the special meaning we give to the word' (MM 355/222).which is pure succession. undoubtedly endures. This duration . it is consciousness itself insofar as this consciousness is creative duration.can attempt to communicate in order to lead us to that first experience: I endure therefore I am. Colman i Bergson repeated several times that his entire philosophy had its source in the intuition of the pure duration. Time and Free Will.in the sense in which Bergson speaks of the mediating images of philosophical intuition . that is. the change is not given all at once. and 'all . as described in his first original work. nor a coexistence of the past with the present. a change that. translated by Athena V. and is thereby opposed to invention and creation. But Bergson reunites the impetus towards the future with the thrust of the past in a unique intuition he calls memory. there is really an original intuition of consciousness. That is. but remains nevertheless indivisible. the extension of the past into the present and therefore already memory . The Bergsonian 'cogito' implies this original synthesis of the past and the present with a view to the future. Ordinarily. which is the new sense which Bergson gives to the word 'memory'. its memory. But rather. Memory here is not a particular faculty that is concerned with repeating or reproducing the past in the present.APPENDIX II English Translation of Jean Hyppolite's 1949 'Aspects divers de la memoire chez Bergson' (Various Aspects of Memory in Bergson'). it manifests the indivisibility of a change. memory is only conceived of as a faculty of repetition or of reproduction. He speaks of 'the interior force that allows being to free itself from the rhythm of the flow of things and to retain in an ever higher degree the past in order to influence ever more deeply the future. and that certain images . If one reflects on it. untranslatable exactly into the language of concepts.

and a portion. Indeed. if not arbitrary. In these conditions. does not constitute a particular problem: an attention which could be extended indefinitely would hold under its gaze all the prior sentences with the last sentence of the lesson. the philosophies of becoming with those of being. This problem poses itself at the same time as that of the limits of our attention to life.Matter and Memory . or the impetus of consciousness. that of the determinate conditions of the effectiveness of our action in the world. allows us to understand that Bergson reconciles. 'even then. present and future. but of forgetting' (PM 1388/ 153). and the events that have preceded the lesson. as large as we will want. This memory. at least relative to the expanse of the field that our attention to life can embrace. It is against the background of forgetfulness that the past can stand out as past. Becoming is not reduced to a dust of successive fading instants.Appendix II 113 the possible intensities of memory. that is. The past adheres to the present without. In perception. for not having recognized the separations and the reunifications of the ecstases of the past. from which he concludes: 'We will no longer have to give an account of memory [du souvenir]. therefore. Bergson tells us that memory does not need to be explained because it is duration itself. or. as in the philosophy of the Eleatics. memory. Now we believe the Bergsonian problem of memory . Through memory. one can say that the second philosophical work of Bergson . (PM 1386/151-2) But it is precisely this distinction between the past and the present that constitutes a particularly important problem for us in Bergsonism. as in Heraclitean philosophy. identical to duration. the synthesis of the past and the present in view of the future' (MM 354/220). these two questions are interdependent. nor is being thrown out outside of time. as Bergson has often insisted. spirit is distinguished already from matter in that it is. what comes to the same thing. of what we call our past. but we must first understand how our indivisible. all the degrees of freedom' (MM 355/222).it extends itself into the present in order to create novelty and the unforeseeable. Modern philosophies of temporalization have criticized Bergson for making nothing more of the duration than 'cohesion'.in the various senses which Bergson gives to the term. full duration is able itself to break itself open and give birth to this opposition of a past recognized as such and a present whose axis is titled towards the future. and not solely in his 'special sense' of memory . In fact. duration is as substantial as it is change. the conservation of our past. in his first intuition.is not just 'why forgetting?' but also 'why the distinction between the past and the present?' We do not make this distinction in the intuition of the indivisibility of our duration. The distinction which we make between our present and our past is. however.is an . juxtaposing itself to the present .

in the special sense that Bergson gives to it. incorporates the present or separates itself from that present as now being only historical. memory. the question of what. and has not explicitly studied historical duration . but they all presuppose the first. I mean from this part of our history that does not interest our present action' (PM 1388/153). isolating the soul from the body: 'I shall now close my eyes.human duration in general. of the past that constitutes history. there are. Now. We have to understand. In contrast. but rather as a representation 'of the continuously present which would also be continuously moving'. better. such as 'creative duration'. immediately what is abandoned from the present becomes 'ipso facto' a part of the past. In a word. All these meanings are tied to each other. Matter and Memory is devoted to the problem of the past of the human personality. in order to turn it away from the past.. It is so in the present of individuals. I shall efface even from my thoughts all the . that is. it adheres to the life of the nation and remains present to it.I 14 The Challenge of Bergsonism attempt to raise this problem and resolve it. Bergson adds this remark that allows us to consider how this separation of the present and the past presents itself to him: As soon as this particular attention releases something that it held under its view. in our current history. just as in the present of nations: an event belongs to the past. In relation to this question. (PM 1386-7/152) There would be much to say about this comparison which raises the question of historical duration. and it enters into history when it no longer directly interests the politics of the day. 'Nature'. that is. and can be neglected without the affairs of the country being affected by it. 'has invented a mechanism for canalizing our attention in the direction of the future. It is in this work that the various meanings of the word 'memory' come into view. after having shown how in principle a rather broad attention would hold its entire past with itself. creative duration. But Bergson has not developed this theme. 'knowing something [connaissance] from the past'. 'knowledge [savoir] of the past'. 'image' or the concrete and actualized memory [souvenir} of an event of my former life. the transition from Time and Free Will to Matter and Memory and the different points of view in which Bergson places himself in these two works are able to guide us already.. In Time and Free Will. I shall stop up my ears. Bergson writes. how a certain rupture is possible at the heart of this duration. Bergson discovers duration through an effort of abstraction similar to that of Descartes in the first Meditations. In 'The Perception of Change'. to the problem of the past's distinction from the present and its connection to the present. As long as its action makes itself felt. in his work. however. only a few indicators. not as a distinct representation of the present. our present falls back into the past when we stop attributing to it a current interest.

The majority of the criticisms that were made of Bergson's Time and Free Will concerned this separation between duration and the world and the difficulty of conceiving a pure interior life. we are no longer considering merely pure and undivided duration. a growing indetermination in our reactions to the solicitations of the external world. Matter and Memory deals with this problem of the insertion of our freedom into material being. And I also understand how the notion of the interior and the exterior arises. This is why Matter and Memory starts from the world. there is much more talk of a 'choice' than in Time and Free Will because the material conditions of our realization in the world require certain decisions and certain options. Thus it is in relation to this point that our duration is considered. In contrast. the finitude of the spiritual impetus that we are. in contrast. But this dualism is as untenable as the dualism of the soul and the body. there is succession without 'mutual externality'. then the body. 'mutual externality' without succession' (DI 72-3/108). Rimbaud said. 'In our ego [mot].it is indeed necessary to attempt to bring them together again. by the complexity of its nervous system. In this work. In this way. opens up the essence of a creative duration. I see clearly how my body ends up occupying a privileged situation in this whole. The demands of action. is not the growing richness of this perception likely to .the interior life from the world . The freedom of this pure interior life resembles the freedom of a beautiful soul because precisely the conditions of the realization of this freedom in the world do not seem to be considered by it. In Matter and Memory. this centre of action and organ of my presence in the world. And if this be so. Matter and Memory raises the question of incarnation. Time and Free Will defined freedom by the undivided totality of our self. this is why the role of the body is central in it. and not from interior duration. this dear point of the world. but which condemn us at the same time to maintaining always a certain gap between oneself and oneself.Appendix II 115 images of corporeal things'. In its widest scope. by a rigorous effort of abstraction. lead to this body. because we live in the world and our freedom itself is an efficacious power only insofar as we can make something of ourselves pass into the exteriority of the matter. Action is. But. which allow us to make our deep ego [mot] explicit. but the relationship of this duration to things. which is in the beginning nothing other than the distinction of my body from other bodies. After having so severely separated duration from space . (MM 196/47) While Time and Free Will. Bergson attempts to isolate pure duration from space and the material things with which it is ordinarily mixed. but which succeeds in expressing itself only by renouncing a part of itself. outside of the ego. Matter and Memory refers first to the body as symbolizing.

which adheres to the mechanisms of the body and which is limited by them. Bergson therefore studies spirit as oriented according to its attention to life or on the contrary (this orientation presupposing the reverse . 'the intuition that is reflection'. But before bringing ourselves to this intuition which presupposes a painful effort of spirit in order to seize itself. becomes here in Matter and Memory a certain indetermination connected to the complexity of an organic system. Bergson studies in Matter and Memory the spontaneous functioning of our memory. from this indetermination as from the true principle. (EC 719/264) The human body is this set of utilized conveniences. an instrument of freedom. it solves too many problems.. but which is not powerful enough to forgo its complication. (MM 181-2/31) One really sees how this freedom. and of using the determinism of nature to pass through the meshes of the net which this very determinism had spread. which is necessity itself. Others are possible. possesses too many functions and resources for it not to be a response to some transcendent demand. and then raise the problem of the being in itself of the past and the past for us. this set of obstacles turned aside. when Bergson follows the progress of this complexity 'from the monera up to higher vertebrates' (MM 179/28). This finitude of our spiritual impetus and the necessity of passing through the mechanisms of the body in order to give an efficacious power to our freedom express themselves by this attention to life. do we not see already the thesis of Creative Evolution sketched out: how life was able to obtain from inert material an instrument of freedom? It was a question of creating with matter. for Bergson. the only attention to which humans have access. And. of making a machine which should triumph over mechanism.I 16 The Challenge of Bergsonism symbolize the wider range of indetermination left to the choice of the living being in its conduct with regard to things? Let us start. which is not. even the attention of spirit to itself. we can understand the necessary separation of the past from the present. and as Valery also says: It has too many properties. then. II In Matter and Memory. By first considering this function. which is powerful enough to construct it. which characterize a certain species. which was far away from the world in Time and Free Will. moreover.

Memory always carries itself completely towards the present in order then to make itself explicit. But from genera so sketched out mechanically by habit we have passed. But it is spirit before its reflection on itself. applied to language. of ready-made memories [souvenirs]. for Bergson. The memory [memoire] about which Bergson is speaking. Memory is not merely the mechanical reproduction of the past. and when that idea has been constituted once. The idea. Reflection only appears later. Sense is really what is revealed to us in Bergson's study of general ideas insofar as they are vital schemas which oscillate between a motor habit.in a pre-reflective stage which is first the object of his study. we have constructed (this time voluntarily) an unlimited number of general notions. in actual images which more or less overlap with the situation given in perception. the very reflection that implies a true turning of spirit back upon itself. It is. thus becomes the idea of idea. and a discrimination of individual nuances. but sense. grasped in its work of adapting to the real. by means of an effort of reflection upon this very process. but which leads only to dreams or to a contemplation that is still sterile. but intuition 'which is reflection' can.Appendix II 117 orientation) spirit as slipping away from this attention and escaping into dreams. pushes it to its extreme endpoint in order to fix its results. which intelligence alone cannot achieve. But already the first form of reflection appears there. spontaneously formed as a vital schema. spirit itself. memory plays a primordial role. which. which really presupposes a detachment. at a certain level corresponding to the demands of the action and of the question posed. sense.) In this spontaneous functioning of spirit guided by its attention to life and to the world. will lead to a deeper reflection. an identical response to different situations. Bergson will show how this effort of intelligence. as well as knowledge. (This attention of spirit to itself which Bergson in The Creative Mind calls intuition must not be confused either with the attention to life in its superior forms that provides scientific intelligence. the one which. as an extension of the spontaneous process. But these images are actively created or reproduced. taking up the spontaneous operation. reproducing that process in order to push it up to its extreme ending point or finally as a return of spirit to itself. one must not compare the work of memory to a mechanical combination of images. as we said. or with this abandonment of spirit to the past. It is a supple memory which spontaneously contracts itself or develops itself according to the demands of adapting to the world. to the general ideal of genus. is. and spirit becomes capable of doing this spontaneous process again for itself. deposited somewhere in the brain or . (MM 301/ 161) In Creative Evolution.

