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COPYRIGHT First Edition 1911. Second Edition 1913. .

1254 54 8 .6 2V30 6V27sf /f/3 PREFACE The purpose of this work not exposition. and that illustration is apt to be confused with argument. public modern philosophic thought. London. and . but criticism. so far as they appear in the work which he has examine their validity contribution to . Oct. I am conscious that in outlining the main ideas of his philosophy I cal dress in have stripped them of the brilliant metaphori- which Bergson himself has clothed them. is Professor Bergson's thought is elaborated only to such an extent as to ensure that the criticism shall be intelligible. made 1. 191 to to consider their value as a M'KELLAR STEWART. J. only defence is that metaphor is not always conducive to clearness. iZth. and divorced them from the charm of a peculiarly flexible and My graceful literary style. My aim has been to present clearly the root ideas of his philosophy.


and - On On the perceptual level the conceptual level ----- Bearing of the intuition of duration or freedom spirit reference to 66 on the --------- antinomies raised with 49 the problem of 77 . Duration or 4. The conception of time the idea of space 2. its spirit (a) Inscrutable to 3. essential identity with 31 ordinary psychological analysis (b) Cannot be grasped by (c) Apprehended by - reflection 36 37 intuition 39 notion of time formed by the mingling of elements from duration and space respectively 40 The Spatialization of pure duration or spirit (a) (b) 5.CONTENTS INTRODUCTION PAGE The Intuitive Method PART i I. EXPOSITION CHAPTER I The Intuition of Pure Duration the Self and its in Spatialization the Life of in the In- telligent Consciousness i.

Mechanical explanation of 4. issues in its mechanization - - instinct - - - 107 - 114 - - 128 - - 131 135 - CRITICISM CHAPTER III The Nature. Function and Genesis of Intelligence 1.CONTENTS viii CHAPTER II The Intuition of the Cosmical Elan. Intuition necessary 5. Principle implied in the intuitive 2. and its Condensation into Intelligence PAGE i. Evolution of relation and creation of matter - - - - - in our solar system PART II - - between intelligence and life - 96 104 - (a) Intelligence— externalized. Conceptual explanation of method cosmic spirit. The 8. Differentiation of the elan originel into life - - Instinct 7. 2. Intuition of matter 6. Bergsonian philosophy an expression of the age spirit of the Bergson's view of the value of intellectual knowledge 143 - 146 . spatialized spirit (&) 87 when even teleological. - Proved - - - 90 - 92 (a) by the actual achievement of science (b) by the consideration of the function of intelligence 95 inadequate 3.

ix of the form of intelligence to Assumptions involved in Bergson's view Relation function. Difficulties connected - with Bergson's - - 218 228 theory mingling of space and duration. 153 deducing form from function - 155 Analysis of Bergson's argument that an empirical study of evolution confirms his theory of the nature and ------- function of intellect opposition between instinct and intelligence 5. Time. The 6. - 205 Is the human intelligence incapable of conceiving a temporal order. Germ 203 (a) Theory of matter (b) View of the (c) Relation between the two intellectual process - - - of philosophical scepticism in Bergson's philosophy CHAPTER 182 IV The Need and Value of the Intuition of Matter and Freedom 1. Intuition of matter not necessary 5. its page : (a) Limitation of function Possibility of (fi) 4. Criticism of Bergson's theory of space 2. Clue to Bergson's restriction of the province of reason 193 8.... as distinct from a spatial order 3. Difficulties connected with the account of - - I0 2 171 the ideal genesis of intelligence . 180 - - 189 7. matter and of spirit the - 230 . Criticism of his view of conceptual time. Intuition of time ledge — at demands the best it is - - - - 210 a retrogressive step in knowa limiting conception 4.CONTENTS 3.

Suggested explanation of his procedure here 7. ------ omitted {b) Bergson compared with Kant (c) Not human freedom Criticism - of Bergson's view of motived action - 236 239 246 254 and of the principle of causality 257 of freedom involves the elimination of the knowledge of freedom 267 Intuition CONCLUSION Estimate of the Value of the Intuitive Method 271 .CONTENTS x PAGK 6. 9.. Intuition of freedom (a) Essential factor 8. - ----..

"physical"' . "psychical. 23 For " first " read " fresh.. ." 145 6 .. 23 Line. " Molliern" read" Mollien." 225 16 ..ERRATA Page.




has the desire to lead metaphysics into the sure path of a science capable of indefinite progress. p. forced to maintain the clear simplicity and trenchant which shall not dogmatism of that 1 " 2 Le Parallelisme Psycho-Physique la Soc. lates his It necessary to emphasize from the beginning the that fact He is Bergson's philosophy himself has which it will made essentially is be our task to examine. too. the Meta. Positive " {Bull." Ibid. the outlook even from the Kantian and post-Kantian point of view. p. certain applications of this method. 33. satisfied and Bergson. de Phil. The metaphysic which he has in view is " a positive metaphysic. his a method.fvan. but from the very nature of the method we should not expect philosophy a definitely formulated system. too. susceptible of a rectilinear and indefinite progress " x a metaphysic : be " a science analogous to mathematics. He. Juin 1901). to find in Bergson repeatedly draws attention to this fact. de . 2 science.INTRODUCTION THE INTUITIVE METHOD In the Critique of Pure Reason Kant complains that Metaphysics has not been able to enter into the sure path of a science. and with this end in view he formu- method. 50. with the progress hitherto also with made by is dis- philosophy. and he sets himself the task of expoundmethod by means of which such an entrance may ing a be secured and progress achieved. " On et la the contrary..

57. progressive.4 . but every philosopher may employ the one method by means of which the windings of reality in its incessant movements may be marked/ By an indefinite series of efforts of the same kind under the guidance of this method. Psycho-Physique et la £. it the collective and progressive effort of many of itself as a can be constituted only by many thinkers. a positive. Introd. correct one another. progressive. INTRODUCTION metaphysic of the future will method. results to psychology. Parallelisme 3 et la Meta." . Meta. any more than any one scientist can expect to unravel the secrets of nature. and take account of the sciences of biology. completing. correcting." 4 Bergson desires to summon philosophers to the employment of a method by means of which there will be gradually formed a large philosophy. p. reforming one another. Positive. " in which opinions shall furnish their own proof. 50. organ- the philosophers associated in the same to experience. p. and end by agreeing with one another 5 No one hope to complete the task of philosophy. always progressing and positive. p. 1 " 2 Ibid." single philosopher can p. 5 " Le Parallelisme Psycho-Physique Le 47. and sociology.C. ever-growing system in contact with one and the same experience. Positive." x "It must break through the mathematical categories. each of which was the work of a man of genius and presented whole." 2 On this broader basis will be raised " a metaphysic capable of mounting ever higher and higher by means of the continuous. and observers also. 57. 4 Ibid." 3 He admits that " a philo- ized effort of deference sophy of this all kind is not made In contrast in a day. like the other positive sciences. and restricted. in that it be a science empirical in its gives us only provisionally the last which it has been led by an attentive study of the real." p. vii. to be taken or left. properly so-called. with the systems.

The foundation of Bergson's philosophy self. hence his constant proof by reference to the possibility of experience. by an is method his " Philosophizing just consists in placing one's of intuition. in the interior of concrete is meant " that kind of intellectual sympathy by means of which one transports one's self to the interior of an object so as to coincide with that which constitutes the very reality of the object. and what the constitution of nature must be. and the various degrees of being stand revealed to our vision. an equal 2 stability. He passed in review the sciences mathematics. " the idea of a single science.M. the unique reality. 6. justified . 86. and proceeded to extend to philosophy the method of hypothesis which of formal logic. had attained to a high degree of perfection psychology and biology were quite undeveloped. p. When Kant was seeking a safe method for philosophy he was guided by the methods which had succeeded in scientific construction. reality. if the pretensions of the science of his time were of knowledge . p. p. 388 (Eng. Mathematics. 3 3 EC. The application of Kant's critical method consisted in discovering what the nature of our mind must be." criticism. 379).THE INTUITIVE METHOD 5 of philosophy will be formed. effort of intuition. had been found successful in physics. physics. . but of these pretensions themselves he has not " He accepted without discussion. Tr. says Bergson. p." * By intuition consequently inexpressible sophize is "2 (in concepts). and of co-ordinating them in a system which should present in all its parts 1 I. Hence his demand that objects should conform to our faculty of knowledge . to a less extent. to philo- to feel the palpitating of the heart of reality. Briefly. chemistry. and physics. capable of made any binding with the same cogency all parts of the given. Kant was influenced in his dissection of the faculty by the state of science in his time." Ibid. and.

this by saying expresses this our intuitions are sensuous. which the intelligence would doubtless transpose and translate. would have to be admitted. p. a supra-intellectual intuition. the other contrary to There is. on the contrary. 380). as some way to it the is psychical. but which would. Experience does not move. if our science presented in all its parts an equal But suppose. more and more symbolic. or. Bergson's criticism of Kant is see that he did not realize. ? ' in other words. is less proceeds from the through the vital : perceive a thing in bolizing it. and. none the less. as it proceeds from the from the vital to the psychical.INTRODUCTION 6 Kant's categories are for him the conditions of all possible knowledge. passing certainly necessary to in order to succeed in sym- there would be an intuition of the psychical. whole ground. in other words. but these categories are the general notions which form the foundation of science in one of its is stages — in the That mechanical stage. Tr. more and more symbolic. this Kant's system. of the vital. between categories and ideas. . that science and less objective. though not intentionally is implicit we may so. which issued in philosophical agnosticism. between phenomena and noumena. and in the elevation to an exclusive validity of the physical and mathematical sciences. the one conformable to proportion in physical to the vital.C. in fact." 1 Kant was landed in an opposition between understanding and reason. the direction of the intelligence. as it objectivity. in two different and perhaps opposed directions. physical then. in the Critique of Pure Reason. and intelligence for him. There would be. pp. 388-389 (Eng. that science becomes less and less objective. transcend the intelligence. from one of the later developments of his thought. in his eyes. only one experience. Kant And infra-intellectual. more generally. between nature and 1 E. covers its that all it.

and universal to follow that all material. was confined to phenomena think God. The nature of mathematical. if If be true that it o/xoiov o/zoi<p synthesis. all mination. gencies of the Cartesian Newtonian physics. Immortality. 7 Knowledge. is this). so far as I can see. then it would seem which can be known is the cluded. 63. nor 1 if does he human under- contend for an extension of its " Le Parallelisme Psycho-Physique et la Meta. Pure Reason one sees that Kant has criticized. mechanical theory or of the If there be a single science of nature (and Kant does not seem to doubt pheno mena and all objects are spread out on one and the same plane." limitation of This but we cannot know them. then there world . knowledge to the phenomenal. Positive. dom." 1 Bergson. as limiting or .THE INTUITIVE METHOD spirit. does not quarrel with Kant's conception of the nature of the standing. made for impossible. not reason but reason fashioned to the habits and exi- in general. the science of his altrddverai" Kant has made of the the analysis which modes of " intelligence or understanding was such for Kant that freedom could not be fitted into Freedom must be relegated to the " If one reads closely the Critique of it. . Freedom. for him. or the logical conditions of ledge be correct. so that our knowledge of them will be a single and continuous but entirely superficial experience (and such is the constant hypothesis of the Critique of Pure Reason). all only one sort of causality in the phenomenal causality implies rigorous deterand one must seek for liberty outside of experience. sphere of faith. the his categories pre- human free- the knowledge of The framework of example." p. and this problematic conception of noumenal reality arise from the difficulty in which Kant involved himself by taking mind from the his cue as to the nature of day. all know- mechanical. we may regulative " ideas.

It is true that he repudiates with decision any suggestion that intelligence-knowledge is relative. and so limited the knowable. into touch with the " absolute. and maintains that. it is Kant a mere fragment of that faculty in its ! . Bergson seeks a more accurate analysis. he replaces the distinction between understanding in the reality — narrow sense as the faculty of conceptions. The difficulty arises when we come to analyse the nature of the knower. the distinction between noumena and phenomena. and substitutes for it the notion of two opposed movements constitutive of spirituality or duration on the one hand." but insists that by means of intelligence and intuition. The principle here implied that of " ontological " affinity between knower and known seems to be an unobjectionable one. though in a way far re. brings us. while it may be limited knowledge. in a very true sense.INTRODUCTION 8 dominion. — He endeavours to estab- the position that the faculty of knowledge as understood entirety." either with subjects in themselves or with objects in themselves. we are introduced into the absolute. moment that we incomprehensible He will not allow for a are condemned to the phantom of an " thing-in-itself. In the second instance. intelligence and intuition. — moved from Kant's lish deduction. and reality materiality or matter on the other. By means of that which is material in ourselves we are enabled to know matter and by means of that which is vital and spiritual in ourselves we can come into sympathy with life and spirit. complementary faculties. by the distinction between two complementary but opposed faculties of knowledge. Kant illegitimately limited that nature. Bergson will have nothing to do with " things-in-themselves. In other words." if we understand by that term no more than it in some one of its windings. Bergson discards. in the first place. and reason as the faculty of ideas.

if intelligence were his only faculty of knowledge. and is very nature its meaning of life. of unknowable realities ? Is life in its creative activity Must man for ever remain deprived of its secret ? Must he content himself with taking a number of snap-shots of it as it glides by pictures which show him only patches of its surface ? Must he despair of entering into the sanctuary in which life shows itself in the making ? Truly.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 9 is not by increasing the number of the categories or intelligence by adding. characterized by a native inability to com- life. and still more the process itself from moment to moment is beyond its grasp. Must life and mind. becoming. the per- whereas manent. understanding of of " purpose " that mechanical limits as that such a one It will be removed. from all constitute is eternity. the inert. for the concept applies only to the static. then. the way of the knowledge of life would be incomprehensible ? . it is Even when it merely appears it for the most only an inverted mechanical theory. so that what new in each moment of a history escapes it. life. be relegated to the sphere . for example. If the intelligence were capable of knowing reality in its fulness. no multiplication of the conceptions of intelligence will ever bring us into closer touch with life and spirit. . Intelligence prehend is life is ever always going. teleological conceptions to escape a mechanical theory of finalism brought within the spirit In virtue of incapable of seizing the makes use of and life grasp of intelligence. This conception of reality fundamentally is opposed to Bergson's view of life and mind consequently he insists on the limitations of intelligence as a faculty of knowledge. radical In short. then the assumption would be necessary that reality is given. and to re- with ready-made conceptions. and if intelligence were such as Bergson holds it to be. in its completeness. Its work is to re-constitute.

which flickers Nevertheless. in this case. as it develops.INTRODUCTION io closed. and the boundary between the two marks the dividing line between scientific and philosophic knowledge. and a perfect and intelligence supplemented by in which intuition for intelligence. at absolute — that is. with matter. Experience experience not confined within the bounds of rational is . secret its not the tragic conclusion of Bergson's philo- is man it — the faculty of intuition. is humanity would be one . and intuition are thus two opposed and complementary ways of knowing reality. The physical . But and this sophy. and since matter is ballasted. and by a stroke of sympathetic insight perceive or feel the impulsion at the heart of reality. with geometry. but which remain hidden from human eyes. and perhaps Thus the facts which Kant has extruded from knowledge and relegated to faith are brought again by Bergson within the sphere of knowledge by we occupy in the also our destiny. thought is wider than reasoned thought. as it progresses. projects a flickering light upon whole of nature. mathematics is not a game played with concepts. and so enables us and to adapt ourselves to our material environment Intelligence intuition. and which he may develop to intelligence. possesses in germ. but a veritable grappling with reality. our origin. the place which intuition. Life may stubbornly refuse to yield up its secret can be known by a second faculty. as it were. . with the sciences." means of intuition. Intelligence Intelligence yet finds its proper sphere of activity within the positive In the mathematical sciences it is perfectly home. — " an almost extinguished at intervals for a superhuman It is few instants. philosopher may by a up only literally transcend the point of view of intelligence. and feeble " our personality. our freedom." the effort vague and discontinuous lamp. were both developed gives us a clearer knowledge of matter.

" Science begins to become relative. if chronologically. Philosophic. been " De would have all.. de la Soc. had propounded.. . 4 " 3 E. p. . p. must be ready to come down again into the field of This would action. to reveal to us the nature of matter. if its rhythm differed absolutely from that of action itself. the problems in a different order. science procedure to the general configura- However high it makes its flight. some time or other payment must be made." 4 that we recognize physico-chemical knowledge of life to only when ness 1 " Enquete sur l'Enseignement de la Philosophic " {Bull. Tr. 356 (Eng. " the form of which been different other variables had been chosen. sciences reveal sciences. Even when bound to adapt view. always practical utility which science has in our influence on things. Science form. disinterested in its its . and intelligence to is us. jure. then. What. de Phil. Bergson " It is to increase ? asks. but as it really is. 21.C. is it its launches itself into theory. in short. fran. not be possible for it. because they have ultimately a practical aim. however." 1 and approaches this ideal limit more and more as it advances. not in any tion of the practical. Enquete sur l'Enseignement de la p. or rather symbolic. relative it attacks the problems of life and consciousProvided from the side of physico-chemistry." p. 21. physics grasps the absolute. it way. Janvier 1908). and at once to get on its feet there.n THE INTUITIVE METHOD sciences enunciate laws. which the mathematical and physical absolute reality. 21. other if and. 348). 2 Ibid." 2 Intelligence succeeds in the the instrument of action. I am of opinion that it is it reality in itself. It is then. is the essential object of science may be speculative in in other immediate ends but words.. above units of measurement. p. ." 3 The physical sciences tend. we may give it credit as long as it wishes the day of reckoning cannot be indefinitely postponed.

actual experiencing. ." 2 He sees also the possibility of removing those antinomies which reason has to face by causing his the problems round which they range themselves to dis- appear. thus introduces us into spiritual In this way Bergson sees That life. In successive efforts of intuition. . transport effort of sympathy to must one's self by an the interior of that which becomes. knowledge itself. but this symbolic or relative be completed by "a knowledge must study of another kind. that method has primarily in view " the removal of the opposition which Kant established between metaphysic and science. which is and which works by means of intuition. He is one of the chief says. Positive. that is. follow the flux itself of the real. without the sacrifice of either. Parallel to modern scientific knowledge " there ought to be constituted a second kind of knowledge which One would retain what physics allows to escape. in addition. 63. and to that view which would.INTRODUCTION 12 be relative or symbolic. the possibility of bringing about " a reconciliation between metaphysic and science." and attempt to metaphysic. in fact. . when by maintaining the intellect thesis that they arise only illegitimately extends its range so as to include speculation. Philosophy is its domain. after having sharply distinguished between them. " Le Parallelisme Psycho-Physique et la Meta." 1 One may safely say that this ends of his philosophic method. Bergson is openly opposed to that view of philosophy which would restrict its task to criticism of the faculty of knowledge. aim at the super-position. if possible (by means of intelligence)." pp. According to such a view. of a metaphysic upon the structure of the sciences. would be 1 2 "Enquete sur l'Enseignement de la Philosophic. and of supporting the one by the other." ." p. 21 and 22. and that they vanish in the intuition. we may attribute a certain value to biology. in its materiality. philosophy must pursue its task.

Science " treats succeed in dealing with matter. the unconscious and. by disengaging itself from forms and habits peculiarly intellectual." consequently. envisages the rest of reality under this single in the . meet with success. the irrevocably imposed sentences which are brought to it. E." x The work of philosophy must be. that is.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 13 an affair of science and not of philosophy. p. . He who has begun by reserving to philosophy questions of principle. being able to act only by means of inert matter. . p. then." The If philosophy is faculty of speculation the intuition. Tr. Tr. for . receives from positive science the laws of biology psychology. and who aims at thereby placing philosophy above the sciences. for the science of biology " is merely an extension of physics to an object of which we agree a priori to envisage only the external aspect. its scope it is and nature are determined. then mechanical 1 2 it is conception If and compelled. the highest duty of which is to record. pp. inconsistent metaphysic and critique which the very attitude of science towards reality marks out. and which. to intervene actively here. will be led. 2 aspect. content to follow in the train of science. as a Cour de Cassation is above the courts of assizes and of appeal. in more precise terms. to see living should not be that of science.C.C. to make it no more than a simple court of registration. whose work would be reduced to " formulating. 214 (Eng. ' of science. therefore. 205 and 206). which aims only at action. then. a priori. . 212 and 213 (Eng. ' independent of living in the same way ever fully it may that . Its object is its attitude towards the to speculate. it the how- as the inert. pp. from the outset. cannot. to examine the living without arrierepensee as to practical utility. form of biology. in more precise terms. in a sense. by degrees. The duty of philosophy would be. purely and simply. 207). to a of nature in its entirety E.



fundamentally practical


ment of knowledge


in its









Bergson's view, can apprehend only the inert, the spatial,


Such a philosophy





doctrine of the simple unity of knowledge and of the

Bergson's argument, at this

abstract unity of nature.

involves the assumption that intelligence





In the nature of the case, then, a metaphysic


the highest product of intelligence will be


between a metaphysical dogmatism which
erects into an absolute the factitious unity of science,
and a scepticism or relativism in which is generalized
and extended to the whole domain of science the artificial character of its results in the spheres of biology and
psychology, the facts of which have refused to reduce
themselves to identity or even to enter into pre-determined



Intuition alone cuts the knot.



task assigned to


of view,


philosophy has a definite

boundaries definitely marked


and yet an open way of progress lies before it. Within
life and consciousness, or, generally, where

the realm of


process or growth, science achieves merely relative

and symbolic knowledge. The task of philosophy is to
build a progressive knowledge of these realities which
The philosopher will range
shall be no longer symbolic.
himself alongside the artist and the poet.
He will, like
them, express himself through metaphor, image, and
symbol, clear conceptual expression being reserved to the
products of the scientific intelligence.
the philosopher

will, like

flashes of inspiration

" breath " through


As metaphysician

the poet and the artist, live




the passage of this

him and gain a sympathetic

into the heart of things.



successive efforts of intuition

or intellectual expansion, he will follow the windings of

and consciousness

in all the

movements of

their quali-


tative processes.






It is


our knowledge,

The knowledge of

and have our being.


In the absolute



scientific 01

and move
which we have

but not external or relative.

inner nature which

itself in its


we grasp through

the combined and progressive development of science and






based on a negative view of

the validity of intelligence outside a strictly limited domain.


limitations of intelligence are inherent in its nature

no extension of

it is,

indeed, spirit insinuating itself into matter.








and any extension of


is its



remove them.
constructed with a view to action on inert


categories will or can




of the word, that

pure movement."

emphatic about



is illegiti-


The intellithe proper meaning

to think evolution, in




the continuity of a change which

cannot possibly grasp





the psychical force at the heart of the universe, overflows intelligence.








and one might as well seek
body by piecing together its dis-

materialization of that force,
to reconstruct a living


parts as attempt to reconstruct living reality

with the spatialized concepts which materialized spirit
" Created by life, in determined circumcan furnish.





upon determined

of which







only an emanation or an

Deposited by the evolutionary movement in
the course of its way, how could it comprehend that moveaspect




One might

whole, that

the shingle


wave which

of treating the



as well claim that the part equals the

the effect can re-absorb

upon the sea-shore


it there.'




cause, or

outlines the


it is

a question

of the body or that of the mind,

217 (Eng. Tr.

p. 210).



form of

E.C. Introd. p.












was not designed for
such a use." * At a later stage it will be our duty to
follow Bergson in his attempts to show how intelligence
has been deposited by spirit. For the present it is sufficient to observe that spirit has developed in two diverging
At the end of one of these stands man, the
intelligent creature par excellence
at the end of the other
are the insects, which are possessed most perfectly of
In order to become intelligence, spirit had to
brutality of an instrument which


let go,

almost entirely, parts of





intellect is

not able to grasp spirit as a whole, or even

that which

is its

unique characteristic.

This metaphysical account of the inherent limitations
of intellect


confirmed when we consider



actual achieve-

most perfect
Greek speculation, and in a concise review of
the course of ancient philosophy, Bergson seeks to show
that " the main lines of the doctrine which was developed
from Plato to Plotinus, passing through Aristotle (and
even, in a certain measure, through the Stoics), have
nothing accidental, nothing contingent, nothing which one

In philosophy





flights in


must needs consider a philosopher's
universal becoming





the vision which a systematic intelligence obtains of the

when regarding

taken at intervals, of


shall philosophize in the




by means of views,
So that to-day we

manner of the Greeks, we

without needing to know them,


such and

such of their general conclusions, in the exact proportion

which we trust the cinematographic instincts of our
Bergson emphasizes that aspect of Greek
philosophy in which the tendency is manifest to make
the universal the real, and he finds at the foundation of
the ancient systems of thought the postulate that there



E.C. p. 179 (Eng. Tr.

p. 173).


Ibid. p. 341 (Eng. Tr. p. 333).




more in the immobile than in the moving, more in
permanence than in change, and that the passage from
immutability to becoming is by way of diminution or


attenuation of being.


elements of change

they represent what






are the constitutive

positive in

Eternity no longer hovers over time as an
underlies time as a reality." x



" forms " dwell in inexorable steadfastness, free from limits

of time and place.

Such was the conclusion

Greeks were driven.



which the

for example, proceeding

movement is due to a
degradation of the immutable, had to postulate, someaccording to the principle that

where, in order to account for the movement in the sensible
world, " realized immutability," which he found in his
" Form of Forms," " Idea of Ideas," " Thought of







thence to the changing

was necessary to suppose
the Platonic " non-being."
This was somehow

world of sense-perception,


added to the stable reality in order to produce change.
It was " a metaphysical zero which, joined to the Idea,
like the arithmetical zero to unity, multiplied it in


But the natural consummation of Greek
philosophy was achieved in the changeless " one " or
" being " of Plotinus. The conclusion which emerges from
consideration of this fact is that intellect is dominated
by the principle of identity.
Similarly, an investigation of the conquests of modern
and time."

science reveals, Bergson argues, the inherent inability of
intelligence to grasp the nature of anything other


the mechanical and static.


science has attempted to take account of change and
great transformations have taken place in modern
geometry by the introduction of movement and time
recognizes that


into the consideration of figures, for example.

Ibid. p. 343 [Ibid. p. 335).






be said in general that " modern science


denned primarily by



— " What

But when we ask,
time ? " we discover that

independent variable."


the nature of this

emptied of




all its

It is at




only immobili-


the best abstract time of which

account, and such time

dimension of space



nothing more than a fourth


consequently modern science deals,


" It confines itself

only with the spatial, the static.




movement or change, of all that which
Modern science considers always only

moments, virtual stoppages


to be


take time as an


to counting simultaneities between the events constitutive

of time and the positions of a mobile,






detaches these events from the whole which

assumes at each instant a new form and which communicates to them something of its novelty. It considers them
in the abstract state, such as they would be if separated

from the living whole, that
out in space."




to say, in a time spread

not accidental




due to the

nature of intelligence as a faculty of action,


which must isolate and predict which, indeed, must
isolate and eliminate differences in order to predict.
again, then, the domination


Besides intelligence, however, there
conscious instinct


sympathetic action




unto deep."


conscious, purisympathetic insight. It is " deep

extended instinct




men, though our mental


primarily an intellect, carry with us something of this

other element, instinct, with which intelligence was fused
in the original generative force of all

forgetfulness have

we come



in entire

As intelligences we have
away from our home in an attempt to gain the
over matter, and we remember scarcely anything

absolutely from instinct.




intelligence has not separated

we have come.

of the land from which

coincidently with

has gained a light

— the

illumine that country

And we may






only we can get back again.


are not irretrievably cut




with matter,

light of consciousness

return, since









instincts which, at intervals, reveal their presence.

example, the aesthetic faculty

the presence of


an instinct by means of which, transcending intellect, we
gain, immediately, by an act of sympathy akin to the
instinct of the insect, an interior view of reality
a know-

ledge no longer formal










true that this aesthetic intuition grasps only the




But we may conceive an enquiry turned
direction as art, which would take for its

in general.




Certainly this philosophy will

never obtain a knowledge of



comparable to

that which science gains of the material world.


gence remains the luminous nucleus round which instinct,

even when amplified and purified into intuition, forms only

a vague nebulosity."

The task of philosophy is to deefforts.
The philosopher

velop this faculty by successive



to contribute anything to our

must use




He must

hypnotizing power,

knowledge of


break the spell of matter,

withdraw within himself,

himself living, and by acts of sympathetic insight,

gain fleeting visions of the internal

movements of the






a position to examine more closely

One point must be
Bergson has no desire to oppose intelligence to intuition with a view to the disparagement of
the former faculty.
In fact, he claims to rid knowledge
the nature of the intuitive method.

insisted upon.

acquired by intelligence of the relativism with which



192 (Eng. Tr. p. 186).


The other will be dynamic. illegitimately intro- duced an extra-intellectual element into his explanation of knowledge. 63." 1 are internal to the physiological Kant had or organic life). . He has no desire. is con- they move in directions the inverse of each other. but its range is limited. As extra-intellectual. although limited by the it. The one will be increasingly dominated by the law of identity it will proceed by means of concepts. that is to say. and science. " transcendent to the world of phenomenal life ' They phenomena. is ' metaphysical ' order are not. though incomplete. it was unknowable in itself. 1 " Le Parallelisms Psycho-Physique et la Meta. . Now Bergson holds that reality may be extraintellectual. itself to its following the intelligence movement knowledge. is In fact. in which space is always immanent it will involve a distinction between the knower and the known. to bring about an agreement between science and meta" The realities of physic without compromising either." p. in which the distinction between the knower and the known is removed or has not yet emerged in which the act of selves in this extra-intellectual real If this be possible. so long as content to confine is towards materiality. by immediate intuition. as we have already noted. at encourage intellectual scepticism. and.e. We may or instal our- by an effort of intuition.INTRODUCTION 20 has again and again been charged." he says. metaphysic . any rate. Positive. when each fined to its own It is true that sphere. but reality displays just such opposing movements.' {i. will be complementary of each other. to Intelli- gence does tend to give us a knowledge of absolute reality. Bergson wishes to break down the barrier raised by Kant between " phenomenal " and " metaphysical " knowledge his aim not relative. and yet knowable. Intelligence and intuition are complementary the one of the other. infra-conceptual either supra-conceptual. . . though still two opposed ways of knowing.

it proposes (broken since Kant) between throughout a protest against mysticism. 8 " Le basis of intuition." he says. intuitive fruitful metaphysical effort in which the scientist or philosopher has. " is science.e. however.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 21 knowledge coincides with the generative act of reality." by if mysticism mystic. A truly intuitive philosophy would realize this so much desired union. and the attempt initiated to is express the reality in fixed terms. Scientists sometimes above their method. by a flash of genius. he holds that understands " a certain appeal profound life. It is more concrete. progressive and indefinitely perfec would lead the sciences specifically called become aware of their true range. and like At that moment he Immediately. Indeed. ultimately. as all one and inner the to 2 Nevertheless." transcends intelligence. been able to trans- port himself to the heart of reality. 71-2. the idea immobilized in concepts." p. pp. its depths. its 1 1." his philosophy must needs be. . philosophy But the is reality which he rises or descends in his intuitive efforts is not more abstract than that from which he sets out. " Science and metaphysic are re-united in the intuition." Bergson disclaims It is just here that x all alliance with or kinship to the mystics in their reaction against positive " The doctrine which I hold. since to reconstruct the bridge metaphysic and science. Positive. Parallelisme Psycho-Physique et Every science has. which is physic a positive tible) science. penetrate to the poet " quaff the live current. 64. advance that is just what ideas of science are due to an rise in every case of great scientific The happens. which has been elala Meta.M. and intelligible reality is immanent to in it. At the same time as it constituted meta(i. it positive to often greater than scientists themselves imagine. round which he had hitherto been hovering.