We are thus led to interpret the past in Bergson as a set of images which are given ready-made in an unconscious . despite certain expressions in Bergson. its suppleness. Before considering this knowledge of the past as such and its sig- . or its indefinite dilation up to dreaming. at each mental tone. Perhaps it is important to describe this work of a supple memory. before distinguishing with Bergson between the image memory [memoire] (which gives us an original representation of the past) and habit memory [memoire] (which presents in a present corporeal mechanism the accumulated results of past efforts). as complex as is imaginable. writes Bergson. the validity of its hypotheses. because by starting with it we neglect too much the movement of this memory which is recognition at all stages (that is. contrasts with the rigidity of every mechanism. by starting from this memory. which is the discovery of the sense of given situations). This famous distinction. and the double direction. which are. which moulds itself onto the situation and informs it with its own knowledge. What then needs to be explained on the basis of the attention to life is this immanent distinction by which the 'me' [moi] of the past is opposed to the 'me' of the present at the same time as it collaborates with the 'me' of the past. is as outlined. and again. on the contrary. In contrast. we can understand the dissociation required by action between a knowledge [savoir] of the past as such and a precise adaptation to the present which results in an actual process or in a gesture of the body. which is spontaneous intelligence.which. this distinction of the self with itself [de soi avec soi] which the opposition between the past and the present translates and which then the memory [souvenir] that has become actual in an image and the corporeal habit express. since memory is always present'. confirming. with its own experience. In the first case. spirit is always concerned in its entirety. memory [memoire] carries sense. its ability to dilate and contract. through the situation. In this last case. but it simplifies or complicates itself according to the level that it chooses in order to accomplish its evolutions' (MM 250/1045). do not seem to us to correspond absolutely to his conception of living memory [memoire]. the functioning of spirit would be comparable to that of a machine. in the etymological sense of the word. projects. has perhaps distorted the study of Bergson a little. its contraction down to the point of action. would come to complete the given situation. Living memory is stretched out towards the situation to be interpreted. and it is memory which precedes the situation.I 18 The Challenge of Bergsonism in the unconscious. which is the sense of the present by means of the knowledge of the past. with which everyone always starts. at each level. 'in the effort of attention. the direction that leads back towards the ecstasis of the past and the direction that leads to the ecstasis of gesture. 'It is the whole of memory'. The famous image of the cone thus only symbolizes the possible double movement of spirit. 'that passes over into each of these circuits. memory is given in its completeness. But.

between which the concrete self [moi] is always situated. There is. it is therefore in vain that we would seek to read its past in its present if the past were not deposited within this being in the form of . to an actual multiplicity. as he himself says. the ecstasis of the past and that of the present. In fact. while matter only repeats it. (MM 307-8/168-9) Let us not moreover be duped by these mechanical and geometrical metaphors which Bergson makes use of here. Thereby we will try to understand the past as such in Bergson. an unfolding of this or that past situation which serves to interpret the present.Appendix II 119 nificance. This memory responds to the present situation by occupying a certain mental level without dividing itself. that of translation by which it carries itself in its entirety to the experience and thus contracts more or less without itself dividing itself in view of the action. If matter does not remember the past. We are now going to consider the double direction about which we have spoken. more or less freely. Ill Let us first start with this passage which seems to us essential and which shows us why spirit represents to itself the past. let us take note of the double process that Bergson speaks of with respect to the cone. This unfolding can be done at every mental level. the complete memory responds to the call of a present state by two simultaneous movements. in the totality given at this level. that of the image. it is not the case that there are some memories [des souvenirs]. it unwinds a series of moments of which each is the equivalent of the preceding moment and can be deduced from it. and the other of rotation upon itself. the contraction or the expansion by which consciousness narrows or widens the development of its content. it also responds by distinguishing in itself. render explicit more or less arbitrarily according to the demands of a present situation.. . subject to necessity. by which it orients itself toward the current situation in order to present to it that side of itself which is most useful. metaphors to make us rediscover the process of this memory which is spirit.. creates something new every moment. because. We thus pass from a virtual multiplicity. it is because it repeats the past constantly. that of knowledge [satwr]. on the one hand. But a being which evolves. which is why Bergson says the following: In other words. But there is also. but one sole personal past which we can divide. These are only. a situation comparable to the present situation. at every possible stage.

must be able to oppose its past to its present as what one contemplates to what one does. since it is the creative impetus and since this creation in a finite being like us presupposes precisely these two extreme limits of pure contemplation. that the past is acted by matter. still ourselves. without abandoning itself to the disinterested contemplation of the past which would completely detach it from life and from reality. the distinction must be able to be made in it between a past from which it detaches itself and a present to which it attaches itself. In both cases. Our past is what we must leave behind us in order to be able to act. where we unify ourselves with our past. No doubt we must still consider spirit. it is only just one movement or one series of bodily movements. nevertheless. But the true Self [le Soi]. as he raises it himself in his last work. the movement towards the past which results in the ecstasis of a pure knowledge. spirit is outside of itself and loses itself in an unconsciousness. or. In the first case. and the movement towards the present . The finite spirit that we are is even nothing but the effort to unify itself. imagined by spirit. and pure movement. but a mute contemplation. Let us content ourselves here to indicating that the attention to life is not the only .or better yet. towards the future (for which the world of our current perception sketches out possible realizations) . living memory. at the limit. insofar as its impetus is finite. spirit no longer gives itself over to action. to take up a metaphor which has more than once appeared in this book. by which we. the creative sprit has a hold on its future only because it is capable of giving itself a certain perspective upon its past. as uniting in itself the two possible movements. spirit. would not be able to define itself either by one or by the other. and this rupture of which we were speaking previously between the past and the present must appear within the very heart of our creative duration. The ultimate problem in Bergson's philosophy. it is necessary. for the pure memory [le souvenir pur] is not an image. insofar as it is the creation of an unforeseeable novelty. re-create it. Therefore. and for similar reasons. Then. that gesture that is in the process of being done. despite this duality that is always present within it. Trying hard to gather itself together despite a double solicitation. 'of the dreaming which is knowledge'.which results in. according to the direction of the past. (MM 356/223) Therefore insofar as spirit is invention. In the second case. so to speak. we must really situate the creative spirit between these two directions. In this way. it becomes an image only in the effort by which we bring it about. It is entirely contemplation. because we are our past as much as we are our bodies. Our past is. Spirit. The Two Sources. is without a doubt contained in the opposition of these two terms (to which we shall return): contemplation and action.120 The Challenge of Bergsonism memory [souvenir]. the representation of the past is generally conditioned by our impetus towards the future. insofar as its attention to life is limited.

with the distinct objects spread out in space. It is always important to turn back to this passage in Bergson which refuses to turn the pure memory of the past into an image or a multiplicity of images. we are now in a position to understand better what Bergson calls the past. Although. the faculty of seeing should be made to be one with the act of willing . pure knowledge actualizes itself in the affections of the body. However. the two demands. Just as. Without a doubt a memory [souvenir]. if our analysis is correct. by a painful effort. in Bergson. which always sinks us into the past and which always distances us from creative action.through a sort of parallelism between the relaxation of the body. What would be needed is to unite. Indeed.in itself and for us .a correspondence is established between the two which leads to the diversity of dream images. doing violence to our nature.Appendix II 121 attention possible. But this criticism neglects the distinction between the virtual and the actual. the virtual multiplicity of all the aspects of our past life. 'forces him to give to unconscious objects exactly the discontinuity and the multiplicity of objects in the material world'. the two multiplicities that were already opposed to one another in Time and Free Will. turning back on itself and twisting on itself. is only the refuge of an intelligence. In dreams. This existence of the past is considered in chapter three of Matter and Memory. we would not be able to identify intelligible extension with the local extension of things. which is nothing more than a multiplicity of sensations and affections. and the relaxation of spirit which loses itself in the knowledge of our past . contains the details and events of our past life as a virtual multiplicity.which he attributes to it. But 'imagining is not remembering [se souvenir]' (MM 278/135). we would not be able to identify the created extension. but cannot sustain more than a few moments. that pure contemplation. it is true that in dreams . and these affections refer back in turn to this knowledge. Our past. can no longer seize spirit as a creator. philosophical intuition is defined by Bergson as this vision of creative action: What would be needed is that. and the kind of existence . which is given in its totality undivided to consciousness. tends to . (EC 696-7/237) What would be needed is that the pure contemplation by which we define the past be not merely the result of an interruption or of a relaxation of the creative impetus. insofar as it actualizes itself. Unfair criticisms are often formulated against the conception that Bergson makes of the existence of our past: 'His realistic theory of memory'. in Malebranche.a painful effort which we can make suddenly. for example writes Sartre in L 'Imagination. detaching itself from the present. which.

We are bent on regarding perception as only an instruction addressed to a pure spirit. But the past which is at issue in Bergson is my past. This is why the past is not image. without losing its individuality and its originality. 'is without an object'. as we have already noted. the converse is not true. Then. he tells us. it is purely speculative and by that it cuts in upon the present which is action. It would be interesting to compare this conception of the past in Bergson with Platonic reminiscence. I can lose myself in nothing but a pure contemplation. which contains no distinction between the object contemplated and the self which contemplates. as pure memory [souvenir] is itself essentially a knowledge [connaissance] of this kind. in memory the object is no longer distinct from the subject. This pure memory [souvenir] is unextended precisely because it is knowledge and not action. (MM 279/137) The German language allows us to bring the past closer to essence (gewesen et Weseri).knowledge that constitutes our past. it contains the virtual multiplicity of images that I am capable of extracting from it according to the demands of action. and the image. thus following the continuous progress that has led it out from obscurity into the light. provided that we do not confuse essence with the general and abstract. The past presents this characteristic: in the past. as having a completely speculative interest. which. has drawn itself up to essence. the multiplicity of memories [souvenirs]. The different things we know [connaissance] about the world are transposed into the dimension of knowledge [savoir] when it has become my past. My past is only knowledge. or according to the whims of dreams. the knowledge [savoir] of the object has become a knowledge [savoir] of self. therefore. must we understand this past. This is an extreme limit where consciousness tends to disappear. In pure memory. it is indeed in this way it seems that we must understand the past. are only virtually indicated. Without a doubt. This is really a difficult problem. pure and simple. It . (MM 278/135) How. the interiorization of all my lived experience. this relationship in Bergson between this virtual multiplicity and the real multiplicity of the extended world and of the body. since it no longer has an object. pure memory in Bergson. But at its core the past is only knowledge and when I confuse myself with my past. 'Pure memory'. the various aspects. and what is spirit as long as it is only pure memory? Bergson clearly insists on the characteristics of this pure not imagined .122 The Challenge of Bergsonism live in an image. represents the past to me only if it is indeed in the past that I went looking for it. however. we can find between perception and memory [souvenir] only a difference of degree.

We can only contemplate it and not do it. renouncing action. as we have already seen. The difficulty really seems to lie in the necessity within which we are to consider this double relation: my past. the essence of multiplicity and spatiality. ceased to act. powerlessness . But this double relation. a priori in our own relaxation. and the relaxation of the pure creative impetus which expresses itself by means of extension and materiality. unextended. Finally. and it would even perhaps be true to say that all aesthetics. This is why there is an aesthetic of memory. insofar as it is not considered in its relation to present action but insofar as it is pure past [passe] or.allow us to understand what the existence of the past means. . however. is the life itself of spirit. insofar as it is only past. These various characteristics of the past . this past is useless and powerless. This correspondence between spirit which reduces itself to its past and renounces action and materiality which is an interruption of the absolute creative impetus is at the centre of Bergsonian metaphysics. but not completely. my present is sensori-motor. There is. My past. becomes nothing but knowledge [savoir] of the past. is what I am in itself [en soi]. in certain respects.absence of an object. 'There is no more reason to say that the past erases itself once it has been perceived than there is to suppose that material objects stop existing when I stop perceiving them' (MM 284/142). but spirit insofar as it is only contemplation. considered from this point of view. This is the aspect of creation. the past. But this correspondence on which Bergson insists in Creative Evolution with regard to the 'ideal genesis of matter' shows us that we carry within ourselves. since it is overcome [depasse] by my action insofar as it is new. The past has not ceased to be. towards the past and towards the future. it has. insofar as I can change nothing in it and can only contemplate it in myself [en moi]. insofar as it is something 'overcome'.Appendix II 123 looks as though there is a certain correspondence between the relaxation of my spirit which. but which can only make this addition. and my past insofar as it is still for me [pour moi] and insofar as it is waiting for its ultimate sense from my action. if one takes the liberty to play on these words. however. precisely because this relaxation is not spirit insofar as it is a creator. another aspect of art on which Bergson has also insisted. my past. which corresponds to the two possible directions of spirit. leads us to the past. This 'in itself is opposed to the becoming of an ego [moi] which always adds a new sense to what already was. the aspect of the work. on the basis of this past which then re-becomes for us [pour nous]. no more stops existing when I stop realizing it than the objects of the world stop existing when they are not present to my consciousness. by means of which mute contemplation brings itself about in an image or in a present object. Since it cannot completely repeat itself in my action. being contemplation. My past is disinterested. 'a thing of the past' [depasse]. Bergson says.

The objects of the world are partially given to our consciousness. . on the contrary. on the one hand. on the fact that the thrust of the past. But this is precisely why in the midst of this creative impetus the . no longer interests us. our discovery of the world goes from the part to the whole (since our perception disposes of space exactly in proportion to how our action disposes of time). 'but the same instinct.124 The Challenge of Bergsonism The past in itself has not therefore stopped existing. The difference between the existence of the objects of the world and the complete existence of our past is based. it is synonymous with creative duration. our past also conditions our present 'but without determining it in a necessary manner' (MM 289/148). we understand how this creative impetus differs from this repetition and from this identity towards which matter tends. on the fact that. insofar as it is useless. There are no memories which are 'independent and fixed beings' (MM 305/166). does not completely determine our future. as non-existent. therefore. Finally. in virtue of which we open out space indefinitely before ourselves. on the other hand. but we must observe 'the solidarity of psychological facts always given together to immediate consciousness as an undivided whole which reflection alone cuts up into distinct fragments' (MM 305/166). But this is an illusion due to the demands of the attention of life. Our future really depends in certain respects on our past. but repeats it tirelessly. 'If matter does not remember the past. that these conditions are realized. by denouncing the practical illusion of which we were previously speaking. the horizon of our possible action in the future. prompts us to close off time behind us as it flows' (MM 286/145). although none of its past states manifests itself explicitly in character' (MM 289/148). is initially given only as an undivided totality. and (2) the logical or causal connection of what is in this way presented with what precedes and what follows . for the objects of the world as well as for our past. it is because it repeats the past continually. it is this total knowledge that always follows us. and when we join back up with the total impetus (this is the first meaning of the word 'memory' [memoire]. And all our interest bears on the progressive discovery of this world which represents our future or is joined to our future.. The difference between the existence of objects of the world and the complete existence of our past is based. 'Our psychological life as a whole reveals itself in our character. beyond the part present to consciousness. while our past.. but in a different way. which constitutes our duration.one notices. since there is nothing we can change about it. And the rigorous order of the laws of nature makes it such that this world does not distinguish itself from its past. It is thus considered. But our past is also given to us in a certain way. of which we are parts). in this way its past is truly given in its present' (MM 356/222-3). which is self-knowledge. If in fact one reflects on the conditions of existence that Bergson reduces to two fundamental conditions (1) the presentation to consciousness. The past. that is our current perception. The world sketches.

the distinction of the past and the present in a human individuality is relative to the tension of his memory. even though duration and living memory are still constitutive of this Ego. there is some arbitrariness in the distinction of past and present. in the richness of my actual indivisible duration. even if. nevertheless the necessity of a retrospection and of a prospection. And thereby it seems that one could conceive Bergson has insisted on this many times . if one did not take into account a certain separation. of a relaxation towards the past and of a tension towards the future imposes itself.contemplation and action . It looks as though it may be necessary to go still further by interpreting the article which Bergson has devoted to false recognition. In this way. This is why. relative to the proper rhythm of his duration. I call past what I can only contemplate without using it or without including it in the richness of my lived present. insofar as it is overcome [depasse]. more or less freely.which is for us fundamental in Bergson's philosophy as a whole. it would no longer be correct to speak of the past. and by means of the tension which reunites the two moments. The effort of spirit presupposes this duality. the separation of what is contemplated and what is done. (MM 356/223) The separation of the past and the present. in humans. The distinction is therefore more or less arbitrary. Of course. IV We come back now to this opposition . considered in its thrust and in its impetus. In this case. it is therefore in vain that we would seek to read its past in its present if the past were not deposited within this being in the form of memory [souvenir]. from Time and Free Will up until The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. creates something new every moment. but the effort makes sense only by means of the unity which envelops it. results at once from the demands of the attention to life and from the creative impetus which characterizes duration. to the present as creator in relation to this past. considered in contrast as distinct from the present and from the future.a completely indivisible duration of the Ego [Moi]. which. the creation of a new future. It is true that one would conceive badly. to the memory of the . is not without power but which.Appendix II 125 demands of action oppose the past. at least in a finite being like us. can only be powerless and merely contemplated. this opposition of its past and its present. We now come back to the fundamental comment which has inspired our entire analysis: But a being which evolves. we understand the difficulties of the conception of the past for Bergson.

beyond the attention to life. However. we recognize or we are going to recognize the present as if it had already been lived 'in an indeterminate past'. But. would manifest itself to consciousness only on the occasion of an interruption of the attention to life. And when one wants to realize it. We thus see ourselves in the gestures that we are making. perhaps. which expresses perhaps the essence of all contemplation.) What looks to us to condense the philosophical position that Bergson wanted to take is a formula which would invert the terms of one of Plotinus' propositions cited by Bergson: 'Action is a shadow of contemplation. The past. as the shadow accompanies the person who moves. taken by itself. We want only to indicate these perspectives of Bergson's metaphysics. participate in the source of all creation and in turn create . It would be the other side of the creative impetus. but the attraction of the future would prevent us from seeing it. suspending. would always accompany in principle the lived present. but at that moment. The very contemplation of our personal past is imageless. short of a painful and rare effort which. is a reciprocal implication of elements of which we cannot say whether they are one or many. contemplating in it its proper past. In this way we have seen the past which can only be contemplated. such that we are not able simultaneously to contemplate and to do. it is mute. we truly stop acting. The past. in its essence.' And. which would result in contemplating the present instead of projecting it towards the future. without interrupting the impetus. would in this way find its source in this other side of action. this contemplation would appear as a summit. from the conditions of the attention to life demanded of the human species. in this reflection of the present in its past. Creative action would always have its shadow. Thought is a continuity. materiality justifies itself. for Bergson. selfcontemplation. for an intelligence that would detach itself from life. It looks as though the whole is given. (Likewise. to contemplate the present as the past in this way is to stop acting. It is in this way that sometimes we recognize the present.126 The Challenge of Bergsonism present. we have not been able to treat here the difficult problem of the image in Bergson which would require taking up all of his philosophy under this aspect. an intellectual effort is necessary which draws up more from us than there was at first. profiles itself always as the other side of the present oriented towards the future. In this. express it in images or works. but these gestures appear to us with a character of destiny. It is to interrupt the very impetus of life. duration as creator. But this inversion of the impetus. one must say on the contrary and this would even hold for the mystics who. as this beautiful passage from Bergson shows: A thought. In this way contemplation would always be possible. pure knowledge [savoir]. and in .that 'contemplation is the shadow of action'. would allow us to reflect creation itself as creation: this would be intuition.

The effort is hard. it is at one and the same time the obstacle. which demands an effort. and the stimulus.Appendix II 127 all continuity there is confusion. Just in this way does matter distinguish. separate. It tests our strength. one has drawn up more from oneself than there was. as yet cost nothing in toil. but it is also valuable. and calls for its intensification. On the other hand. the poem which is no more than a dream. side by side. Thought which is only thought. it is the material realization of the poem in words. thanks to the effort. it is indeed necessary that it scatter itself in words. even more valuable than the work which it produces. This effort was impossible without matter. because. the work of art which is only conceived. the instrument. tendencies previously confused in the original impetus of life. Our only way of taking account of what we have in mind is to set down on a sheet of paper. the terms which interpenetrate one another. By the resistance that it opposes and by the docility with which we endow it. of the artistic conception in statues or in paintings. (ES 831-2/22-3) . resolve into individualities and finally into personalities. For a thought to become distinct. matter provokes and makes effort possible. one has raised oneself above where one was. keeps its imprint.

22. The Old and the New. Memoire et vie. Deleuze. p. also. Bergson. we assert the persistence of existences. Etudes critiques. Phenomenologie de la perception. Deleuze. But the catalogue lists a 1939 French translation of The Will to Power. Henri Bergson. 8. Delbos. 378. 832 and 1180. Levinas. in Les philosophes celebres. What is Philosophy?. 298. Bergsonism. in Time and the Other and additional essays. Phenomenology of Perception. p. Sein und Zeit. pp. Merleau-Ponty. Qu'est-ce que la philosophic?. Levinas. p. p. This footnote does not appear in the Citadel Press English translation: 'Once more. The first mention on p. On the contrary. Heidegger. 1859-1941. Revue de metaphysique et de morale. Deleuze and Guattari. Apparently. pp. 10. . p. he never owned a copy of Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals. p. 9. Bergson's personal library is housed at Bibliotheque Doucet in Paris. in Time and the Other and additional essays. 76. textes choisi par Gilles Deleuze (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 2. Deleuze constructs this slogan for Bergsonism on the basis ofPM 1260/19. 832 is a 1910 letter that suggests that he had a rather good understanding of Nietzsche long before The Two Sources. we have in no way pushed substance to the side. The Old and the New. 432-3.. Deleuze. in Les philosophes celebres. p. 11. 76. pp. 3. p. 30.Notes Preface: Memory and Life 1. How could one compare this doctrine to that of Heraclitus?' 12. And we believe we have made it easier to represent that persistence. 48-9. 500-1. p. pp. 1957). 298. 132. 1897. BER 108/104. 4. 7. p. Being and Time (SUNY). 133. 50. Bergson. pp. Being and Time (Harper and Row). Bergsonisme. Bergson mentions Nietzsche twice in Melanges. 416-17. Cf. 6. 5. EC 501/8. 1859-1941.

Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. the conquest of its own essence or novelty. p. p. pp. 410-11. par 1'analyse des fails et la comparison des doctrines. 6. Selection of Images (181-92/31-43) V. in Melanges. 3. Isolated from Affective Sensation (206-9/58-61) X. Phenomenology of Perception. pp. Meditationes de Prima Philosophia. this 'confusion' is precisely what makes the Bergsonian concept of the image interesting and important. which concludes with a chapter on 'rhythmanalysis'. 8. see Appendix I. 10. Lechalas. p. Natural Extension of Images (209-12/61-5) XI. p. Cinema 1: The MovementImage. 2-3: 'The evolution of the cinema. 1491). and the emancipation of the viewpoint.' . 12. Image and Affective Sensation (201-3/52-5) VIII. Deleuze. Real Action and Possible Action (169-73/17-22) II. Passage to the Problem of Matter (215-18/68-71) XIII. 7. of course. pp. 11. p. For more on The Two Sources. Descartes. See Bergson a G. and the section would no longer be immobile but mobile. Phenomenologie de la perception. Cinema 1: L'Image-mouvement. 23. p. Image and Reality (197-201/48-52) VII. The original preface concludes by saying: '[La philosophic] doit nous ramener. Realism and Idealism (177-81/25-30) IV. 361. 5. p. See Bergson a G. The Table of Contents lists the following titles. Image. The Latin term is. was to take place through montage. in Melanges. In this regard. Cf. Merleau-Ponty. 83. Nature of Affective Sensation (203-6/55-8) IX. In this regard it is difficult to understand Sartre's criticism of the Bergsonian image in his 1936 L'Imagination. as if this idea is an advance over Bergsonism. Edition du Centenaire. Cinema 1: I'lmage-mouvement. 56. Melanges. which became separate from projection. 11-12. 411. it is hard to understand Gaston Bachelard's criticism of Bergson in his 1936 The Dialectic of Duration. 9. Representation (173-6/22-5) III. aux conclusions du sens commun' (CEuvres.Notes 129 Chapter One: The Concept of the Image: Phenomenology 1. The shot would then stop being a spatial category and become a temporal one. This idea of 'the socialization of truth' refers back to the idea of a closed society and its natural instinct for self-preservation. 72. Lechalas. The Relation of Representation to Action (192-7/43-8) VI. to which I have added the page numbers: I. Deleuze. The cinema would rediscover that very movement-image of the first chapter of Matter and Memory. Bergson extends this idea to mysticism in The Two Sources. p. While Sartre is correct when he says that Bergson has 'constamment confondu le noeme et la noese' (p. 51). Passage to the Problem of Memory (218-23/71-6) 2. the mobile camera. p. 57. fingam. 4. 59. Pure Perception (212-15/65-8) XII.

The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. Bergson. vol. p. Other positive uses of the word 'symbol' can be found in chapter one. See Appendix I. Deleuze. Although he does not use the word 'correspond' there. Lechalas. 17. perhaps. p. But. Being and Time (SUNY). pp. 19.. Sein und Zeit. p. 3. La voix et le phenomene. We return to it in Appendix I. see Leonard Lawlor. This hesitation or interval is very important. p. Deleuze constructs this slogan for Bergsonism on the basis of PM 1260/19. Being and Time (Harper and Row). 1. of pure perception with the poverty and luxury of sexuality in The Two Sources. pp. Heidegger. the description resembles the descriptions in chapter one where he speaks of a correspondence between two systems of images (MM 191/41). The Visible and the Invisible. 500-1. 411. La voix et le phenomene. 75. pp. In a working note from February 1959. 82. Speech and Phenomena. also. in Melanges. 1. Derrida. Bergson a G. 201. 298. 20. Heidegger. 16. p. p. Merleau-Ponty. p. Bergsonism. p. 2. MM 187/ 37. but it is precisely because there is only a difference in degree between the image and representation that Bergson can say that we perceive in the thing itself. p. 416-17. 57). Nietzsche. La nature. 14. an image to which we shall return in Chapter Two and in Appendix I. Sartre in L}Imagination correctly understands what Bergson is saying about the concept of the image ('on ne saurait trouver de reele difference'. 5. Bergsonisme. p. Derrida and Husserl (Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Coming from Heidegger. 15. 2002). MM 355/222. Again. is a machine for the making of gods' (MR 1245/317). 228. Deleuze. Nietzsche. Heidegger.. Le Toucher . 18. 104. For more on Derrida's interpretation of Husserl. 21. Here we must think of the telescope.Jean-Luc Nancy (Paris: Galilee. 117. in our perception. Merleau-Ponty says that Wesen in the sense of a verb is what 'Bergson rather badly called "images"' (Le Visible et I'invisible. p. 2000). this superficial repetition. and that the thing is not in us. 1859-1941. Bergson describes this specific type of symbolization in chapter four. p. 104. . we have to say that Merleau-Ponty in The Visible and the Invisible is also not doing a phenomenology of perception. vol. This comment should be compared to the last sentence of The Two Sources: 'the essential function of the universe . 205/56. One could compare this poverty and luxury. 83. EC 501/8. See also Derrida's more recent. translated by William Lovitt (New York. Harper and Row. Derrida. Chapter Two: The Concept of Memory: Ontology 1. 108. Cf. 1977). 174). Deleuze. 432-3. p.130 Notes 13. 233. the idea of Wesen in the sense of a verb is at the centre of Merleau-Ponty's later thinking. p. 4. Speech and Phenomena.