. in speech or It is — consciousness illuminating the throbbing heart of reality. 332. and by a violent reversal of the procedure of science to instal himself once more in this reality source —an and extremely feel the original impulsion at difficult operation." " Vocabulaire philosophique " {Bull. Divesting itself of all the categories which are so many nets in which to imprison." entirely reversing the manner in which it habitually thinks. all objects of all thought. And the round ocean and the living air. de la Soc. see reality. feel motion and a spirit : that impels All thinking things." reality. and the great down which is. but in no sense interfering with or influencing With Wordsworth we " Of something A sense sublime far more deeply interfused. Fran. de Phil. in its which the mind " docs violence to itself. And 1 rolls through all things.. that real." 1 It is the perception of reality. knowledge " emptied of all which does not come from the object itself and. and intelligize living reality. if " fluid " it will concepts which will each tendency or qualitative shade exhibited and which will remain for ever inexpressible image or fixed concept. p. and in the mind of man A it. Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns. differ by for form. in a sense degraded. " as it would perceive itself if its apperception and its existence exactly coincided. Aout 1908). immobilize. science has travelled in its intelligizing moving of the its immobilizing. that is. It will thus attain to disinterested. The Immediate Data of Consciousness. And the blue sky. aim of the philosopher is to mount the slope boratcd. any. immediate knowledge " immediate " in the sense in which Bergson uses the word in the title of his book.INTRODUCTION 22 by dialectic or logical process. infallible and perfect. consequently.

accordingly as it is at a higher or lower degree of tension. He approximates.THE INTUITIVE METHOD Science is Philosophy this metaphysical intuition in must remove the 23 dress. to a Practical mere " intelligence. when it is of insight. be admitted. as nearly " as is practicable. usually regarded as a condition. how. the intuition. or rhythm. of " sympathetic it may The insight." What capable of following reality in he has in mind is all the awareness of the effort of expansion or tension necessary for sym- pathy with one or other of the aspects of reality. movement which has its counterpart. so far as he desires to eliminate. Insight is the important thing knowledge of the object that is in question. what Bergson means when he says that we must fluid concepts. a necessary pre- is supposition. qua scientist. the subjective factor. Bergson appears to lay the greatest stress on the effort of sympathy. is awareness of this activity . coincides with some one or other of in which we are immersed. Our act this effort of spirit coincides with the creative activity in the universe. then. ii not alogical. of This is form " reality effort of dilatation or reality. logical bare lay dress. In we ourselves are performing a pre-logical. and which we feel has its counterpart. The intuition. rhythms of the A &st necessary for an insight into each different qualitative tendency. ever. can. concentration of the self is the. the intellectual expansion which conditions the insight. as possible into harmony scientist. This sympathy. in reality. All knowledge. its sinuosities. implies a species He much for example. considerations may have influenced him in the under- taking of his task." seeks to tune himself as with his object. the subjective functioning which. a glow of enthusiasm appears again and again as he finds nature yielding up her secrets to him but these are sternly put out of mind in the actual pursuit of his object.

99. The as it proceeds to position of Hegel new is creation.INTRODUCTION 24 of the self. In that case. as finite activities. necessarily. exhibits a closer affinity to that of Schopenhauer. volition. it will have become. . Pringle-Pattison). perhaps. But while for Hegel this ideal was capable of realization through the perfect synthesis of intellectual knowledge. parts as the same per- Or more we. p. for Bergson. in all its parts. as the realization of his own personality. the self-conscious knower would recog- nize in the object nothing foreign. there originally in the self. movement of the self. of tension. immediately suggested to one's mind. however. the life of the whole in one of its movements. in that between subject and object has vanished moment. which at first has the appearance of being extraneously received. . to have done their work. an apergu. reaches the conception of perfected knowledge as that in which the difference between subject "If we suppose cognition and and object disappears. a flash are 1 Hegelianism and Personality (A. who says that all great scientific discoveries works of " immediate apprehension by the understanding. in his Logic. it may be argued. the intuition is attainable only by undoing what intelligence has performed. as such. which is plus." Each one of them is "an immediate intuition and. but simply as a The subjective factor has disappeared . He. then the matter. the distinction life." 1 it were. but only. His thought. the vehicle or expression of rational ends. is felt. is no longer. the feeling of a movement. regarded as a real movement. . though there is much in his work which brings him into line with Hegel at this point. the work of an instant. generally. through volition. S. the same degree of fection awareness of something not ourselves which has the same rhythm or interpenetration of accurately. the movement. will have been thoroughly intelligized and reduced to law while on the other hand.

the must be released from the trammels The movement of mind which was necessary science has arisen. . emphatic in insisting that intuitive insight is not gained nor by a synthesis or resume of conceptual knowledge Bergson is is it achieved by perfecting such knowledge. that is. Bergson emphasizes. at from conceptual knowintuition which is The metaphysical the basis of every science.M. at the beginning. underlying The thought simple is that act intelligence is bare identity. the sympathetic effort which Nevertheless. emanates from a faculty quite other than that of analysis. indeed. 2 I. order that the scientific genius might adopt the in life of that which he studied must be immediately grasped. Haldane and Kemp). " begin his It Analysis. that while Schopenhauer lays stress on the insight. the genius elaborate it which has set analysis in motion. when disciples. refraction. of the process of scientific analysis. but not ledge to intuition. pp." 2 In passages such as this. both are equally conditions the insight. constitutes the basis of the science. and dissimulates itself behind analysis. it makes knowledge distinct. 1 Die Welt ah Will und Vorstellung (Schopenhauer. to conceptual knowledge. never tired of reiterating that we can pass from intuition . Trs. which are very numerous. 26 and 27.THE INTUITIVE METHOD of insight. elimination of the qualitative. from which. of concepts. it puts us in a position to impart it reasoning. in fixed the concepts. R. and explain it to others. and to be found. himself and the lesser men. for in that The moment he was intuition is living the activity of his object. then. 25 not the result of a process of abstract It is which only serves to make the immediate knowledge of the understanding permanent for thought by bringing it under abstract concepts. not at the end. as we have seen." 1 It may be noted. however. B.

" and this is not possible except by an expansion of mind akin to that of the ciple that intelligence : mind of the of the ." genius scientific science. It is is the but every predicaitself simple and indivisible." 1 But Bergson does not admit. called point of view that is it out of which knowledge comes. you do not exhaust the nature of 1 1. in its metaphor. unless its confidence has been gained by a long comradeship with its superficial manifestations. is it In either Meta- case knowledge. Conceptual representations are the outcome of our attempt to trans- We late live the this which is ultimate tion of the universe in life are for the instant that in life fixed symbols. which we know. apprehended subject made of it of is in all The psychical activity metaphysical knowledge predication. reality in . a sense is. vanishes. although only by means of material knowledge. is. Finally. from another point of view that into which knowledge goes. it different knowledge.M. in the ordinary sense. from the resume or synthesis of such 2 The movement of mind which Bergson calls intuition an activity prior to or subsequent to what is usually From one knowledge. that sympathy with may which the intuition in " after analysis. symbolic.: one can reach quite is is who laid the foundation " The metaphysical intuition. One does not an intellectual more secret parts. physical knowledge consists in a series of actions. this we have that just to continue the processes of logical synthesis. But Bergson proceeds " It is a question of disengaging the raw materito say ality of the known facts. Such an admission would certainly clash with the prinis identity. 2 Ibid.INTRODUCTION 26 There however. be said to be arrived at obtain from reality an intuition. in which we its various rhythms. in order to gain an intuition.

endeavouring to find some distinction which will fix it for his readers. To this is difficulty : Plotinus returns again and again. our personality. He pursues it with weapons of a subtle dialectic. the resources of a charmingly flexible literary style all and a tion.THE INTUITIVE METHOD one single effort of intuition. however great his genius or untiring his labour. metaphors innumer- able. our freedom. our origin. You do in his highest flight of ecstasy. extremely difficult. Then metaphysic becomes a progressive science. vivid. from new points of view. as if driven by the presence of a consciousness which masters him. but it " nevertheless pierces the obscurity of the night in which intelligence leaves us " with regard to the subjects which have supremely vital importance for us. and it The effort demanded is cannot be sustained for more than an instant. but which he cannot help striving to utter. and that his words can only stimulate all the . by its very nature. it to do so and our impossible to even to express will result in eviscerating shall find its meaning. like the mystic gain in one flash of in- wisdom which abides above effort of intuition the philosopher In all. can never get itself uttered. or Any attempt it at it of some of all. Yet in all this struggle and almost agony of his expression he is well aware that he can never find the last conclusive word for it. express it has been achieved it is fully in concepts or in words. not completed by any one thinker. sight " the eternal each 27 not. and he has to fall back on the thought that it is unspeakable. which. fertile imagination brought into requisi- experience of our being be " The inmost of Plotinus an experience which can never Edward Caird wrote uttered." sympathizes with reality in only one of its rhythms. Thus in Bergson's pages we images piled upon images. and he is endlessly fertile in metaphors and symbols by which he seeks to flash some new light upon it. When destiny. empirical and positive.

Vol." x Substitute the name of Bergson for that of Plotinus in this deliverance. ii. 226. . yet futile efforts to limn for his readers the nature of the intuition. p. 1 Evolution of Theology in the Greek Philosophers (Ed.INTRODUCTION 28 make the experience for himself. untiring. Caird). and we have an accurate description of his the hearer to brilliant.



for that all which later his is of supreme to affirm productions simply develop thoughts germ in in arguments the and imagination by which he seeks to arrive at an intuition of the fundamental psychical Further. in are resolved. under his we see the sharp contours disappear. skilful With the touch. to a searching critical analysis. carries us beyond that level on which alone concepts have any right to exist. Consequently the antinomies thinking has brought about vanish too . for the problem. intuition. growing as it does out . the melting away antinomies which its of the clearly-defined introduction into concept speculative for immediate which reality is grasped as it is for itself. by the men who developed hitherto by were primarily mathematicians self. and the concept lose itself in a " fugitive and fluent " reality. he follows of his task here and gradually. he subjects this concept .CHAPTER I THE INTUITION OF PURE DURATION IN THE LIFE OF THE SELF AND ITS SPATIALIZATION IN THE INTELLIGENT CONSCIOUSNESS Bergson's first importance. repeated frequently takes a well-defined philosophic concept which has been formulated traditional philosophy. in a is much scarcely saying too contained are efforts of method application of his it course the fulfilment of throughout procedure his life of the which is He philosophy.

that differentiation is capable of explanation. homogeneous. and infinitely divisible medium. true and mathematical time. essentially different from the conception of homogeneous space thinks that philosophers it is not. Is time. differentiated is substituted for time as it is represented in the concept under investigation. and though It is it is from space. by Newton in itself. . infinite. It is an empty. homogeneous in all its parts. without The flow of absolute relation to anything external. ." as successive. as conceived in mechanics. The positive outcome of the discussion is that something psychical.. . and from its own nature. It found has in is here mathematics and been thus described " Absolute." Time is conceived as infinite. etc. He who have ? Bergson ranges himself alongside those held that presupposes the intuition of space. the The idea of number idea of number. qualityless or indifferent. of one dimension." as simultaneous. fundamentally identical with space. The concept which of analysis is is first that time is submitted to this process The negative that of time. Bergson lays particular and irreversible. . third. or as first. homogeneity and its continuity. flows equally. or continuous stress upon its as co-existing in one moment of time. another qualityless. and this homogeneous medium is distinguished from space. The concept of time with which Bergson dealing the is that which is to be mechanical sciences. time cannot change. . in which points are distinguished as " here " and " not-here. . second. which Bergson terms duration.TIME AS CONCEIVED IN MECHANICS 32 of the concept. loses meaning when all the concept disappears. homogeneous medium in which points are distinguished as " now " and " notnow. is result reached not a conception which can stand alone. : Duration remains the same. whether motions are swift or slow or none at all. .

is simply Possibly these alternatives are not mutually exclusive. by a synthesizing act of mind. or space time with an element omitted. Since homogeneity means for Bergson " the absence of every quality. is. involves the holding of a similar units in one mind is in i. Mill. in moment. must be regarded we are forced in so far as they as identical." before the or ordinal. first. must at all. it by the reflective which events. that upon an in involves the idea of space. and more form a discrete Consequently. Bergson clearly exposes the futility of . explicit presumably whether All numeral be it number of exactly a " now. either time as represented mathematics and the mathematical sciences is fundait must be admitted mentally identical with space. added together. represented states. or that there are two forms of homogeneous can yet be distinguished from each other medium which medium —one which the numerable contents are regarded as coand a second. from the other. and to the conclusion that time are homogeneous. infinite tions and others sought to derive the idea of space from the experience of series of motor sensa- in Bain. Either time is space with an addition introduced from some other quarter.e. distinct be grasped as side by in space that this juxtaposition of units takes place. These side. It is to each other. even of abstract number." it follows that in existing. implies the simple intuition of a multiplicity of parts or units exactly similar and yet from each other. counting. in which the contents are regarded as following one another. and then. time. the second alternative must be rejected. the presupposition from which Bergson if series be correct. sets out rests But time.— TIME AND SPACE 33 he argues. if the possibility of counting intuition of space. If this then one of these conceived media must be derived so. be and space. is a as it medium our conscious particularly which admits of being counted. consciousness.

the source of this intrusive factor clearly shown.CONCEPTION OF SPACE 34 such an attempt. 99). that the idea of space is the fundamental datum. upon such a vital question more certainty is required than that which is afforded by an a priori surmise. his argument concerning the relation between the conception of time and that of space involves the supposition that the only valid conceptions are Since time. quantitatively conceived. Even in mechanics. time and space. while states of conscious- become by being spread out in time regarded as a homogeneous medium. If. It is of the utmost importance for the understanding of Bergson's philosophy to grasp the implications contained in the immediately subsequent line of thought." x However. viz. one of these two supposed forms of the homogeneous. That is 1 to say. Tr. we can surmise. 75 is (Eng. (mutual) externality is the distinguishing mark has as its of things which occupy space. " Now. If time is an impure concept. and so only other an element introduced from another part of our experience. one element of which is space. intelligence Essai. and the must be fact of its mingling with the pure concept adequately accounted for. no peculiar conception of time possible. a priori. but also maintained. p. the assertion must receive full and complete substantiation. is quantitative. and if such distinction is asserted to be erroneous and groundless. Put very simply. and he boldly propounds the inverse theory that the concept of time which appears in mechanics fundamental basis the idea of space. is capable. Bergson is prepared to meet this demand. and the ness are not essentially external to one another." " he says. these two conceptions are distinguished from one although the another. identical with the conception of space. then. homogeneity of mathematical space and mathematical time is not only admitted. p. is derived from the other. funda- .

indifferent the knowledge of succession. if we in a series of quantitative being the conception of space. is by a the key to Bergson's philosophy. the differentiating characteristic of time.— MEASUREMENT OF TIME 35 mentally. in as successive. He does not encounter great difficulty in showing that any attempt measure to time quantitatively the discarding of the succession which is involves specifically its time aspect. that element must have ^ . originally a " before " and an " after. conceptions. are spatially conceived. Any quantitative measurement of time must be indirect. and the consequent projection of time into which the contents cease to present themselves and are apprehended simply as co-existing. as identical. in Consequently. ever arise.e. at this stage in his thought. in so far as material. and. This is . Bergson. therefore. Quantitative measurement directly applicable to this spatial reality alone." but as co-existent they i. the basis of all The conclusion this points is that. only of quantitative or mechanical conceptions and non-quantitative or non-mechanical reality a if to be apprehended. is ever renewed. had any. that can be accomplished only faculty other than intelligence. if experience were confined knowledge of such a how indeed to see static. mutually external objects. it is to difficult is Further. knowledge of it to which we may attain will consist in the apprehension of co-existing. if a notion of to which time in which the idea of succession is an essential element does form part of our experience. would be exhausted would the idea of time itself could Our knowledge. simultaneously before the mind. appears to regard the material world as a reality which. most stringently space. which exists in a present fact." are held space. for all measurement of this kind is possible only if two points. any direct with Descartes' res externa. It is clear that they are then no longer apprehended as " before " and " after. possibly enter into how experience.

bounds of knowledge ? that the inner psychical is Psychology of does not live obstructed by matter. from the intrusion of space into this reality. — direction are we to seek this entirely non-spatial reality Bergson's unhesitating reply The alone will furnish the type of such a reality. then the question at once arises In what If the conception of time as a . is philosophic All introspection. possible. psychological personality metaphysical reality which of is individual men and the spiritual basis of the all . upon be.SUCCESSION AND DURATION 36 been acquired in some other department of experience than in our perception of the external world which exists an everlasting now. in homogeneous medium which can be differentiated from space is an impure one if it issues from the incursion of an entirely foreign reality into space. self is therefore impossible. if anywhere. statement suffice for the present. is lies Can this force enter within the life. life nature and progress of time are revealed. though it investigation logist is that of introspection. or. a Psychology conclusions are to be accepted it forced repeatedly to cease literally reflect new does not argue that and must is. is that psychological neither The chief in Bergson's formulation of because introspection psychology of the its as true its life. in the ambulations of the purely spiritual force which at the heart of all ? Bergson's contention by reflection. own domain. and valuable within that domain. and introspection it nor method of the empirical psycho- This old objection assumes a retrospective. because the As itself. aspect retrospective. is its The self forward progress and full significance of this position cannot be grasped until the nature of the deeper Let a very general Bergson makes a radical distinction between what we might call the empirical or self has been adequately set forth. a continuously free is He it. conversely. however. has can be grasped.

most In our are not identical with our " per- N. that the body so organized reacts upon the constructing force. Bergson's theory is that this supra-individual psychical reality has. force. and even the reflective.ANALYSIS OF DURATION conscious which but life. explanations are illusory. But when this science steps beyond its and claims to be able exhaustively to represent the its limits " living " nature of the progressive. in its opposition to matter. reflective personality is produced through this interaction a personality which owes its origin to a partial materialization of spirit in the interests of biological and sociological utility. for Bergson. aspects." but with a supra-individual synthesis. the same thing) There is such a self. the reality of which Bergson pursuit evades all attempts to imprison in all of the concepts aid. The empirical. fundamental nature we sonality. that living force after decision. In the second place. and a means which disappears when the end is achieved. self. organized a body. so that in the very effort which he makes to grasp his inner life the reflective philosopher actually destroys that which he seeks to know. and that an individual. its pretended It seeks to reconstruct which a living carries the self to decision of states which are more or less an attempt which is doomed to failure by means the negation of it. It is . Keyserling's recent work. itself is similar distinction will be found in 37 A Hermann Graf von Unsterblichkeit. from the outset. personality is a means to an end. and empirical psychology has an important task in investigating and classify- spatialized ing self. which reflection it in is in any one or may summon to its Reflective knowledge can be purchased only at the cost of a greater or less interruption of the central ener- gizing of the innermost self. super-personal. which is the basis of the moral consciousness. empirical. The psycho- — logy of introspection has as of the reflective or (what " subject-matter the " states its is.

however. who make this demand —rational are content to thought— as a take the from which to construct. They entirely fail to give any insight into the nature of the soul progressing. He is not thinking of Lotze's " unconscious psychical mechanism. and they have emphasized the value activity of thought of reflection as a activity. the immediate. are arrived at in the very by a act of dissection. have to do with this spatialized self. The most important feature of the era of modern philosophy initiated by Descartes is the use of the principle of self-consciousness in all attempts at philosophic construction. He desires to show the driving or motor power which makes any activity possible and real. basis means of revealing the nature of that however. rather. which Kant and those who have developed his method have laid bare. dissecting They which murders process as a living. been made that the activity of the subject. the inner urgency which impels us forward. spatialized self that reflection is condemned to deal. which uses intelligence as a means towards fuller. or fundamental principles of knowledge.DURATION AND REFLECTION 38 consequently with the interrupted. Descartes has not caused the mere thinking aspect of self-consciousness to assume undue prominence in the minds of modern philosophers. those should be recognized as the ultimate In the great majority of cases. creative reality. starting-point. All the categories. goes much further. by the emphasis which he laid on the cogito of his principle. or from particular fact to general . Bergson." not of the passage of mind from premisses to conclusion. choosing. indubitable awareness of that activity. that which makes reality go. indeed. The demand has. or. An immediate grasp of the activity of intelligence or reason and its reflective representation will not meet his demands. less — restricted life. But it has recently been questioned in many quarters whether.

Further. it may 39 sound." When one succeeds in making this descent into one's own psychical life. The activity which he has in view lies beyond the reach of intellect. of attention concentrated inwards. It is only in the rare and critical moments of free decision that our soul achieves to a truly spiritual activity. and feel ourselves doing so. less feelings. and it is consequently only at such moments that opportunities for the application to the its self of the method of opportunities occur. A be undergone long consciousness is to assume the " unique and well-determined attitude " which it must adopt if it is " to appear to itself tion from all that This attitude one of if extreme abstrac external to the spirit itself. are due temporary interruption or negation of that activity. An images becomes less examination of the idea of intensity of mental states leads to the conclusion that such intensity cannot be measured in terms of quantity. for intellect is but a means which it uses for its ends." is reality. fleeting period of special training must first without a veil. it intuition arise.DURATION AND INTUITION However paradoxical law. is transcended. an act of violent abstraction. the multiplicity of defi- nitely outlined definite. we must live our innermost life. is not everyone Even when such who can perform the act of deep introspection necessary for the apprehension of this almost intangible. one finds that the boundaries of " states " gradually melt away. a multiplicity. Bergson argues that these processes of deduction and induction. volitions. " the definite effort of is which we apprehend the ego would be impossible to any one who had not arranged and comdistinct intuition in ' ' bined or fused together a very great number of psychological analyses. in which thought. Intuition alone can unlock its secrets. far from constituting the fundamental activity of the self. as that process is usually understood. . By an effort of deep introspection.

When he feels the inner activity on occasion of a free decision. the interpenetration is complete. that the changes which take place in individual or isolated states of mind. There is no rather. he had isolated. which occur tion of the intensity of those states self-sufficient. but is it is erroneous. contended that to speak of one psychical state as more intense than another. rather.g.e. The multiplicity is. and interpenetrate.. consists in the " larger or smaller number of simple psychic phenomena which we conjecto ture to be involved in the fundamental state perception confused elements. There is here foreshadowed the idea of a multiplicity of elements which are yet not a multiplicity. in the concrete are qualitative. . for the in the ordinary sense of the word. there is. by means of a certain quality in the effect as the Scottish philosophers say. as a psychologist. lose their appearance of disconnectedness. consists in " a certain estimate of the magnitude cause. an acquired percep- tion. of the cause it is. . The percep- which appear to be those which do not demand attention any external object. an inferred one what is directly perceived is a mass which is felt to change qualitatively. e. it is multiplicity a of The perception of the intensity of those states which represent an external as. i. "— the confusedly feeling of a distinguished." This preliminary investigation prepares the way comprehension of the nature of the ego as it presents itself in intuition. like the different members of an organism. : longer a multiplicity of juxtaposed states a growing organism. in which unified in a forward all movement. sensations considered in their cognitive aspect. and supported. the tendencies are perfectly The spiritual content or . The thesis is presented. in any quantitative way.— INTENSITY OF STATES 40 It is not denied that the term is applicable to these states. As the philosopher withdraws into the depths of his own mind he becomes aware that the states which. as well as those multiplicity of mental life.

for example. so to speak. Always on the point of conative elan. and the awareness of it does not go beyond is the stage of feeling. They suggest the thought of the monads of Leibnitz. this higher point of necessary for counting organism. The difference is not between a " here " and a " not-here. there plicity of parts. the philosopher is It is necessary to bear in mind that supposed to have transcended here the stage of thought at which the living personality is con- ceived as a rationally conative synthesis. they yet remain completely distinct from this They cannot be image." . The life passes progressively through various phases. isolated. a fluid mass of memories and feelings integrated by a These tendencies are such that any one of them represents the whole personality. It is a felt difference.TWO KINDS OF MULTIPLICITY substance is 41 seen to be a confused multiplicity of tendencies. They may be counted symbolically by the introduction of space into a The progress of the innermost non-spatial reality. without any further qualitative thought of counting the changes or qualities. It feels these differences. persisting. the nature of . — being realized in a clearly-defined image. qualitative rather than spatial. and from unity. but these are all phases of a conatively unified whole. is but qua organism this Similarly. In an organism. material objects are numerable the mass " contains number only potentially. but the basis of comparison. They are much more supple than images. is the a potential multiis a multiplicity in view the idea of space not applicable at continuous life to all of the person a approximates to such a multiplicity in unity. life is plicity. said to constitute a multiplicity in the sense in which distinctly outlined." It is the qualitative change of a " this " becoming something else. makes spiritual the most perfect example of such a potential multi- Here consciousness immediately detects changes. but they are never fixed they are pure fluidity and mobility. discriminations.

" They are the epitomized form in which all our past experiences. many —each through Synthetic reflection." There consequently it is lies " buds and bour- nothing quantitative entirely beyond the grasp of intelligence. " negate inwardness of reality altogether " they have no point of contact with " the inner doing " of the self. creates. Bergson attempts to possible to enter into the psychical They In an essay entitled show that it is prior to its direc" tion towards external action. which. principle of these and together are all unity unity. " ideas. and are carried forward that exist in the depths of meet and mingle with the fresh experiences which arise. according to Bergson. helping us to an insight into the nature of the spiritual life. step by step. to instal oneself in the " pure memory. They are termed in another connection " pure memories. These pure memories are not." and. when we enter into geons. of consciousness. these reflective constructions. in a third. it and feel its life. reconstructions based upon an inexhaustive and inexhaustible series of ineffectual turnings about a reality whose nature can be grasped only by entering into it. and utterly inadequate reconstructions of the reality. L'Effort Intellectuel. fall within the bounds of experience. changes or spatial in and it. a reality which " overflows and — surrounds " all Indeed. Further of consideration the inter-penetrating ten- dencies which are fused together in this spiritual content may throw some light upon its nature.QUALITATIVE INTENSITY 42 which emerges apperception. hypothetical constructions which are arrived at by thinking away the permanent characteristics of images so completely that the characteristic of change alone remains. and to its . willed. felt. practical. to all we have thought. and memory. left of one in behind as merely provisional. to the precipita" pure " memory into images. symbolic. instead of the concepts of logic. the . in James' phrase. and pass tion of this life thence.

life no element means all homogeneity vanishes change heterogeneous moments remains. is life nothing ever repeats something else Spiritual . when the spirit lives its unhindered life. these tendencies have all so penetrated that there is not any consciousness of this or that tendency. although parts have dropped off . or an undercurrent of this purely spiritual life. The past exists in the present. the essential characteristic cannot be fixed under the regard of con- pure fluidity and mobility. persists identical growth. but. evolution. Even when one . throughout. . implies an incipient spatialization. while at the same time something entirely new is elaborated. It is just this pushing of the past into the present which constitutes the continuity of the life of the inner self. a series of absolutely Yet there is a lived similar to that of a growing lives the life of reflection there a central core. comes to its own such unification of and the present which is generated from the whole of the past inherits it all. continuity of this inner organism. of one of these tendencies. and in the free decision. it no longer what is it This was. is still itself. according to which the past and the future should be explainable in terms of the present. " fleeting. in virtue of its very existence there. carried on into the future was some- life. but a feeling of pure becoming in which all the tendencies have merged into one another in one great impulsion towards the creation of something absolutely new. But the very isola- tion. memory 43 and precise terms.CONTENT OF SPIRIT subsequent externalization in experience the " pure " existence. In the process of maturation which constitutes the spiritual The past which thing it is . of which is that it it is an true. is the extreme antithesis of a mechanical view of reality." it is intimate this really perceived as is sciousness nor translated into definite for In action. for a passing glance. Whenever spirit tendencies occurs. so to speak.

The it follows that its future is wholly imprethe actual possibility of prediction lies in persistence in time of identical elements. practical value in enabling us to predict the future only if certain conditions do recur. Consequently. To sum up pure spirit reveals itself in immediate knowledge as non-spatial. the law of causation has a homogeneity. and we have a feeling sui generis.SPIRITUAL EXISTENCE 44 and become materialized into images. as entirely disparate from a reality to which number is applicable." richer experience. — — a " larger. we essentially seeing. for the existence of matter. the feeling of : . which. We its feel directly is a spatialized true reality by growth. in the fact of For example. and as devoid of all homogeneity. organic growth. But of homogeneity. in so far is . possibility at any rate as it is spatial. the feeling of the greater weight. so to speak." but this interpretation of a fact grasped in immediate consciousness. which may memory This feeling carries. subsequently be interpreted as the feeling of an increased multiplicity of " states. further. Since for this spiritual reality existence identical with is growth. is In the material world this realized. visible. to enter- tain the possibility of foreseeing here the possibility of living before is an entire absence live to contemplate is —a sufficient reductio ad absurdum. . So the living continuity is preserved. and the idea of multiplicity would never arise in a consciousness which merely felt itself live the inner life. continuous elaboration of something not partially but entirely new. and the intuition is the immediate awareness of this act of continuing. means here an ever renewed hence the future in pure spirit there is Here there can be only coincident with living. creation of the present previsible. In the fundamental psychical life there is a constant accumulation of the past conserved in memory the volume of the self one cannot avoid metaphors here grows.

Bergson's theory demands the presupposition that every mind which arrives at the ordinary conception of time has at least a vague awareness of this pure duration. however. a. indeed the. gnawing at the future." in Either they. whether. Finally. glimpse of the inner life involves a violent effort of abstraction. with Bergson. that the spiritual it own be contended a supra-rational one." This same sen- tence describes the existence of spirit. although the make this impossible. does not imply consciousness of time. " memory would would be confined to a be granted that a being devoid of " for he and awareness of " now " alone The awareness of spiritual growth may be the germ out of which consciousness of time develops. or they are not yet. It is now possible to see how the impure conception for the conception of time has arisen. that time with this spiritual growth. A consciousness which maintained itself ever intent on its which passes own internal qualitative activity succession would experience only the pure of duration. On such a view time becomes identical with spiritual existence. The characteristic of Bergson's position. it may 45 readily be admitted that our conception of time grows out of the immediate awareness of our conscious growth. as such. or whether life is the extremely opposite position be assumed that the progress of the mental may It the development of pure reason. It is the very " stuff " of life. life is have no conception of time. identifies when peculiar that he is It " pure is ignorant of space the feeling of evolving experience would be the feeling of pure time. for the conception of time ." all is others are not. and increasing in bulk as it advances. it must be admitted that now ever-renewed.TIME AND SPIRIT Now. To a person duration. It is " the continuous progress of the past. fundamental feature of time a time series one "is. exist no longer. needs of physiological and social and although even a fleeting life Now.