23. as Deleuze and Hyppolite do. For an English translation of this essay. 14. p. The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. p. Bergsonisme. suggests the possibility of a second cone. 10. in terms of needs and therefore in terms of instincts. Bergson also compares memories. he calls this past that was never present 'an indeterminate past' or a 'past in general' (ES 899/111). Bergsonism. therefore. See MM 250/105. 203. p. A memory. the elan vital. for Bergson. the word 'hot' is not itself hot. appendix two. p. Bergsonisme. tome 1. 50. p. between emotion (memory) and image (matter). the other image Bergson provides. taken as a whole. Deleuze. or.. 11. or. See. We could say that there is a 'reciprocal implication' between memory and matter. See Husson. 'Memory of the Present and False Recognition'. See Vieillard-Baron in his 'Que sais-je?' volume. p. p. Bergson suggests that the two forms are not really independent (MM 231/85). 18. For more on 'the whole of obligation' see Appendix I. in a word. 123 21. 12. 20. PM 1275/35. I am obviously following Hyppolite and Deleuze. 55. the hypnotist uses a word to suggest the feeling of hotness. which is not a sensation. In the discussion of the difference in nature between the two forms of memory. It is very important to remember that Bergson specifies the impotence of pure memory in terms of utility. see Appendix II. Bergson had not yet made the distinction between creative or supra-intellectual emotions and infra-intellectual emotions. at least. or better still. Figures de la pensee philosophique. Bergson (p. appendix two. Deleuze. For more on this distinction see Chapter Three and especially Appendix I. creative emotion. 50. 121-2 17. Indeed. tome 1. For more on this image of the night sky and planets. is like this suggestive word. p.Notes 131 6. 1). Bergsonism. one can focus on the metaphysics of memory. it designated the set of functions of intellection. where he says that '. In Bergson's 1908 essay. 50 n. When a hypnotist makes someone hypnotized feel hot. comprehension'. 16. 55. for example. p. L'Intellectualisme de Bergson. to the suggestive word of the hypnotist. 51 n. 21. p. the word "intelligence" designated the set of superior function of knowledge. Bergsonian . Cf. Hyppolite. 13. 480. that is. When one considers these two famous chapters one is always confronted with a decision. 8. 482. Memory purified of images is life. that is. a reciprocal implication between emotion (memory) or image (matter). 15. Insofar as Bergsonian memory is Platonic forgetfulness.. but. 7. does in his book on Bergson. One can focus on the psychology of memory. Heidegger. Figures de la pensee philosophique. in the early text. 19. the affections or feelings involved in perception are infra-intellectual emotions. in reference to the function of memory in recognition. as Jankelevitch. regardless of the distinction one can make between them. pure memories. at the time of Matter and Memory. see Appendix I. obviously. Clearly. 22. Hyppolite. 9. 1 and p. nature. for instance.

1148-9. See Jankelevitch. Theorie de I'intuition dans la phenomenologie de Husserl (Paris: Vrin. MM 197-9/48-50. Totalite et infini. 363. 60. p. Levinas. in Michel Foucault. See. Michel Tournier et le monde sans autrui. See Vieillard-Baron. Cf. CounterMemory. The Old and the New. 56 n. 318-19. Melanges. to use Bergson's later terminology. Nietzsche. Cf. p. Les mots et les choses (Paris: Gallimard. We will follow the other direction in Appendix I. 1907-1968. Ideas I. we could call this zone. 25. 328. pp. in The Logic of Sense. p. 11. pp. 1984). 12. 133. 'Pure variation' is Deleuze and Guattari's definition of a concept in Qu'estce que la philosophic?. p. 6. in Homage a Jean Hyppolite. 80. 8. p. a kind of 'point of diffraction'. p. Le temps et I'autre. pp. Foucault. 171. p. 52. paras 124. 271. 3. 9. p. Emmanual Levinas. Bergson. Time and the Other. 14. p. 1973). Logic and Existence. Genealogy. 20. 190. But. Levinas. 25. Le Temps et I'autre. 15. p. See Michel Foucault. 18. English translation by Andre Orianne as The Theory of Intuition in Husserl's Phenomenology (Evanston: Northwestern University Press. 19. Levinas. We return to The Two Sources in Appendix I. Bergson. See Deleuze. 1966). p. p. See Husserl. for example. Totalite et infini. again following Foucault in The Archeology of Knowledge. Jean Hyppolite. 131. Melanges. pp. 47. 1970). in Language. 17-18. Michel Tournier and the World without Others. 83. Time and the Other and additional essays. in Time and the Other and additional essays. I have appropriated this idea of a grey zone from Foucault. Levinas. 7. Chapter Three: The Concept of Sense: Ethics 1. pp. in his Nietzsche. 775. 23. 10. 4. Nietzsche. and p. History. Practice. on the education of the senses. 48-9. 71. you are confronted by forces that are not strictly and exclusively moral. 56. Hyppolite. la genealogie. 17.132 Notes memory is really what Foucault calls a 'counter-memory'. See Foucault. p. 89-90. 202. Totality and Infinity. p. MR 1056/96: 'but in the two cases [open and closed]. 13. . 163. History. as in Appendix I. Bits et ecrits. Logique et existence. 1. 130. Calling it a point allows us to connect this zone to Bergson's metaphor of a revolving star or planet (un astre). English translation by anonymous translator as The Order of Things (New York: Random House. 2. Levinas. p. And thus connected to the elan vital. We shall return to this intersection between Bergson and Nietzsche in Appendix I. in Logique du sens. Genealogy. pp. What is Philosophy?. pp. 5. Totality and Infinity. 1954-1988. 24. 1'histoire.' 16. 20.

371. The actual letter is from 29 December 1688. to trace 'the genealogical tree of life' back to its 'root' (EC 531/43). 94). Melanges. as Bergson himself says. para. calls 'the morality of mores'. static religion fills in this deficiency and reattaches us. 2. it is an appendix to Chapter Three above. Melanges. in particular. pp. is called upon to fill in any deficiency [deficit] of attachment to life' (MR 1154/210. magic apparently worked (MR 1116/166). Cf. 2. At the beginning. 3. also MR 984-5/13). Since. Deleuze explicitly compares Bergson's 'the whole of .Notes 133 21. magic is rational and not madness (cf. 1961). p. 1 in the French. Appendix I: The Point where Memory Turns Back into Life: An Investigation of Bergson's The Two Sources of Morality and Religion 1. 7. 'Religion is that element which. Bergson et le Christ des evangiles (Paris: Fayard. in The Genealogy of Morals. Concerning Bergson's idea of ethics. Magic becomes irrational when it extends itself in the direction of evil spirits and the mechanical repetition of incantations (MR 1117-18/168-9). 5. 22. Bergson takes this phrase (MR 1179/240) from Henri Delacroix's study of mystics (Etudes d'histoires et de psychologie du mysticisms). Ill of Lettres. 789. especially. 362. 361. TM 1090/136). to life in closed societies. 17. 3. p. 6. n. Conclusion: Think in Terms of Duration 1. There are two main descriptions of duration in Bergson's corpus: chapter two of the Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness (Time and Free Will in English) and the first eight pages of Creative Evolution. in beings endowed with reason. Strictly. n. see second treatise. for Bergson. individuals. like Creative Evolution. 154. and this efficacy is why magic contributed at times to the progress of science. See Henri Gouhier. before its indefinite extension. Melanges. 372. we have to see The Two Sources as an attempt. The Two Sources 'goes beyond the conclusions of Creative Evolution' (MR 1193/256). p. para. Like Nietzsche who had already recognized that religion has the function of'curing' depression (On the Genealogy of Morals. or more precisely. p. 294-6 of vol. We return to the question of mysticism and creative emotion in Appendix I. 4. 2 in the English. MR 1012/44 for Bergson on 'feminine' sensibility and see. 24. By means of the fabulation function. See Melanges. 23. for example. The closed morality in Bergson is identical to what Nietzsche. third treatise. Bergson says. p. pp. 2.

see Nietzsche et la philosophic. see Chapter One. 4/2001: 453-64. Cf. 10. Bergson follows Rousseau's Second Discourse. see Chapter Three. we must note that it functions in both static and dynamic religion. ' "semi-personal powers" or "efficacious presences" . 14. 5). On the Genealogy of Morals. We return to the nature of this experience below in Section III. at times it seems as though there is overproduction. It has willingly followed fashion [la mode] and manufactured with no other thought than selling' (MR 1236/306). Nietzsche and Philosophy. II est plus pres . 133. in Les Etudes philosophiques. Etudes de mysticisme. 19. On the Genealogy of Morals. 51. 21. As Bergson says. see the Conclusion. are. this irrational cause of war has been exacerbated by the spirit of invention. There he quotes Ravaisson: 'Dieu nous est plus interieur que notre interieur. 50. at the beginning was vanity. 11. obligation' to Nietzsche's 'morality of mores'. according to Bergson because production in general has not been organized well. so that there is no way to exchange all of the products (MR 1235/305-6. L'intelligence gagnee par 1'intuition? La Relation entre Bergson et Kant. But. Modern science continually expands in its discoveries. p. 13. 153. Modern science has not therefore produced artificial needs.. second treatise. 365. Cf. artifice and artificial or fake). See Frederic Worms. Nietzsche.. See MR 1012 n. For more on these three terms (art. He says. industry has not concerned itself enough about the greater or lesser importance of the needs to be satisfied. From ancient times onward. 1235 n. 17. Bergson says. is whether the spirit of invention necessarily creates artificial needs or whether the artificial needs have guided the spirit of invention (MR 1234/ 304). humanity would be vowed to a growing materiality. and these discoveries stimulate new inventions. modern sciences. No. See later in this section why it is necessary to use the feminine pronoun. 1/44 n. 1/306 n. 12. for Bergson. humans have always invented machines. and for more on Madame de Sevigne. 2 for Bergson's discussion of a mother's love for her child. 'If that were so. But Bergson claims that we cannot say that modern science is responsible for the startling quantity of new inventions in the last few centuries. While Bergson introduces this idea of efficacious presence in the discussion of static religion. 16. 'Generally speaking.134 Notes 8. pp 78-9. the spirit of invention. p. p. 11. 18. Delacroix. 12. 15. we believe. For a brief discussion of the distinction between creative emotions and non-creative emotions. para. 9. at the origin of religion' (MR 1142/196). The question concerning technology. Again. In this comment Bergson does not limit the word 'religion' to static religion. p. what Bergson says in his 1897 'Compte rendu des "Principes de Metaphysique et de psychologic" de Paul Janet'. Bergson thinks that agricultural overproduction is a deception. para. 20. second treatise. On Inequality. and industry have only given what has been asked of them. p. Nietzsche. for the progress of science will never stop' (MR 1235/305). According to Bergson. Here as often in his discussion of war.

Cf. XCV. 23. As great Christian mystics. 276. This comment must remind us of Foucault's idea of the continuing work of freedom. This not feeling the deprivation is. 2. p. 27. The Second Sex. 272). in CEuvres poetiques completes. 32. 24. For a careful reconstruction of Joan of Arc's life. 31. 30.. 379-87. according to Bergson. Jankelevitch. the 'trumpery' that intelligence plays on nature. pp. 264-5. pp. 35. 34. . Bergson's Influence on Beauvoir's Philosophical Methodology. 58-9. See also Jankelevitch.. See also Melanges. 28. 391). Here we can again refer to Joan of Arc. deBeauvoir's distinction between mystical women of action (she mentions Joan of Arc) and narcissistic female mystics in The Second Sex resembles the distinction Bergson makes between incomplete and complete mysticism. Bergson. pp. Claudia Card (New York: Cambridge University Press. 2003). D'Une erreur fondamentale dans les 'Deux Sources' de M. homosexual desire and love. Bergson himself is basing his comment about Joan of Arc on Henri Delacroix's study and the poetry of Charles Peguy. 49. The anxiety of the mystic seems to contradict what Jankelevitch says: 'il n'aura done plus d'insomnies ni d'angoisse' (p. 36. See Chapter Three for more on auscultation in intuition. Melanges.. 25. No. 44-5. See Charles Peguy. also allows for non-heterosexual. Nietzsche. We have suggested this connection between Bergson and Heidegger in Chapter Two. p. pp. Bergson is aware that static religion can adopt an image such as that of Joan of Arc and thus convert her image into 'imperialism' or fascism. Again we must see Bergson's discussion of anxiety in The Two Sources as quite close to that of Heidegger in Being and Time. however. 7 in the Preface. p. pp. The Genealogy of Morals. 189. 275. 1933. which allows for the openness of love. 270-1. Joan of Arc. Also Noe Gottlieb. de nous que nous ne le sommes. p. See n. Bergson. 1586-7. Simons. See also. 28-9. Bergson mentions St Paul. Bergson. St Catherine of Sienna and St Francis. see Edward Lucie-Smith. Revue des Etudes juives. But see Jankelevitch for a different view on death in Bergson. See deBeauvoir. Bergson. Le Mystere de la Charite de Jeanne d'Arc. that is. para. Bergson. pp. 33. 390. Jankelevitch. Of course. pp. ed. second treatise. St Teresa. While she does not cite Bergson. 678. 29. in The Cambridge Companion to Simone de Beauvoir. sans cesse et a mille egards etrangers a nous-meme' (Melanges. 36-7. what Jesus means in the Sermon on the Mount when he speaks of the 'poor in spirit'. Cf.Notes 135 22. Indeed. Margaret A. See MR 1239-40/310-11. 26.

1959. 2001. Bergson: Key Writings. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 1995. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. translation of L'energie spirituelle. Ashley Audra and Cloudsley Brereton. New York: The Citadel Press. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics. Cours I: Lecons de psychologie et de metaphysique. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. translation of La pensee et le mouvant. edited by Keith Ansell Pearson and John Mullarkey. M. 1999 [1911]. Mineola: Dover Publishing Company. English translations Mind-Energy. translated by R. Andison. psychologie et metaphysique. Edition du Centenaire. 1972. translated by Mabelle L. The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic. IN: University of Notre Dame Press. Cours III: Lecons d'histoire de la philosophic moderne. translated by H. 1992 [1946]. translated by Cloudsley Brereton and Fred Rothwell. New York: Dover. Los Angeles: Green Integer.Bibliography Works by Bergson CEuvres. Horsfall Carter. S. . Cours II: Lecons d'esthetique. 1920. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Creative Evolution. 1998 [1911]. Theorie de I'dme. Pogson. Palmer. 1992. Lecons de morale. Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. 1977 [1935]. L. Paul and W. London: Continuum. Notre Dame. New York: Zone Books. Wildon Carr. translated by Arthur Mitchell. translated by N. London: Macmillan. 1994. 2001 [1913]. translated by F. Melanges. 1990. with the assistance of W. Matter and Memory.

Bachelard. Paris: Aubier. 1956: 77-112. Viroid Life: Perspectives on Nietzsche and the Transhuman Condition. 292-9. Marie. Gilles. Lectures Bergsoniennes. Barbaras.Bibliography 137 Texts by other authors Ansell Pearson. Paris: Vrin. La Metaphysique nouvelle. London: Routledge. Levinas and the Political. Couchoud. essai sur la relation du corps a 1'esprit. Marie. April/June 2000. 1989. 1991. in John Mullarkey . Grenoble: Millon. 'Matiere et Memoire' de M. Edward S. Marie. Singularite et sujet: une lecture phenomenologique de Proust. 2000. English translation by Melissa Mcmahon as Bergson's Conception of Difference. 1967. Matiere et Memoire. 1919. Keith. Gaston. 1949. Stephen. Roland. Jones. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Henri Bergson: The Philosophy of Change. W. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Bergson: 1859-1941. Vol. Victor. Cariou. C. La Dialectic de la duree. Marie. London: Routledge. Barbaras. Renaud. Paul-Louis. 1950 [1936]. Crocker.. 2. Carbone. 1997. Deleuze. pp. 1994. redacteur. Ansell Pearson. 2002. London: Routledge. London: T. Simone. H. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Mauro. Bergsonisme. Deleuze. Bergson et Bachelard. 1987. Paul. The Oscillating Now: Heidegger on the Failure of Bergsonism. Revue de Metaphysique et de morale. La Visibilite de I'invisible.. 2002. La Conception de la difference chez Bergson. 1990. Breeur. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Leibniz. Le Deuxieme sexe. Revue de metaphysique et de morale. Keith. New York: Zone Books. La perception. Parshley as The Second Sex. Bergson. Bergson etLucrece. 1999. Gilles. 1976. Les Etudes Bergsoniennes. New York: Cambridge University Press. English translation by H. C. Ansell Pearson. Frederick. Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual. 1995. 1992. Cariou. Paris: Hatier. Fall 1997: 405-23. Caygill. Casey. Bergson et le fait mystique. 1956. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. in Maurice Merleau-Ponty Lesphilosophes celebres. No. 2000. and Douglas. Renaud. 2001. Cariou. London: Routledge. English translation by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam as Bergsonism. English translation by Mary Mcallester Jones as The Dialectic of Duration. Cariou. 1897: 353-89. Paris: Aubier. 1997. Howard. Paris: Mazenod. Keith. 1978. L'Atomisme: Gassendi. Cariou. Marie. Carr. deBeauvoir. Remembering: A Phenomenological Study. Burwick. Philosophy Today. The Crisis in Modernism. Deleuze. Paris: Gallimard. Delbos. Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag. Germinal Life. 4. Revue Philosophique de la France et L'Etranger: Rationalisme et Mystique au xvii siecle. 1902: 225-43. M. New York: Vintage Books. Manchester: Clinamen Press. and C. Gilles. Le tournant de I'experience.

Gilles and Guattari. 2. Paris: Gallimard.). English translation by Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell as What is Philosophy?. 1969: 131-4. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 1960: 37-62.138 Bibliography (ed. NY: Cornell University Press. originally published in Revue de Metaphysique et de morale. English translation by David B. New York: Pantheon. Deleuze. Allison as Speech and Phenomenon. Paris: Gallimard. Gilles. in . pp. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. English translation by anonymous translator as The Order of Things. Freud. Meditationes de Prima Philosophia. 1973. Cinema 2: L'Image-temps. Ithaca. Deleuze.com). 1969. Jeanne. English translation by Alan Sheridan as The Archeology of Knowledge. Qu'est-ce que la philosophic?. Felix. Zehnter Band: Werke aus denjahren 1913-1917. Jean Hyppolite. Foucault. Michel. 1977. 1967. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 2000. English translation by Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta as Cinema 2: The Time-Image. Deleuze. Foucault. Michel. pp. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1970. 1966. Les mots et les choses. No. 1907-1968. in Language. History. Cinema 1: L'Image-mouvement. in The Logic of Sense. Bouchard and Sherry Simon as Nietzsche. Theorie des multiplicites chez Bergson. Manchester: Clinamen. Genealogy. pp. New York: Columbia University Press. (ed. 1949. 1991. 1994. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Paris: Minuit. Paris: Vrin. Nietzsche. New York: Columbia University Press. Michel. in Logique du sens. 1978. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. in Gesammelte Werke. Practice. 1954. Jacques. 1989. Rene. 264-303. Foucault. Descartes. 'une conference' (downloaded from the Internet at www. in Homage a Jean Hyppolite. pp. 1972. 5. Robin. La voix et le phenomene. English translation by Paul Fatten as Difference and Repetition. Das Unbewusste.. 2000. Les etudes bergsoniennes. Difference et repetition. Deleuze. Delhomme. Sigmund. in Dits et ecrits. 1983. Vol. Vie et conscience de la vie. 1990. 1969. Paris: Minuit. New York: Columbia University Press. Meditations Philosophiques. 1994. Paris: Galilee. English translation by Constantin Boundas as Michel Tournier and the World without Others. Paris: Gallimard. English translation by Donald F. London: Imago Publishing Co. 1999. 1'histoire. 139-64. 1954-1988. 1971. Derrida. English translation by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam as Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. Paris: Minuit. Foucault. 42-65. Paris: Minuit. 1985. Gilles. Le Toucher -Jean-Luc Nancy. Gilles. 1986. New York: Random House. Durie. Michel. Gilles. Deleuze. Derrida. Jacques.webdeleuze. Jeanne. 770-85. L'Archeologie du savoir. 1994. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Delhomme. Time and the Instant. Nietzsche et Bergson: La representation de la verite. The New Bergson. Deleuze.). Gilles. pp. Counter-Memory. la genealogie. English translation by James Strachey as The Unconscious. 145-72. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 1968. Michel Tournier et le monde sans autrui.

1997. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. 1997. Revue Internationale de Philosophie. 116-50. Martin. London: Longman. Henri. Kersten as Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. Gilson. New York: Cambridge University Press. Vol. Edmund. New York: Harper and Row. Ideen zu einer reinen Phdnomenologie und phdnomenologischen Philosophie. 1962. Paris: Desclee de Brouwer. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Presses Universitaires de France. Martin. 1996. Revue des Etudes juives. Hyppolite. and Co. I. in Nietzsche. Fecundity. Vladimir. Vol. 189. 1979. Hyppolite. Band 6 (Intuition undlntellekt bei Henri Bergson). James. Husson. Heidegger. Martin. Paris: Fayard. Den Haag: Martinus Nijhoff. Jean-Christophe. 1933: 4. James. Albany: The SUNY Press. D'Une erreur fondamentale dans les 'Deux Sources' de M.. 1961. 1983. Leon. William. Scott E. Logique et existence. 1947. Martin. Hicks. Vol. Pfullingen: Neske. Sein und Zeit. The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. 1. 1. 1976. New York: Harper and Row. Gutting. 1977. translated by Michael Heim. Gottlieb. English translation by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson as Being and Time. Bristol: Thoemmes Press. 1961. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. New English translation by Joan Stambaugh as Being and Time. Heidegger. 1984.). Paris: Vrin. Heidegger. . The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.. 1959. 1994. Noe. translated by William Lovitt. La phenomenologie de 1'intensite. and Memory. 177. Basic Problems of Phenomenology. New York: Random House. 1996. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. 1971. Jean. Jankelevitch. 1904. The Problem of Novelty in Levinas and Bergson. Recommencement. 1. L'Intellectualisme de Bergson. Vol. Gesammelte Werke. Henri Bergson. La revision Bergsonienne de I'esprit.. Varieties of Religious Experience. Bergson et le Christ des evangiles. translated by Albert Hofstader. Green. Martin. No. Gary. No. 1953. 1991: 122-9. English translation by F. French Philosophy in the Twentieth Century. Bernard. Figures de la pensee philosophique. General Psychological Theory. James. Albany: The SUNY Press.Bibliography 139 Philip Rieff (ed. Heidegger. Roman. 45. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Bergson. 2001. 1979 [1927]. pp. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Herman. Buck: Allgemeine Einfuhrung in die reine Phdnomenologie. William. 2002. Collected Essays and Reviews. William. Der Wille zur Macht als Kunst. Tubingen: Niemeyer. Gouhier. Ingarden. The Writings of William James. 1967. unpublished manuscript. Tubingen: Max Niemeyer. Husserliana Band III. Goddard. English translation by David Farrell Krell as The Will to Power as Art. Jean. New York: Harper and Row. 1982. Heidegger. Fruhe Shriften zur Erkenntnistheorie. Daniel. 1994 [1920]. XCV. Nietzsche. Husserl. New York: Touchstone. English translation by Leonard Lawlor and Amit Sen as Logic and Existence. Mysticisme et folie: Essai sur la simplicite.

New York: Routledge. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. . Emmanuel. A. New York: Norton. Derrida and Husserl: The Basic Problem of Phenomenology. Maurice. Merleau-Ponty. 1964. 1945. English translation by Alphonso Lingis as Totality and Infinity. Levinas. Paris: Fata Morgana. d'apres un nouveau livre de M. Maurice. Marion. 55. Levinas. 1969. English translation by Andre Orianne as The Theory of Intution in Husserl's Phenomenology.. 1911. Thinking Through French Philosophy: The Being of the Question. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1984. 1973. Annales de philosophic chretienne. English translation by Richard C. 1984. Lawlor. Bergson. 1979. Gordon Andison. June 1897: 314-34. Phenomenologie de la perception. New York: Philosophical Library. Paris: Gallimard. Edward. Emmanuel. Lechalas. 1968. R.) Levinas. Leonard. A. Bergson. 1988. Emmanuel. (The other essays are Diachrony and Representation. 1985. 2003. No. The Philosophy of Bergson. 1961. which first appeared in The University of Ottawa Quarterly. May 1897: 147-64. Paris: La Difference. Lucie-Smith. Levinas. English translation by Colin Smith. Vol. English translation by Richhard Cohen as Time and the Other and additional essays. English translation by Simon Critchley and Tamra Wright as Transcendance and Intelligibility. Merleau-Ponty. Basic Philosophical Writings. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Jean-Luc. James Edie and John O'Neill. 1986. Emmanuel. 1961. Le Visible et I'invisible. 1962. Matthews. D. Andison. Paris: Gallimard. Paris: Edition du Cerf. Twentieth Century French Philosophy. Totalite et infini. Theorie de I'intuition dans la phenomenologie de Husserl. Merleau-Ponty. Maritain. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press. Simon Critchley and Robert Bernasconi (eds). 1996. troisieme edition corrigee. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 2002. Paris: Gallimard. Levinas. Peperzak.. Georges. London: Dent.140 Bibliography Lacey. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press. which first appeared in L'ancien et le nouveau. Jacques. Maurice. Matiere et memoire. 1989. 1964. 4. Le Temps et I'autre. Signe. 1987. En Decouvrant I'existence avec Husserl et Heidegger. Evanston: Northwestern University Press. Paris: Vrin. Paris: Vrin. Joan of Arc. and The Old and the New. New York: Oxford University Press. McCleary as Signs. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul. revised by Forrest Williams as Phenomenology of Perception. Transcendance et Intelligibility Geneve: Labor et Fides. translated by John Wild. 1955. Emmanual. Lawlor. in Adriaan T. Maurice. 1996. Leonard. 2001. 1982. Lindsay. Boston: Kluwer. In Praise of Philosophy and other Essays. in collaboration with J. Merleau-Ponty. translated by Mabelle L. Bergsonian Philosophy and Thomism. English translation by Alphonso Lingis as The Visible and the Invisible. 1976. Eric. Prolegomenes a la charite.