When we observe the oscillations of a pendulum. which is borrowed from the awareness which the mind has of own inner movement or duration.e. points. is an impure element introduced from pure spirit into pure space. moreover.— " IMPURE CONCEPTION OF TIME 46 which he combating is possession is. independently within each individual mind. " as the successive phases of our conscious life. are simultaneously present in a " now. or parts. is due to the incursion of space into the domain of pure consciousness. considered as a medium in which distinct internal states occur as a series. cor- respond each to an oscillation of the pendulum which occurs at the same time as oscillations it. vague awareness of pure " succession without mutual externality. An illustration which Bergson uses may throw some light on this ingenious theory of the vagaries element. in which there is " mutual externality of parts without succession." The impure conception of time which all minds possess is due to an intermingling of these two extremes. they they are endowed with an imaginary succession. " Here " or " there." or simultaneity of parts which do not succeed each other. succession in general. these are sharply distinguished from one another. although they penetrate one another. . is " contemporaneous tion to this with each " heterogeneous each of these sets are placed side by is moment " of consciousness conserved in memory. in of our faculty of knowledge. . which yet are side as distinct sets. Next." the individual mind must be supposed to be in possession of the idea of space." isolated points or parts. I think he would hold. and as. considered as a which distinct external events occur as a series. medium then. A set " of simultaneities./ In a parallel way it may be argued that the static element in homogeneous time. a universal and develops But in addi- of the reflective consciousness. The its " successive in homogeneous time. regarded as constituting a series i.

p. change. of resemblance to each. The Cartesian res extensa and Bergson's pure duration are set over against each other as two forms of reality which have nothing whatever in common. the oscillapendulum. and also as a concept of physics. Within the external world there is no real activity. is a " mongrel " conception born of the unholy union between pure duration and pure space. perceive in that world of parts. is fixity. . tions of the Owing to the fact that our consciousthem as a whole in memory. 83 (Eng. as a concept of the ordinary intelligence. then.CAUSE OF IMPURITY we get into the habit of setting 47 up the same distinction between the successive moments of our conscious life. nothing but real activity. on the contrary. on the other hand. 1 This is is . p. the moments of which are identical. there is the primary change. they are conserved. then disposed in a series. profit as it were from the influence which they have thus exercised over trating one another. into parts external to one another hence the mistaken idea of a homogeneous inner duration similar to space." x Time. to be indefinitely set in juxtaposition to itself. and which permits the movement of the pendulum. ness has organized although taking place at one spot. Tr. so to speak. which are distinct only because one has vanished when the other appears. The vital presupposition of this argument is that there is an absolute cleavage in reality. move- Bergson's standpoint in Essai. 109). immobility. and the impress of space upon it is seen in its feature of homogeneity. our conscious life. mobility object of immediate apprehension here ment. simultaneity In pure duration. In short. The oscillations of the pendulum break it up. From pure It bears duration it marks has derived the characteristic of succession. pure succession. or mobility what we primarily . But. we create for them a fourth dimension which we call homogeneous time. change. and follow without pene.

for. place the idea of space Bergson's reflective Before the process of osmosis can take metaphysic must be accounted of reality increasingly difficult to see how develops. If that which Bergson is be so. because. however. Bergson ceases in his later productions to refer to the strange theory just elaborated of the filter- ing through of space into time. " solidifies into sensible qualities this continuous flow. is it which to are identical. however. and in the progress of Bergson's thought this radical cleavage between the external and the internal world is superseded. directly In this latter case he sets out with the postulate of the continuous flow of reality in a our manner similar to the movement of own inner psychical life. unsophisticated individual mind moves between pure intuition and pure intelligence. and reality as a whole occupies a plane between pure duration and pure matter. dualism giving place to a species of his earliest work. although there is and duration reality movement within a reality from becoming pure duration. Sensible qualities. The normal. probably under the stress stage. of this difficulty.CLEAVAGE 48 REALITY IN Such a position. It is all the difficulties monism according spiritual which prevents spirit. it but as becomes the conception of space becomes a possession of the mind at will have to be considered at a later all. in the universe as a whole it is materiality. the supreme difficulty with faced consists not so much in explaining the origin of the idea of time. . he says. This difficulty It must be noted here. raises openly dualistic. " by means of memory. which confronted Cartesian dualism. Reflective consciousness. and connects the develop- ment of the idea of homogeneous time more with the utilitarian function of intelligence. pure In the individual mind this retarding movement reflection . as it always is. as they are found in our perception (combined. but in accounting for the universal prevalence of the idea of space in consciousness.

nor does it mean D that the empirical self is a . however. This distinction full of significance. it and two possible It is incapable of coming to grips with must be borne in does not imply that psychology present movement mind what that means. a homogeneous and indifferent medium which is to the flow of matter in the sense of length what space is in the sense of breadth. the concept of time has no knowit is an impure concept which the intelligence subjects itself in its activity devoted to practical ends it is a representation which we are " impelled to imagine. According to this explanation there is no need to appeal to the idea of space for the homogeneous element in the conception of time space and time develop contempoa solidification of the real. and tial to the grasp of Bergson's metaphysic. the been more than once suggested that a clear distinction is to be drawn between that inner self and the fact has personal or reflective consciousness. Herein consists homogeneous time. and." Real time is identical with the progress of spirit. in the course of which it necessary to examine the structure of the inner has been self. as the leaders of the Oxford against that science contend. more generally. reflective thought. without title to rank the sciences. we are impelled to imagine an abstract diagrammatic representation of succession in general. in the other In the one case it is an . misunderstandings must be in is. are the successive moments obtained by But in order to distinguish moments. ledge value. these . its clear comprehension is is essen- When it is argued that empirical psychology. amongst to be regarded as a pretender. On raneously within the reflective consciousness. illusion to In the foregoing consideration of Bergson's theory of the nature of time. and also to bind them together by a thread which shall be common alike to our existence and to that of things. avoided.— TIME AND INTELLECT 49 with memory). the living self. either explanation.

" be body which is the interests of bio- and reflective an integral part of our present organic logical needs. This fact cannot be over-emphasized. but as psychologists they merely carry further a method which had its needs of existence. reflection in the interest of action is the main cause of the precipitation of inner duration into space. Men are reflective primarily in the interests of may in the " thought. He pursues his existence in a spatial world. In other words. way by spirit. practical necessity of finding his way about and the in his material environment involves a compromise. not a theoretic. flection of the psychologist men to the fact that instance. in life . and by that very fact more or less mechanized. The normal mental life which psychology and moves between two extreme dom on limits reflection — investigate pure spiritual free- the one hand. and this themselves in psycho- reflective that the premeditated re- indeed. in the general have It logists. the mechanizing and spatialization of spirit are not due. temporary at least. and so they origin in the practical will. sheer automatism on the other. nature of which psychological analysis. It is anchor thoughts of Bergson's metaphysic. interruption of the progress of that inner reality. ipso facto. is quite capable of investigating. first may be. is saying that Our obliged.BIOLOGICAL NEEDS 50 construction of bad psychology self the with for there actually is a . throw light only on the processes of a self which is turned towards action on matter. They may become avowed from psychologists purely theoretical motives. Man is not pure spirit. expressed in another brings limitations to our very substance. together reflection. but natural retrospection spatialization. to externalize itself in action. consciousness one of the It . between pure spirit and complete mechanism. constituted and the philosopher emphasize. since the very act of reflection involves an actual. by pursuing this method.

this mobility itself. necessity It seems as of this essential for action. thought seeks to take advantage if mechanism of matter. to inherent in is it . it. 1901. Our present life is "a gigantic the effort of thought spirit) to (i. de Phil. that freedom is enabled to hold itself in equili- brium by a veritable physical paradox and by means of an effort which could be sustained for a moment only on This return of spirit been achieved. . body (and more particularly the brain) has been organized by cosmic spirit as a means by which it seeks to regain its free unhindered activity. But the human body occupies a privileged place material world in that in which movement 1 it is is in the " " a kind of telephonic Central switched off along certain chosen Bulletin de la Soc.." free life has struction of the * human brain. life when a It arises SPIRIT 51 partial spatialization of dura- tion takes place. Jan. partially at least. is it fundamental pos- this necessary to consider generally some aspects of Bergson's thought which will require to be dealt with In the in greater detail at a later stage. universal. Fran. which has been interrupted by matter. tion.e. . In of indetermination. automatic and equal action and reaction of part with part. then." which is to its own by the con- a veritable " centre a quite unorganized material world there would be perfect equilibrium. first place.THE BODY AND THE only. obtain from matter some- thing which matter does not wish to yield to is inert cally. and to utilize creative energy which as that energy it convert thus into contingent movements space and into imprevisible events in time in Matter proceeds mechani- it is present in is actable. spirit plication so mobile. and lends Cunningly and laboriously it — all the in so far at least itself to externaliza- accumulates comupon complication in its attempt to transform necessity into freedom. For the better understanding of tulate. and so compose a matter so subtle. pp. 55 and 56.

essential progress. like the monad of Leibnitz. each " image " or part of matter.e. feature of is the conceived of as vanishing when it purpose in providing a free passage for spiritual activity. to assume the existence of category than consciousness. supra-conscious. to be apprehended as a compromise between Descartes' theory. according to which matter is identified with geometrical extension. and matter. i. in any theory of perception. / Yet the creation of something new forms no part of the existence of matter. potential consciousness is striving within matter itself. has an " unconscious " perception of all other images. its means the necessity of matter broken is through. variety. annulled. would dissolve into space as As it is. independ- ence and efficaciousness secured for the psychical force which the cause of is organization. and has served its is that con- viz. In other words. and Berkeley's contention that esse est mind. consequently a distinction is necessary between matter and absolutely static geometrical extension. its This leads to the second consideration discernment. he some- times contends. within this material reality An impersonal. activity is a higher Bergson thinks it necessary. and an increasing precision. uses in order to secure itself is its own Consciousness middle stage. all activity vanished from the material world. Now. matter ~ .CONSCIOUSNESS 52 By lines. that matter exists only within the In the external world there is throughout action and reaction of part on part. therefore it must be differentiated from spirit. since the elements of all act and re-act mutually. It simply acts its past. The nature of this reality is. a material world which exists independently of any individual percipient. impotent. which issues at every moment in the creation of something absolutely new. sciousness. If that were not so. — another means which is is it a may spirit Spirit be said. percipii. spirit is immanent. infra-conscious.

their source. the this source is a feature of the material world has been." l an automaton. for Bergson. which is to break through automatism and attain movement. . 331). The fact that it feels warranted in speaking meaning by that an unconscious does not preclude is being fundamentally a spiritual fact. to the consciousness of moment at the It is similar. hitherto unconscious. has ness has emerged 1 M. consummation material is images. certain actions received are reflected. become conscious. and conse- quently a latent consciousness. it spirit is exactly able only to maintain itself at is equilibrium in automatic and equal action and reaction. et M. within the aggregate of it Instead. At the same time. raneously. is possible only if perception can become conscious perception. so action. is spiritual. balanced by matter and action. p. This. 228 (Eng. Consequently he of unconscious perception. one image by its is so cunningly organized from other images does part an automatic and immediate re- that the action received not evoke on Such a reached when. This position is we bear in mind that spirit. a consciousness of which the eventual manifestations hold each other reciprocally and annul one another precisely in check. Not only so intelligible only if . p.CONSCIOUSNESS AND PERCEPTION " 53 Nature might be regarded as a neutralized. It cannot pursue its fundamental activity. broken through. that is to say. therefore. however. when they might appear. perception. from While perception remains at the unconscious stage. is primarily activity. The conscious aspect is not fundaall activity mental. at a certain point. spontaneous and unforeseen. Tr. the active aspect is. upon body upon and the potential action of Contempooutlined there. Conscious- in the interests of the activity of spirit. consciousness awakes. and discerns this outline of the eventual action of the body upon that part of its material environment. The automatic reaction which is to speak.

and more particularly a brain. tinuous new take place ? which creation. Bergson speaks of the ties / aggregate of images. the to end of are constructions of the impersonal. We lives its How.e. is. spiritual force. it is important to observe. supra-personal middle matter Pure state." be asked to no reply is whom what or to forthcoming. RATIONAL SELF A MEANS 54 which has to some extent overcome the opposition of matter. this is is perception consists mainly in grafting elements derived from memory (and therefore personal). which conditions chosen activity. This consciousness. individual personalities. in a material reality. not subsequently to ^ . In the first place. own then. for which existence means an everrenewed present. and at the other in a supra-human say. in so far as it has constructed a body. is spirit. the simultaneously with the perception. or supra-personal likewise impersonal —infra-personal. But if chosen activity is to become a fact. the possibilibetween which the choice lies must be discerned. at the outset. that selves. the perThis reflection occurs ception is reflected in memory. are also They too spirit is means viz. inherent life of con- does personalization have seen that a " pure " perception the outline in matter of our eventual action is upon it/ At same time as this practical discernment takes place. the fact " impersonal. that " pure " perception is it it given to an is emphasized and that ordinary Indeed. It disappears. consciousness must arise. Bergson holds that it is not difficult to trace the process by which consciousness passes from the impersonal to the personal form. except that impersonal consciousness. two other things happen. on to this impersonal basis.. strictly impersonal. as " posited to begin with. i. at one extreme. This brings us to a third consideration." If aggregate given. Finally. one might The ordinary reflective conscious personality occupies a " mean " position.

contemporaneously with the perception. as such. ' It is a permanent and unique factor in that group of images which interest its needs. Bergson argues. of an object is —contours merely the outside. there is one apprehended in a way entirely different from that in which all other images are perceived. touch. and aware of it as something very different from the outline in matter of a possible action of the body upon it. in the higher animals. spirit. in brainless animals. and most particularly in man. is continued in automatic reaction. a motor response which. so that it no longer exists it. since these nascent movements is perceived. real That to say. consciousness gradually attaches itself to "It is led to do so precisely it as a centre. and no longer from without. falls below the level of In the second consciousness. case. the translation would never have taken place. In the one case. but inward. but which. material image. the body. Consciousness is aware of the nascent reaction of the body. inhibited. place. real action movement — —not In the other external contours. or may This incipient but suppressed reaction is be. a reaction on the part of the bod)'' commences.IMPERSONAL SUBSTANCE 55 The reflected image is thus caught up in the life of and is dissolved into it. what is perceived the contours. Now. but unless the outlines of the object perceived had been traced out in the original sensation. discerned from within. which accompany all perception. Hence. which indicate the body's eventual action upon the object. it is is is plain that this image. and that when the translation is made the original pales. is. by experience of the double . plays a peculiar part in a certain group of variable perceptions. as a separate image. an invariable accompaniment of perception. It is true that in developed perception the sensations are translated into eventual data of sight. and muscular sense. but. for in sensation consciousness is aware of internal cerebral movements actually commenced.

It is this and. in the case of man at least. I know it from within by sensations which I term affective. — and no longer only on the surface the seat of affection. Memory is an undeniable factor in the restricted to the perception of the . There is. But consciousness. particular image which I adopt as the centre of my universe and as the physical basis of my personality 'V This is not the place for considering whether the explana- is adequate to account for the transition from impersonal substance to a personal consciousness. so that the other images range themselves round it in the very order in which they might be subject to its action. as in the case of the other images. its outer skin.— PERSONAL CONSCIOUSNESS 56 body possesses of performing actions in a word." in the life of personality. The life of the humblest conscious automaton approaches nearly to this level. On the other hand. a privileged image. What must be noted is that from one point of view the tion put forward consciousness of personality 1 " the idea of the body. instead of knowing only. in the aggre- gate of images. is. perceived in its depths. constitutes " an ever-renewed section of universal becoming ") its exist- ence would have as essential characteristic the funda- mental attribute of matter i. by experience of the sensori-motor power of a certain image privileged above faculty which this and feeling affections other images. is not motor reactions which commence in the body and eventually become signs of external objects. then. it would consist in a present which was renewed at every instant.e. on the one hand. at the same time. the source of action. is the permanent element and constitutes the ever-recurring This present of the empirical psychical life. along with the rest of the material universe. — For. in the language of Spinoza. this image always occupies the centre of representation. If a consciousness were confined to awareness of the body (which.

a condensation of the history which it has lived since its birth. arises with it. and survives it because it is of an entirely different nature from it. as it were. and of the effort which accompanies their materialization. for its guidance. so to speak. matically " is formed which Our past the . images from the depths of the unconscious.MEMORY AND ACTION 57 life of human individuals. the conscious life of an intellectual individual consists normally in a knowledge of the body. of the reasonings which take place in connection with these images. The continuity of individuality de- pends on the persistence of the body. for it is the body which continually recalls. But the mass of memories of the past is connected with the sensori-motor mechanism of the body. " doubles the perception right develops simultaneously with it. reappear in consciousness in response to the demands of the body the personal the body . field into one another. life it is is for guidance. simultaneously with the perception a memory image perception. That is to say. Thus the present of not merely the ever-renewed idea of also the awareness of the materialized memories which have reappeared in order to guide the body in its practical activity. . these memories would never reappear as distinct images within the illuminated They would melt consciousness. auto- memory through. and the representations capable of guiding these motor mechanisms in their task by conferring on them the benefit of lessons learned in prior experience. attached to them. and if the idea of the body constitutes the material element in the psychical As life the spiritual factor is to be found in memory. of and constitute the content of the liquid lapse of pure duration. Apart from the practical exigencies of biological and social life. of the images derived from memory. is is the reflection of the thus " conserved of itself." Thus each body carries attached to it. mental already mentioned.

a conceives it. a partial process in the taking place. to reflec- tion in the interests of action. The experience of each individual goes to confirm the ease with which one degenerates into a mere creature of habit. consciousness. and the body which intelligent self is spirit The has organized. It is not difficult to marvellous provision for the conservation of the psychical energy. The is But in so far as our activity. viz. associated ideas and the immediate reactions may be deposits of mind. Apart. and associationist psychology and physiology are quite capable of dealing with them. to triumph over the necessity of matter. memory. mental or automatic. that ever-flowing mass of " pure and depends for its continuance memories. second. understand how to of spiritual limitation life . a conscious automaton. bodily. are all means to this one end. The power to form habits. but once it has acquired . a partially spatial reality. be considered. This is same due. however. automatically reciprocal reaction. carries with it this danger. is and action necessity. to grasp the consequent essential difference be- tween the psychical personality reflective life . in the direction first is continually instance. The body. It is the supreme means to the end which spirit has ever before it. but they are no longer elements in a truly mental life. The fundamental characteristic of matter as Bergson and equal show that the danger of a similar mechanical automatism continually menaces the mental life. mechanical. process of spatialization of spirit. in so far is it materialized. and the fundamental to comprehend the That process must now all. from this complete materialization of spirit. and above finally. personality. We life now are the in a position in body conditions first.SPATIALIZATION OF SPIRIT 58 now It is clear that personality arises as a result of upon interaction between " the contents of spirit.

body upon it. so that when the sensation (awareness of the nascent movement) occurs. and. de jure.SPATIALIZATION OF SPIRIT the habit of looking back. We real action of a definite part of are vaguely conscious of this nebulous conglomerate. and which are perfectly unextended and so radically different from sensation. taken in their entirety. the body. there is attached of " pure " to each organized body a fluid mass memories which constitute the contents of spirit. appear in all its particularity the magnifying instrument of reflective . that this discernby an incipient movement on the part of the body to realize this action. commenced the in fact. ready to reappear in when images have past experiences. Bergson argued that the unconscious was a reality. mind merely for the sake of doing that. sunk below the individual flow of pure duration. the concentrated volume of our past ex- As perience. state without rising above the and will this of detail something when and this obscurity anything new and external to Something the exists in the level of the unconscious. dissolved into the the call comes. of mind He held at a meeting of the that certain psychical states. which is essentially extended and localized. the conviction that this lacuna could be filled dissipated without state being super-added to it. the mind immediately leaves it in the background and the possible action of the ment is invariably accompanied gives its attention to the object which has provoked the reaction on the part of the body. being. Further. all their detail In this sense they exist as uncon- During a discussion on unconscious states French Philosophical Society in 1909. at the same time. scious states. perception is 59 upon reflects its past We have already seen the discernment in matter of so. carry with them the feeling of an obscurity and the vague perception of a lacuna. and that the consciousness of this nascent movement eventually becomes a symbol of the perception itself. level of consciousness.

although one of explicitly in character. Into the bodily attitude thus induced. " While external perceptions provoke on our part movements which trace its main lines. p. by an act of voluntary attention or reflection. This is no arbitrary hypothesis this preliminary inhibition and these subsequent movements of imitation actually If the facts just be difficult to follow . p. to past experience. in referring for guidance. and memory furnishes is means of introducing the material world. closely." its it reveals itself in past states is manifested x mentioned are kept in view it will not Bergson's account of the materialization of this spiritual content.SPATIALIZATION OF SPIRIT 6o attention is psychical life directed upon " it. into the motor diagram of the object of perception thus outlined. The whole necessary determinant. Let it be supposed that the motor activity which normally accompanies perception foregoes its practical end and that its arrest is followed by subtle movements of the body which combine to mark out the prominent features of the perceived object. in the ever-varying circumstances of practical living. Tr. for et M. occur. 191). while also its of our past conditions our present state without being our character. 123)." 2 The mental life of man consists normally in a go and come between " pure " memory and movement in response to in the stimulus. of . be brought to insert themselves. His body gives his mind some purchase on the material world of which it forms a part. it real chosen action into that It is necessary to is just examine here that the (Eng. Tr. and thus give flesh to the skeleton of the object outlined motor diagram. which gathered up in spirit and may reappear in memoiy. (Eng. 1 M. images of past experience may. 2 this matter materialization Ibid. our memory directs upon the perception received the memory images which resemble it and which are already sketched out by the movements themselves.

i. as inaugurated which makes us aware of the outer shell of the object of perception. the from past experience. above.e. In the actuality of our present. according to Bergson. This may require many . this is clear that in attentive perception. and efficacy. But while many quarters a great been produced regarding in of confused writing has deal the nature of the presentation continuum. of first assumed or set When we saw of movements all. The mind past in order to pro" Setting out from a " pure its memory. Bergson's account of perception agrees so far with the generally latter being contributed accepted version.SPATIALIZATION OF SPIRIT and the consequent birth of spirit 61 selves intelligent is seen." representative element which is entirely Further. is circles a synthesis of presentative or imme- and representative or ideal elements.) merely a temporary phase. a bodily attitude actual state its is not conceptual. to precipitate this pure memory into images which will fit into the diagram and so complete the representation of the object of perception and finally induce activity. under the guidance of the motor diagram furnished by the body. by constituted fundamentally makes on his the conscious- movements of imitation which take place Our body is that part of the material world ness of incipient in the body. It is almost universally agreed in psychological that perception diately given. it is. it proceeds. for the activity would normally follow y which guidance can be secured from inhibited only until such is the experience of the past as will ensure its greater precision then turns round and enters into vide the needful direction. while the usually regarded as a concept is particularized. from memory. to consciousness in the But this is (This outline is distinctly present phenomenon of the after-image. Bergson it perfectly view. derived it is attentive perception takes place. of which lies we " directly feel the flux.



and of course the operation may go on
becoming more rich with
each successive addition from memory.
With that consummate skill in psychological analysis
which is Bergson's supreme talent, he follows step by
tentative efforts,

indefinitely, the representation

step the gradual passage of the fluent " pure "


into memory-images, with the concomitant sensations or

awareness of nascent bodily movements of reaction, and


bodily movement. 1

to bring out the general plan.

An example



In the case of hearing,

the brain almost automatically breaks up the confused
flow of sound which



mediated to

accomplishes this only



if it



through the

able to



which compose the sound. This means that a certain
bodily attitude is assumed, or that a motor diagram of
the words heard is organized.
But at the same time a
mental attitude is adopted. " The hearer at once places
to repeat internally the

articulations of the

himself in the midst of the corresponding ideas and then

develops them into acoustic memories which go out to
the crude sounds perceived, while fitting them-





the motor diagram."
the " idea " or " pure

More definitely, we
memory," and a " con2

movement begins by which its nebulosity is
condensed into distinct auditory images which, still fluid,
will be finally solidified as they coalesce with the sounds

materially perceived."


The end of perception is action, and action is brought
about by the release of energy along certain nerve fibres
through special motor mechanisms.
These motor mechanisms


receive their stimulus to action directly through

the end-organ of sense acted upon



by a

real object, as in

V. Matiere et Mdmoire, pp. 134-169, and L'Effort
M. et M. (Eng. Tr. p. 145).
M. et M. (Eng. Tr. p. 154).


automatic action, or they

may receive



through an internal

cerebral organ which corresponds inwardly to the end"
organ. This cerebral organ is not acted upon by a " real

by an " image " which comes from the direcmemory. That is to say, in this second case
" pure memories, as they become actual, tend to bring
about within the body all the corresponding sensations.
The progress by which the virtual image realizes itself is
nothing else than the series of stages by which this image
gradually obtains from the body useful actions or useful
The virtual image evolves towards the
virtual sensation (i.e. incipient bodily movement), and the
this movevirtual sensation towards real movement
object, but

tion of pure








ment, in realizing



both the sensation of

which it might have been the natural continuation and
the image which has tried to embody itself in the sensation." x What is important for us at this juncture is
the fact that spiritual content (i.e. pure memories) is
actually materialized into images which are " identical
with or similar to the object on which they mould



actually " abide with the perception in


This part of Bergson's thought can be thoroughly understood only
state of

if it

be borne in mind that for him the subjective

mind which

psychologists call a percept, and the

objective reality of which this percept


considered to be

the mental representation, do not differ in that one



non-extended fact and the other material and
extended. There is no meaning, Bergson holds, in asking

whether " images " are within or without the mind. The
difference between matter and our representation of it
lies in the difference between the whole and the part, and
(what is of primary importance for our present consideration) between rhythms of duration.
The moments of the




(Eng. Tr. pp. 168 and 169).



existence of matter are so

be said to endure at


homogeneous that it can scarcely
The moments of spiritual exist-

ence are so heterogeneous that they constitute pure dura-

Now, our
midway between

representation or percept of matter


In the act of reflection which

the two.

takes place in attentive perception the spiritual content
ceases to pursue


own rhythm

of duration and gradually

approaches the rhythm of matter so that
into the outline of the object perceived,





issue in action.


does not actually coincide with the material object,



plays a part in every perception, which means

rhythm of spirit is
that of matter, and that the
that the


to some extent imposed on
" present " perception is, so

a history, not an immediate grasp of the present of


Bergson explains


by saying that the

ence between subject and object



not to be stated in

terms of space but of time.
In this mere outline of Bergson's extremely complex
explanation of the process by which the content of spirit

materialized in the interests of practical

fact to be noted


that the inner



the important

actually does


spatialized through the demands of the body for guidance.
The interpenetrating " ideas " actually become more or
less definitely


juxtaposed, temporarily, no doubt, but none

less truly.

was observed above that a fundamental postulate of
Bergson's thought is that the spiritual life is limited by
the organic or physiological life. The manner of that
limitation is now plain.
It comes about by means of the
body, and more particularly the brain. Man's psychical
life consists normally in putting " ideas " into action, and

this translation is achieved only

present reality on some side,




when the idea touches
onfy when " it is able

and by progressive diminutions or contractions
more or less acted by the body at the same

to be

time as

it is



by the mind.

one hand, the sensations which
other, the

movements which

Our body,

with, on the


and, on the





capable of executing,

that which fixes our mind, gives



The perceptual representation appears


and poise."



between the pure idea divorced from bodily activity and
bodily activity independent of pure ideas. It arises from
the interpenetration of the two, the rough diagram contributed

by the

from the

and the filling provided
a temporary stage in

activity of the brain

spiritual content.



the progress from arrested automatic action to a



chosen or free.
have now reached the point towards which the last
few pages of exposition have been directed. A sharp line
of distinction has to be drawn between the progress of the
inner self, which is that of pure duration, and this spatialized
spiritual substance which is due to reflection upon our past
reflection which is necessary if our bodily activity is to
acquire the greatest possible precision and efficaciousness.


If the psychologist confines his investigations to " images,"
" perceptions," " ideas," etc., as distinct self-sufficing

wholes, as parts of the psychical

life, it is

obvious that he

not entitled to pronounce any judgment upon the living




that he does

which, through reflection,




analyse a


already more or less spatial-

But Bergson holds that

psychologists are prone to do.

this is just




lose sight of the fact

that mental life is a process, a development, and they
" arrest and solidify into finished things the principal

Thus they seek to recondismembered limbs. Or

phases of this development."

struct the living self with these

they turn upon the inner

by the very








that reflective introspection

act of reflection, spatializes the purely



p. 189 (Eng. Tr. p. 226).



and instead

See also Eng. Tr.

p. 197.



of revealing the nature of the living self they dissect a

substance from which the



has flown.

spatialization of the self has been followed






on the



general ideas are facts of which the psychologist seeks to
give an account.

Bergson argues that these,

to a partial spatialization of duration.

had a



look, if


too, are


If a consciousness

uninterruptedly reflected

would never arrive at the formation of a concept.
It would contemplate each event of
the past as a distinct particular, with its date and peculiar
If, on the other hand, consciousness were confined
strictly to the present, it would live always in the universal,
for the body acts the past, " habit being to action what
generality is to thought."
Such a mind would be conscious
only of an identity of reaction, it would feel this identity.
But practical consciousness, it must be repeated, is not
It moves between the two,
confined to either extreme.
and the general idea or concept, considered as a universal
particularized, arises from the intermingling of factors
introduced from these ideal limits. The body first acts
a resemblance, i.e. an unimpeded motor reaction accompanies an oft-repeated perception. The similarity of the
objects perceived " acts objectively like a force, and
or mused,


seems that


provokes reactions that are identical in virtue of the purely

same general effects
same profound causes." This simi-

physical law which requires that the

should follow the

larity of reaction in a variety of circumstances is " the

germ which human consciousness develops
It is as




—how does



In the



into general

become a represented idea or con-

yet only a



generalization acted


supplies a filling to the

which is the consciousand through the combination of the
two the idea of an individual is produced, its general
outline, the consciousness of

ness of generality,



coming from the side of the body, and its peculiar
from the side of memory. Emphasis on the element
derived from memory brings before consciousness the



mind the

stress upon the factor
body brings prominently before the

of the individual





universality of the individual.