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73. 29-30. 20-1. 82. 127 artistic creation 9. 38. 108-9 becoming 48-9. 64 present action 38. 17 psychic blindness 25-6 the body 3. 28 art 8-10. 67 bodily injury 33 bodily movement 38-9 bodily needs 64 bodily pleasure 95 known from the inside 11. 49-50. 57. 42-4. 40. 83 analogy of the sun 56 anxiety (inquietude) 102-3 aphasia 39. 86-7. 59. 44. 53. 122 acquisition of bodies 55-6 bodily functions 23-4. see the soul the brain 1. 91. 102-3. 45. 82. 82.Index abnormality 87. 114-15. 111 automatic recognition 72 automaton 35. 64-5. 22. 100 the absolute 62 abstract 10. 23. 39. 99. 79. 77-9. 40-1. 75. 102 possible action 14-15. 82-3 alterity x. 53. 11.11 Berkeley. 118. 120-6 acts of love 104 centre of action 14-15. 32. 9. 44. 113 being ix-x. 87. 26. 67 affection 4. 30 artificial metaphysical constructs 67 artificial needs 96. 99. 53. 53. 58. 12-19. 15. 23. 45. 52. 52-4. 111 associationism 36-7 astronomy xi. 75. 26. 28 as a machine 15-16 memory of the body 31 and the soul. 57 Bergsonism. 57. 17-19. 107-8. 73-4 aphrodisia 85-6. 85. 89-91. 117 as instrument of analysis 16-17 as instrument of selection 17 damaged by a lesion 39. 87-8. 11-17. 36 allegory of the cave 56 alteration x. 67-8. 102. 82 an artist painting a portrait 81-2 the artistic picture 8-9 artless general ideas 68 artless symbol 52 artifice 2. 106. 122 action 2. basic principle of 1. 57 a doubling of being 43 for us 7. 27-8. 53. 123. 22 as memory ix roots of our being 79 senses of being x. 17. 11-12. 96-8. 58 as storehouse of memories 30 makes indetermination possible 53 . 47. 67. 62. 95-8 appearance 5. 35. 32. 52. 49. 74. 54 real and virtual 24-5 and superior equilibrium 89 to turn away from action and matter 68 adaptation 32. 21. 22 in itself 7. 42-3. 7. 52. 80. 110-11 Aristotle ix. 69. 61. 89 balance 56. 10-11. 31. 24. 120. 49. 69. 99 artificial extension of vital needs 86 artificial intelligence 16. 36. 104. 23. 89-91. 99-100. 73. 114-17. 24. 47-8. 25. 74. 134 artificial obscurity 2 artificial self 99 asceticism xi-xii. 70. 113 as conscious presence 57 conceived as time 49. 62. 40 archaeology xi. 78. 72. 89.16 known from the outside 11 the lived body (Leib) 16. 34. 3. 60. George 5 biology 92 blindness 14. 115 future action 32 and mysticism 79.

68 customary maxims 100 death 10. 100 closed morality 89-90 closed society 92. 69-70. 28-30. 110 of perception 1 of presence 1. 60. 95. 69-70 a function of the unconscious 49 immediate data of consciousness 62-3 presentation to consciousness 42-5. 93. 56. 135 deception 97-8 decision 41. 82. 72. 99. 67.82. 23. 51. 7. 122. 49. 65. 65. 9-10. 52. 124 between matter and memory 30. 45 change 7. 101 copy 6. 44. 112. 45. 88. 23. 62 of the dynamic schema 53. 89-90. 27. 39. 68-9. 34. 9. 115-16 Christianity 108-9 Christian ideal 97 chrysalis 6-7. 55-6. 41-4. 79 cause and effect 53. 27. 24. 41-3. 97 constitution of objects 18 of representations 27 contact 5. 118-19. 124. 91. 53. 61 a vision of death 88 De Beauvoir Simone x. 53. 13. 72 conscience xii. 19-20. 80. 79-80. 72. 1. 104 creative repetition 107 creativity 77 critical philosophy 68 Crusoe. 105-6 creation 80-3. 77-8. 51-4. 72 the summit 46-50. 89. 28. 92. 63. 14. 53 continuous line 25-6 continuous movement of intellectual effort 50 continuous whole 31 contraction 19. 17. 56-7. 117-19 of habits of action and thinking 67 psychological state of tension or contraction 90 conversation 72. 105 communities 92-4 complexity 6. 18. 100 closedness of the past 41 colour 5-7. 110-11. 89-90 customary direction of thought 64-5. 58. 75—7 of vibration 7 of the will to live 99 concession to idealism 5 conditions of experience.25-6. 59. 102. 57. 68. 107. 100-1. 108. 34. 67. 56. 79. 68-9. 75-7 of the image xiii. 126-7 of becoming 48-9.58. Robinson 68 custom 2. 135 the dead weight of the past 40. 43-54. 5. 21-2.48-50. 55. 60-3. 7 consciousness x. 119-26 of beings who love to create 108 creative duration 112-15 creative emotion x. 1. 35. 48-9 present consciousness 57 synonymy between consciousness and existence 40. a priori 54-5 necessary condition of war 92 sufficient condition of war 92-3 the cone x-xi. 105. 102-3.115 decoupage 8. 64. 57 between memory and being x between the survival of the past and the absolutely new 82 between two forms of memory 47. 120-6 contiguity 50-1. 21-22. 98. 38. xii-xiii. 56-7. 3. 112-13 character 41. 23-4. 104.53. 101 cinema 8. 70. 129 civilization 85-6. 61. 83. 58. 9. 79 chain of appearances 41. 126 the conscious and the unconscious 100-1. 92-4 contemplation 14-15. 51 communication 16-17. 46. 126 confidence 88.55. 49-50.144 Index causal connection 42-3. 45 of our past 113 of the species 92. 77-8. 54-5. 49 of sense x. 65. 18. 71. 69. 64 of intuition 63 of memory xi. 14-15. 99 connection to light 64 logical connection 42-3. 45. 119. 33. 27. 131 the base 46-50. 43 conservation 20. 75.9 11. 82 computer 16 the concept of absolute justice 109 of the concept x of duration ix. 64. 27-8. 10 deduction 18 . 124 charity 109 charlatanism 87 choice 1. 24. 107 consciousness of the body 57 conscious perception 18-24 conscious subjectivity 49 conscious syntheses 18 enlarging consciousness 63. 96-7 closed 41. 105 continuity 6-7. 4-5. 18-21.

52. 121 discourse 61-2 disequilibrium/imbalance 87-9. 7. 89-90 between intuition and language 70-1 between memory and perception 30. 128-33 democracy 109-10 depth 6. 133 creative duration 112-15. 36. 88. 15-17. 48. Jacques 5. 38. 55. 67 of words 70 dogmatism 67-8 doubling 55. 45. 131 between matter and memory 48. 51. 37. 54. 91 quantitative and qualitative differences 82 between supra-intellectual and infra-intellectual emotions 104 difference of degree xii. 54. 9. 60. 106 development 76 dialectic 72 difference 4. 106-7 Derrida. 34. 127 dualism xi. 65. 26. 79-83. 48. 87 of expression 83 of formulas 88 good sense as bi-directional 78 ill-directed industry 97 of the love of all beings 98 misdirection (tromperie) 86. 60. 26. 68. 62-3. 77-9. 99-100 distance 18-19. 60. 64. 52. 26. Victor xiii Deleuze. 9. 60. 88. 91. 98 difference in kind 89-90. 83. 22. 60 the future deduced from the present 11.and supra-intellectual emotion 104-6. 7. 22. 113 of the personality 26 of physiological labour 15. 107. Gilles xi-xii. 42-3. 29-32. 30. 61-2. 123 145 directed toward action 79. 75. 122 between love of family and love of nation 104 in sexuality 95. xiii. 17. 43. 105-6 destruction 33. 21. 110. 16. 107 of the present with the past 58 of the psychological state and the material object 42 of the self 99 of what the other person has said 77 drawing 24-5. 58. 131 between infra. 68-70. 27-8. 41 of the material world 48 perception deduced from matter 18 Delbos. 104. 32-5. 117. 83 historical duration 114 inexpressibility of the intuition of 83 the logic of duration 82-3 relationship to things 115 thinking in terms of ix duty 89-90 . 65. 66. 48. 17. 24. 52 dreams 13. 19. 34-5. 104 between open and closed morality 89-90 between patriotism and mystical love 104 difference in nature 4. 120 double viewpoints 69 double vision 26 duality of forces 91 of good sense 56 of matter and memory 43. 89. 59 of habits 33 of the image 65 of memories 51 detachment 24. 115. 4. 60. 82 indivisibility 82. 38 between habit-memory and regressive memory 35. 30. 115 duplication 7. 37. 56. 51. 35-6. 81.Index deduction (continued) consciousness deduced from matter 27. 105-7 duration ix-x. 59. 51 direction 2-3. 76. 38-9. 54. 8-9. 21-2. 11. 60 between spirit and matter xii diminution 7. 118. 78. 107 of consciousness with the unconscious 58 double direction of good sense 78 double frenzy 86-7 double movement of the cone 48. 120. 79. 11-13. 12. 80. 97-9. 130 Descartes. 10-11. xiii. Rene 2. 70. 129 desire 90. 70. 57. 104. 119-20. 17. 39. 69 the paradox of the double 99. 112-15. 99. 72 the divided line 55-6 division 21. 86. 70. 34. 72. 121-2. 22. 48. 118. 135 of sexuality 97 of thought 64 the turn of experience as bi-directional 69-70 of what returns from the past to the present 99 discernment 22. 36. 62. 65 of the body 59 of brain cells 39. 22. 3. 101-2. 24 discontinuity 7. 60. 124-6 formula for ix. 52. 43. 81 deep repetition of 98 difference in complication 15 difference in direction 32-5. 120 detour 100. 42-4. 98 differentiation xiii. 30. 72-4. 24. 40-3.

82. 62. 62. 64-5. 110 created by repetition 107 distinguished from content 108 fluidity of 99 formalized self 99 . 29. 36. 60 the central metaphysical problem of existence 29. 19-20. 42 external perception 1. 102.68 the fabulation function 88-9. 110 events 51. 131 form 10. 70 of the impetus of love 90 of the instant 21 intersubjective experience 66 of matter 21 of memory 58. 70. 75-8 Index of difference 73 of duration 62. 113 forgetfulness/forgetting 21. 40. 110 of obligation's inflexibility 90 of the other 61 of pleasure 95-6 of the reciprocal implication of emotion and image xi. 101. 124 experience 2. 70 human experience 68. 54. 47 feeling 36-8. 87 emotion 25. 92-3. 38-40. 42-3 identification of consciousness with existence 40 a new philosophical idea of existence 44 of the past 121.106. 101 schema x. 9. 104-6 fiction 2. 85. 110. 4. 38-9. 126 eternal 54 quasi-eternal singularities 60 ethics x-xi.146 dynamism dynamic dynamic dynamic 23.110 duality of forces 91 foresight 41. 51. 52. 131-2 element 35-6. 13.28 fleshism 1. 76-7 equality 108-9 equilibrium. 70 of consciousness 63. 30. 79. 60. 95. superior 56.and supra-intellectual 104-7 of the mystic 90. 72 of alterity or alteration 73. 13 of the destruction of the world 13 the flesh 16. 41 of the will and action 102-3 echo 106-7 ecstasis 118-20 ecstasy 79. 88. 49. 66-7. 87. 63-4.17 existence 9. 52 effort 31-2. 102-3. 99-102. 26. 20. 122-3. 68.99.15 external things 1 external world 1-2. 7. 99-101. 117-21. 21. 87 effects 32. 107. 10. 78. 110 creative emotion 79. 131 empiricism 66. 89-90. 75 force 25. 16 flow 63. 43-4. 99-100 a new and original emotion 105 relation with image 86. 123-4 two conditions of existence 45-6. 86. 78 process 47-8 religion 87. 78-9. 20. 121-3 exteriority 13. 99. 109 essence 53-4. 47. 63. 106-7.100. 70. 98-100. 70.90-1. 74 in the present 20-1 enlargement 2. 110 religious experience xi of repetition 21 of spirit 30 true experience 67-8 turn of 2. 24. 69. 53. 101 extension 4. 82. 74. detached and discontinuous experience 66. 54-8.103. 113. 89. 10. 100 elan vital 62. 99 classic versus true 66 superior empiricism 99 enclosed in one society 79 in particular linguistic conventions 72. 50.83. 69-70 equilibrium 78-9. 66. 58. 99. 100. 103-4. 105-8. 68-9 of union with God 102-3 uninterrupted experience 65 of the vital impetus 99 expression 83. 74. 39. 76 of a priori conditions 54 of death 61. 12. 100 the force of religion or intuition or emotion 99 infra. 133 factual perception 19. 102. 83. 17. 50. 65. 115 externalisation of the experience of inflexibility 90 external objects 14. 91. 35. 38. 98-9. 125-7 egoism 88. 97 the unforeseeable 76. 83 exceptional experiences 99 false experience 67 fragmented. 72. 27. 76-7 an unrepeatable event 80 evolutionary argument 15. 131 emotional disturbances 87. 83. 61 mystical experience xi. 76. 89. 104.

106. 82 147 humanity 79. 77 ideal 20-21. 36. 28. 70. 47. 97-8. 8. 131 Hymenoptera 92 the hyphen 33. 56. 131 habit 2. 62. 52-3. 85-6. 57. 43. 78. 61. 29 hypothesis of pure perception 19. 25. 130. 11-13. 10. 109 grey zone 24. 106. 17. 70-4. 19-20.74. 131-2 ideas 44. 110 of the universe 13 imagination ix. 103 the Greeks 45. 103. 18. 103. 106-10 divine humanity xi. 68. 52 hypothesis 2-4. 6. 123-6 already seen 99 the coming moment 81-3 dangers of 88 moving forward into 102 open to progress 110 the past turns back into the future 107 of the species 103 genealogy xi. 72. 78-9. 36. 60 nebulosity of 51. 40. 92. 77. 19-20. 96. 76-7. 103.Index form (continued) formation of the ears and throat muscles 74 forms of life 111 forms of memory 19. 24. 88. 106 Heidegger. 120. Michel 62. 23. Jean x. 81. 9. 56. 3-14. 101-3.70 immobility of ideas 55-6. 117 Bergsonian versus Platonic ideas 56 clear and distinct 23 dynamic and static see general ideas the idea of the darkest night 102 the idea of the good 56-7. 17. 78 dynamic 23. 101 the future 11. 102-3. 12 identification of memory with weak sensation 37-8 of consciousness with existence 40-3 identity x. 80-3. 51. 111. 99. 32. 62. 58. 27-8. 135 hesitation 16. 124 image xiii. 105 hearing 64. 67-8. 76 static and inert 10. 72-3. 6. 128. 129-31 the brain as one image among others 45 of the cone see the cone) of evil spirits 88 of God 108 imaging ix. 76-7 genuine experience of matter 7 geometry 6. 23. 19. 67 the habit of contracting habits 67. 95. 1. 18-19. 47. 112. 76. 32-38. 22. 53. 106. 134 good sense 2. 89. 38. 23-6 God 13. 50-2. 16. 106 idealism 1-5. 106. 101 harmony 64. 100. 96-7 ascetic ideal xi-xii. 72. 71 the habit of erasing resemblances between objects and states 40 habituation 89-90 motor habit 52-3. 77. 47. 109 need to transform humanity 108 super-humanity xi. 61. 107 . 108 hunger 94-5 Husserl. 27 hypothesis of weaker and stronger states 36-7 opening hypothesis 2-4. 35. 55-6. 89 proliferation of 88 relation with emotion 86. 108. 68. 61. Martin ix-x. 75. 52. 47. 120-1 to imagine is not to remember ix. 115-16 and necessity 11. 34-5. 55. 53. 88. 85. 56 idle talk 87-8 illusion 8. 72 hooked and folded 99 of the mystical experience 100. 56. 53. 34 frenzy 86-7. 34-5. 74. 131-2. 108. 110. 117-18 the force of nature or instinct or habit 99 habit-memory 33-5. 60. 87. 24. 70. 108 new forms of freedom and equality 110 the point where form is transformed 107 of what returns 99 Foucault. 25. 40. 26 imaged self 99 movement-image 8. 129 of the pendulum 56. 44-5. 110. 35. 69-70. 103 superior good sense 79. 43. 110-11 general ideas 23. 50. 49. 56. 99. 132 Husson. Harald 63 homogeneity 10. 66. 117-26. 99-100. 96-9 functions 22-4. 121 imitation 99. 85. 14 Hyppolite. 32-5. 99 history 114 Hoffding. Leon 49. 64-5. 90. 104. 112-27. 49. Edmund 13. 11-12. 60-1. 90.60. 70 freedom 2. 110. 108 human experience 2 human fraternity 98 human genus xi. 88-9. 101. 43. 104. 51-2. 135 fragmentation of experience 66-7.117 hallucinations 13-14. 45-6. 110 human intelligence 87 leaders of humanity 98 love for all humanity 89.

44. 98-100. 17. 66 interval 10. 7. 102-3. 116. 69-75. 77-8. 112-13. 99 intuition x. 89-90. 99. 19-20. 76-9. 73-5 philosophy of x. 117 the absolute of language 71 linguistic convention 71-4 linguistic formula 107 particular languages 71. 131 humiliation of 87 infra-intellectual emotion 104. 88. 106 impoverishment 76. 124 disinterestedness 88. 75 writing 83 immanence xi. 82 of consciousness 13 immanent sense ix the immediate 61. 131 of language 73 two ways of knowing 44 true knowledge 2. 51 impetus 62. 113-16. 135 Joan of Arc 108 joy 79. 3. 107 justice 108-9 absolute justice xi. 98 indeterminacy 18-19. 62. 117. 63. 120-7 boundless 103 for Christian mysticism 108 of love 90-1 to move beyond contemplation 102 vital 62. 71. 50. 70-1. 16. 35. 126 of duration in mystical rapture 79 as good sense 78 method of xiii. 75. 102-3 implication 77. 108. 92. 95. 87-8. 83 madness 86-8. 121. 64. 90-2. 82-3. 105. 19. 25. 30. 120. 49. 131 the war instinct 86. 91-4 intelligence 49-50. 39. 68-9 immediate communication 8 immediate consciousness xii-xiii. 92. 98 . 101. 95 intentionality 27-8 interest 22-23. 129. 23. Immanuel 54. xii. 62-3. 3 immediate development 78 immediate experience 2-3. 122. 75 individual action 52 individual consciousness 19 society and individuals 90. 52 plane of intelligence 91. 131 intellectual and social plane 83 intellectual work 78 intelligibility 45. 100 industry 93-4. 134 interior organization of movement 8 interior life 40. 27. 122. 97-8. 61-3. 95-6. 103. 70 immediate perception 19-21. 70. 70. 38-40. 80 impersonal 20. 106 reciprocal implication 100. 53. 41. 20-21.112. 121. 61-71. 67. 79 internal complication 77 internal continuity 8 internal voice 101. 68. 53. 50. 115-16 indetermination of motor actions 18 individuality 23. 25. 116-17. 107. 2. 64. 118-26. 99-100. 15. 107 instantaneous 7. 106. 89. 61. 10 language 10. 92 interiority 13. 53. 24-5. 124 immediate contact 18 immediate data xii-xiii. 23^1 immediate reaction 24 immediately in the midst of ideas 75 immediately in the past 50 linguistic immediacy 61 the immutable 45 impassibility 54. 98-100. 109-10 formula of 109-10 passion for justice 108 juxtaposition 80 Kant. 103 interruption 64-5 intersubjectivity x. 72 the whole of language 71-2. 134 knowledge 2-3. 97 inner life (see interior life) insanity 79.148 Index intensity of action 18 of sensation 38. 52. 33-5. 85. 23. 133 mental illness 87-9. 100 morbid states 87. 100-2. 107 supra-intellectual emotion 104-5. 75. 24 indetermination 18. 131 tool-making intelligence 92. 63. 134 inversion of the senses 64 of thought 68 Israel 108 Jesus Christ 89. 23-5. 91 phrenesia 86 inspiration 105. 115.92-3. 78. 126. 108. 63-70 of pure duration 112 of sense 77 thinking starts with intuition 64 as a turning from action to spirit 68 of the whole 76 invention 2. 90-1. 10. 36 quasi-instantaneous section of becoming 48-9 instinct 63-4.

88. 29-30. 49 two forms of memory 19. 101-2. 117-22. 98. 58. 79. 63-4. 69. 59. 85-6. 73. 85. 25. 125 chain of memories 45 conservation of memories 45-6 covered over by others 85 the impassibility of memories 54 inserting memories 16. 104. 101. 131 singular memories 50-1 unconscious memories 69 Merleau-Ponty. 58. 1. 43. 78 memory ix-xi. 64. 85. see matter mathematics mathematical point 21 mathematical problem 77 matter xii-xiii. 39. 118 of an invisible and silent presence 101 memorized self 99 memory as an experience 58. 85-6. 78. 48-52. 120-1. 10. 85. 92 of the two fold frenzy 99 League of Nations 86 leap 25. 99. 114. 72. 63 memory turns back into life 85-6.18. Maurice ix. 55. 40-2. 116-21. 65. 114-17. 98. 128. 96. 61-2. 38. 35 Levinas. 106. 120. 50-1. 17. 104. 55. 107 not just psychological but ontological 110. 28. 57 material world 11-14. 112-13. 101. Nicolas 121 materialism. 110 metaphysics of (see metaphysics) pure memories 65. 23-5. 109 more metaphysical than moral 110 mystical love 104 and pleasure 106 of pleasure 96. 54. 35. 111 love 62. 107. 28. 1. 10. 42. 7-8.Index laughter 8. 44. 119. 51-3. 49-50. 15-21. 21. 22. 107 actualized/materialized in sensations 36-7 connection between two forms of memory 47 constantly new organization 81 effort of memory 19 elimination of memory 20-21 habit-memory 32-5. 26-9. 49 regressive memory 33-5. 65. 72. 96. personal and interior 19—20 supple memory 117-18 true memory 46-7. 43. 42-3. 34-5. 45-6. 60 progressive memory 32. 63. 124-6 detachment from 88. 78-9. 48. 46. 58-9. 77-9 learning a lesson by heart 31-3. 110. 131 memories (souvenirs) 19—21. 4-5. 122. 49-50.98 romantic love 10 superior love 84 luxury 23. 126-7 animate matter 107 fall into matter 56 material cause and effect 53 material destruction 45 material energy 9 material life 8 material object 22. 19-24. 34 memory turns back into life 107 the point where memory turns back into life 85-6 requirements of 7 a simpler life 102 a superabundance of 103 light 5-6. 47. 39 the plane of the material universe 57 return to matter 69 the source of forgetfulness 56 to turn away from action and matter 68 a vision of matter 8. 49. 30—6. 110 of all beings 89. 45 material reality 55 material universe 23. 9. 28. 75-6. 56. 51. 134 mechanical repetition see repetition magic 88.72. 107. Emmanuel x. 53. 130 149 machine 15-16. 82. 68. 41. 58. 10 law 18-19. 83-4. 11. 61. 127 attention to life 34. 30. 104-6. 115-16. 28. 68. 40. 32. 133 Malebranche. 60. 124-5 active memory and memorization 32. 86. 7-13. 130 as a power absolutely independent of matter 30 primacy of ix. 89-91. 61.47. 81 memory-image (image-souvenir) 33-7. 28. 80-1. 81. 39 motor mechanism 17 mediation 20. 132 life x. 104. 42-4. 20 on which tools work 93-4 meaning 2 logical meaning 76 mechanism 16. 53-5. 72. 102. 69. 68-9. 94. 70. 16. 68. 25. 8.31-5. 101-2 life's necessities 22. 39. 48 materialism 1-5. 72. 29 the materiality of our existence 48 the materiality of memory 36-7. 39. 128-30 . 31-9. 106 of all humanity 89. 78. 32. 46-7. 130. 123-4. 45. 50-3. 58-9. 54. 68-70. 106-7. 123. 53 as subjective.

71. 33. xiii. 110 of morality and religion 85 mysticism as a genuine origin 104 of the present 55. 89-90. xiii. 104-5. 101. 134-5 charity as the essence of 109 Christian mysticism 102. 81 origin 55. 99-108. 99. 1-3. 86-91. 47-50. 112-13 Nietzsche.150 Index habit-memory more natural than regressive memory 34 laws of 124 misdirection of nature 86. 89. 19. 97 natural articulations 6. 129.58 the other 59. 104. 74. 33. 6-9. 97-9.34. 123 dogmatic metaphysics 67 a metaphysical concept 52 a metaphysical distinction 41 metaphysical dualism xii metaphysics of memory 28-9. 129 monism xii-xiii. 50-1. 33. 97 the origins of morality and religion 85-6 motor see habit. 97-8 mobility 8. 69. 60. 67. 100. 28. 57. 66. 80. 19-20. 40 open morality 89-90. 61. 110 and war 91-2 necessity 11. 53. 133 moral duties 67 moral initiators 89 moral judgements 85 moral obligation 89. 55. 99-102. mechanism. 7. 43. 60. 72. 50. 89-90 particular obligations versus the whole 90 ontology ix-x. 72-3. 121-2 music 96. 12. 132-5 metaphysics xi. 82. 85-6. 9. 118. 50-2 order of appearance 33 order of perceptions 4 order of the series of objects in space and states in time 41 organization 25. 16. 107 mysticism 79. 61-2. 88-9. 57. 32. 100. 108 complete and incomplete 102. 131 artificial needs see artifice) ascending scale of 96 basic 95 inferior needs 10 for luxuries 94. 105-8. schema. 104 archaeology of originary experience xi. 51 misdirection (tromperie) 86. 69. 62. 80. 60 morality 71. 55. 30. 55-7. 110-11. 69-70. 91. 60. 110 open 10. 97. 120 of contraction 51-2 from emotion to words 83 of intelligence 50 movement-image 8. 91. 52. 6. 106 mystical rapture 79. 38. 110.41 need 22-25. 40. 59-61. 103. 56-7. 129 between asceticism and sexuality 86 circular movement of conditioning 100 of the cone 48-9. 110. 87. 8. 108. 116. 39. tendency movement x. 38-9. 86. 60. 34. 105-6. 129 moving in place 7-8 of the plane 48-9 progressive movement 49 of thought 50 multiplicity x. 11. 16 . 110. 110 mystical love 104. 118-20. 135 mystical experience xi. 119. 70-1. 27-8. 14-17. 9 natural continuity of images 10 natural function of procreation 97 natural image 9 natural love absorbed into a supernatural feeling 106 natural necessity 34 natural need 90 natural obedience to obligation 90 natural order 10 natural restoration of balance 88 source of static religion 89 trumpery of 86. 64. 60-1. 58. 110. 130 the central metaphysical problem of existence 29. 44-5. 85-6. 101 . 110. 44.21-23. 99 openness of the future 41 order 4. 51-4. 85. 126. 57. 123-4 obligation 33. 67. 57 the Milky Way x. 85. 113. 86. 108 moral prescriptions 62 moral theory 62. 90-1 open and closed 89. 101 will of the mystic 102-3 nature 8-10. 76. 131 deceived by humanity 97 denaturation 10 objectivity 4. 38. Friedrich xi. 78 the outside 12. 42-3. 67. 44 love that has no object 89 objectifying look 66 the objective world 3 objectivism x objects in space 40-2. 96 for stability 90 the new ix-x. 28. 80-3.