Disregard of one

or other element issues in conceptualism on the one hand,

nominalism on the other. But practical thought combines " just enough image and just enough idea " to form
a general notion which will " lend useful aid to the present


The next step

in the process

seems obvious.

necessary only to carry reflection a
the conceptual framework from
possibility of reflection



upon these



further, to isolate

contents, to posit the

isolated universals,


immediately the whole apparatus of intelligence which has
first been acted by the body comes within the scope of
The animal acts intelligently. Its activity
" outlines roughly the diagram of the human intelligence "


takes place according to principles upon which



but which in the case of man, who has achieved the
power of reflection, reveal themselves to consciousness.
The evolution of the intellectual individuality may now


be completed

if it be possible to trace the origin of intelliBergson maintains that it is impossible to explain
the genesis of intelligence after the manner of the compara-


who attempts to follow its progressive
development through the ascending animal series. Since
the activity of the animal outlines broadly the diagram

tive psychologist,

human intelligence, " to explain the intelligence of
man by that of the animal consists simply in developing
an embryo of humanity into a human being." He equally
of the

condemns Spencer's



show that consciousness

gradually receives the imprint of constant relations which
subsist in matter, that


thus slowly adopts the general

INTELLIGENCE AND SPACE 68 configuration of matter. In positing a material world of objects and facts Spencer has presupposed intelligence. suggests itself that make it we must analysis point the way at once trust our faculty of knowledge. limited sphere of application. Bergson opposes Fichte's attempt to deduce a priori the categories of thought. and that this primary act of faith mistaken. Bergson form of the Intelligence. on the level of conceptual thought. arrived at the level of ordinary attentive practical perception. the geometrical with space emptied of is all content. and finally issues in intelligence. realizes itself most perfectly geometrical intelligence. But a gence assuming a point The thought our starting-point. and thus arrive at a clear comprehension of its urges. is not only not necessary. intelligence deals In other words. the acted universal emptied of content may . means of thought for. and that it is co-extensive with the field of experience. in the " All the operations of intelli- gence tend towards geometry as the goal of their perfect achievement. pure memories are refracted into images which are inserted into an acted universal. Firstly. regressive development of the narrower faculty of intelligence. its nature. on a pure universal. space Knowledge of this pure universal is by a double process of reflection. or rather. but also by entering intuition." Now. it is into a wider experience by possible to follow the progressive. for the very possibility of stating the problem implies the possibility of of view outside his own experience. No philosopher who proceeds upon the assumption that our faculty of knowledge is one. content ourselves with-a and exhaustive analysis of all its his is vital factor in Bergson's is that intelli- not co-extensive with experience. can with any meaning put to himself the problem of the engendering of the intelligence. critical and by that very to an expansion of experience in possible directions. Secondly. In the last place.

pure homogeneity. All other less refined concepts or general ideas on the path of the mind's movement towards space. which is. and at the utmost limit an indefinite multitude of qualityless points comes into view that is the idea of space. He makes to indicate the ideal asks us to make an by means of which we may be effort of able to instal ourselves in the free elan which pulses in us. the attempt which he genesis of intelligence. and gradually the parts even of the images falling asunder and becoming more and more homogeneous. As facts of mind these general ideas are a mixture of pure spirit and space or. identical element is The continuous recurrence of this the basis of possible consciousness of we have only to disregard the variable elements and we are left with a present which unceasingly repeats itself. for of space is nothing From a else. and the knowledge space. Space is thus the most refined of all the concepts." " adopting the rhythm of matter. then. From this point of view a precise meaning may be attached to Bergson's description of intelligence as the consciousness " insinuating itself into matter. abstraction. sciousness which is called the present At each awareness of the body." " concentrating itself original on matter. but which . and is the supreme intellectual con- of view it — ception." Further. and. it is possible to follow in outline at least. is moment may be of con- fundamentally the successive present we experience an elementary identity of motor reaction on the part of the body. partial spatialization of time.INTELLIGENCE AND SPACE become an object of representation. they owe their existence to the arise . the represented universal emptied of all The illuminated content. if 69 the abstraction be carried far enough. We can imagine the images becoming more and more clearly defined. slightly different point might be said that the idea of space is arrived at by pushing to the extreme the work of reflection which has begun in perception.

towards the extreme limit mental life should consist in the awareness of the identical motor reactions of the body. for it studies bodies rather than -matter. too. in led to isolate particular objects. and in the supreme instance we have let everything go except a mere form. It all but the quantitative aspect of does not touch the its subject- differences qualitative between one form of energy and another it is content to express all these in terms of a quantitative unit of measurement. Chemistry deals with matter. and are thus individual. pure homo- — geneity." this Physico-chemistry body has —the body itself in relation to all for its subject- . All distinction between past. In the next place. We have passed from a spiritual life of free creative activity towards an existence which is ideally that of space pure repetition.PROCESS OF THOUGHT 70 extends indefinitely beyond our own Next. one of elimination. movement. This intellectualization of is spirit or spatialization of being continuously repeated in the time history of every life The whole process of intellectual thought is At each successive step of scientific explanation we let something go. by investigating isolated bodies ever to explain the simple " At most chemistry can follow out properties of matter. and considers only points on an imaginary line which subtends it. but it omits from investigates energy in its purview matter. Physics its various forms. present. and it is impossible . Pure mathematics exhibits the most extreme case of all quality has disappeared from its object. eliminates. To begin with. elimination. in perception we disregard that which does not interest our functions. into corpuscles as artificial as the corpus — the other actions and reactions of bodies. for It has to do with ideal figures in an ideal space. but it. that of space. finite self. we and gradually we pass relaxation at which our of must relax the tension of the will. and future has disappeared. dealing with science discards mobility.

grant a which must be assumed here. and the object with which this science is really something dead. At this point the act of knowledge coincides with the principle Bergson's argument is to act generative of reality the faculty of seeing . it is a self devoid of activity in science. there it of the but self. the principle that mind must become. may painful all scientific investi- effort of intellectual gain an intuition of the inner nature of or time.e. is from psychology elimination all along the line. life It has for so long adapted itself to the form of matter that 7 . by a expansion. a partial negation of spirit or i.— SCIENTIFIC REASON matter living tissue. This negation may proceed until the mind gets into sympathy with space. Imagine a mind which is. but what is 71 living in the tissue is left out of account. living its own unhindered life. At this point intelligence is transcended. this kind happens in The mind. Psychology professes to deal — with the life which investigates. Something of gation. Now. But mind cannot maintain itself in that state of expansion. time. if have any validity whatever. Next imagine that the mind has relaxed into sympathy with a mode of reality which is not coincident with that of pure spirit." implies. Thus to pure mathematics. a partial elimination from time. The biological aspects of organism are resolved into physico-chemical factors. but partially spatialized. It is thought to be within the bounds of possibility to construct deals unforeseen forms by a rearrangement of old elements. Thus the essence of life creation of imprevisible forms is eliminated and neglected. The is for soul is an in sympathy with itself and with the profound life which pulses in it. viz. on the occasion of a free decision. that which it knows. The very fact of this " sympathy " implies a correspondingly perfect which has attained to partial spatialization of the spirit " sympathy. or at least coincide with. instant identical with the act of willing.

first to insinuate itself into matter. too. by means of intelligence. They express the nature of the absolute only when they are refined into mathematical laws. immediately activity. They on the way to mathematical are conventional. mind-constructed. in a sense. and that the so-called laws of nature have nothing positive in them. but are simply partial negations of the inwardness of reality. go the essential element in this living and analyses into psychological or physico- it chemical elements. mathe- In the more concrete form which they generally assume as laws of nature they are simply provisional stopping-places expression. whereas . is is thought It is being gained. i. This reality. But once it has mind extends the acquired the faculty of intellectualizing. in scientific investigations. sphere of this function beyond the merely practical purposes for which it was originally gained.DEDUCTION 72 it It has. become a slave lets to its own practical needs. and performs its intelof spirit was originally a necessity if spirit matter. they are true only in so far as they are capable of being expressed in matical equations. but Bergson argues that intelligence. emerge in the course of the mind's progress towards perfect intellectualization. is incapable of apprehending the real nature of anything except that which is ballasted with geometry. This intellectualization was to overcome Having encountered matter it was impelled. which in their turn are reduced to quantitative physical and chemical factors and ultimately expressed in mathematical terms. the two essential functions of intelligence. ligizing operations on what happens metaphysical all that a purely theoretic knowledge of reality and that. so to speak. deduction and induction. In accordance with this theory. adopt its form.e. because of its original function. Bergson points out that deduction plays but a feeble part in psychological and ethical sciences. and have no counterpart in reality. before it could hope to conquer it.

things most unlike our- in — deduction is all-powerful. implies that reality is " decomposable into groups which may be practically held to be isolated and independent. except when the subject-matter is purely quantitative. of spirit towards an intelligence which is simple identity.INDUCTION 73 — geometry. In Bergson fact. argues that inductions based upon this assumption have them an element of uncertainty. and that But this belief effects follow the same causes. in the deductive process of intelli- an abandon. He finds in these facts confirmation of the view that the deductive function of selves is held in abeyance so long as the mind remains sympathy with living reality. we may be sure that they will not do so. In the case of induction. induction implies that quali- be superimposed on each other like quantities. to be an effort is really employed by Hume. an inversion of the movement of spirit. astronomy. Induction it has to do with purely spatial implies that time does not assumed that a past event may be repeated. in concrete nature we can never be sure that particular events will repeat themselves. What appears. and this peculiar feature must be eliminated from a sphere of reality in which inductions resting on the law of causation can be regarded count. ties may Again. in induction. Then only do our inductions become absolutely certain. arrives at universally true conclusions only when determinations. coming into requisition only when the mind attempts to gain an insight into material reality." and that these groups repeat themselves in the course of tially similar to that upon the the same belief that there are causes But nature's progress. since it is as universally true. Induction rests and effects. Bergson's argument is essengence. a degradation of time towards space. That is to say. The essence of time is its irreversibility. and reaching perfection in pure mathe- intelligence in matics. as well as deduction. / . physics sciences in which we have to do with material things.



by measuring the incommensurable,

It is only

to use a

Lotzian phrase, that inductions can gain any purchase





Our inductions are



our eyes, in the exact proportion in which we sink qualitative differences in the

homogeneity of the space which

subtends them, so that geometry


the ideal limit of our

inductions, as well as of our deductions.

which issues










that of deduction

faculty of induction as well as

The movement









So long as thought in its widest sense not
logical thought
follows the windings of nature in its
qualitative changes, it does not pause to measure.
thought measures, counts, performs deductive and inductive operations, it ceases to follow nature.
That is to say,
its progress is interrupted,- and at this point, on the occasion

of an interruption of

its real

causal progress, inductions

and deductions are formed. We come back, then, to the
point from which we set out. The processes of intellect,
in the narrow sense of intelligence, far from being activities
of spirit, arise only when that activity is interrupted, and

A have

their source in the spatialization of time, the material-

The intuition of pure space is intellect's
and its operations of induction and deduction
are but temporary stages in its progress towards perfection.
The law of causation is usually regarded as a regulative

ization of spirit.
final goal,

principle of all our thinking, as a principle according to


thought proceeds, and which, as soon as it is
Has Bergson
is at once admitted to be true.



any account


to give of the genesis of this principle



too, appears in the course of the degradation of

pure intelligence. It is a principle of the mind
middle state intermediate between pure spirit and

spirit into

in the

pure intelligence.

Considered as a " necessary " principle,

E.C. p. 236 (Eng. Tr.

p. 228).

the nerve of the law of physical causation

Bergson to



conceived by

in the fact that in the material world identical


elementary conditions repeat themselves.

To say

that the

law of causation has universal validity within the sphere

phenomena is to affirm not only that the same
causes produce the same effects, but that the same causes
of physical

do recur.


causal law





to say, only

between A and
B of the form All A is B, but when you can affirm that
A can actually appear a second time, and an indefinite
number of times. That amounts to saying that the law

when you can

affirm not simply a relation

of causality expresses the permanence and reliability of
the universe


in the sense that


affirms uniformity

of connection throughout, but in the sense that

absolute changelessness of the universe.




causal laws would be of very little, if any, value to us
were we inhabitants of a world in which conditions never
repeated themselves, but Bergson goes much further than

for he

undoubtedly proceeds upon the assumption

that in such a world causality would lose

all significance,

not only as a practical concept, but as a necessary principle.


assumes, he argues, a higher degree of necessity

more perfectly identifiable with the
The law of identity, which is the
absolute law of our consciousness, asserts that what is
thought is thought at the moment we think it, and it

in proportion as

it is

principle of identity.

derives its absolutely necessary character from the fact



does not bind the future to the present, but the
As the law of causality approaches

present to the present.

the principle of identity,



it is

regarded as the prin-

between present
and future disappears, a world for which existence means
an ever-renewed creation, it assumes a similar necessary
ciple of

a world in which




In the extreme, in such a system as that of

Spinoza, for example, causality


identified with identity


in the absolute,


relations of succession are transformed

The law of causality would
become merged in the law of identity in an intelligence
which had arrived at its goal, and only then would it
become a necessary principle.

into relations of inherence.





identification has not




been consummated, and causality


regarded as in some sense the principle of change.


only when we " conceive clearly the idea of a mathe-


when " some subtle metaphysic
removes our very legitimate scruples on the point " that
the coincidence of causality and identity is regarded as
complete. The law of causation, as a principle of the
" middle " state, is the result of a compromise.
matical mechanism " or


in every

human mind

the latent or potential conception

of space, on the one hand, and on the other the vague

awareness of



tion, as ordinarily

these two factors.
free force



creative activity.

The law of causa-

understood, issues from a mingling of



ourselves immediately as a

attribute necessity to the spatial world.

Necessity and force thus



and each


corrupted by the presence of the other, so that when


again attributed to the mental

life it is


with the idea of necessity, and the present mental state

regarded as a cause determining with

the effects which flow from



strict necessity

the other hand, one's

consciousness of oneself as a free force


always accom-

panied by a vague premonition of possible activity, and
the passage from the present to the future takes the form

of an effort which does not always lead to the realization
of the conceived possibility. Now, " common sense






the ordinary practical consciousness conceives effects in
nature " as prefigured in the cause in the same way as our


prefigured in the mental state which precedes it,"



and regards the cause as changing into the effect as one
mind changes into another. In either case, then,
the so-called causal relation is an impure relation.
Purified in one direction, it becomes coincident with the

state of


principle of identity


in the

purified in the other direction,


only real causality

of the inner spiritual


The general conclusion may now be formulated.
structure of intelligence

due to the



it will



In the next

tion of time or the materialization of spirit.



— the creative activity

be necessary to follow Bergson in his account

of this process in the evolution of the race


so far the

mental life of individuals has
has been seen that in perception

origin of intelligence in the

been considered, and



a necessary materialization of spirit in the interests

of action, that in conceptual thought this degradation of
spirit into intelligence is continued,

and that

at the farthest

extremity the form of intelligence becomes identical with

form of space.


concepts or categories

understanding are practical aids which belong
stage of knowledge




intermediate between the intuition of

on the one hand and the intuition of space on the
They are the constituent factors of intellect, which




of the


a provisional stage of the existence of




the supreme law of

the law of identity) and spiritual intuition alone

They attain to knowThe great mass of intermediate

are faculties of pure knowledge.

ledge of the absolute.

conceptual knowledge
tical representation


an incomplete, provisional, prac-

of reality.

Now, the antinomies connected with the nature of the
self are due, ultimately, to the fact that this provisional,
is treated as if it were spirit in its
For example, men have the immediate feeling
own inner freedom. But when they reflect upon

practical form of spirit

pure state.
of their



they either proceed to search for


explanation in

show how,
from the structure of the rational self, freedom is impossible
and the feeling of freedom a delusion. We should have
been spared the ages of controversy between advocates of
free will and determinists if the initial mistake of looking
for freedom within intelligence rather than in pure spirit
had been avoided. Freedom is not a characteristic of
their intellectual nature,

or they attempt to

spirit so far as it is intellectual,




but only so far as






freedom have, however, confined themselves to the intelligence level, and so have been doomed to unfruitfulness,






spective psychology nor the philosophy of reflection


competent to decide the question of freedom. Both of
these are, in fact, exclusively concerned with the nature
of the intermediate self, which is a degradation of spirit
into matter, of time into space, of freedom into necessity.
The psychology of introspection has to do with spirit
turned towards action, i.e. spirit partially materialized,
the philosophy of reflection





concerned with the


an attribute of the inner life,
psychology and this philosophy are utterly

incapable of ever proving or disproving



so far as intelligent, the negation of

If freedom, then, is





rapid survey of his criticism of the arguments used

by determinists and defenders of freedom respectively
will serve to make Bergson's position clearer.
The argument of physical determinists is based upon the principle
of the conservation of energy.

Bergson's contention


that this principle can be recognized as of universal application,

and therefore as relevant

to the

problem of freedom,

only on condition of the psychological hypothesis that
the mental

life is

a system similar to physical systems in

respect that in the


of the self predicaments do recur,



that the same motives act afresh on the same person,
that the history of the self


that of a series of states set

by side, which repeat themselves indefinitely in a
homogeneous time. But this condition is fulfilled only
in the case of those actions which have become automatic,


only in the case of materialized


The argument of psychological determinism implies an
associationist conception of mind.
Every state of mind
is held to be determined, necessitated, caused by antece-


dent states.

are familiar with associationism in Mill

and Bain, according


with clear-cut outlines.


a motive



a definite state


be a conflict of such

motives, and the strongest will ultimately prevail.


argues, however, that these clearly defined states do not
exist in

any living mind in the actual process of a free
The states which the psychological determinist

has in view, are, generally, such constant motives
fear, particular


as, e.g.

kinds of sympathy, aversion, hate, conceived

which act upon the soul, compelling and
in Windelband's phrase,
das dauernde Wesen of the choosing will, by which he
as so




These constitute,

means that they are the psychical deposits of a rationally
autonomous will. Bergson would say that they are the
materialized elements of spirit, and that any behaviour
conditioned by them springs from a psychical mechanism.
Such actions do indeed take place on the intellectual



the attempt



to explain the living

process in terms of these states, then the error



mitted of substituting materialized deposits for a living



mechanical reconstruction for the

concrete phenomenon.

It is

states or motives as in


not competent to speak of

by any

association or

conjunction, causes of a free decision, since, far from forming elements in the process of spirit, they constitute factors
in a simple psychical

mechanism, which

may have


It never " gets into touch with it so long as it keeps to the " states level it deals always with a more or less mechanized. and have then proceeded it — to argue it movement. But here again the argument does not maintain itself in touch with the process in question. and Such habitual or automatic but which automatically. only one resultant action can follow . that I am The attempts to meet his opponent on free-will "To to be conscious. actions do not directly bring into requisition the forces Associationism adequately explains them of spirit at all. the particular antecedents. that hesitations aware of that. and be conscious before I have able to decide either way. deliberates. one says. since in the cir- called choice is cumstances no other course of action is Given possible. separated from one another. is now left to itself.: FREEDOM AND CHOICE 80 constructed by quite acts spirit. But these hesitations are interruptions true. which is to that extent the negation of referring . it. but it is incapable of either affirming or denying the freedom of the fundamental self. own ground. and finally chooses one of those ways necessarily. contends the other. that consequently its of free-will must mean decided. its essential is if quite We are however. have substituted their mechanical reconstruction for the living activity. the inner self. He asserts that when the self chose one course of action another course was open to choice was free. both disputants conceive that the self has reached a point at which two distinct courses of action lie open before it hesitates. It do take place. freely. spatialized self. there champion of his is nothing contingent in the choice. the determinist may hold that any so- absolutely determined. Both disputants have adopted the position of spectator of a process already accomplished. by them to clearly denned psychic states. Once more." Now. all about the symbolic spatial representation as were the free act in .

its i. 81 and are peculiar to the history of a consciousness which occupies the intellectual level." It is not. In the case of the life of the inner self it is meaningless open ways presenting themselves activity." but in doing so we merely hide the fundamental mechanical symbolism which this reconstruction involves under " a kind of verbal crystallization. The argument of the determinist may assume another He may hold that complete and perfect knowledge of all the antecedents of an action without any exception would enable one to make an infallibly true form. : of application there. " the dawn of a brightness which we feel to be dawn fulfilled. But the consciousness of is James' phrase. and choice. and the attempt to give them meaning when applied to the dynamic progress of pure spirit is utterly futile they have. it. make some decision the dawn has been isolate and fix in before fulfilled it can enter into we may. no point successive phases. After as reconstructors." The terms are borrowed from the life of a partially spatialized self. the process of fulfilment a number of which we term " the conception of opposite motives. one could predict the act in features. replies meaningless. forecast of that action the totality of shades which Bergson it.— FREEDOM AND CHOICE of the inner spiritual life. and can have. to be identified with the path of our disputants. which stands open before a hesitating will compelled to direction in is.e. with the peculiar qualitative as the act of a particular person. and true that in the awareness of this becoming there included a dim consciousness of the direction in which the living process is moving. the flux of a confused multiplicity of states it is is felt. possesses. hesitation. In the act of intuition in which to speak of divergent to its hesitating the nature of the fundamental self is immediately grasped. that this statement of the argument He is proceeds upon the principle that the . in any sense.

may be foreseen. between the spiritual self. from our anticipa- identical Prediction moments human of in action the is only in so far as elements repeat themselves mental life. the determinist founds his supreme argument principle of causation. and the intelligent self. know must and arrived at the effect. of the result of the act. but in so far as belonging to himself.FREEDOM AND PREDICTION 82 true nature of the cause reveals itself only in the effect. same conscious possible in the being. Prediction of the action of an intelligent being is admit- he is despiritualized. and prediction is confined to those impersonal factors " common to him with others. viz. Finally. It is devoid of meaning to speak of knowing all the antecedents without any exception. the future of just so far as they are rational. in their fulness only after the completion of the Not even the person himself who is acting can prei* by prediction is meant the anticipation. The smallest " antecedents " can be so that if one to is all already have lived through known act. for the realization of an however and there are not two ideal always differs. that is to say. dict. of it. the cause is simply an antecedent which is unvarying within our experience. tion. But Bergson's answer in the first place. then it is incompetent to employ this principle to dis. These factors are not constituents of the spiritual progress. in all its detail. and so of being able to predict. tions. materializa- Here again. the actions of which. but immobilizations. prove freedom. " the summing up of the uniform and unconditional successions observed in the past " if. the antecedents one them. slightly. then. that if the principle of causality is what the empiricists assert it to be." intelligent. the contrast is fundamental which is entirely imprevisible. But appear in the mental as soon as life it is homogeneous elements to that extent materialized. and not properly tedly possible. upon the is. because of the simple fact that it can .

since in the mental activity as it is immediately perceived the future exists in the present only as a possibility. is an attribute of our spiritual has no mechanical or homogeneous element pure duration. if causality be developed in the opposite and regarded as a dynamic principle.e. if the causal relation be apprehended in accordance with the clue gained from the immediate consciousness of direction." no antecedent ever recurs. if and life. the causal relation becomes a necessary relation. but of the material deposits of spirit. The law of causality. Consequently the law of causality. Observe then the bearing of that fact upon the present consideration. its application But here once more are in the realm not of spirit. in it — this it is it is a fact. As its coincidence with the principle of identity becomes more perfect. considered as a principle of necessary determination. is the result of a compromise between the principle of identity on the one hand and true causal activity on the other. i. In the second place. considered as a principle of necessary determination. in which the future may be said to inhere in the present and to be deduced from it. As this coincidence becomes complete the law of causation becomes strictly applicable only to a purely mechanical universe. for in these cases the necessary conditions for are fulfilled we —antecedents do recur. for freedom. as ordinarily understood. then such a conception. does not involve the necessary determination of the effect by the cause.FREEDOM AND CAUSALITY 83 no point of application to the inner life of the self. it is plain. does not touch our freedom. our own activity. however. does apply strictly to those modes of human behaviour which are the result of bodily or psychical automatism. and the passage from the present to the . we have seen that the principle of find seeing that within that causality. Similarly. life " no regular succession has ever been discovered.

qua intelligent. it can. It by If cannot problem of freedom without implicit conif we were purely rational beings theS Freefact of freedom would never come within our ken. Nor can the fact of freedom be grasped by intelligence. Intelliis very nature incapable of apprehending freedom. the supreme principle of which its it is identity. is not free. The knowing faculty can acquaint us of those features of reality which have ontological affinity first self with it . in the life of which there are not two identical moments. refind itself in reality. and The to con- activity. dom belongs to this second self. That self. fact of free- it The alone. If then causality be conceived in this second sense. attempts to grasp the fact it mutilates it. the fact of freedom remains untouched. its with which empirical psychology and reflective philo- self sophy the self which Kant. an activity which must be lived before it can be grasped in thought. a self which has no permanent element in it. Throughout which tion of of this discussion a fact this exposition towards the elucida- has been directed as one The ends has received emphasis again and again. gence. the distinction is valid and important between the pro- set to itself the tradictions. Freedom is not an attribute of the self of the middle state.SOUL AND RATIONAL EGO 84 future or from cause to effect takes the form of an effort which does not always lead to the realization of the dimly perceived possibility. comes into being only through the negation of the free activity of the second. is the very existence of which means free tinuous elaboration of something new. and / . It must be admitted that our sense of freedom has its ground in an immediate awareness of the activity of our own inmost personal being. Further. at the most. to dissect. deal. for example. sought opposed to the deeper self which is revealed to intuition. dom is immediately apprehended in intuition.

though not of conceptual knowledge. the conceptual apparatus on the one hand. in which these oppositions and contradictions disappear. indeed one noumenal sphere." Bergson's position here Kant. and the most thorough-going conceptual representation of that reality are ways of knowing which differ in kind. The immediate experience in which we are aware of our own free activity. too. He will not admit that by thought. goes so far as to maintain that the feeling of activity is mere feeling. of knowledge. the one is the negation of the other. free activity is a characteristic only of super-intelligent reality. far as to assert that the difference 85 reflective recon- however. that the is point. and not. which the categories of pure reason have no applicaFor Bergson. it Kant sought may be compared with that of to conserve freedom by considering as a fact of an " intelligible " or super-sensible world. freedom. He sets over against each other.CONCEPTION OF FREEDOM gress of the living consciousness struction of that progress. is it the only possible one. in " completeness of articulation. determined The ultimate . He. explaining. as Professor Henry Jones says somewhere. of the necessary contradictions and insoluble difficulties into which it falls when it attempts to deal He substitutes for it an immediate consciousness. of the most indubitable facts. as contrasted. that. and the functioning inner self on the other. dom to the much less of does not follow that Kant's solution Bergson does not relegate freeIt is a fact. however. He speaks of the fundamental illusions of the reflective consciousness. goes so between the progress of active consciousness and our reflective construction of it two do not touch at any absolute. indeed. But though intelli- in tion. of its incapacity to think time except as identical with space. gence is inherently incapable of grasping. with the living and active. and our Bergson. This it is is in the least degree very disconcerting.

withstanding all analysis. The question will have to be faced at a later stage whether by thus confining metaphysical knowledge of time and freedom to intuition Bergson does not invite us to enter a morass of feeling in which clear consciousness of self-identity. and of freedom. of the distinction of time. is between subject and object." Still. . is never realized and whether Bergson's " becoming " is not in experience only another . something incalculable. " something inexpressible. in the last resort. as such. dissolved in a vague. name for Kant's " noumenal " world or for the " pure being " of Plotinus. it is not wholly indetermined.BERGSON AND KANT 86 which constitutes individuality may have to be acknowledged as. force entirely undifferentiated. undifferen- tiated awareness of living which. it may be contended that although it may never be completely determined.

a process of intellec- places oneself in the thing It is a familiar doctrine of Idealism - . he postulates as a necessary presupposition of metaphysical knowledge a species of " intellectual sympathy " between the knowing mind and the object a kind of " intellectual auscultation." in which known . at the other extremity. identical with pure duration. AND ITS CONDENSATION INTO INTELLIGENCE was seen that by developing human mind in two direcat one extremity. he speaks as if coincidence and identity were regarded by him as synonymous terms. indeed. its most rigid form.CHAPTER II THE INTUITION OF THE COSMICAL ELAN.. which is not to be pure space. that in all cases of real knowing. or must the philosopher who adopts this method resign himself to the exclusive contem- intelligence in : and contractions of his own mind ? Reference has already been made to a principle which is fundamental in Bergson's procedure. . the principle. In the next place. The question at once prefrom differentiated Is it possible to extend the range of applicasents itself tion of the intuitional method. the act of knowledge plation of the expansions must " coincide with the generative act of reality. which one is is felt to palpitate by which one studying." In some passages. which In the previous chapter it the constituent factors of the tions is we reach. and. unalloyed spirit. viz. the heart of reality tual dilatation.

grasp the living mobility of things." is —" This is example. 1903)." he says. . It asserts in another place. et de Morale. but the intuition of our duration. " To philosophize consists in placing oneself in the object itself. puts us in touch with a whole continuity of durations. for that is reality is He main- not Bergson's position. But this is my bone. " Introduction a la Jan. " no other duration than our own i literally spatialized. the primary and also the ultimate assertion that can be made by the mind concerning the reality which enters into its experience flesh. Bergson disappears. whether it be towards the depths or towards the heights. far from leaving us suspended in the void. which we must try to follow. in the operation of knowing a duration inferior or a duration • ^superior to its own the human mind more than human. selves indefinitely by ." That is to . at the extreme. We must. . . that.\iedge f that reality it must remain spatialized. that which 1 is we human level. tains that mind actually becomes that which it knows. leave the Metaphysique " (Rdv. . can exist.EXTENSION OF INTUITION 88 that there must be " ontological affinity " between the mind and the reality which it knows. In both cases. indeed." In the act of knowing spatial reality mind is and so long as it is to retain its knowv. transcend the " middle. in either say.or supra-conceptual knowledge. de Meta. . increasingly violent effort x case we transcend ourselves. if we is to are to pursue the intuitional method of philosophy. " Strictly speaking. and become the object of knowledge. We must pass beyond ordinary conceptual thought in the one direction to gain an ultra. and in the other to gain an infra-conceptual or purely mathematical intuitional knowledge." " human " state in two directions. bone of up If reality yields its my a necessary presupposition intelligible. In either case we can dilate our. flesh of secrets to intelligence.

reality. which super-sensible. two supreme 2 Ibid.M." or Bergson a supra-conmore generally. becomes more intensified. a certain tension of the mind. presupposes such an intuition. Similarly.— CONCEPTUAL INTUITION 89 It will be remembered that Kant assumed a given raw material which was received into the forms of space and time. the act by means of which this raw material was grasped might Bergson be said to be an infra-conceptual intuition. the first effort of intuition. pure repetition." There is no need to suppose a formless raw material upon which order is imposed. which contracts more and more. materiality to be defined. there ceptual psychical. corresponding is or. In the present l I. then. diluting its quality into quantity. and a faculty of sympathetic insight. and woven into the categories. in which our duration would find itself again in us as the vibrations in the light.e. chapter the p. and which would be the concretion of all is . Now. At the limit would be eternity not conceptual eternity. the palpitations of which are more rapid than ours. intuition — which a an eternity of death. that " there is not any essential distinction between intelligence and this intuition. efforts of | . only if intelligence and matter are identical in nature. as materiality is the scattering of it. but with this difference. human mind the In " proceeds to an increasingly scattered duration. Kant's to for is grasped in an effort of supra-intellectual intuition. The duration. 61. for the intuition is possible only if the matter grasped and the intelligence grasping can enter into " sympathy " i. and consequently always moving eternity. but an eternity of life living. we should At the limit by which find pure homogeneity." 2 two conditions of metaphysical knowledge of the universe are. vital reality." is x In the second effort of we achieve " a duration which increases in tension. and divide our simple sensation. " intelligible.

but also why. creation. in is. the other in the direction of homogeneity and repetition. composed of systems which. endures as we do. is but approaches in certainty.INTUITION OF LIFE go intuition claim attention or spirit life. them to unity. . akin to life. of Bergson's the intuition of show that the universe One of life. in the course of activity. and insight to the intuition in its knowledge of matter. is the fundamental not exhausted in the life action. is made up It so the universal self their may turn. U Evolution famous work. in the life is finite our solar system. and. shall see not only that. keeps them in a continual state of greater or less inter-penetra- tion. the intelligence alone incapable of apprehending life. freedom. number of a is Just as our self of inter-penetrating tendencies." or " the concretion of all durations. He is " concrete eternity. that in to those — akin to ourselves. of cosmic intuition We second. upon and emphasizes seizes ing elan. be a tendency in this great cosmical self for the systems to fall apart or to isolate themselves. so onward moving a pulsation in that of the existence of the self as a separate % . is to of the same nature is it two movements similar which are found in human minds reveal themselves the one towards growth. life. one idea." Him . The universe is a great individual as the personal mind. directs Science But an underly- this tendency. and which is impetus which constitutes the " incessant He is is." In Him creates all He new the tendencies of the universe are perfectly unified. compass. This power is God. is that creative activity which basis of all life. First. the intuition of matter. one tendency. — the first. every single will Each personality each individual to speak. in its entirety the objects Creatrice. incessantly free its worlds. then. fundamentally. of the whole The theory . continuous elaboration of something new. akin to the will in us. in There contain organisms of various kinds.

pp. can enter into those The concepts of intelligence are mechanical. would be utterly foreign to the universe. in fact. and of the systems which. Real activity. this activity cannot be apprehended in the categories of any more than the time aspect of the intelligence. by an act of will. in this whole. transmutation. and even unreal. an appearance only. 40 (Eng." place. and the to consider the future past as calculable functions of the present. in fact. p." he says. pure spontaneity. all yield to " the In the same formidable impetus. immediately perceived in intuition. Tr. present and future would be visible at a glance for a super-human intelligence capable of making the calculation. we have seen. self. is. evolution. for then time would be useless. All are united not in a common aim which. it — . On this hypothesis. its image. 1 E. one cannot admit a priori that they are mechanically explicable. Now.C. " are valuable for the systems which our thought But of the whole artificially from the whole. 39-40).THE COSMIC SPIRIT 91 individuality radically distinct from other individualities. due to our limited point of view. the supreme one. not by a reasonable submission of individuals who still but in that retain their individuality to the Divine Will . being space. and to submit f that all is given. human and would appear. " Mechanical explanations. if first it be true that the universe is such a dynamic whole in which a creative force energizes. The essence of mechanical constituted in explanations is. not held by Bcrgson. are naturally detaches itself. . as Bergson argues that a mechanical construction of the universe is approximated only as the active elements are omitted from consideration. past. can have no place illusory ideas. categories. growth." 1 But if a mechanical reconstruction could exhaust its nature it is clear that change. They would be What appeared to be change would be. individuals have rationally chosen as their own divine.

and may discover in the processes of organic number of physico-chemical pheno- even succeed in reproducing artificially an external outline of certain facts of organization. This showing itself more and more an approximate expression of the truth. such as . but. limit. In certain developments of physico-chemistry some ground for the hope that living processes are not beyond the scope of explanation on the purely intellecafford tual level. however. it may evolved with the purpose of and that In the second be shown that the form of intelligence has fulfilling a definite function. short of the certitude which theoretic or experimental demonstration possesses the evidence supplies. it which and which tends to certainty as to a indefinitely increasing probability Every conceptual explanation of the facts of trans- mutation. intelligence is inherently incapable of any other than a mechanical interpretation may be proved from two different points of view. however. life Bergson accepts the theory of transmutation as a sufficiently exact and precise translation of the as at least is known facts of biology. and this mechanical interpretations or explanations. is not rigorously demonstrable. has assumed either a frankly mechanical form. all • i have issued attempts at conceptual explanations of in the mechanizing of life. Bergson argues. to be observed according to Bergson.CONCEPTUAL EXPLANATIONS 92 in a system which interpretable without remainder in is The important point mechanical concepts. or a teleological form which. it may be demonstrated that all attempts of the intelligence to interpret or to explain life have been fundamentally of the universe as a whole. he thinks. is that. gives. ostensibly not merely mechanical. turns out to be fundamentally quarters the recent so. in order to fulfil that function must be funda- it mentally mechanical. that although the physico-chemist may creation an increasing mena. In the first place. place. It hypothesis. _i Firstly.

According to the extremest form of this doctrine. however. it may. that pretended teleological explanations cosmic organism qua active are quite of teleology. histologists. in the desperate case in which it would be were it bound down to strictly mechanical categories. for the facts of catagenetic order.PHYSICO-CHEMISTRY the indirect division of the tion. when faced with living activity. as formulated by futile. explanation of who lists. be contended for the elements living being. stated in the previous chapter. If this be admitted. it cell does not follow that he 93 and protoplasmic circulaapproaching any nearer is to a revelation of the secret of In fact. and physiologists. life. We could have anticipated. which are unceasingly repeated in the That is to say. . a teleological and things realize system is one in which beings a cut-and-dried programme. nevertheless. of the The concept intelligence. and so is not. Here again. are far the a noteworthy fact that while is deal only with the functional activity physico-chemical explanations furnished in the this willing belief in of vital quality name The activities. these interpretations do not rise above purely mechanical explanations of strictly mechanical facts. from Bergson's argument. study of histological phenomena discourages rather than fortifies the tendency to explain everything by physics and chemistry. are hopeful of a physico-chemical embryologists. and natura- concentrate attention on the fine structure of from sharing living tissues. who it of the living being. of physico-chemistry are valid for the mechanical aspects of vital activities. and the progress of time consists in the realizing of this scheme which lies open to a superior intelligence. the deeper life. that free activity of the self is not explicable by motives or rise ends. does not carry one beyond the limits of a purely mechanical theory of the processes of life. that may by making use of the concept of teleology intelligence above the purely mechanical level.

previsible. however. 46). p. It does not imply may the well be complete human freedom. the of the whole." According to the later views of teleology. intelligence E. all stood is given. is " each living being realizes a plan This stance. ." is immanent immanent in its sub- The or internal teleology. past. So long as the individual remains a distinct personality must be regarded as necessarily subordinated his activity to the activity of the whole. the whole universe gradually realizes a plan which may be predicted. and future. Bergson thinks that even on this view the principle of external teleology is implicit. The important point for present consideration is that in either of the doctrines of teleology just outlined the is that all is given. then. p. 47 (Eng. for each organism is itself made up of elements which are themselves organisms. present. there life In other words. Tr." may of this on individual freedom is deter- His own position function in the whole. is 1 On either view.TELEOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS 94 " Teleology thus undermerely a mechanical theory a rebours. that annihilation of life he becomes questioned whether this only when he loses his and enters embrace one into the in its entirety in free. which. and all so-called activity is simply the realizing of a determined plan. again. which exists in the mind of a supreme intelligence in the other. it x is embraces The bearing be noted in passing. life. It is of that teleology which includes indivisible grasp. and the activity of each living being realizes the of these elementary organisms is subordinated to the activity of each small or elementary organism mined by that " if its the entire life is teleology in the world of in one indivisible grasp.C. end of its existence when all its activities are harmoniously co-ordinated. each implication : organism within the whole realizes the plan of the whole. In the one case. all is previsible. existence as an individual. or greater organism.

been deposited by life on has been condensed from a greater whole its . as the intelligence not. is " always pre-occupied to know under what ancient rubric it will catalogue any new object whatsoever.TELEOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS maintains to_ of on the strictly mechanical level. imprevisibility. and growth implies itself interpret for life. supposes 95 In time life. in following its has always failed to interpret and It life. and fails what is essential in the transmutation of forms evolution means growth. certain Intelligence has. then. qualitative changes) intelligence. viz.. Such or such an aspect which intelligence has abstracted and fixed may appear to re-present itself. never in the case of the individual. a super-human intelligence could not foresee its progress. in common with all others. quite disparate. hidden it . old its moment of life means the evoluThe fundamental question is Is this procedure simply a bad habit. only so. that the form which intelligence has had to assume framework. an independent variable it — the time of and history never repeats itself. has utilized. and will continue to natural procedure. for intelligence." If this be so. and certainly never in the progress of the universe as a whole. of a succession of absolutely heterogeneous. but history in its It is concreteness never recurs.e. Newton. and if teleological concepts. it Its powerlessness has habituated itself to a It is inherent in its nature. does not lie in the fact that method of procedure. entirely cannot in any sense be said to be realizing a Even programme. will always do utilize. whereas each tion of something new. be basally mechanical. it follows that if life consists in creative evolution {i. history. in its generation of conceptual knowledge. or is intelligence bound to the mechanical method of interpretation ? This question leads to the second main consideration. it in fact. is to be. Its future is. for example. march . : in order to fulfil its function precludes the possibility of a conceptual grasp of living activity. it 4- .

52). expand the that we must look form of our thought we shall derive thence the impetus necessary to lift us above ourselves. intellectual.C. useless fringe be. principle our organization. as applicable to any theory which can be furnished by intelligence in movement — does its natural not present an adequate explanation of It is not enough to show that most perfect production. accordingly. i. but has settled around unwanted ? It is there. at least. the vertebrates in general. traction of spirit into intelligence in the case of the indi- vidual : the task now lies before us of studying its emergence human species. p. in the evolution of the But before we essay do to this it must be clearly demon- — strated that a mechanical theory of life using the word " mechanical " in its widest sense. which is The existence of a reality non-mechanical in nature and so quite beyond the reach of intelligence must." x We have already followed the confor hints to intellectual . its life man and of intelligence in way many mode of organ- has had to abandon on the elements incompatible with this particular and to entrust them to other lines of development. negation. by the shall fringe of confused intuition distinct. intelligence. What can this nature of the vital activity. . in its cal representation of reality. p. gives a mechani the evolutionary process. Tr. We no doubt be helped which surrounds our representation. 53 (Eng. Of course the ultimate court of appeal as to the existence of 1 E. unasked for. indeed. if not that part of the evolving which has not shrunk to the peculiar form of it. If this cannot be comprehended in by that which. is be so. of particular. be indicated. is to some in evolving in the direction of If.e. then its ultimate nature extent it follows that " life as a part. we must seek the totality of these elements and blend them with intelligence proper in order to grasp the true ization.LIMITATION OF INTELLIGENCE 96 the contraction of a wider faculty of knowing.

" It is l generally urged as an explanation of this fact that the formation of identical mechanisms is due to adaptaand the mode of the process of tion to environment. could be established that if it by The lines of evolution. in the special sense in demonstrable in one aspect. adaptation consists in the elimination of the unadapted or unfit. Bergson faces this task. and. adaptation their own form. is It is by the similarity of the cause that the similarity of the effect will be explained." strict form. and the degree of complexity of the similar structures which one finds on them. life In any meaning can be attached as an explanation. be proportional to the degree of separation of the lines of evolution chosen. According to another theory. and teleology.C. which is associated with the name of adaptation has been stated in various ways. which we understand constructs certain identical mechanisms life means on divergent it. p. so far as 1 E.C. 97 but a careful study of the evolutionary process from an empirical point of view may disclose of postulating necessity the a factor in development which differs in nature from the mechanical factors. 6o)- .CONCEPTUAL EXPLANATIONS must be the this reality intuition. He sets out from the supposition that " a purely mechanical theory would be refutable. that animal is gradually eliminated. 62 (Eng. 57). the conditions of into which 2 or living matter 2 59 (Eng. A variation comes in. Tr. if the animal in which it appears has an environment which does not favour it. while it might still be left to intuition to discover the characteristics of this non-mechanical reality. p. p. dissimilar force of the proof would. G is life its to this are a kind of mould gradually forced. Tr. and E. p. moreover. Thus the action of external environment in directing the course of evolution is purely negative. to the due " to the positive influence of external conditions which have modelled the organism on Eimer. According Darwinian theory.

is which are accumulated by the tion. . with cellular construction like ours. it is itself passive. according as we regard variations as being gradual or sudden. a cornea. then. Ibid. {Ibid. 68 (Eng. If. 66). 3 p. How." 2 But according effect of natural selec- to a later theory. . " Here is the eye of a vertebrate and beside it that of a mollusc such as the common Pecten. composed of analogous elements. tions are the general rule." 3 the then. The eye of the Pecten exhibits a retina. for then capable of creating for to the conditions by a which are made life. it will be agreed that they and the vertebrates had been separated from their common trunk long before the appearance of an eye as complex as that of the Pecten. in its activity. But.). exist in both. - regarded as active. Tr. p.).A TEST CASE 98 wherever there appears. it. then the statement that matter or external conditions model the organism on own form their is loses all significance. . This theory is sudden varia- associated with " A new species. The same essential parts. the general form of the evolution process that which is accomplished by " very slight variations. a similar mould a similar organism is In this case life is life is acted upon . can this analogy be accounted for on the Darwinian hypothesis of purety accidental varia. leaving aside general considerations. is constituted all at once. to the problem which the external conditions impose.C. Bergson takes an actual concrete example. 2 Ibid. is the analogy of structure to be explained ? " x In the first place. by the simultaneous appearance of several new characters very different from the old. however. itself a form appropriate for capable of replying. Whatever opinion one may hold as to the origin of molluscs. (Ibid. 1 E. tions ? The hypothesis takes two forms. On Darwin's view. a lens. calculated solution. names of Bateson and Hugo de Vries.

it will development of the organism or it will be insensible. the these principle formed by variations. 71 (Eng. If the slight in its first variation form breaks down is not co-ordinated with other necessary variations of the organism. seeing that each of them. would hinder the functioning of the eye. N The Darwinian hypothesis completely. p. p. whichever of accepted. If sudden variation be admitted. ex hypothesi.DARWINIAN HYPOTHESIS Now. " how is it that all the parts of the grave visual apparatus. is in the 99 two forms of the theory same. it will be necessary to suppose that all the needful co-ordinate changes will simultaneously occur. in the other gradual. Tr. be produced in the same order on two independent lines of evolution. But " how can it be supposed " (in the case of an eye. p. p. it will not prove of any advantage to the either hinder the ! organism so long as complementary variations are not produced. taken apart. eliminated. 68). may same little variations. if they are purely accidental ? And how comes it that they have been conserved by selection and accumulated on all sides in precisely the same order. it is. and simply wait until complementary variations occur.C. If the evolution of the eye has taken place in this manner. in this sudden modification. Tr. 2 those complementary Ibid. unless it were accompanied by the necessary co-ordinated variations. for example) " that the in number incalculable. and so does not hinder development. remain so well co-ordinated amongst themselves that the eye con- tinues to exercise its function " ? 2 Any variation other than one of the slightest possible degree. 69). If it hinders development. 70 (Eng. If it is insensible. possesses no utility ? " l The hypothesis of sudden variation presents equally difficulties. the New is are species one case sudden. But even if it is of circumstances » supposed that a fortuitous combination may have produced E. .

is there prothe complementary changes necessary if the principle. . The theory of the accumulation of accidental breaks down in both its forms. in each case." " The similarity of by The more and more complex the two effects would in this case be explained simply the identity of the cause. a perfect harmony of more and more numerous and complex elements. situated in the prolongation of earlier complications all. But does the hypothesis that variations are produced by the direct action of external conditions afford any explanation of the occurrence of such an organism as the eye on these two diverging lines of evolution.' these sudden variations should be produced. Bergson pointedly asks. because it is organized. marvellously co-ordinated with one another. 70).C. by a series of simple ' accidents. p. Tr. to all way as to complications. to receive it. new at once. 73-74). can it ? How. acted produce a continuous variation in a constant direction. 72 (Eng. Tr. eye would be something like the increasingly deep impression of light on a matter which." but this would involve the giving up of the^ / / v ] theory of purely " accidental " variation. variations be put forward as an if it adequate explanation of the evolution process. the same. on two independent lines of evolution ? " 1 The difficulty might be overcome by supposing that " a mysterious principle intervenes in order to guard the interests of the function. I / v ducing function is to persist. can contended that this combination will it be be repeated in the course of the history of a species " in such a give rise every time. above be supposed that. 2 2 It is Ibid. This mysterious whatever it might turn out to be. pp. 76 (Eng. sni generis. possesses an aptitude. p. has. in both lines and has been able " to According to this ? of development." 1 E. how. implying. light directly. that of the mollusc and that of vertebrates theory. p.DE ioo THEORY VRIES' changes once. in the same order.

however. organ and the apparatus of locomotion. environment. . indeed. Tr. and in the cir- form by means of which the problem laid before it can be solved in this case.C. in the case of verte- brates. acting upon chemically different substances.NEO-DARWINIAN THEORY 101 necessary to refer here to the distinction already noted between two kinds of adaptation. living matter cumstances issues in a — appears to have no other means of turning circumstances to account than that of passively adapting itself to them " Life proceeds by insinuation.p. all of which. formation of the eye." case for the view which Bergson is examining becomes The still weaker when it is considered that the embryo of the mollusc and that of the vertebrate are dissimilar in their chemical composition. are in continuity with the visual apparatus. it light has be maintained that the influence of produced a whole " nervous system. Further. It would seem that in the earlier stages of the evolution of the eye the protoplasm received passively an impression from light. had produced the same effect in both cases. a bone system. 78 (Eng. p. But. a muscular will scarcely system. the matter adapts itself to an environment by simply allowing Adaptation itself to be moulded by that environment. the matter reacts upon its In the other case. Bergson holds." In the to begin with. but very precise relations are established between this to account in a most complex manner. and purely mechanical. light to account in that it " Our eye turns permits us to utilize by move- ments of reaction the objects which we see to be advantageous. to avoid those which we see to be harmful. as if light. In the one case. the matter is active. life turns circumstances Not merely is an organ produced which can function as a seeing organ. is here passive. examination of the formation of an eye reveals the fact that the same result is reached in the case of the mollusc and the vertebrate i£. It would seem. 75)." x Now.

suppose. Such effort it as the neo-Lamarckians never produces ? If cannot be the seem complication to of may increase the strength. inexplicable on One other hypothesis remains.NEO-DARWINIAN THEORY 102 respectively by entirely different Bergson maintains. is any mechanical theory. but not the form of But the evolution of an eye involves complication upon complication. But it the may also imply consciousness and will. especially if the the external circumstances is one solution. modes of evolutionary in the light of these facts. it an organ. . 81)." x The appearance of lines of evolution is to turn the effort same in the by identical organs on diverging explained by the fact that " the same same circumstances to account issues problem propounded such as to admit of only result. that of neo-Lamarckism. seems to understand it. and all marvellously co-ordinated. and it is in this last sense that one of the most eminent representatives of the doctrine. or the theory of mechanical composition between external and internal forces. 83 and 84 (Eng. p.C. of certain cise pressure itself to may organs. whether it be the Darwinian or neo-Darwinian. Tr. an enormous number of them. pp. that mere external impressions are not adequate to explain the formation of such an organ as the eye on diverging lines of evolution. The effort implied organs . process. the variation which ends in producing a new species " arises from the effort of the living being to must adapt This effort live." In what sense the explanation mere is the word " effort " to be taken is to be satisfactory effort of exercise. The convergence of efforts involved. the theory of sudden variations. the American naturalist Cope. of external the conditions in which it be only the mechanical exer- mechanically provoked by circumstances. According to this theory. the complementary evolution of co-ordinate elements. 1 E.

that the change p.NEO-LAMARCKIAN THEORY 103 must be one much more profound and psychical than that exertion. mission of acquired characteristics. Tr. and not the actions of this individual in the course of its career. and who contend that the tendency to change Eimer is not accidental. do * fact. though the change itself might be. but will this make any difference to the descendant ? Bergson holds that experience. can hereditary transmission be expected to develop an organ such as the When enormous number of same direction. resolving problem the evolutionism. 89). " The neo- Darwinians are probably right when they teach that the essential causes of variation are differences inherent in the germ of which the individual is the bearer." wrong in holding that the differences inherent in the germ are purely accidental. This necessity becomes pressing of physical when the cause of " regularly hereditary variations " is Use in the lifetime of an individual may perfect in some degree the visual organ. is . supposing that individual efforts In were able to produce each of them in particular. neverthe- contains a positive element of truth. neo-Lamarckism appears no more capable of fact. each of them. pp." than But while each of these the forms other of theories fails to give an adequate explanation of an admitted less. shows us that transconsidered. is. They seem to be goes a step in advance 1 when he argues E. all pointing in the this heaping-up of differences. occurs at all. This defect is remedied by those who maintain the theory of sudden variations. one asks how heredity. observation of facts. could ever have determined eye ? one thinks of the variations. such as we observe it to be.C. which it is necessary to suppose accumulated on one another in order to pass from the pigmentary spot of the infusorium to the eye of the mollusc and the vertebrate. if it How " the exception and not the rule. 91 and 92 (Eng.

which " A is verifiable in only a very few exceptional cases. p. without any doubt. of use-inheritance. must.g. and conceives it finds the way clear for. necessary to postulate an " elan originel of life. be related to some accumulating manner as to species of effort.. . or transmission of acquired characters.C." 1 Bergson thus leads up his own theory.e. But even neo-Lamarckism is insufficient certain as an explanation. Besides.). inherent in the germs which they carry rather than in their own substance. 92).— VALUE OF VARIOUS THEORIES 104 members But wrong when they maintain in a definite direction. 2 any theory of Ibid. —an common effort more independent of circum- to the majority of the representatives of one and the same species . which goes on and compounding with itself in such a construct an increasingly complicated machine. but to a profounder effort than that of the individual stances . hereditary change in a definite direction. He to. and assured thereby of being transmitted to their descendants. for it confines this cause to the con- and scious effort of the individual. i. cient this effort is not suffi- explain the complex combinations of complex to organisms which appear in the course of the evolution of. it rests ultimately upon a theory e. cal theory 1 and a teleological theory E. p. Tr. [Ibid. The eye appears as an infinitely comBoth a mechaniplicated structure with a simple function. an eye. passing from one generation of germs to the following generation of germs by the intermediation of developed organisms which form the link of union between the germs. continuous variation in a definite progressive distinctly step is made when neo-Lamarckians have recourse to a cause of psychical order. 95 (Eng." 2 On such an hypothesis the fact of identical organs on diverging lines of evolution may be explained. due to a continuous variation the of this school are that physical and chemical combinations of causes are sufficient to secure this A direction.

to the postulate of a factor." " An 2 empirical study of the evolution process thus reveals the inadequacy of a mechanical explanation of that pro- and leads Bergson beyond the grasp of cess. p. far from somehow becoming organized. when on setting out from a species have common source. and co-ordinated. towards vision has gone equally far. As a rule. 101). and maintains that this multiplicity. which are regularly transmitted. The result itself obstacle. of those. these organs. finding opposed by matter. for the form of the organ merely expresses the measure in which the the progress exercise of the function has been obtained. which take on additions. If. V. 99-100).BERGSON'S THEORY —seek 105 show how the parts. makes an effort to overcome the and it does this by an indivisible act. infinite substitutes the hypothesis that the elan originel. on both sides. is intelligence. in their almost have been added bit by bit. Tr. the order of the parts and perfect. explains the fact that when we analyse visual apparatus. begun they . 1 is This act. the eye constituted will be " the simple pig- mentary masses of an inferior organism. the visual apparatus. of very unequal complication. E. itself is along the lines of evolution. is due entirely to our analysis. which " This elan. Bergson gives up this project altogether. keeping among which it is divided. will neces- all sarily present an equal co-ordination. pp.C. Tr. pp. or the marvellously perfected eye of a bird. E.C. or the rudimentary eye of a Serpula. or the already differentiated eye of the But Alciope. the primary cause of variations. at least. is it is indi- the organized found complete According to the greater or less intensity of the elan. 102 and 103 (Eng. p. He intelligence to multiplicity. That is why the distant removal of two animal species from one another does not make an essential difference. the visual organ will be the same in both cases. because visible. which create new to diverge 1 2 species. 109 (Eng.

in ! not. — a painful effort. of which. some The as also of further. Should we attempt to place ourselves in it. 95 (Eng. history of philosophy bears witness There is not any lasting system which at least of its parts. In order to arrive at the will principle of have all life. But the pure will. and even must. in points.£lan and intuition 106 accentuate their divergence in proportion as they progress However. be it for only the becoming an instant. their in at the hypothesis of a The nature of gence. vivified 1 we should impossible E. Tr. evolve identically. p. which is at the heart of living " Our consciousness must detach itself from that which has become. but which we cannot maintain beyond a few instants. an effort of sympathetic The philosopher must rid himself of all retrospective vision. which we may make abruptly by doing violence to our nature. impetus." elan of this apprehended directly is common if they one accepts 1 inscrutable to intelli- life. In the free act. fragmentary which we apprehend. It is necessary that. this ? No. we have the more or less clear consciousness of with the act of willing motives and mobile powers. varying degrees of reality without reflecting. strictly speaking. certainly not that is it much go to is not. we gain a passing glimpse. 93). and even. when we contract all our being in order to impel it forward. is something which we feel with difficulty. and attach itself to that which is becoming. feeling of the actual progress of living conditions a direct knowledge of the elan. evolution. definite might. even then it is but an individual. all Is materiality. by the intui- . by turning and twisting on itself. the current which traverses this matter in communicating life to it. at most. p.C. and the insight or intuition. the faculty of seeing should become identified things. and so disentangle himself from He must seek to live the the intellectual categories. of by which they are organized into an act.

generally. the " immediate and instantaneous intuition of matter which would be experienced by " an adult and formed consciousness. pp." This " pure perception is more nearly approximated according as descent it is made result that the is animal most In the case of scale. is.C. and. and the degradation of intelligence. our functions. 251). all mapping out of matter with clearly-defined contours is into objects relative to our faculty of These objects. have no existence in matter. for perception. but a consciousness confined to the present. more perception. for intelligence has formed itself A upon the model of matter. 1 E. of an infinite material If. as distinct bodies. moments man elements. in the task of " moulding itself on the external object." INTUITION OF MATTER tion. They appear only because that part of matter which does not interest our needs. Such an intuition lies de jure at the basis of our perceptual knowledge. In the next place. an immediate knowledge of matter is to be memory to normal perception acquired. the contribution of must somehow be eliminated. memory then. 258 and 259 (Eng. . with the direct perception of a quality of matter the compression. is " pure " perception. in the has become overlaid with into one moment number of of our consciousness. in its simplest form. Tr. and absorbed." x In this way 107 the hypothesis of a psychical force suggested by an empirical study of evolution by There intuition. to the exclusion of all else. p. one more preliminary step. so to speak. of matter must be dealt with. speculative knowledge of matter can be arrived at only by means of intuition. is discarded in the process of per- and the parts of matter thus isolated by being severed from that which continues them in all directions ception. a reality may is verified beyond the reach of this psychical But there is The origin and nature be followed. reality into intelligence still then.

p. however feeble. the sensible qualities assume their natural and uncondensed nature. But still another correction of our ordinary view of matter is necessary. position of bodies melt away. 1 M. and link together the sucartificial ' ' ' cessive ' ' ' ' moments of time by a thread of variable quality which cannot be without analogy to the continuity of our own consciousness. It is no longer legitimate to speak of local changes of bodies. The artificial boundaries between object and object must be removed if a pure disinterested knowledge of matter is to be acquired. This follows as a natural consequence from the previous correction. magnitude. further this still isolation begun by normal perception. which have no more reality than the objects themselves. The movements which we interpret as changes of place must be regarded as " indivisibles which occupy duration. for it decomposes objects into molecules. so that from this point of view it must be regarded as having a history. since bodies do not exist. the figure. or something else. and " though not vanishing. 226 (Eng. made. a vortex of images which dissolve by insensible degrees into each other. et M. are spread out and diluted into an incomparably more divided duration. suppose a before and an after (not merely a here and a there '). and gives it duration. 268). and and what remains is described by one of Bergson's disciples as " a moving continuity.CONCEPTS OF MATTER 108 appear to the percipient as definitely outlined bodies." Further. and must not be thought to consist in a succession of instantaneous creations." By thus undoing what the faculty of If these corrections are ." x The fact of qualitative movement redeems the material world from pure spatiality. however nearly it may approximate to that. But their existence as bodies is due to a negation of matter rather than to anything positive in themselves. in one of its movements at least. Tr. pushes Science. I . p. atoms.

as it is directly revealed from space gence in (the its practical consciousness to schema of —by abstracting by intelliand from homogeneous divisibility furnished function) time (the abstract schema of succession in general). limit. still mutual exhibit | ^\ . nature i.e. the need for an intuition also seems to disappear. but has behind it is If. the rational synthesizing power of the scientific mind being the only necessary presupposition of such knowledge of matter. completely reciprocal independence. But. Its parts. the power of memory. and in which there is automatic and equal reaction of part on part. then the apparent inadequacy of the end achieved to the effort expended disappears. and that what posed to yield in this fleeting view I is it not to be gained it is mind sup- really the scientific which is continuous throughout. and regarding motion in its mobility. however. reached this extended. at the same time. though Nor tending is it absolutely towards externality. but duration so feeble that is its that matter has existence approxi- mates to that which Descartes conceived the existence of the world of extension to be an existence created at every instant through the concourse of God. This reminds one irresistibly of James' " parturient mountain which delivered itself of a mouse. which condenses elementary movements into a solid mass which we call real by a sensible quality." be remembered that such an intuition in an arbitrary way. removing the definite contours of isolated bodies or of by withdrawing molecules. by movement restoring to withdrawing from attention its the mathematical points through which we have conceived it as passing. we may gain a fleeting view of matter in its absolute essence. Matter has — not. The feature of the intuition of matter which is of outideal of a material universe standing importance for our purpose duration. however. the travail of of whole generations of scientists.— INTUITION OF MATTER 109 by perception has done in the interests of bodily activity.

the true type of causality is found in the i. towards is creative evolu- stability. Spirit is identical with duration. towards unceasingly renewed. By intellectual sympathy a similar movement towards disintegration may be discerned in the universe at large. action on matter. and matter has duration. with the purpose of demon- ." but tion to that of spirit. and heat itself tends to be dissipated in a uniform manner amongst bodies. Bergson undertakes the analysis of the idea of disorder. released from the mathematical form which has been imposed upon it ab extra. But since its duration is so much feebler than ours. towards space. but never Here Bergson approaches very it. " a flux in the opposite direc- flux of spirit of matter is. approximates towards Descartes' becomes identical with Matter. that res extensa. this law indicates the direction of the movement of matter towards a relative stability of elementary changes which — Matter indefinitely repeat one another. The tendency of matter towards expressed in the disintegration is partially second law of thermo-dynamics —the most metaphysical. consequently matter itself differs from spirit only in degree. expresses essentially that " all physical changes have a tendency to degrade themselves into heat. namely." That is to say. in an progress from pure spirit to juxtaposed images undoing of the progress of spirit. in the universe a Bergson concludes that there movement opposed is to the evolution of the movement. of all physical laws which. tion . Bergson thinks. creation of matter is quite conceivable. understood as an absence of order.— — INVERSE MOVEMENT OF SPIRIT no reciprocity of action and reaction. the movement a present which is its The flow is is then. near to that monistic spiritualism to which reference has already been made. Further. when spirit is directed towards spirit. rather than a thing.e. This movement has already been observed in the individual psychical life. where it was seen that. is to say.

in saying that is substituted affirming is that is if . Tr. warranted in one kind of order disappears. and is to be discovered there. and The idea of such. or rather en I'air. . admit that there It affirms that no order it is may become no order necessary some order." x There the two in turn. from freedom to mechanical necessity. is of a kind different from that which In fact. as currently accepted. ex- presses fundamentally the disappointment of a when it does not find to discover a kind of The mind expects it. although it may be we expected to meet. for the moment. and that the suppression of the one involves the substitution of the other. but the absence of the two together a thing which is neither perceived nor conceived. does not meet with that order. we grasp it en route. But this is quite unconvincing as an 1 E. it even unceasingly goes and comes between the two. and we treat it as if it represented. to mind which. then. if order is suppressed. seeks a certain kind of order on certain occasions. 234). and as — is no meaning. p.C. however. assertion there. " the idea of disorder denotes the absence of a certain order. being purely and simply the suppression of the inverse order " and with that end in view he conversion " . but to the advantage of another (with which we were not concerned) but as it is applied to each of . for our : But it it is interested.IDEA OF DISORDER hi strating that reality " can pass from tension to extension." necessarily conceived as is disorder. order in which alone. p. all that Bergson's position substituted. 242 (Eng. . siders is necessary to establish the fact that " suppression it always a substitution. no longer the absence of indifferently the one or the other order. this is purely a practical immediate purposes there Theoretically. by way of inthat " the geometrical order has no need of explanation. another disorder one is is that within order there are two kinds of order which oppose one another. a simple verbal entity.

and immediately. We may feel it acting. but certainly one of either a higher or a lower grade. fact is that the conception of these two opposing tendencies in the universe is reached on analogy with the movements which Bergson has already observed in the individual consciousness. the lower being. but as soon as this move- ment is interrupted the movement towards opposing extension. the inverse may take place.CREATION OF MATTER ii2 argument resting disorder. con- tinuous creation. is upon solely his analysis of the idea of All that can be concluded from that analysis that order always exists in experience. necessity. we have seen. a stage in the ascent to the higher. repetition. free activity." Bergson is foreclosing the question. for the matter to be decided is whether the one kind of order is the suppression of the other. so that species of order if not present to consciousness we is be sure that some other species is there — not one may necessarily an order of an opposite kind to that sought. in such circumr stances. to gain by a painful " a fleeting vision of this " pure will as effort of intuition or " consciousness " which communicates to us the impulse to live and to endure. and the metaphysician artist may. It is possible. individualized. the higher degree subsuming but not suppressing the lower. in a frag- mentary. by a supreme . and not the interruption of The it. In using the word " suppressed. It is conceivable that movement of the creative force an interruption of the immanent in the universe ipso facto. partially thwarted way. projected into the cosmic organism. begins. or whether there are not degrees of reality. movement towards materiality is substituted. and This principle is is found to make the creation of matter conceivable. The natural direction of mind involves interpenetration of parts. on the occasion of our feel it operating in himself as his ideal creations flash into freest acts. in our- The may selves. consciousness.

and this difficulty was never entirely overcome by Fichte. and feel In each case. Bergson cheer- is. self. difficulty arises when the passage is attempted from the " I " as active " subject " to the " not-I " or " object " which palpably limits the activity of the subject. pp. is merely the psychical in" ballasted with so to speak. The problem which Bergson has faced in this account of the nature and creation of matter may be connected with that which Fichte encountered at the crucial stage of his thought. Fichte reached the position that all reality is the product of a fundamental (ursprunglich) activity. all reality. pp. 1 what Bergson means when he argues that the order in matter order imagination fertile a wealth of symbolic expression. E. far enough to see that the . In . to be a perpetual growth. geometry " and that there is nothing positive in the mathematical order towards which it descends. In developing one aspect of the thought of Kant.CREATION OF MATTER effort of concentration 113 on the productions of philosophers. I exist. it is fully accepts and his necessary to reproduce these illustrations. In giving an account of this flight of cosmic speculation impossible to avoid metaphor. this " will " is felt it stir within himself. partially Now. moment. verted " It We is not have gone " the negation of the " willed is " physical that matter . the creation of a material world takes place. Tr. only as But a I act. H order to . or being to cosmic this will which continually adds momentary addition to becomes somehow interrupted. in virtue of that At that precise very interruption. I in the feeling of the activity of the he discovered the clue to the nature of am. imagine itself. 260-270 (Eng. self-consciousness. receive the impulse which vitalized their systems. 249-259). that a dissociated from the onrush of its source. in revels the situation.C. 1 in V. in spite of his argument that the activity of the subject demands.