80 progression 55 . 22. 44. 102. 76. 109 anti-Platonism 111 Platonic forgetfulness 56-8. 122. 117-21. 11. 108 perception ix. 19. 47. 19 poetry 80.Index pain 35-7. 55-8. 80. 27—8. 40-2 the present repeats the past 58. 63-4. 72 photography 24. 105. 99.10 of vision 5. 1. 27. 32-3. 81-2 primacy ofi x. 27 to perceive is not to remember ix perception repeats memory 55 perceptual images 32-3. 5. 130 deduced from matter 18. 60. 55. 78. 47-8. 67. 44-5. 130 phenomenological elaborations of sense 77 phenomenological reduction 2 philosophy of language x. 102. 42-5. 70. 68-9. 34-5. 60 phenomenology of perception 18. 116 knowledge of the past 114 mythological present of Platonic ideas 55 a past that was never present (see the past) presentation to consciousness 42-5. 40. 124-6 coexistence of the past with the present 55 distinction between past and present 113. 26. 28. 49. 38. 96 priority of intuition over language 62-3 of language over intuition 61-2 of movement over things 8. 100-1. 17-25. 77 return of 99 thinking in terms of the past 57 vision fades into the past 102 pendulum 56. 28 physical qualities 5 piano 7 picture 5-6. 107. 28-9. 115. 52-8. 85-6. 112. 52. 64 problems 50. 62-3. 13. 103 efficacious presence 88 invisible presence 101 the present 11. 105-7 Plotinus 126 plurality 6-7. 4. 28. 54. 88. 38. 117. 77. 53. 20-21. 1. 4-5. 75. 111 reversing Platonism ix-xi. 41-2 personality 106-7 perversion 58-9 phenomenology ix—x. 55-8. 82 regions of the past 46. 16-17. 49. 48-9 the present as a function of the past 54 present consciousness 57 present experience 54 present image 22 present objects 29. 23. 57. 52. 130 power 38-9. 60. 1-2. 28-30. 61. 10 plane of immanence xii of intelligence 91. 79 presence x. 78 the pure present 53 pride 93. 7. 43-50. 51. 78 the point where memory turns back into life 85-6 prayer 107 pregnancy 6. 131 the past truly given in the present 21 the past turns back into the present 107 the present repeats the past 58. 35-6. 60 Platonism ix-x. 78. 100-1. 82. 58. 47 true perception of matter 65 the unperceived 7. 36. 28. 122 Platonic sun x. 98. 116 irreversibility of the past 81-2 past as container of the present 46 past life 33-5 a past that was never present 54-6. 112-14. 60 Plato's republic 109 Platonic ideas 55-6. 72 modern philosophy 44-5 philosophical method xiii. 82 painting 26 passage 53-5. 72. 18. 49-51. 28. 113-26 being denned in terms of the past 49 coexistance of the past with the present 55 distinction between past and present 113. 89. 60 thick perception 20. 11. 25. 68-70. 81. 65. 33-5. 110-11 pleasure 94-8. 53. 44-6. 91. 14. 60. 123. 99. 75. 101. 107. 53-7. 8. 73. 35-8. 55. 32. 28-9. 125. 131 of the vital impetus 99 practicality 68. 38^0. 58 badly stated problems 2 procreation see sense progress 32. 127 poverty 23. 49. 78. 60 Platonic reminiscence 55-7. 82. 24. 58. 9. 80 the past 20-21. 107 of representation 46-8 151 Plato 55-8. 99 impotence of pure memory 39. 82 the present situation 76. 60. 51. 49. 2. 76. 96.

14 realism 1-2.152 Index reflection 24. 49. 30-1. 77 Schneider 26 science xii. 110 pure movement 62 pure past 55 pure perception 1. 36. 1. Jean-Paul x. 17. 126 reflex 15. 58-9. 126 attentive and inattentive recognition 72-4 auscultation 65-6. 104-6. 72. 39. 3. 50. 77. 47 adds nothing new to the image 22 as objective. 29-30. 7. 43. 7. 30 intuition irreducible to unintelligent feeling 50 conditions of experience irreducible to experience 54 the same x. 100 psychological theories of association 36 reality of psychological states 45 punster (faiseur de calembours) 83 purity pure action 56 pure alteration 62 pure becoming 62 pure consciousness xii pure contemplation 56 pure duration xiii. 57-8. 7. 55. 108-9 psychology xiii. 47. 73. 19. 25. 91. 65. 133-4 reminiscence 56-8. 17. 32-3. 126. 35. 46. 130 creative emotions precede representations 104-5 engendering representations 29 object of mystic's love cannot be represented 106 the plane of my actual representation of the universe 46-7 veracity of our representations 13 reproduction 33-4. Arthur 115 Rousseau. 91. 101 auto-affection 99. 121 . 87-8. 104-7. 44-5. 72-4. 64. 12. 109. 56. 49-51. 124 creative repetition 107 of difference 98 mechanical repetition 107. 109. 61. 50. 123. 78. Jean-Jaques 105. 98 representation x. 52. 64. 19-20. 63.14. 90-1. 48. 66 of spirit xii. 30-1. 19-25. 104-5. 101 false recognition 125 reductionism 1-2. 40 psychological analysis 3 the psychological domain 40. 45. 40. 94. 54.134 prolongation 15. 44. 3. 129-30 Scheler. 25. 78-9. 32-3. 112. 53. 22-24. 134 innate science of the mystic 103 metaphysics as a science 69 the remotest aspiration of xii. 43 psychological error 89-90 psychological state of tension 90 psychological states of unbalance 89. 125 religion 85-90. 18 reality 1. 101. 41. 80-1. 60. 100 reversal ix. 9. 121. impersonal and external 20 as superficial repetition 21 pure variation 62 pure vision 20-3 questions relating to subject and object ix the question of where memories are stored 33 the real 10. 28-9. 78. 124. 40. 51. 9-10. 114. 1067 resistance 90-2. 98. 117 resemblance 40-1. 52. 64. 118. 76. 82. 25 scientific attitude 12 the scientific body 16 schizophrenia 26 sensation 36-8. 133 perception repeats memory 55 the present repeats the past 58 repeatability of the form 98 of the same 21. 53. 114 pure experience of death 59 pure experience of life 58-9 pure forgetfulness 56 pure image 4 pure knowledge 14 pure memory 36. Max x schema 25. 74. 95. 122 repetition 32-5. 30 recognition 26. 39. 93-4 inert schema 10 motor schema 74-5. 16. 4. 70. 65. 36. 117. 22. 118-19. 61. 98 Sartre. 129 Rimbaud. 17. 101. 105-6. 4. 27. 50. 58. 16. 21. 99 relativity of particular languages 71 relative justice 109 of sense 75 to the universe 22 relaxation 58-9. 110-11 reversing Platonism see Platonism rhythm 7. 112. 62. 52-A. 103 property 92 proportion 18-19. 38-9. 112. 29. 121. 98-9. 4. 80 promises 33. 75. 12-14.

29. 58-60. 77-8. 19. 65. 58. 79. 53 sentir 64-5 Sinn 2. 56 different ontological senses of matter and memory 42 fluidity of 99 good sense 2. 65-6. 24. 77-9. 39. 114-15 depths of 79. 116-25 evil spirits 88 grafted onto matter 21 independent reality of spirit 58 intuition as a turning to spirit 68 of invention 94 palpable experience of 30 sexual pleasure not spiritual 96 spirit of invention 10.101-3. 98. 55. 105 sens 2-3. 20 moral theories 62. 121. 78. 83 of representations 33 switchboard/telephonic desk 15-17. 45. 106. 91-2 social life 67-8. 18-19. 1. 106-7. 60 succession 6. 60. xiii. 39. xiii. 98. 57. 42-4. 100. 62-3. 6. 68-9. 98 motor tendency 25 tests 100-3 theory 2-3. 75. 30-1. 82-3. 104. 110-11. 68. 100 intellectual and social plane 83 language as social 61-2 sociability and unsociability 92 social cohesion 88-9. 52. 90. 129 democratic society 109 habits and conventions of 79. 97-9 senses of being x. 107. 9. 24. 34. 60. 130 Shakespeare. 13. 20. 72-4. 101. 88 social needs 3. 57.Index sense 10. 30. 11. 106 relationship to duration 115 thinking/thought ix.51.106. 112. 99 the senses 24. 17 time ix. 112-13. 129 the soul 12. 111. William 83 singularity x. 83. 14. 64. 25 theory of perception 11 theories of association 36 things 4. 67-8. 126-7 ancient thought 45 generated by creative emotions 79 the movement of thought 56 the relation of thought to the unthought 62-3 speaking without thought 74 thought of being 60 thought experiment 13-15. 69. 10-11. 75. 28-9. 49. 53-4. 44. 124 Aristotle's view reversed ix. 49 conscious subjectivity 49 subjectivism x. 98. 8. 70. 70-1. 28 listening to time 65 questions of subject and object put in terms of ix reconceiving time 57 states in time and objects in space 40 . 115 survival 31-3. 97 stars 102. 114-15 and the body 12. 8. 35. 56. 31. 92. 130 corporeal things 114 a thing that moves 8 love of all things 89. 28 symbol 10. 21. 94 spirit of philosophy 71 spiritual auscultation 65 spiritual energy 9 spiritualism 2 153 spiritualization of impressions 15 the war-spirit 92. 28. 77 static ideas see general ideas static religion 87-8. 52. Madame de 83-4. 80-1 of memories 33. 19-20. 92 and individuals 90. 132 staticity 23. 49. 85 theoretical justification 85 theoretical objectives 87-9 theoretism 62 theory of duration 63 theory of intuition 63 theory of pure perception 20. 39. 40-2. 123-4 speculation 2. 57. 48. 31. 70 Sevigne. 42-3. 78-9 immanent sense ix procreative sense 96-7. 54. 100-1. 16. 74. 77.110 sympathy 66 telescope x-xi. 40-2. 106 singular events 77 singularity of the future 81 society closed society 92. 45. 70. 55. 101 St John of the Cross 102 subjectivity 4. 50-3. 130 tendency 23. 4. 59. 62-4. 76-7. 56-7. 27-8. 117-18. 51. 106-7 elevation of 101 memory of 31 of the mystic 102-3 space ix. 109-10. 81. 97-9. 130 symbolic attitude 8 symbolic vision 76. 122 spirit xii-xiii. 70-1 social solidarity extended 98 socialization of the truth 3. 99. 50. 11. 39. 61. 8. 100.58-9 of the past 80-1. 55. 40. 134 sexuality 86. 113. 45. 56-7. 59. 94-7. 68. 79. 72-3. 114-15. 34. 47. 72. 81. 123 common sense 2-3. 64.

96. 91-8 essential versus accidental 93-4 the war-instinct 86. 85.107. 102-3. 73. 131 the useful 69 useful action 53 useful effect repeated 32. 93 transcendence xi. 49.101-3. 24. 27.154 Index 92-4 vision 5-8. 99. 6-8. 90. 41. 22. 106-7 of the continuity of inner life 79 of creative action 121 of death 88 foresight 87-8 of the ideas 56 an invisible but efficacious presence 88 of matter 8. 83. Michel 62 training 74. 75 of memory 82. 50. 122. 91-4. 68. 106. 50. 64. 20 of the mystic 87. 56-7. 107-8 silent voice 101. 110 transmission and division of movement 17 trumpery see direction unbalance see imbalance the unconscious x. 124 world politics 86 a world without others 62. 22. 23. 98-100. 48. 120. 38. 57-8. 65 virtual multiplicity 121-2 of war 92 Zeno's paradoxes x . 10-15. 57. 124 will 41. 118. 73 tools ton 67 touch 18. 47. 53. 76. 102-3 vital need for food 86 vital schema 117 voice 100-1. 107. 19-20 vibration 4. 89 universality x. 39. 69-70 unconscious operations of memory 32 unconscious psychical states 39. 44 unconscious spirit 13 unconsciousness as impotence 39 understanding 2. 103.110 visual unity 9 vitality 52 vital impetus (elan vital) 62. 53 virtual instinct 71 virtual invisibility 55. 46 Urdoxa 3 utility 2-3. 121 genius of the will 103 of the mystic 102-3 will to live 99 will to power 28 wit (espirit) 83-4 words 73-5. 22. 64-6 Tournier. 54.45. 117. 91. 115. 77-8 unity 6. 134 verbalism 71 veridical hallucination 13-14. 45-6. 106. 46. 73. 70.81-2 of space 41 never given x. 50. 43 of images 27 of language 71-2. 10. 101. 9. 40. 120 unconscious material point 23 unconscious memories 42. 36. 63. 101 virtuality 5. 118 of obligation 33. 106. 32. 106 the world 11-14. 24. 77. 61. 101-3. 95. 82. 52. 72 uselessness 34 vanity 93. 107. 17. 38. 60. 103. 89. 44. 44. 82 virtual identity 9 virtual image 24. 103. 64. 7.90 of the past 41. 107 of singularities 58 symbolic vision 76. 35. 126 whole-part relation 7.71. 67-9. 9. 14. 62 transcendent being 13 transformation xi. 36. 107 war 86. 35. 96-7 Wesen 53-4 the whole x. 64-6. 43. 109 universe 12-13. 100-1. 10-15. 15-18. 75. 91. 103. 19-25. 73-5.

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