Imagine the original spiritual elan confronted by matter. but even that line of argument is not open to Bergson. and it necessary that it should produce and necessarily failed. The desired point has now been reached at which the may be followed. when stripped of its metaphorical garb. and overBut has encountered. The difficulty is to which to is its creative account for the origin of this limiting matter. is it must overcome. re-assert itself. of reality in a supra-personal activity. at this point. it primary to account for the is and that appeared in the course of the power to effort of the spiritual Bergson. but has a slight advantage. and it will have to be considered at a later stage whether this thought. the essence of movement. become inverted ? spirit. to account for the first Anstoss which might cause the development which would issue in an objective world clearly differentiated from the active " I.BERGSON AND FICHTE H4 release itself. an object which that. has failed. but the inversion it is in- have Fichte argued from the fundamental should the activity free nature of the transcendental " I " ever the necessity of to the production of a limiting objective world. is not seen. but experience points the limitation of such a pure will. Bergson has discovered the clue to the nature of the ego. up this almost held in equilibrium by the it is necessary to imagine that it How it will proceed to follow advantage. an obstacle which it must overcome if it is to follow its evolution of intelligence in the race natural direction. It is opposing tendency. argues that free of supra-personal activity intelligent personality has come the interruption which the supreme difficulty Why terruption." and in the emergence of pure reason as an instrument of the activity a limiting Fichte reality. and overcome the obstacle which matter places before it ? An empirical study of the evolution ' . we have as of the just seen. to present insuperable difficulties. consequently.

this activity nature. seems thus to become externalrelation to itself: but just because it adapts itself to outside objects. the basis of the evolution of be conscious activity. i. On the one hand. ized in on matter. activity. either it on its passed. have externalized those tendencies in movements rather than internalized them in process . other became more completely awake. moreover. an activity. Life." x It very is Thought. intuition own movement was thus orientated It in or determining that either in the direction of of intelligence. In the course of this evolution. slept launched through matter. and the torpor of the former was useful to the activity of the latter. like the chrysalis in the cocoon where it is preparing its wings and on the other hand. in fact. means he necessary claims. He This psychical force at life is may Bergson a movement. as we have met by an activity of opposite sciousness or unconsciousness. some more and more deeply. . in avoiding the barriers which they oppose to in indefinitely enlarging its domain. concentrating itself. Consciousness . . pp.EVOLUTION OF INTELLIGENCE 115 shows that spirit has " compelled matter into organization. precisely is what he says. concern himself much about its con- Now when.e. Tr. 197-198 (Eng. But the awaking might be accomplished in two different ways. at any rate. may there 1 is be a kind of compromise. it succeeds in circulating amongst them. or understand to an it.e. as in the E. it here. Bergson emphasizes the aspect of activity. the numerous tendencies which it embraced have been distributed amongst divergent series of organisms. but its movement has thereby been both infinitely retarded and infinitely divided. and does not here. i. while representations. consciousness has had to fall asleep. fixed its attention or on the matter through which consciousness. supposed. which. It may be unconscious activity. itself in intelligence.C. p. to begin with. 192) .

move- or necessity. the sensorial centres. together with the sensorial apparatus in which it is prolonged.' the cerebro-spinal nervous system. a modus vivendi between the two is activities. 131). involving a conquest of free. between the two. Tr. to create with it a constant internal medium. cleanse. finally. its out- leading roads or canals (efferent nerves). begin with. p. a "If we agree to mination. and the existence of the cross-roads makes possible a choice of direction for the activity. so to speak. respiratory. and the crossroads. The physiological con- dition of free activity. or the elan of the activity which ment towards organism may matter. To or may is But and spirit medi- as an ascent growing in the scale of living beings. it might be said that a superior organism is essentially constituted by a sensori-motor nervous system installed in a digestive. finally clearly conscious. or materiality. then. 136 (Eng. with (afferent nerves).. The in-leading and the out-leading roads canalize an movement which would otherwise be diffused. action becomes chosen.n6 MATTER SPIRIT OPPOSED TO case of plants . is found in the sensori-motor in-leading roads or canals its nervous system. secretive. and above all. to pass on to it potential energy which will be converted into energy of locomotion." x As the nervous system develops. appa- and protect it. circulatory. or the activity which or freedom. E. real reservoir describe as of indeter- the ' sensori- motor nervous system. or is gradually overcome formed. whose business 1 it is to repair.C. the more free does the activity of the ratus. is perfect equilibrium. over matter. With this possibility of activity or choice consciousness appears. . life. p. the activity which ated through the organism is thought. An be scarcely more than automatic. and the locomotor muscles which it governs. The organism is. as in the case of the amoeba. made will. etc. of the free passage of the elan of life.

movement manifests itself persistently. in declares it. will itself facture It it by fashioning inorganic matter appears to have made to its manuneeds." * It must be distinctly borne in mind that at this stage we are dealing merely with psychical activity. 134). In the case of the insects. each of which has its activity. this psychical activity to obtain certain things is conceived of as striving from brute matter. on the other hand. by organized instrument with which to work. In the case of vertebrates. or an organism which. in creating an it it may do does not possess naturally the required instrument. although so mediately. the activity " has been concentrated on two pairs of members. may do It so immediately. The independence becomes complete with man. the organism has a variable. . We have seen that in its action upon matter it has produced an organism. that of matter. It besides. the former choice in the line of development which ends in the insects. and the latter in that which has terminated in man. p. matism lies in ambush for it. This activity Bergson calls instinct. psychical in nature. on Bergson's view. an activity limited in its power. " Our the very movements by means of which it creates nascent habits which itself. sometimes considerable.WAYS OF CONQUERING MATTER animal become. and these organs accomplish functions which depend much less completely on their form. and the more fully is 117 the determination of But the opposing activity.C. did not renew itself if it is by constant would stifle Auto- effort. 138 (Eng. The activity of the organ- form of motor ism of the insect is but a continuation of the activity which has produced the organism. Now it has choice between two ways of continuing its conquest over matter. special ' number of appendices. Tr. is. Further. p. surmounted. whose hand may 1 E. not absolute . the freedom which the organism conditions the contrary freedom. and that all movement is.

3 Ibid. . p. instinctive activity and intelligent or immediate activity and mediate activity represent two divergent solutions of the problem which presented itself to the original psychical activity in its upon matter. than is Homo Sapiens. " Instinct (in its essential nature) a faculty of utilizing and even of constructing organized instruments. Tr. 278). Tr. It the definite is dismissal which instinct receives from another form of — that which issues in works of construcand which he terms intelligence. 286 (Eng. that knowledge and action are here two aspects of one and the same faculty. Tr. adapt itself to tion on the habits of matter. and to make use of the determinism of nature action . The problem was " to create with matter. that it all its should determine attenitself more specifically in intelligence. p. Knowledge simply conscious activity. Intelligence (in its essential nature) the is faculty of constructing and employing unorganized instru- ments. acquires. Before proceeding to eluci- 2 Ibid." 2 activity — These two. 144 (Eng. 146). of all the members the most inadequately furnished means of protecting himself against his and hunger. in short. is 1 E. direct natural against enemies. cold the value of a prehistoric document." of the animal kingdom. for the most part. p. p. Bergson says. p. an instrument of liberty to construct a machine which would triumph over the mechanical.C. This insufficiency.— HOMO FABER n8 execute any work whatever. man might more fittingly be called Homo Faber psychical activity tion. and concentrate them . however. in order to break it 3 had spread. From this point of view. 140). But it is as a faculty of knowledge that we are accustomed to regard intelligence and perhaps instinct also." through the meshes of the net which To achieve this conquest it was necessary that the psychical activity should. Bergson says. p 152 (Eng. with is x Man. which is necessity itself. when we attempt to decipher it.

The inadequateness of the precisely what we call con- were to examine one would find that consciousness this point thoroughly. without any real action taking place. this is. action It effectively signifies accomplished hesitation or choice. for a moment on we above deliberately might be well to dwell it the aspect of psychical activity which 119 — that of consciousness. which by the When man}' actions. when the somnambulist acts automatically in his dream. are outlined. and that which results from an set aside — " No-consciousness annulled consciousness. act to the representation sciousness. this time. the unconsciousness be absolute but . If one is it has simply created a void. itself. The proof of may because. the accomplishment of the if by an obstacle. that one has . is the light immanent in the zone of possible action or potential activity surrounds living the being. and that consciousness can no longer The representation burst forth.SPECIES OF UNCONSCIOUSNESS date the point. the same with the unconsciousness of the instinct in the extreme cases in which instinct unconscious is ? When we accomplish mechanically a habitual action. fits is so exactly into it. When . consciouswas present. has caused an obstruction. Bergson distinguishes between two species of unconsciousness that which consists in a no consciousness. has created nothing positive it . . consciousness is intense. and annulled- but the first zero the second. equally possible. consciousness are both equal to zero expresses that there nothing is . but neutralized by the action which fulfilled the representation. then. The uncon- sciousness of a falling stone stone has no feeling of a no-consciousness is Is it the its fall. The obstacle action ness is may arrested or hindered It arise. it is held in check by the execution of the act of the act is which so perfectly similar to the representation. the representation that is obstructed by the action. to deal with two equal quantities of contrary direction which balance and neutialize each other.

vary its method of it. 151). E. the last of which is already prefigured in the first." 1 There is a distinction to be made. i.e. has the innate. consciousness becomes annulled consciousness. faculty of constructing unorganized.120 ACTED KNOWLEDGE the real action is the only possible action. more particularly concerned for the present. is return to the point that knowledge and same faculty. 156 and 157 (Eng. then. We have seen that instinct is the faculty of making use of an organized instrument which simply continues its own activity. and that consciousness would. Representation and knowledge do not less exist in the latter case. unconscious knowledge of a thing. It will bear essentially on the relations between the given situa- and the means of utilizing an innate tendency to establish tion 1 it. This tendency p. besides. the culty. through it. and conscious. It will possess. fundamentally activity. instruliving she does to circum- The essential " function of the intelligence will then be to distinguish (either by acted or conscious knowledge) " in any circum- means of getting out of a diffiwhat may serve it best. i. thought knowledge. nature fails artificial. let us upon which we were engaged now — viz.G. between unconknowledge. according construction. ments.e. action are but two aspects of the Its activity implies the potential or unconscious knowledge of the instrument and of the object to which It it is applied. acted This distinction occurs and again again Bergson's in Bearing in mind this idea that knowledge thought. relations. scious. will fit It will seek precisely into the proposed framework. . Tr. whatever stances whatsoever. to If. acts are this But knowledge. stances. then. may. pp. " the is endow the being with the instrument which will serve so in order that the living being It with which we intelligence. gush out if an obstacle were encountered. if it be established that one finds there a totality of systematized movements.

relations. p. Bergson does not mean here what Spencer would have us believe that the psychical activity has had imprinted upon it. p. so as to direct in fact. are. . the parti- appear These fundamental conceptions as necessarily true." tions of equivalent to equivalent taining of cause to effect . of all upon proceeds reflection.g. as a result of its contact with matter. Intelli- not have conscious knowledge of these relations. — subsumed under the one form gence may of contained to con- . fascinated by the contemplation of inert matter externalizing itself in action. It Bergson says. activity of all intelligent beings. and man most regulated be regarded as constituting the framework of an ideal material or spatial world. as the thought of the somnambulist is externalized is. this psychical activity has to choose again and again 163 (Eng. by them. e. regarded as an activity. Bergson would say. naturally employs. in action . of which all may possibly be or conception. such intelligence will more particular fashion into rela- x These general relations which intelligence. so to speak. relations. unconscious knowledge of them. relations. .STRUCTURE OF INTELLIGENCE implies natural the 121 knowledge of certain very general which the activity peculiar to veritable stuff. life looking backwards. implicit. or principles i. Since in which we its action upon matter call intelligence 1 E. adopting in principle. space. it has. the general — characteristics of His matter.. ingratiated itself. Tr.C. upon which. psychical activity which threads position its is has chosen to adopt the form of matter. It acts these prin- but The ciples. 159).e. his these to him in general manufacturing may also activity. to insinuate into matter. They are regulative principles of the activity of an intelligent being. in order that that with which it it the that way through matter itself might ultimately conquer has. the procedure of unorganized nature. vertebrates. is cularly.

NATURE OF INTELLIGENCE 122 the place and the time at which it will construct an organ- ized instrument. but in the representation of the acts by which The intelligence. temporarily inverted in 1 E. external distinct concepts. and later.e. in clear " The concepts are. language. reunited. p. our logic triumphs in the science which takes the solidity of bodies as its object. contracted in its own and upon spirit. i. intelligence is an activity. as the rules of the composition of these symbols amongst themselves scarcely do more than translate the most general relations between solids. . the knowledge implied in this activity will be more and more thought and conscious. tion of solids. rather than and unconscious. constitute our " As these symbols are derived from the consideralogic. more easily handled by the intelligence than the pure and simple images of concrete things.). primarily directed upon matter. become conscious of it own its possesses a it will. Tr. in speculates (as a luxury. And they have the same stability as the objects on the model of which they have been created. the intelligence follows certain rules. the which resembles. which. when systematized. p. more diaphanous. Logic and geometry reciprocally engender one another. because surplus of force of which to dispose).C. follows the habits which dealing with matter. has it represents activity under the form of discontinuity. In manipulating these symbols. 2 Ibid. {Ibid.' essential characteristics. assisted by — not in activity the perception of things. fixes itself its however." 2 This sketch of the development of has had as its aim to show that life into intelligence. acted first arise intellect The consciousness of matter will when the perception of things. They constitute. in fact. to one another as well as to objects in space. as intelligence. an ' intelligible world. and it things. but the world of its ele- ments of which are lighter." x They are mere symbols. in geometry. in solids. 169). 174 (Eng.

it that . development In the case of Intellect is the progress of free activity. over matter may be secured. to suggest that . and when it. it attaches characterized by an unlimited power of decomposing according to any law whatever. developed as it has been for action upon matter. free action organized body. the knowledge which it as they are life furnishes will be merely symbolic. finally. in order that. it if intelligence be regarded from the point of view of action. it has for its primary object the unorganized represents clearly only the discontinuous for real movement juxtaposed it solid. creative psychical activity To sum up : deals with if it does so only symbolically. and no longer as a speculative faculty. Traces of instinct remain in the most fully developed intelligence. transports itself into the domain of speculation. pursue its course of freedom endeavours to construct unorganized instruments by juxtaposing part to part in certain relations to each order that that other . ultimately. Thus the evolution of intelligence in the history of the intuitions of life are immediately intellectualized race is exactly similar to the intellectual of each individual within the whole. is inherently incapable of representing and consciousness. movement the stable and immovable . and of recomposing into any system whatFinally. .FUNCTION OF INTELLIGENCE 123 it might. spirit is materialized and intellect in order that chosen. stray and consciousness come to all. it is . it ever. and its free its conquest activity released. ultimately. It substitutes points which constitute a practical equivalent of the real itself to . individuals. may human appears be achieved by the simply a stage of spirit in In the case of the larger organism the originally undivided psychical impulse has adapted itself to matter in the manner which has just been observed. but these and forced into the framework of a faculty constructed to enclose the inert and dead. being reciprocal and. to matter it is constructed to this end.

has not reached the utmost limit to which it is moving. nothing else than intelligence. an intuition of matter is becoming intelligence. is discover and overcome the order in matter only own degradation of its by stooping It may is simply and the order Spirit can by means into matter or intelligence. pertinently be asked why. intelligence has " Once put it in the way outstrips matter out-Heroded Herod. but " intelligence and matter have been progressively adapted to one another. and cunningly adopted the form of matter. even for the knowledge of spirit. could sympathize Bergson's reply would be degrees. and have ended in a gence impose common form. that. the form of the geometrical of descent by itself. so speak. by its contractions with reality in all its and expansions. nor have matter and intelligence been regulated upon one another by some pre-established harmony. in a sense." Spirit has. for intelligence. thus adapted itself to if intelligence has matter. and. to voluntarily.e. 3 i of a rationalized. and if matter. only to conquer. matter as it actually exists) it does not seem necessary to postulate. The order purposefully. in its \ . Spencer would have us believe. then the difference between matter and spirit is not a difference in kind but one of degree. neither does the intelli- its form upon matter. if spirit. to a similar interruption of a similar activity. and since intelligence is capable of knowing spirit in its lowest degree (i." contact with matter.ADAPTATION OF INTELLIGENCE 124 Matter does not determine the form of as intelligence. <But its temporary degradation has been real and thorough. Neither the order in matter nor the form of the human Both are due intelligence has anything positive in it. has adopted the rhythm of matter. as Leibnitz contended. Further. coherent system of thought the order of nature introduced into matter in spirit. necessary at all. as Kant argued. as it actually exists. in a faculty of another kind than intelligence.

pp. we must first persuade ourselves that the into real is divisible at will. Tr. pp. p." In its normal course. 211-14). . In action. 220-221 (Eng. a net whose meshes i. We must. spread beneath the continuity of sensible qualities. then. supplies a medium matter as spread out. order that our activity it is may leap from an act to an necessary that matter should pass from a act." 2 In a word.INTELLIGENCE AND SPACE intelligence. the practical function ideal is 1 E. state to of the material world that action can be accomplished.C. cognition. Tr. The procedure of intelligence is saltatory. is intelligence leaps across intervals from a terminus a quo to a terminus ad " In quern. as opposed to that of pure and reached the limit towards . 324 (Eng. according to James' " ambulatory. homogeneous space. p. V. Tr. in its practical procedure. this wholly This substratum which diagram of arbitrary and indefinite indivisibility. familiar term. in which it regards views matter as parit can now divide it any number of parts whatever. and become as small as we please." The material world does not present to us as so a only by the insertion of a result into a state state. p. et M. 234 (Eng. is merely conceived. it is the end to be achieved on which we fix our attention.e. " The perceiving mind marks out divisions in the continuity of the extended. for it is many itself x immediately isolated states. extensity. also E. 316). But in order to divide the real in this way. and the conceived empty medium is space. Intelligence aims at securing the most perfect insertion of our body into its material environment it is essentially constructed for action. simply following the suggestions of our requirements and the needs of practical life.C. it has completed actually 125 movement the which matter only tends. but intelligence. and since it taking of the nature of this space. 278). 2 M. may beneath concrete be altered to any shape whatsoever. p. which.

true of the part 1 E. 218). taken separately. p. has any objective reality." a rule. " No one of these. which aspires to take a matheto revision. Tr.g. in reality. e.C. But. measurement. in order that a scientific theory should be definitive. . so that the solution of each problem will need to be indefinitely cor- rected by the solution which problems. p. arbitrary they are too precise. Laws x in and require mathematical form will never be perfectly applicable to matter. p. This fact colours Perception. 3 Ibid." matical form. as continual re-shaping. too precise. isolated certain variables." 3 In other words. dissolution. we are obliged to put the problems one by one. that the mind should embrace en bloc the totality of things. Tr.LAWS OF NATURE 126 of intelligence has impelled towards to complete the it matter has partially accomplished. p. 237 (Eng. 225 (Eng. is relative to the contingent order in which the problems have successively been stated. all such laws are true only at a certain level of scientific knowledge. and science. in : terms which are consequently provisional. intelligence. 230). Its divisions are " always subordinated to practical exigencies." 2 applied certain conventional units of Again " It : would be necessary. there are laws of nature other than those which appear in strictly mathematical form may not these express the nature of matter in creteness all The essence of Bergson's reply ? its to this is .. p. 2 Ibid. and consequently always subject " Science. all does not carve reality where the joints are. 218). Tr. . it may still be said. immobility. accentuates unnecessarily the spatiality of matter its : diagrams are. 225 (Eng. It is the work of a scientist who has considered things from a certain point of view. in will its be given of the subsequent ensemble. p. work of the subsequent movement which homogeneity. and place them in exact relation the one to the other but. conthat such laws are the result of a fragmentary view of the universe.

As soon as one passes from such a general statement to more detailed consideration. only provisionally true.C. p.' LAWS OF NATURE of the universe which has and experience. are. They are. the distribution of nature into objects or into facts. and not as it appears to a dissecting and isolating intelligence. Thus and which positive science. Tr. numerous difficulties present themselves. the chosen. Note. 248 (Eng." to say. be expressed other- by saying that quanti- and quantitative proofs of inferences which have been made. choice of variable magnitudes. although on account of the tendency of matter towards complete spatialization the rises tinuity progress of positive science. from a does not pause to measure. For the sake of clearness. in a sense. above the conventional. 127 come within developing human a sense. 242). fragmentary conventional. and relates ' quantitative That variations to one another in order to obtain laws. law in mathematical form (and all A laws of positive science are basally mathematical) expresses that a certain magni- tude is a function of one or other variables conveniently Now. in of necessity. involves something contingent and conventional. 2 — . counts. seeks to enter into the conand mobility even of matter. so long as thought follows the windings of nature is in its qualitative changes. and the quantitative law is a very tative considerations. imposed from without. more " or less conventional. taken as a whole. so. it for nature never does that. p. requires to be completed by intuition. or inductions inadequate and contingent expression of the nature of concrete reality. and the relation of the intellectual to the intuitional interpretation of matter. means its approximation to the intuition of inert matter. 2 1 E. This may different point of view. and these will have to be considered in a succeeding chapter. I have kept to the main outline of the nature and creation of matter." * It would be absurd to imagine that nature measures or counts as physics " measures. the evolution of intelligence. wise. and attempts to know reality as it is for itself.

' trated. and is considering it in its essential feature." x It is necessary here again to note that Bergson is dealing with instinct as it sets out from the original elan. an ideal instinct is the acted knowledge of an innate mechanism. tion of the activity which raised matter to organization. machines. which. quite adequate for its activity. one of which led to intelligence. ment there is an instinct which knows how to make use of it. from this point of view. Now. p." We have seen that the study of the evolution of life confirms Bergson in his conception of an original elan of effort to graft life. is another in p. without the need of any artificial construction. 146). Tr. in divergent ways. or which the victory is by the construction of an organism perfectly self-complete.C. and that artificial tools." " condensed " from a vaster reality. 151 (Eng. way implements. its indetermination on matter. " Round conceptual thought there subsists an indistinct fringe which recalls its origin. 1 E. The tools or machines which the organism requires in the interests of life form " Corresponding to this instrupart of the organism itself. psychical in character. not instinct as it appears to us. In the direction of intelligence this original force adopted what we have called the mediate method of the conquest of matter. its separation from its fount has not been complete. in a natural faculty of utilizing an innate mechanism. . mingled as it often is with intelligence. has chosen two the other to its its concentration into realization in instinct. or it is the faculty of utilizing or even of It is the continuaconstructing an organized instrument. This we might call the immediate method. It is an ideal instinct with which he is dealing.CONQUEST OF MATTER 128 Although intelligence has been " detached. There is no doubt that all instincts consist. which can in time construct from nature inorganic But there may be won. which consisted in the construction of an organism like that of the human being.

by nature. p. " reality. which eggs at the entrance of a subterranean passage 1 Ibid. the representation. a small beetle. in the line of evolution upon which It is consciousness does not escape. Tr.e." Observation of the instinctive action of insects seems to confirm the thought that they An objects. left feeble part sentation will then be counter-balanced. 157 (Eng. if knowledge there be. existing or producing themselves in precise points of space insect and of time. p. in proportion as tends to disengage itself. and tends to be unconscious. " Knowledge. is implicit only. — By " things " Bergson evidently means individual organ- isms. 2 Note. in the awareness of internalized in consciousness is Thus. I . would be the consciousness of force in its organizing activity. activity." x If instinct externalized in precise lines of action instead of being " i. 152). it is acted knowledge. for " in cases where the instrument to be handled is organized by nature. is in the repreit by the accomplishment of the which becomes a embraces knowledge at all.— AND ACTION INSTINCT we If recur view of consciousness as is not adequate to the Bergson's to 129 appearing only when the action it becomes clear that instinctive action tends to be unconscious action. instinct still imprisoned by matter. its appears. knowledge could become thought knowledge. The conduct of the insects outlines the repre- 2 sentation of determined things. which the knows without having learned them. what would be the nature of that knowledge ? there There would be no outlining of possible action psychical of the real action. counterpoise to it. a The consciousness inherent result to be obtained willed to choice. It act identical with the representation. act a definite knowledge of determined example of this is furnished by interesting Bergson in the case of the deposits its Sitaris. not isolated objects. and of an object in its But this if acted .

installed on the consumes nymph and this if it shell. knowledge of objects its for floating had a knowledge of the definite things. now a perfect insect. after a long wait. 174). honey.C.e. i. and one who attained it would. It movebecome definite then. if. it could enlarge its object indefinitely. Bergson combats most strenuously the view held by most biologists that instinct and intelligence have appeared along one line of evolution that the progress has been through sensibility and instinct to intelligence and he is ledge of It . p." " If the consciousness which sleeps in it were to awake if it were internalized in knowledge instead of being externalized in action. this action could conscious action. would be " cram-full. finally. larva of the Sitaris.INSTINCT 130 dug out by a kind of AND INTUITION The bee. if we were able to interrogate it and it could reply. transferring of in the honey. could become knowledge. it would become intuition. once more. and dive back into itself. be led to the heart of psychical movement. if it could withdraw itself from externalization in action. and waits quietly itself to port the seizes emergence from until the nuptial w ould be r it a would be know- what we usually call the " matter " of knowledge. till it. her eggs. If it could become disinterested. clings to the male bee on its the passage. and. Tr. in the course of a it devours first opportunity the female bee.e. . 1 E." 1 Instinct is sympathy. becomes a Organized finally throughout as ment of she lays then leaps on the egg. 179 (Eng. it few days. — . if it could be freed from its practical aspect in its entanglement with physiological life if it could become conscious of itself. in the very effort. and remains attached to it then It flight. appears to act It If. it Then. in their fulness. p. . undergoes on the stock of nourishment. i. it would deliver up to us the most profound secrets of life. for it only continues the work by which life organizes matter. which serves to sup- It metamorphosis.

In spite of the fact that the natural tendency of human intelligence is towards a universal mathematic which manifests itself. and in science. represents an attempted solution of one and the problem. never perceives anything more of a profound cause than its diffusion into effects placed side by side. interpenetrated in the original generative force in all They life. ethics. man is not compelled to admit that his knowledge of reality must remain at the symbolic level." 1 The insect with its instinct " grasps what is doubtlessly only a very small part of a thing. in philosophy. yet opposed all things. faculties. Tr. 185). Intelligence and it is concerned instinct with the activity of applies itself to immanent are thus complementary. in its aim at a coherent system of definite concepts. which.. that it is impossible for but it grasps it him to rise to the truly speculative point of view. and in spite of the fact that its representation is increasingly symbolic as the ascent is made through the successive spheres of biology. to begin with. 190 (Eng. not by a process of knowledge. in a progress towards deduction. INSTINCT AND INTELLIGENCE 131 no less strongly opposed to the view that instinct degraded intelligence. but by an intuition (lived rather than represented) which. that he must be ever mocked by antinomies which he is incompetent to slay. without any doubt. and haunted by the ghost of an unknown and unknowable reality which yet startles his impotent 1 Ibid. and psychology. matter . the form of " Intelligence remains outside them. p. but it with life. resembles what in us is called divining sympathy. the conquest of mind over matter . just that which interests it from within. He argues vigorously that is a the facts of biology themselves go to confirm his theory that instinct and intelligence have appeared in their forms on two divergent lines of evolution developed that each . . same that they are the development of two elements.

appear through the turmoil and the din of the artisan spirit — clear and let work in which contact with matter has involved life becomes us develop these. sprang. an indefinite series of intuitions. but we are as superhuman. by two efforts of inverse direction. body and mind ? . Let him resist the dislet tractions of matter. him get back into this will. artists. Here it will substitute a concrete knowledge for the symbolic representations which positive science has supplied. listen to nomies will disappear. The taunt groundless. by alternately exalting and humbling itself. the will at . ethics. artisans the universal will. also. It intelligence has failed to will. Metaphysic has. to a greater or less extent. times. though feebly enough which created him and which surges through innumerable worlds. by nature. as of doing. could not consciousness. as human. There pulses in him. then. fleeting direct visions of reality in its inwardness. is . with experience. life. which has hypnotized his spirit being. feel it — the anti- will feel himself living the of the world-will. for he has placed himself at the heart life of the world-progress. its its incapacity to progress is end without losing touch. and for a fragmentary representation it will seek to substitute a view of the whole. it will seek to grasp the qualitative aspects of which a practical take account. and it it may of fulfil has so often been accused In regard to matter. the cosmic We are. and our vision of full. adopting the same rhythm and the same movement. as an intelligent He mind. all of us. in insight ledge. and he it. But its greatest achievements will lie in the spheres of biology. seize from within and no longer per" ceive from without the forms of reality. a definite task. gain a sympathetic into the " extra intellectual " matter of know" Coinciding with this matter.INTUITION AND METAPHYSIC 132 not pure intelligence he is not " in entire " forgetfulness of the source whence he. Fugitive instincts. and psychology.

the attempt be made to state definitely and without metaphor the relation between intuition and a conceptual representation of the reality intuited. of course. due partly to a want of definiteness in Bergson's statement of his thought. certainly incompatible with the final alternative. it is true. but it existed in germ from the beginning. now. to express this intuitional it must knowledge in the form of subject and predicate remain predicateless knowledge. which. that the intuition of reality and the conceptual representation of it are arrived at by two processes of knowledge. ceived that the Thirdly. and that. cases immediate knowledge is an ideal limit. he approaches to the verge of intuition. the one which he. immediate that the initial act of knowledge is an which in out of which conceptual knowledge develops. a diffi- culty arises. therefore. but each of which formless. . however. in its purity within experience. each of which is the inverse of the other. in consistency with the main line of his is . finally. which. the conceptual representation is in no way foreign In both the preceding to the immediate knowledge. by a series of concrete images which gradually induce an attitude of such a kind on the part of the hearer that . The study of Bergson's work has pointed towards the last as the alternative which he adopts. Its transmission from person to person can be achieved only by suggestion. are not mutually exclusive. Firstly. would lead one to the belief that he accepts both of the first two alternatives. If. He definitely rejects the third possibility.INTUITION AND INTELLIGENCE 133 It is utterly impossible. There are several conceivable might be thought that immediacy secondly. if taken apart. reached at the end of conceptualization grasp. it is . There are passages. never reached relations. it may intuitionaUy grasped reality is be conutterly and that knowledge arises through the imposition of order by an intelligence furnished with a definite system of categories or.

two by the statement that the This assertion the page. such a passage as the following from the Introduction a la Metaphysique seems to indicate that the concepts which he mentions are a partial development in thought of the nature of " If I replace duration." These two statements are ciliation. to each other. is view that the intuition is the perfection of conceptual knowledge." when he argues that an intuition achieved only when the totality of observations and is up by experiences gathered positive science surveyed. For example. destroys equally impossible to comprehend may of recon- dialectic how . while the intuition of life and the representation of it which intelligence gives are related as the reality to its negation. a refracted be propagated through concepts to other . is necessary in order to " put the intuition to the proof." and also in order that " the intuition may be refracted into concepts and pro- pagated to other men. multiplicity. how difficult can put in the very process. This uncertainty by dialectic in is this not removed when the part played empirical intuitional metaphysic is considered. it is certainly not this points to the the inversion of it. that. tion of intelligence to the intuition of matter intuition of respectively.VAGUENESS OF THOUGHT 134 thought. and many other : Again. for it is impossible to see to the proof that which and it is intuition it. Dialectic. as we have seen. I perceive immediately how it is unity. life failure persistently between the rela- The intuition and to the of matter and the conceptual system which the science of matter furnishes." lines lower down on is followed. at least. approximate. things besides. This vagueness arises partially. it is held. given in an immediate intuition myself in duration by an effort of intuition. course of dialectic and that of intuition are " in contrary directions. ought to maintain. to distinguish clearly and from the also.

His thought. which appears to be the true one. it has had to divide. of evolution is consciousness. A passages in which Bergson speaks of intelligence as implicit in the original elan are set side by side with those in which it is treated as the negation of that elan. and in only one of these has it attained to the constitution of an individual capable of free action. if it be agreed that the physio- and mental life of man are due to a limitation of original the elan by the opposing movement which has termed if it be agreed that the motor power been matter logical . and that festations of life all activity of the the external mani- are the struggle of this consciousness to overcome the opposing movement of matter.. and move in divergent directions. Mystery disappears faith is swallowed up of knowledge. Man alone is free. the other with one of descent. on the intuition revealing the nature of and consciousness the one placing us in sympathy with a movement of ascent. GENERAL TENDENCIES men. yet comple- mentary to each other. in the concrete signification which Bergson attaches to the central individual consciousness. intelligence throwing light and structure of matter. and he is free because of the marvellous complexity of his brain. In accomplishing its task. and intuition should be regarded as to the view already formulated faculties of knowledge which are opposed. however. Essentially free. The spiritual force has organized a sensori-motor nervous system. de- — viz. refraction into concepts if similar difficulty occurs when means those 135 annihilation. intelligence its general tendencies. and the two together enabling us to ransack the universe and discover its deepest secrets. this motor principle seeks to annul the movement of matter towards mere repetition and necessity. This exposition may be brought to a close with an account of the evolution of life in our solar system. the progress of which . life . in mands adherence that .

But in the case of man. and thereby. supplest directions. that its spatialization and its consequent extreme individualism. and sets it free in sudden gushes. It can hold in check other motor habits. p. the motor habit may have a second result. If life developed exclu- sively in the direction of multiplicity. but occur when and how he will in the case of man. the habits which its will contracts have no other object and effect than to accomplish the movements outlined in those habits. first. 1 E. consisted — — by conquering automatism. Its contact tion of tendencies in a a multiple unity. Life is psychical in is nature. or a unified with matter operates the separa- It is way similar to that which has already been observed in the spatialization of spirit in the interests of bodily activity. which are automatic. by the interposition of the and unforeseen The plant stores up energy by separating the carbon from carbonic acid the animal consumes this stored-up energy. " In the case of the animal. 193). at . stored up in those mechanisms. In all its stages it has been an attempt. in the lower animals. . i. and. or nearly so. at any stage." 1 Throughout the whole struggle for freedom life has proceeded upon a definite principle. is would mean destruction. to procure for itself a store of energy . 199 (Eng. as such. to dispense this store.e. In the second place. out of proportion with the first. an essential characteristic of the evolution of life of individuation development in the double direction and association. consciousness set free. the motor mechanisms which the brain succeeds in setting up in other words.EVOLUTION OF LIFE 136 in a simultaneous development of automatic and of voluntary activity.C. a confused multiplicity of inters is penetrating tendencies. multiplicity. second. An not in accordance p. matter. possible variable in the end of which are free actions. freedom has been achieved through mechanism. Tr.

that alone. and become itself an individual which can. A part is no sooner detached than it tends to become reunited. as possible to In the third place. 273)." 1 This is an interesting metaphysical explanation of the alternations which history presents between a swing towards communism and one towards individualism. would fain dissolve the juxtaposed individuals in a new organism. the balance the two. con- man programme has been followed. 281 (Eng. but the society. become individual is combated. as if the multiple unity of life. made as great an effort bend back upon itself. if not to all the rest. end of evolution. in the direction of multiplicity.EVOLUTION OF LIFE 137 with the fundamental evolution of life but neither is an extreme form of association. and in We may man say. form an integral part of a new association. and it overcomes matter only by perfecting a multiplicity of " Everywhere the tendency to individual organisms. Individuals are juxtaposed in a society. . is free. the one consciouswhich courses through all these individuals. in its turn. in which man and . p. drawn ness. but that in the freedom which consciousness had lost by its with matter has been most completely regained.C. the evolution of intelligence sciousness is essential." If it is divided amongst a number all living things exist. Tr. and at the same time completed by an antagonistic and complementary tendency to associate. man contact In the . Therefore in the whole domain of life there is a balance between individuation and association. In the middle state. must be struck between The choice of multiplicity or unity by spirit will never be definite and determined "it will leap from the one to the other. in which individualities would disappear. then. 1 is the This must not be taken to imply that E. it is still the one elan. p. of individuals. formed with difficulty. to that at least which is nearest to it. a definite life towards reflective In man.

life There was no adopted or rather created are contingent. atoms of oxygen and carbon." x In that case. was necessary that the psychical force should develop into intelligence if through knowledge of matter it was to overcome it. in not necessary that precise 277 (Eng. for example. in other solar so far as to say that concentrated and 1 E. according to Bergson's conception the philosopher will He be the nearest approach to the perfect man. under physical conditions which appear. in which these two forces found full development. not by ignoring it. of demanding that the But instead sun should separate from one another. life are apparent. 269). conquers but by patiently deciphering meaning. Bergson goes in other planets. and as the order in matter is intelligence. was that it should store up some solar energy. essentially intelligence sary that he should be so if it : was neces- he were to gain the conquest A complete and perfect humanity would be one in which intelligence was supplemented by intuition. p. . and over matter. to be utterly repugnant to life. which would then have had to be associated or dissociated by quite different physical means. Tr. p. Tr. necessity that consciousness should choose the carbon of the carbonic acid as the form of energy which it should " What was essential store up in the organized plant. its it the contingent elements in the evolution of Finally. the chemistry of organized bodies would have been radically different from what it actually is. 278 (Eng. It is quite likely that " life manifests itself forms of which we have not any idea. is It itself. p. 2 in life should be properly determined Ibid." 2 Indeed. from the point of view of our physiology. it is made systems also. 271). matter. p.EVOLUTION OF LIFE 138 course of this evolution consciousness has been compelled abandon part of to Man primarily.C. it could have selected other chemical elements. has conserved intelligence. In the first the forms of place.

if. 280)." In the third place. We in ourselves. . us. 282). " Man has warred like the other he has warred against the other species. Another solution might have issued in a humanity which was either more intelligent still. If had been opposed by different accidents en route. 139 conceivable that energy is may be placed and then dispensed on variable lines coursing through a matter which is not yet solidified. then God and in so far as is we is essentially free. the proportion the of intuition to intelligence in the mental structure of the human species " Between the perfect humanity and ours is contingent. As the smallest grain of dust second." 2 The great fact to be strongly emphasized is that the consciousness. 1 2 Ibid. is interconnected with our entire solar system. are divine. p. If perfect freedom. may one conceive sponding to and the all many possible intermediaries. incessant are free be aware of this free activity. the physique and the morality of man are species . we first. In second place. Tr. is the part of contingence in the mental structure of our species. we should have been. God. p. or more x intuitive. a split-off part of which energizes at the the evolution of heart of you may all life in call it creation. and by an act of sympathetic insight. 290 (Eng. carried with it in this undivided movement of descent which of life is materi- from the first beginnings to the time in which we live. corre- the degrees imaginable of the intelligence That intuition. Ibid. so all organized beings. and in all places as ality itself." in reserve. in physique and in morality. the current of life had been divided otherwise.EVOLUTION OF LIFE organs at " It all. p. p. then. life our solar system. 288 (Eng. very different from what we are. in all life about Then "we no longer feel ourselves isolated in humanity humanity no longer seems to us isolated in nature which it dominates. . contingent. Tr.

" x E. and The animal man all itself. in space and in time. pp. do but render sion.C. and humanity in its entirety. point of support in the plant. in a sweeping charge capable of resistance. the inverse of the indivisible. itself. and. even death 1 and of clearing many overcoming perhaps obstacles. is one immense army which gallops on every side of us. yield finds its bestrides animality. to the visible to the eye a single impul- movement of matter. . same formidable impetus. 285 and 286).UNITY OF COSMIC SPIRIT 140 in all times. before and behind all us. in All living beings hold together. 293 and 294 (Eng. Tr. pp.



But before proceeding to undertake that one may notice the remarkable diversity of judgments which have been passed upon the thought of this most interesting philosopher. The older idealists." and that it belongs to that small part of the work of our epoch which will survive." The delight with which James. but is cautiously watched and openly opposed : in others.CHAPTER III THE NATURE. speaking of Bergson's first book. holds that " we are watching the rise of a new agnosticism. for example. Les Donnees Immediate^ de la Conscience. To take just a few instances Hermann. . In his own country Bergson has much honour in certain quarters. Fouillee. Lord Haldane states that what is essential in his thought may be found in the first volume of Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Will und Vorstellung. is an interesting piece of romance in the too unromantic history of modern philosophy. considers that Bergson's philosophy " is perhaps the most original production since the days of Immanuel Kant. as. Professor Bosanquet. in Germany. and of offering a criticism of its results. embraced Bergson's method. Graf Keyserling. AND GENESIS OF INTELLIGENCE We have Bergson's thought now before us in some detail. FUNCTION. The task remains of estimating its value. and avowed himself an ardent disciple. who had hitherto found no rest for the sole of his foot.

and that to arouse will is Psychological facts be lived. by a natural development. is one thing at cates least establish science to though independent bases. for it The world of philosophers. The new philosophy indi- variety of opinion concerning this —that it is important enough great interest in diverse quarters. issue in scepticism and nihilism. at in all least. to have to philosophical be reckoned construction with in. follow him with all the enthusiasm of disciples. but which is scarcely entitled to be called knowledge of the real. however. and become devoted followers. One of thought. attempts the it at immediate future. Science has a very limited domain. Many. They generally have a certain disdain for certain of yield to the For them. In historical its closely connected Germany relations. They are indifferent to it. It is confined to disengaging from the given that which is geometrically and mechanically representable. notably Le Roy and Wilbois. but cannot be scientifically known. Concerning his influence on the younger generation in France who have come under number one professor says his sway." interesting to note this. with the Bergson's thought romantic in the nineteenth century. It substitutes for the real an abstract and fictitious construction which has a great practical interest. It is positive science. and metaphysic on his chief aims stable. may It is entirely opposed to the it is and remote from the intention of Bergson's own spirit. as for their master. and engineers. young men "A : charm of the style and the ingenuity of the thought.DIVERSITY OF JUDGMENTS 144 adopt a decidedly critical attitude towards him. Fouillee holding that his philosophy must. of the younger generation. is most development and more in particularly . philosophy commences where science leaves off. doctors. but for altogether uninteresting consciousness escapes science entirely. good manufacturers.

Bradley. one takes such names those as cannot be denied. Pringle-Pattison and Bergson. Windelband. his central thesis with a freshness and vigour of thought and a facility of expression which force upon us the conviction that we are in the presence of an original. as well as a brilliant litterateur. The influence of this school seems to have reached him through M. \ At the same time. itself it may be traced partly. keenly bered. of Nietzsche. at any rate. the inner nature of Being and the progressive outgoings from it of subordinate qualitative forms of reality. by an it 145 will be remem- which transcended intelligence. Boutroux. If Paulsen. who came into contact with Schelling in Munich." His is no method is largely his own. Felix Ravaisson-Molliern. and if one realizes that. The as the expression of a is prevalence of the tendency to set definite limits to the range of conceptual knowledge. though they represent very varying systems of thought. to a revolt against the view that the nature of being may be exhausted in the knowledge of it which the human mind can gain partly to the failure of naturalism in its attempt to explain . intuition analytic. who. ¥ . if not to disparage the intelligence altogether as a faculty capable of achieving metaphysical knowledge of reality. Eucken. attempted to grasp. Bergson's thought felt movement which may be regarded making itself throughout Continental and British philosophy. But Bergson " mere trader on other men's premisses. James. The leading ideas in Bergson's thought are foreshadowed in the work of Ravaisson. Poincare. speculative mind. one will recognize the far-reaching charWithin the sphere of philosophy acter of the movement. and Bergson writes of him with the admiration and enthusiasm of a disciple. and we may treat his philosophy He develops as the product of an independent thinker.HISTORICAL RELATIONS with the thought of Schelling. yet they all manifest this tendency in a more or less pro- nounced degree.

dominated of the activity by the principle of evolution. we are witnessing a remarkable growth of the consciousin ness of the activity of form. which is free activity. in invention. in and collective from knowing and being in its individual shifted since " every reflection of the spirit of its time. or must . and to realize the essence of our being. into of biology. ment of the brought by means of which mind have been The growth of the science science of psychology. while the intellect should garded as the pilot which guides is a and that the ultimate meaning of the universe should be sought activity. has emphasized a tendency in a similar direction. and that the mechanical partly also to the influence of the develop- . But it may also be regarded as the reflection in philosophy of a more general phenomenon. life and —above its all. find this spirit philosophy life in terms of come life. Emphasis has to doing. But philosophy must always be concerned with the we live live knowledge of its nature. destiny.TENDENCY OF THE AGE 146 all experience on one level. of It human life — its origin. The question which faces the speculative thinker in an age such as the present is this : May philosophers lay claim to any special kind of insight into the nature of the fact of life. reflected It is life we should not strange that philosophy. In short. to move effectively. in the more general realization and the development of the social organism. concreteness the and prominence. to be re- to its final end and purpose. or of furnishing us with such a diagrammatic representation of the universe in which and move and have our being as will enable us to more fully. needs no philosophy to prove the fact either of knowledge or of life. so to speak." will. and as capable of attaining to a knowledge of reality only in so far as the practical activity of our " middle " state requires it. The present age is characterized by a wonderful expansion of life in all directions — commerce.

He surrenders reason to the exclusive living apart use of practical man. state . Without admitting the extreme limitations which critical analysis a thorough-going pragmatic view of reason imposes upon it. suggests itself. may philosopher the incompleteness of our upon patiently wait elucidate. of tried and proved knowledge. untrammelled ends. to bear in well. to admit that the most perfect system of human when thought. in a mind. experience points and. of which the metaphysician. he luxuriates in utilizing for speculative purposes the faculty with which he is endowed so that he may secure the most perfect adaptation of his body to his material environment ? These alternatives seem to have presented themselves to Bergson's mind. and recognize that the philosopher is account in determining the a by-product. of final or no little issue of things that. by the obvious cheerfully accept finite. third alternative. If it be needful to grant the limitations of our knowledge. from the main stream of being. the fundamental elements in that experience note the possible expansion to which . and that no other representation remains : What is is possible. . which it is of Bergson's thought. however. human his evolving experience . but he boldly asserts the possibility by means by pragmatic of developing a hitherto almost latent faculty. with his feet upon a firm basis . is seen to afford only a diagrammatic representation of the universe. critically careful reflection. the question still the relation of this diagrammatic repre- sentation to that immediate experience which is with the . and he unhesitatingly identifies himself with the first. A may gain a purely disinterested knowledge of reality. it is fairly regarded. boldly venture into the future with the courage and hopefulness of a rationally grounded faith.PHILOSOPHY AND LIFE 147 they yield to the claims made by those dominated most powerfully by the practical spirit of the age. still developing.

they constitute is it is that account. man-made. know- incompetent for any one to it is assert. meaning. of these conceptual constructions is undoubted that they are man-made. in knowledge. but of his thought. apprehended in inner and outer perception ? Or is it simply a conceptual scaffolding. due to the combined processes of differentiation and integration. The existence. not tell us anything. which conintuition. in one . though confusedly. that possible for is achieved by men must be. or a mere set of ideal instruments which stitutes for us actual enable us to we make our way about nature of that reality ? movement Bergson. in the reality in which which cannot be said to express the are immersed. He appears to make an exception in the case of mathematical laws. but is state. the reality. merely man-made. or the other. state. a higher point of view than that of the human. in a Further.CONCEPTUAL CONSTRUCTION 148 pragmatists a flux of sensation. does him a system of human knowledge. the system of knowledge which ledge for us. be asserted. But the conditions must be fulfilled. human peculiar to the one way All knowledge which sense. Only if this be possible can a vantage ground be secured from which the inherent limitations of the conceptual structure may. unless on it to gain. the higher point of view must be achievements of science . as to their objective validity or reality. symbolic or inadequate. interpretation knowledge of an actually articulated system immediately. From with any this higher standpoint the may possibly be judged symbolic. . identifies himself with the pragmatists to this extent that he regards / all conceptual representations as contingent to our human and not as expressing the nature of reality. knowledge of surfaces. and with Bergson a direct an experience of which it is the conceptual ? Is it a true development in knowledge of what is immediately experienced ? Is it a fully-articulated system of coherent judgments.

It is fatuous have. that into the same error in his persistent condemnation of conceptual knowledge. He brands as incom- we have. because petent the knowledge which is it not some other kind of knowledge which. that matters man in so far as it is simply human. James seems to have fallen of view of the Absolute. curiously enough. seeks avoid to this —with error what amount of success it remains to be seen. to reject we have of the conceptual knowledge which at least of which reality. are to get made. Neither of them has been able to transcend the point of view of the knowledge which they yet decry. because it scientific not knowledge from the point is These thinkers have not shown we can assume such a point of view. hold a theory of the Absolute. that we can stand off from our own capacity of knowing. came Bradley and James. as giving us mere appearance or as negating the inner nature of reality. It more than human to grasp what happens in the interval. Bergson. because makes he is reality go. He is much concerned it does not tell us what whom guilty of the error of those to refute. with many defamatory epithets. He holds that knowledge by means of concepts is inadequate. in the nature of he forswears things. but he it is possible to transcend the human point of " In the living mobility of things the understand- maintains that view. part gathered up in our systems of is knowledge. found ultimately to be faced by the same difficulty. it would seem we cannot have . and pass judgment on its validity. to the thought of is But philosophy must be an effort to transcend the human X . ing applies itself to marking out real or virtual stations it notes departures and arrivals —that is all . like Bradley. our faculty of knowledge included. however. before one can be entitled to condemn we for those the knowledge which who. intellectual knowledge because it does not tell us how that which we know.IMMEDIATE APPREHENSION 149 actually attainable.

will be considered. what is the present usually called the in reality a faculty the end not knowledge. and Bergson's attempt to show how intelligence has been condensed from a vaster reality the — life j" human knowledge to the sphere of the mechanical ? Has he made out a case for the possibility of —-*intuition ? grasp of intellectual knowledge The is Bergson. but also how they have the need of . and a great part of Bergson's work is directed to showing not only that such limitations must be admitted. the positive part of Bergson's philosophy the intuition as a faculty of knowledge. will be examined. first. In a succeed- ing chapter. in the development of the race. second.QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED 150 This assertion of the possibility of transcend- condition." what is usually regarded as the human point of view is the main distinguishing feature of Bergson's philosophy. If his contention be true. in of the individual. it will become apparent only if the limitations of intellectual knowledge are admitted. and to intelligence— will demand — its relation attention. Apart altogether from the possibility of an intuition. since they bear on the essential points towards which Bergson's thought is chapter. then the above criticism levelled at James and ing the holders of the theory of the Absolute the mark directed if points to be decided are (i) (2) (3) Has Bergson towards entirely beside The ultimate : justified the limitation of strictly Have the applications which he has attempted to make given us a knowledge of any reality which falls outside entirely criticism which follows will the limits of the ? move round these three questions. The consequent contraction of the limits within which intelligence must confine itself. but action. if an intuitive grasp of reality be possible. the assumption that faculty of of which human knowledge is is In directed.

" " The conceptual method transformation which the flux of hands in life is a undergoes at our the interests of practice essentially. for geometry is immanent in matter. though utterly foreign to the nature of life and consciousness. only The ultimate to attain to the statement of mathematical between varying magnitudes. provisional diagrammatic representations. for kind. stably related with one another. shall able to understand its limitations. is to (harness up reality in our conceptual systems in order to " The original and still surviving function drive it better. and such laws. as by a kinetoscopic camera. to be clear as to the positive worth which Bergson attaches We to intellectual knowledge." being interpreters of reality." " What we do. to lay hold of our experiences and co-ordinate to them withal. in fact. . Useful as they are as samples of the garden. or to re-enter the stream with." / . constant relations " work. they have no value but these practical values. of the remaining " concepts " .LIMITATIONS OF INTELLECT been brought about. they are only moments dipped out from the stream of time." aim of science is it. But . and so it may be permissible to quote from that relations. snapshots taken. . at a life that in its original becoming is continuous. Bergson puts his imprimatur upon the exposition of his theory of the concept given by James in A Pluralistic Universe. We need a stable scheme of concepts." The difference is not one of degree " mathematical relation " or " law " is not a refinement . differs it from them in " Concepts aid science. distinction between " concepts " then be the better He draws " and a unique mathematical the relations. concepts negate the inwardness of reality altogether. or to insert in our revolving lantern. all these abstract concepts are as flowers gathered. are neither provisional nor symbolic in the sphere of matter. It is necessary then. but they are. and only " Instead of subordinately in the interests of theory. first 151 of all.

" We construct representative of reality." it is its general form. and intelligence. is a science matter for sufficiently " is extended in not absolutely extended. as for James. they are really forms applied ab extra to something which is quite foreign to them they may express the nature of matter in so far as it interests the needs of the body. " the inwardness of reality." Although concepts such as mass. in the Absolute. They whatever sphere they may be applied." is perfectly at its ease in the matter. but that negate the nature of reality. at the best. provisional. Ostensibly interpreters of life. concepts. all physical science. " negate." space " even though " it . of it is matter as Concepts of it is for us. contingent what we know of matter ." in James' phrase. energy. on the other hand. but which proceed in inverse directions. touches not quite clear whether he has in mind the concrete representation of a more and more articulated . that of intuitive knowledge of matter." mathematical relations express the absolute nature of " The space and the spatiality by the reciprocal action and reaction of two terms which are the same in essence. life. Mathematical laws. are. in . when matter. ether. of our geometry of things are mutually engendered Bergson says that " physics." tions are unnecessary to indicate that for Bergson.JAMES ON CONCEPTS 152 of our intellectual life is to guide us to the practical adapta- tion of our expectancies and Further quota- activities. symbolic. are immanent in matter. or as Bergson (paradoxically enough !) holds. " which tends naturally to domain of inert That is what Bergson must have in mind in those passages in which he speaks of the success of geometry. expression is always fragmentary." Again. diagrammatic. mere footholds to enable us to pass to the higher point of view. atoms. as distinguished from mathematical laws. in our conceptual representation and not matter as it is for itself. are all provisional.

while by the Absolute he must mean an ideal matter which has freed itself from duration. or psychical. The foundation of this view lies in the " progressively. it speaks in symbols. and its function is to secure " the perfect insertion of our body into its environment. and only then. all metaphysic. Not only that. — — . with regard to the reality of mathematical laws view indicated intelligence above —the view that and matter are adapted to be arrested finally in a common to one another so as form. he this the consistency of his thought must have in view physics as it expresses its results in mathematical laws. and not the concepts of physics. to think matter. But is to be preserved. The intrusion of the practical intellect into the sphere of speculation is responsible for many of the " difficulties hitherto inherent in it raises. between systems." The sphere of intellect is thus marked out. to represent the relations between external things in short. and not of disinterested knowledge. It cannot say anything whatsoever about change physical. to foresee the favourable or unfavourIt able events which might follow on a given situation.MATHEMATICAL LAWS 153 world which physical science has achieved and is gradually or the system of mathematical relations in perfecting. Intelligence the faculty of action. symbols whenever it predicates in conceptual terms. — the nature of these. which the laws of if system are ideally expressed. the division irreducible oppositions in support of the view of the limited may be con- sphere of valid application of the intelligence sidered in is its various stages of development. the antinomies which the contradictions into which into antagonistic schools." Again " The essential function of intelligence is to prepare our action on things. It speaks the truth when it expresses the nature of perceived matter It speaks in mere in mathematical laws. If it does attempt to express physiological." Bergson's argument and the it falls.

. its all concepts are fundamentally its means mathematical J relations are appre- hended. finds . for example." In Bergson's hands the form of intelligence turns out to be space. and these are constitutive elements of matter. This objection need not be pressed at the present__ stage. The irreducible and irreversible . that which resembles the already known it seeks the same in order to be able to apply its principle that the same produces the same. instinctively. fundamentally identical . incapable of conceiving is human intelligence identical with the intelligence is of the mathematico-physicist. been compelled to treat as not different gence to This is a pure assumption. pure concepts they are not The assumption in its it is i. he argues. In the Essai. but simply to indicate that reality or experience cannot be forced without remainder into the concepts which the scientist. which be differentiated.e. in a given situation. the from space. Consideration of the argument concerning time sufficient is to confirm The conceptions of this. But it must be noted that to expose the fact that the scientific intelligence does not deal with time without / spatializing is it is not to prove that the human intelligence incapable of conceiving time. without transcending its limitawill tions. because the scientific intelligence has.SPHERE OF INTELLECT 154 then. In his earliest published works Bergson does not bring this argument into prominence. isolates. elements in the successive moments of a history will escape it. attempts to measure time. and By spatial. have to reckon with the undoubted fact that human reason is capable. of is judging that the scope of the scientific intelligence limited to the mechanical and quantitative. as that. intelligence is rather assumed to be limited to spatial representations. therefore the human intelliit as different from space. so long as he confines himself to mathematics and pure physics. space and time are. and that does not embrace the whole of reality within its it explana- tions.

ASSUMPTION INVOLVED it is necessary to A utilize. following up the suggestion He must inevitable. both in It is its its intelli- sphere hitherto not within the sphere of physical science alone that intelligence has achieved its triumphs. the function of intelligence gence comes to light as hidden Now. and of beauty. is intellectual The nature not arbitrarily assumed. that this form of the narrow view of the reach of intelligence. Its form may be deduced from its function. and in that very extension manifests possibilities. highly treasured possessions of the to man is as clear to it concepts of space and of quantity. the argument depends upon the The assumption that the action of human beings demands only a mechanical or superficial view of the universe. this concepts. 155 further step on Bergson's part some ground for the assumpwhich he has made. and. of intelli- gence. are to this cular far form. from it is utterly its general and in unwarranted. The inherent nature of grows. under the guidance of the concepts of purpose. assumption. cogency of this argument depends upon the assumption that the function may be determined apart from a knowledge of the form. which is to know matter practically. may function. It has. belong they have appeared only with the dawn of a truly rational experience. follows from its function. the most human mind. which the intelligence has evolved to satisfy. viz. of good. middle state . to put the same truth in a less general way. he puts forward the argument with which we are now concerned. tion give that the spatialization of spirit takes place in the interests of social and biological utility. as such. that the needs of man. Or. being true that the form of intelligence be deduced from its reveals itself in its form. the meaning of which as the systems of ethics and art and religion. constructed in his present limited These. as it it extends of work. be met by a knowledge of matter. i . its more In the parti- first place.

that is to say. as well as its function. and limits that function to the knowledge of matter. in his criticism of Kant. One of the fundamental is elucidated. one could believe that an instrument of human life. incidentally refutes the argument which supports his own position here. What I am may be established by actually watch- and that argument will occupy us concerned to refute at present is later on. our moral codes. Bergson himself. Both are equally wrong. can be determined only by a critical examination of experience in the individual and in the accumulated mass of the experience of the race as it exists in our systems of thought. The form of intelligence. the argument that the legitimate operations of intelligence are to be pre- determined by the assumption that it has a definite function. intelli- and yet feel bound . It must be frankly admitted that Bergson seeks to show that the form of intelligence ing its genesis. and our traditions. — experience of the positive scientist and the form discernible —not only merely the is critically examined.FORM AND FUNCTION 156 and the development of the rational faculties has not excluded them from experience. certain of function mind —the Kant assumed a mathematico-physical He assumed. but purified and exalted tf The true function of reason is when human experience in its entirety them. the sphere of knowledge delimited from that of faith. by functioning. Now. the essential part of this criticism may initial be directed against Bergson himself. mistakes made by Kant in his dissection of the human understanding was that he put the problem in such a way that the solution was prejudiced from the very beginning. that reflection But gence upon its in the second place. and function. is is to say. and as a result of this assumption the " form " of the mind was determined. the possibility of mathematics and pure physics. Bergson explicitly says that the form of the mind may be deduced from its function.

as man. and in closing grossly muddy vesture clog. as man. the interests. that the needs for their most perfect satisfaction only a knowledge of matter and that assumption cannot for ment of rests man demand — one moment be allowed. towards the prevention of its destruction by external forces working for dissolution and decay. But this is to know only degrade man might quite well be argued that the activities. in distinction are his supreme needs. towards the continuance of this body in existence as a centre of indetermination. and thought as directed solely. a of satisfaction and the him at times standing between He clearly conceives. the needs of man. These aesthetic. require for their satisfaction something more than a knowledge of matter. then the assumption that thought will matter has some plausibility. for it such a being must What constitutes rise him man from the lower creation is indicated in his rational nature. and that the instrument of thought to the level of the brute. If we regard man as merely a body. needs is often willing to sacrifice his body in his enthusiasm for the achievement of ends which his reason prescribes to him as worthy of all his efforts. viz. and religious needs are contemporaneous. stress of . with the appearance of which moral. for that argu- is upon another assumption. experiences the those of his body. " " his spirit.INTELLECT AND HUMAN NEEDS to dispute the argument. but a very Man. " works lest arms and legs want play ? spirit demands more of necessity Without urgent than it was a felt that frequently has he despising his body. or even primarily. " What is Whose he but a brute. which he his highest needs. whose flesh has soul to suit. 157 that limited to knowing matter. Most perfect insertion of his body into its environment is a need. an adequate one above the mechanical level. based function its on this admission. which is to be Indeed.

then that function. The world in which the organism has to pursue its life is. when reason.INTELLECT A BLIND GUIDE 158 subsidiary one for of the animal. to treat as a bodily organism with a whose sole. on Bergson's own showing. and human right arbitrarily duty bound. it does not require such an appeal. still retains some of its quality. < . is not quite spatialized though it is tending to be entirely quantitative. itself is is just to contention at this point that is its we limit its function. Even matter. on God. But even if we regard man on the lower level. and not conprimary function is t-/ man it. . it does not follow that there is any a 'priori presumption in favour of the view that the intelligence which guides the body's activity must assume the form which Bergson attributes to the human intelligence. The biological and economic welfare of man surely demands for its achievement as accurate knowledge of time or duration as of space. and not merely guiding mind attached to we have no are in human my capacities as experience. end " Bergson would say that these higher needs by the insight given faculty of intuition. That contention remains unaffected by any appeal to the intuition in fact. or even whose most perfect adaptation to its material environment. It is surely essential to the continuance and well-being of the organism that its guiding spirit should know the material world as it is. though it is extended. is not wholly extended though it is moving towards space. which throws " a flickering and feeble light " on our inner nature. on our place in the world. to secure its — . an " enduring " universe. are met by the man It is the " chief at his best. We seeking the function of the as human its reason human. and that are going to attempt to deduce the form of reason from to if inadequacy can be demonstrated only by an examination of they are manifested in a truly if know not adequate to our guidance as men. and on our But the question eternal destiny.

it is not quite true. That." of thinking." differs from the world as it is will serve the interests of .PARADOXICAL CONCLUSION ceive homogeneous plenum which only move with From Bergson's own point of view. It is surely of matter that the mind chapter of Matiere most perfect Yet in the will best secure the et we do perceiving matter or not by presenting a distorted view adaptation of the body to first reason of space those environment. is not all. or of expressing we it is it. In fact. its Memoir e distort it. scarcely do kind of internal cinematograph. it would as an ideal it 159 in an intelligence whose form was space could certain step. In representing movement intelli- and gives us a series of dots. of Whether it is a question of qualitative movement or of evolutive movement or of extensive movement. a question or even of more than set in motion a Now. since all attention more nearly is memory condenses selective may have and all to be perception though our perception of the sensible partial. " whether becoming. seem that consideration of the function of intelligence. butions of memory are substituted for the immediate or " pure " perception. " views of instability. thought that which is Our infinitely In developed perception the contri- diluted in matter. for qualities is in true. which on any theory of perception admitted. and so carve out a reality which consists in a whole of interacting parts. goes to support the presumption that will conceptions other than achieve quantity. It surely cannot be urged with any show of reason that a mind-constructed representation of the world which perceiving it. it. Bergson's statement regarding the connection between this form of the intelligence and its function seems impossible of acceptance. even if it affords any a priori clue to the nature of its human form. the mind is so constructed as to take stable gence immobilizes stopping-places. it We is argued that in isolate in thought bodies which are not really isolated.

{i. apart from the social organism of which he an abstraction. it life since his biological and character of the seems a priori likely that the faculty of knowledge which will secure his most perfect is one which will and activity of other individuals. a activity upon are called member) is an individual since as a mere indi- is.FUNCTION OF INTELLECT 160 body better than an immediate and accurate. we are led to the same disconcerting conclusion as before. is to know matter. one will of the No dispute the fact that one very important part work of in order to must bring intelligence know to it. as the as goes. to be preferred to the intellec- because the former is more useful. a priori. then. he has set out from a too limited view of that function. conditioned by the members of other a mistake in ? vidual forms made which misrepresents itself into this intelligence society. an " intuitive knowledge of the material world. we our investigation certain conceptions or . but into the universe as it is. when Bergson proposes form of intelligence from its function. and that to be capable of interrogating it. it to use or. again. Here. The body has not to insert itself into the universe which the intelligence constructs. far " Bergson's word. so that we seem to be led to the paradoxical conclusion that the intuitive grasp of matter tual view of it is. would be body plunged in some extent mis- cepts. to deduce the I think. although the latter has been evolved the better to secure the in" Fluid consertion of the body into its environment. degrading elan of life we the actual material universe in which to live But further. Intuition is more activity in his concrete surroundings give him an insight into the life useful than intelligence as Bergson conceives It will be agreed. that it." which follow reality in all its windings X much more that useful for the guidance of a than concepts which to reality Has the represent reality.e.

His fatal error lay in a priori restricting the limits of From knowledge. Now. there is a similar line of procedure in one movement of Bergson's thought. We cannot say beforehand what its function or its form will be. in its growing completeness is seen only in most perfect work. But that must not 161 assumed That function what it actually arbitrarily be to be the sole function of the rational mind. to the very beginning he was confined the revelation of mechanical categories.KANT AND BERGSON categories. of the faculty of knowledge. and in the exercise of that power we can critically examine our experience. right when he on this critical method Pure Reason. We possess the power of reflection. so to speak. for although he does not accept his view of a raw material given without form to sense. and issued in the fatal irreducible division between the pure and the practical reason. being very careful to omit no factor. in its examination or criticism the true function of intelligence is clear. and thus condemned experience to remain always on the same level as that of physics and mathematics. he limits the function of thought to the But is it not clear that by purely mechanical sphere. initially limiting the function of thought Bergson is predetermining its " form " ? The apparent advance on Kant here is that Bergson seeks to connect the form of intelliregards the spatial order gence with its as. Kant was and sought. Kant . but rather manner. and on the completion of our does. His magnificent attempt to reinstate the elements which he had omitted led him to violate the critical method which he had himself established. immanent in the perception. in a function as an instrument of L life. to lay bare insisted in the Critique of the framework. for he had omitted from experience the patent facts of morality and purpose. He seems to accept Kant's restriction of the limits of possible rational experience.

the other. or better. procedure involves his artificial limitation of the understanding. as that it its form has to will act. complete classification of judg- modes of unifying and a complete system of categories may be formulated. for the form is revealed the progressively perfect functioning. we make a false step when we from presuppositions of any kind which restrict its activity or its nature. to be adapted to that of matter. in the belief that the function of intelligence not judgment but action. seeks. but by reflective analysis of the unity functioning itself. The next step in Kant's ments can be found. that judgment is with its function. unity all from the functioning unity and the unifying conceptions spring out of exhaustive classification of functions of attainable. Bergson. set ah out initio. he adopted this classifi- cation as furnishing a clue to the system of categories. you cannot separate form and function. or physics. The one cannot be deduced. he saw that understanding is the faculty of judgment. we have is show seen.e. then the experience are revealed in different it. Strictly speaking. the An unity. Experience. and the function in is . upon which But this is an arbitrary limitation. not by an appeal any particular to such as logic or mathematics. the different kinds of judgments express the different ways in which the understanding If a acts. in . indirectly. a certain sense. the experiencing consciousness. Since he ascribed absolute certitude and perfection to of the functions the system of judgments which the formal logic of his time supplied. connected the form of intelligence When he was in search of an idea by which the system of categories might be determined and under which it might be comprised. will. instead of setting out showing how this is science. In seeking to arrive at a complete knowledge of the nature of intelligence. the function of the understanding i.— KANT AND BERGSON 162 had also. can be our only guide here. from the other each is.

has intelligence has achieved its greatest work. explained and proved. But Bergson will deny that the narrow view of the function of the intelligence will. in the first place. he will say. The presupposition that perception has a practical and not a speculative interest leads to the settle- between realism and idealism the presupposition that intelligence is limited to mechanical -^ categories leads to the solution of the antinomy which But the assertion of human freedom raises. found itself and an analysis . not the indication of a radical defect in thought as thought. is it arbitrarily assumed. Further. no longer assumed. and how it has done so. not by transcending setting out from its . justify of his hypothesis are laid . most perfectly at home. Bergson attempts to justify his view of the function of intelligence by an appeal to the results of a critical study of the process of evolution which he made in L' Evolution Creatrice. and so on. It will count for little with others who. but an indubitable datum. by pointing He to the results he will point to the antinomies which by following out the restrictions which would limit the function of intelligence to action primarily rather than to thought. the antinomies are not inexplicable tion by is found. In the next place.PROOFS OF FUNCTION clearly understood only when the form 163 displayed to is the inner vision of reflective thought. nor of a misuse of thought. in physical science. For such thinkers indeed their explana- human limitations as experience. humanity imposes upon our thought. see in these anti- nomies. therefore. convinced of the necessary limitations which our finite ment of the differences . this appeal will have weight only with those who are discontented at the appearance of these antinomies within experience. and he claims to have shown that intelligence has emerged as a faculty of action. but a necessary feature of man's incomplete knowledge. Its function is.

" which feels it itself from the higher point of view of intuition. and coherent system of knowledge is that which has been reared upon the mechanical categories which positive science has brought into requisiThe success of intelligence in one department of tion. experience. we may actually. Bergson will reply. matter. point on which everybody agrees. in a " consciousness " which and may see how the intelligence which guides our being is formed by " a kind of " reality. a rebours its own reabsorbed in genesis." the " im- mobile. " the —space of view point and of common-sense " the " portion of the material world to which our intelligence is specially adapted " is quite clear.CRITICISM OF FIRST PROOF 164 of the results of scientific investigation in their utmost refinement reveals only mechanical categories From mechanical causation." its and the form principle. that is. Let us admit the value of Bergson's patient and brilliant study of the process of evolution in the first two chapters let us admit that he has estabof L' Evolution Creatrice The first portance. This is the crux of Bergson's whole position. for it does not justify any wider conclusion than that the most exact. and third arguments are of supreme immust now be directed to the first. The " unorganized solid. however. and attention ." the " discontinuous. lished the position that the facts of evolution their demand for adequate explanation the admission of factors other . and will on demand our careful attention. stable. that intelligence feels itself most at its ease in the presence of unorganized Finally. place ourselves " transcends " intelligence. The second of these arguments may be at once set aside." spatialized matter — these are the realities with " There is one most at home. will live The " local solidification " of a " fluid intelligence. must not be used to prove its utter later incapacity in any other sphere. in intelli- gence and the order in matter will be seen to be the same.

the growth of such an intelligence issues : it it must not. we are very far indeed from complete satisfaction of the mental demands for a full understanding of living processes. that his study of the order to meet Bergson here. to the argument that the . Let us admit of the mechanism of to the full the utter insufficiency of mechanical principles for the comprehensive exposition of biological facts. all that such a study can do is to explain existing facts. to show that life is. Its nature cannot be determined by an empirical study of the process of evolution. Bergson's examination of the evolutive process does nothing more than lead to the hypothesis of a psychical He force at the basis of development. to the critical is degrees or in it still study of our own all its directions that are to look for the inner structure of that psychical force. an experience which includes a knowledge of the process of evolution. of organization and not its product and has given a weighty form . when we have pushed our scrutiny life to its utmost limits. the cause he has emphasized the need of postulating something more for the understanding of life than the play of merely mechanical factors. has done much to use Huxley's phrase. Let us admit. the dynamic of the progress from lower to higher forms of lating a psychical force organic life.EMPIRICAL STUDY 165 than mechanical. that. in evolutive process has indicated the necessity of postu- which provides. seems to me experience in we In the face of that it all its all these admissions. At the most. be allowed to explain away. if possible. and the patent bareness of attempted mechanical explanations of the manifestations of conscious activity. in a certain view of the nature and function of intelligence a philosophy based on a study of the development of life in the evolutive process must explain. and if a thorough -going analysis of our experience. or is itself. under any conditions.

It is here that the meaning of evolution is to be discovered. who. and here alone. terms of in reflective its activity beings. but. when is in question. nature of the self all is felt in a free act. then. which Bergson denies. for Bergson. does not exhaust the nature of the organic world as it presents itself to us in the course of experience. By " rational " knowledge we may understand that which is constituted by all the concepts which intelligence is capable of formulating. our being in order to hurl it when forward. It is just this. And this hypothesis must remain that of I know not what. The inner life identical reality. known it is it is a knowledge of life that surely the case that the two terms and rationally known life denote an entirely The word " rational " is here used in its widest meaning. rationally known life is an expression which cannot be allowed. are the highest type that we know of individuals." But we can obtain a glimpse of pure principle of all life. however minutely analysed. of course. as self-conscious. however. for example. too." " divined. It must be admitted that life is wider clue to the than intelligence. For him. which is materiality. The only knowledge of life which we possess is " intuitive. human i. of adaptation or purpose.RESTRICTION OF FUNCTION 166 knowJedge of the interplay of particles of matter." until it is interpreted highest of expression. But the end of Bergson's examination of the evolutive process left is with an hypothesis of a " psychical " force.e." The ultimate source of our knowledge of life is. only the by It appears. the conscious " a something. that it to the history of thought rather than to the process of . is all will. Rationally known life equals zero. as also of profound study of philosophy. us at he Such a knowledge does not of itself give any idea." " we We contract then have the consciousness of " the becoming " by which the " motives and movements " are " organized into an act. the nature of the self.

argument previously advanced that the empirical study of evolution leaves Bergson with an hypothesis of a something which is inexplicable in mechanical terms. each . turn. if the intelli- gence follows the direction of matter. besides. will be necessary to compress both so as them the quintessence of their object." " On the one hand." the empirical study of evolution of great importance in Bergson's mind. it is is by the necessity of adapting itself to matter. so that when he says that he " divines " something beneath the external appearance. " the problem of metaphysic. and the intuition that of to life. receives large support from the empirical " The problem of knowledge " is study of evolution. then be suspended from the theory of But on the other hand." as large current of consciousness had penetrated into matter. it will extract from Metaphysic knowledge. are to gain intuitive knowledge of This con- life. 167 in the last resort. As a matter of fact. looked at from this the chapter. The division of consciousness into two would then be due to the double form of the real. v This is clear. conveying nothing positive. and firms the . takes a more precise meaning. if consciousness thus divided into intuition and intelligence. or perhaps with something which resembles But is in spite of this. and his metaphysic. an unexplained remainder. of following the current of life. although we " It is as if a cannot subsume it under an actual idea. his language can only be taken as metaphorical. from some of Bergson's expressions towards the end of " The evolution of life. at the same time." and " both deone with pend upon experience. it." " The facts which we have just passed in review suggest the idea of connecting life with consciousness itself.AN UNEXPLAINED REMAINDER organic evolution that if we we must. for his theory of knowledge depends on his metaphysic. and the theory of knowledge ought to be dependent upon metaphysic. point of view. and also. in turn.

consciousness directed through matter. maintains that it does. He founds study of evolution a distinction between two — — instinct and intelligence which are " opposed. upon his force. The empirical study of evolution throws no new light on the nature of that psychical Bergson. But which faculty is it that undertakes the empirical study so of evolution ? If intelligence. must be intelligence which undertakes the empirical study of evolution. of the meaning of of evolution by means of intelligence. Let us examine his procedure in the establishment He places the date of man's appear- of this difference. but which. . however extended and however complicated the study might be. and the circle can have for centre only the empirical : study of evolution. and through attention on the matter tion. it is absolutely certain. At the end of his investigations into evolution.e. on Bergson's premisses." " radically different " ways of knowing.AN UNEXPLAINED REMAINDER 168 they form a of these two researches leads to the other circle. are " complementary " the one of the forms of knowledge other. its . is Indeed. It either fixed its attention on own its peculiar movement. and so was orientated in the direction of intuior it fixed though compelled to issue in instinct which it passed. that life. took two direc- tions. the empirical study of undertaken in order to show that the spiritual man is at once intelligence and intuition. which assumes how any study meaning only when we interpret it in terms of the nature of the psychical force which we know directly in our own consciousness. as we have already seen. would ever lead the mind to the grasp of a Yet it reality which differs in nature from intelligence. was orientated in the direction of intelligence. Bergson is left with a mere hypothesis of an ungraspable something." evolution force in i. that it will grasp nothing more life than what can be expressed in And it does not appear purely mechanical categories. however. nevertheless.

" reacts upon the nature of the being who has function into exercise fashioned it it. of which the has an innate knowledge. p.C. Tr. and starting out man from the conception of as Homo Faber...AND INTELLIGENCE INSTINCT ance upon the earth at the time when the the first first 169 weapons. structed instrument. he proceeds show how the psychical cause of the organization of to the human organism has developed into intelligence. being an artificial organ the natural organism. " The intelligence naturally makes use Or. implements. it it But what. 153 (Eng. as he puts it richer organization. E. p. . etc. p. manner one . Tr. a which prolongs For each need which it satisfies it creates a new need. new for in calling a confers on him. 161 (Eng." he says. 148). and so. 2 is its is no Ibid. precisely. 156). In whatsoever one will always mind makes a natural use of reach one or several general categories. of contained to containing. the circle of action in which the animal tends to move automatically. in the narrow sense in which he himself understands account of this development would be absurd it is deny that to developed or brought to its His it." value 1 ? 2 All this First of is all. since them." Further. : of relations of equivalent to equivalent. Bergson has made very clear how close the connection is between mechanical invention and the per" The intelligently confecting of mechanical thought. and intensely interesting. were fashioned. of cause to effect. effects the analysis of thought. it opens to this activity an indefinite field into which it pushes it further and further and makes 1 it more and more free. as instinct does. Bergson has made clear the kind of regulative principles which thought would probably develop in its process of knowing matter. so to speak. good. intelligence has been present state of perfection under the pressure of those needs of man which arise out of the relation of his organism to the material world which surrounds it. should be noted that there p. instead of closing.

understood as Bergson wishes it to be understood. we could. He has assumed man as an animal organism merely. from an empirical study of evolution. faculty of judgment a Let us admit that the arises out of " functional situations. a set of forms. without doing violence to Bergson's argument. He has shown that in man. then. But man. the means of getting out of a culty. or simply attempt to show how intelligence. at however low a stage we place him. intelligence. and it is this assumption. Consequently one cannot regard Bergson as having proved. no effort of intuition in is it. show that the faculty of knowledge would be more than merely mechanical intelligence. We might. and to us suppose that he has established his position. thus viewed. the validity of which may be admitted within its limits. admit that " the These. here again. the spiritual force will develop into intelligence. to regard the intelligence as. exhibits a sense of duty. which gives validity to his conclusion. If we were to begin from that point of view. All that Bergson has done is to take a certain conception of the nature of intelligence. Nothing more required for Bergson's procedure here than the ordinary exercise of ordinary powers of observation. that the human mind is incapable of knowing ." human beings. and hypothesis. and we might quite legitimately date the appearance of man on the earth from the day when a being possessed of that sense came upon the scene.LIMITATION OF PROOF 170 actual divining. Let as one form. in its skeleton. regarded as an animal organism endued with the power of constructing instruments out of matter. but of life and spirit. if they are to be met successfully. and of living beings. in given circumstances." and yet hold that the escape from the diffi- difficulty would demand a knowledge of natures akin to our own. has evolved from a greater reality. demand not merely a knowledge of matter. in the case of essential function of the intelligence is to distinguish.

of knowledge. basis of these different kinds of knowing.- anything but the spatial. Instinct. Intelligence. on the methods of Now. He he does not stop there. but justified in if the epithet We all. " moulds itself on the form of life. two different seems unquestionably incom- petent to contrast instinct and intelligence as two different kinds of knowledge. But. and truth.INSTINCT AND INTELLIGENCE The being whom he assumes. and insinuates itself. fixes its attention upon the matter against which it struggles. does not the contrast which Bergson makes between instinct and intelligence compel us to recognize the essential limits of intelligence ? Bergson's position here that a finite elan. psychical in is nature (hypothetical. on the contrary. how to overcome the necessity of matter. gence represent two equally admirable divergent solutions " of the problem which offered itself to this psychical force. at this stage in his it " impelled has been through matter. that they are opposed ways of acting on inert matter. in any sense. of whose mind he traces the development. as we have seen. it may further be asked. viz. thereby adopting its form. it action. But goes on to establish. it is not true. moves in speak. into matter. tion." which " Instinct and intellian opposite direction. It his conclusion may be true that he has thrown some light on mechanical aspect shown that a mere abstrac- is so far short of the complete is the development of one aspect of the —the 171 —but human intelligence he has not. holds." " Instinct proceeds organically. It is doubtful ledge be applicable to instinct at describing certain " instinctive " behaviour." The whole point of Bergson's distinction instinct and in the fact that he contrasts as faculties lies intelligence He merely as faculties of action. this aspect exhausts the nature of the human faculty of knowledge. forms when of it know- are perfectly behaviour comes to as be a . be observed. so to thought).

It . it coincides with the work it. We cannot help being anthro- can pomorphic Professor Stout here." " If the term is to have a distinctive and useful meaning it must refer. but to a purely biological adaptation comparable to the prearrangement of structure and functions which in human beings subserves the digestion of food. The curious fact is that Bergson's own argument gives weight " The most essential of the to the above contention.WAYS OF KNOWING 172 question of the knowledge." of " unity and continuity of attention." scious knowledge is it is Con- regarded as differing in degree rather than in kind from unconscious or acted knowledge. instinct unconsciousness." He compares each bee in the swarm to a cell in a living body. that there is psychical process. if is orientated towards you attribute knowledge to must be. Bergson argues. or merely prolongs In extreme cases like this. argues. Knowledge is said to be there may acted and " unconscious " in the case of instinct . in so far as instinctive. not to a form of vincingly." Of course. involved in this be- own way of knowown knowledge that we with our terms of our interpret the apparent knowledge implied in this " instinctive " behaviour." " implicit. directly. I think con- no special form of psychical activity which requires to be distinguished by the technical term " instinct. so that instinct it knowledge." M'Dougall and Lloyd Morgan are in agreement with Stout here. haviour." Further. and says " The instinct which animates the bee blends with the force by which the cell is animated. we cannot ing. for it is only contrast in if it any. such as the presence of " conative impulse. spoken of as " virtual." " slumbering. : of organization. unconscious Bergson does not hesitate to claim that be such knowledge. within the sphere of biological adapta- tion certain differentia of instinctive adaptation may be insisted upon. primary instincts are really vital processes.

An idea or representation does not enter as a link into the chain of events at all. when the subject awake. Consciousness is is a metaphor. as soon as an action becomes automatic there no longer any question of knowledge at all it is merely — a case of mechanical response to stimulus. just as. will invariably In any case. itself. we can form no clear idea of consciousness which is not an attribute of a thinking subject. Now this contention for a merely relative distinction between unconscious and conscious knowledge harbours confusion by overlooking the fundamental characteristic is in this connection that the quite original distinction of thought. Bergson's example of an annulled consciousness is unconvincing. is the thought of a subject. consciousness as " a light immanent in the zone of possible actions or virtual activity. and the inseparable quality of Bergson speaks of a thinking subject is consciousness. or tion in the case. The hypothesis is the conditions of sleep-walking are body is is quite intelligible that all to be found in the Again. so that we can unconscious to is scarcely speak of the repre- sentation in this case as " being obstructed There is no evidence that there was. it is a quality. a mere abstraction an attribute of a thinking subject. direction.IDEA OF CONSCIOUSNESS 173 and striking between two kinds of unconsciousness is introduced. and we know no thinking subject which does not possess this attribute. introduced only to buttress up a pre- Thought. In somnambulistic action the subject begin with. inversely. in the case of action itself. so far as we know always it." but this one that misleads. sciousness is in some other Nor can we truthfully say here that conThought is set free for activity annulled. it " seems wholly devoid of meaning to speak of " annulled ." any representa- is. . and not a concrete some- thing which has an independent existence of taken by its own . and consciousness be found to accompany this activity. it is. by action. and is conceived theory.

and the knowledge implied in instinctive behaviour. which. lacks all when regarded mark the characteristics which knowledge. as such. the idea by the action. which in turn involves conscious perception. Instinctive action. which." " virtual. merely as action. Instinctive action always action of an individual organism. When we leave the plane of action and enquire into we find always marked by consciousness. activity of will. If this be the instinctive so. Now. for there is no evi- dence to show that consciousness has ever emerged in instinctive action as such— a fact which. consequently. is then a mere ideal limit by the elimination of something. as such. implies choice. that instinct by therefore action. is it obstructed is reached is left out is the consciousness part." " implicit. So long as we keep on the plane of action there is not the least discernible difference between instinctive behaviour and the process of digestion. of its own activity. Bergson extrudes these facts from the sphere of instincfelt. how- ever elementary. in is intelligence. is unconscious." and the action of which. indeed. in Bergson's own phrase. which. and which involves consciousness and all that that implies. cannot surely speak with any show of intelligence of the annulling of we have no reason that which We must insist to believe ever existed. and nothing but confusion of thought can arise from the refusal to make a fundamental distinction between the two. is. and what . however vaguely and awareness. viz. " a centre of indeter- mination. Bergson's We whole argument goes to establish. Bergson holds. feelings of preference. knowledge • . on the fundamental distinction between action. and then proceeds to give the name of — " acted. of the whole.ACTION NOT THOUGHT 174 consciousness in the case of instinct. and instinctive action experience of feeling. is this is just what has happened. awareness of an object. however dim." " slumber- tive behaviour. the knowledge part.

" discernment " which is akin the words of Professor Stout : to our intelligence. An we empirical study of what the reveals bf two presence it it now call instinctive action factors — first. actions. They they appreciated a difference between and when they do their procedure so far as In other words. we may heartily agree with Bergson that a psychical force is the organizing cause of But the nature the organism which acts instinctively. In this sense. just as the action of the human body. a definitely which is inherited. the inherited nervous constitution. may be explained in terms of physics." Now.INSTINCTIVE ACTION ing " knowledge. insist. " apparently wait. the first-mentioned factor in instinctive action. it is true —to necessary to it is 175 the resultant abstraction. and varying as unsuccessful. in their instinctive And by experience Stout argues that this fact of " intelligent alteration of behaviour " can be accounted for only on the supposition that " the original experience must be more or less intelligent. has been produced through a series of purposive actions performed by organisms in which intelligence and have been incipiently present throughout. watch. and." way. . indications from in particular circumstances the animal has a rudimentary conclude that which we constituted nervous system . are also behave as if relative success not succeed at it is felt on the an first. a series which embraces an indefinite multitude of individual will organisms. when abstracted from the conscious purposes which it serves. trying again failure. admits of a complete explanation in mechanical terms. This action. as such. is a mere abstraction. intelligent alert. animals which act instinctively are capable of profiting in In Animals. and so constituted that the organism behaves in a definite way and second. of this organizing cause remains entirely hypothetical. as well as from those purposes in the service of which has come to assume the particular form which exhibits.

edged. on the one hand. seems to amount of foresight. e. But if is set out in detail in Chapter III. unfor- tunately for Bergson's theory. The display a great for Further. and is incompetent to know life. Surely a moment's convince us that the knowledge has gained of the life. " the conduct of the insect outlines . then. life of other species. upon the vulnerability of the grub. in the reflective consciousness.. the accuracy of the knowledge of the Sphex to most of the examples reflection sufficient to is intelligent man as well as of his own which example chosen has been the in questioned and disproved. The same criticism is relevant selected. surpasses infinitely in accuracy and extent that which the most wonderful instinctive The wonderful action presupposes. there is this sympathy. intelligence deals with the outsides of things. This argument of the Essai. But. you could imagine that insect as endowed with an man the wonder intelligence as highly developed as that of would melt away.INTELLIGENT ACTION 176 until it is interpreted in terms of its highest manifestation The " empirical study of evolution " does not. There is just one more point upon which we may touch in connection with the distinction between instinct and Bergson emphasizes the fact that while intelligence. and intelligence predicts only by losing sight of all that is characteristic of life or duration. and its victim. these examples are two- action of the Sitaris. Between the Sphex. only when If it is action of the Sitaris is considered as the action of the Sitaris.g. which instructs it from within. for example. and by means of a faculty akin to instinct. demand that we should admit two different ways of knowing by means of intelligence. — on the other. instinct penetrates by sympathy (in the etymological sense of the word) to the inner flux of reality. for prediction This is is awkward possible only by means of intelligence. Bergson's argument. so to speak.

If the complete nature of our own mental life (which. reveals itself in the actual course of experience. of rational thought. an epiphenomenon. nothing which is a pure reflex. if we as it will and and not the consider mould or form. into the domain of science.vill to live. a fixed apparatus like a abstraction. must always remain in instinctive behaviour of intelligent beings J ? the point of departure in our attempts at the explanation of it manifestations of all life) is taken account of as reveals itself to beings such as we. cinematographic camera which the intelligence of characteristics any is or an a mere living being. " if we cease to regard the intelligence as a diagrammatic schema. does not afford any direct support for Bergson's view that there are two distinct and opposed ways of knowing. or Bergson's " vital instinct. it will endowed be no longer neces- sary to postulate as a principle of metaphysical explanation a blind " >. or between intelligence and M will. there be no need to distinguish sharply between instinct intelligence." If we regard conscious human activity which Fouillee calls la volonte de conscience." as Schopenhauer has done. in which everything enters as an integral and influential factor in a becoming where the being at once assumes consciousness of itself and as that in . ' ' direction of itself. to suppose ~- . all is causing and caused. Nietzsche's equally blind Will zur Macht. a powerless and lifeless shadow in which. then. apart from the transportation of a metaphysical theory." does not this point to the fact that the knowledge implicit is of the same nature as that Here again. on the contrary. that which ideas are " forces. beings with the power of reflection.INTELLIGENCE AND LIFE 177 the representation of determined things which exist or are being produced in precise points of space and time. I imagine Bergson would admit." in which " there is nothing inactive. we are forced towards the conclusion that the empirical study of evolution.

That may be achieved. must of necessity be known in terms of our own self" Thought conscious life. then. not does and " suggest a when " empirically studied." conception of knowledge metaphysic which reciproThe empirical study of evolution certain also a certain conception of imply each other. it will be said. and valuable. of that world. knowledge as " an integral part of reality. conscious life is Intelligence is reveals itself to what it. All the other forms of life. life Self- which we know. manifestation of be. as a kind of epitome of reality." Admitted but all that it is necessary to show at this stage is that : ." 2 Bergson. if 1 Schopenhauer's System in we take its life which is Further. 2 Prolegomena zur Natur-philosophie (Hermann Graf Keyserling). the spectacle of evolution. . and the highest which we can know. 124. 76. therefore. within the limits which our humanity imposes upon us. p. by taking as our principle interpretation of explanation the highest manifestation of available for us. admits all or most of this His aim is to establish it is the very centre of his system. and this principle of explana- Philosophical Significance (Caldwell) p." 1 The same truth is at the basis of a German thinker's utterance that " the criticism of knowledge is Biology. this is the crucial point. self-consciousness. in its concrete reflection to the highest. GROUND OF DISTINCTION 178 " a confused fringe of intuition " surrounding our faculty of clear thinking. and consciousness comes out of the organic as a whole . a quasi focus or internalization of the is of the world life when life My thought my organic I am healthy.. which we are capable of knowing. namely. but latent in them. is comes out of my organic consciousness. so that my thought. living progress. As Professor Caldwell puts it : not outside things." " suggests " merely the necessity of interpreting the world cally from a higher point of view than the mechanical.

the conclusion is justified that the narrow view of reason taken by Bergson. which reciprocally imply each other. itself of to this distinction is suggested by Bergson's peculiar metaphysical view and matter. which is pure activity. appears in Chapter III. . The living ideas become lifeless and impersonal. are set side by side in a void so to speak. there it no necessity to is 179 split up. " refracted. as Bergson does. an empty ego. Far. but it was adumbrated in the Essai." " solidified self "with well-defined states" and the "inner self" in which succeeding each other means melting into one another and forming an organic whole. and his opposition of it to intuition. turns out to be the form of space. when the contrast was " drawn between the spatialized. do not receive any support from a scientific study of the process of evolution. from suggesting a certain metaphysic and a certain theory of knowledge intelligence. and it is to it that we may first confine our attention. This thought is developed in the later work. and under the necessities of language. is the crux of this part of his philosophy. supposed to suggest the Bergsonian metaphysic and theory of knowledge is the distinction which he makes between instinct and intelligence. however.— GENESIS OF INTELLIGENCE tion in its concrete fulness. into two distinct opposing parts which is essentially a fixed " form. when analysed. This The account of L' Evolution Creatrice. The soul actually becomes solidified through the action upon the body of external objects. knowledge." and will or duration. and which intuition and his theory of life of knowing. This cleaving of our faculty of knowledge is not suggested by an intelligent The fact which is scrutiny of the evolution process. The question must now be faced narrow view of reason is as to whether this adequately supported by Bergson's original account of the ideal genesis of intelligence. according intelligence are two opposed ways In these circumstances. which.

and undivided. and this interruption. This seems a sufficiently difficult enteris ' ' ." and to live Bergson's position here with regard to the creation of matter has been already stated in detail. too. would regresss into homogeneous space. and probably in every material world. action. and. which is extraspatial. would constitute the birth of a material world. the life which courses through it and carves out in it living beings. . and so to bring to birth the form of intelligence. prise in . and if taking place in His creative activity. we " Life is a movement materiality find two movements. in our material world. and seek to arrive at the meaning which underlies them. freedom. but we are invited not only " to replace our being our will. But it is opposed by that remnant of the original impulsion which strives within it. Thus." As we have just seen. so to speak (it is difficult to avoid the use of metaphors here). prolongs. then we may conceive a momentary interruption thus : If God. It would become split off. as it is separated from its principle.DIFFICULTIES OF 180 The problem which Bergson THEORY sets before himself here no less than to " engender intelligence. by setting out actually from the consciousness which envelops it " to live the degradation from pure spirit. which would be the same as the inversion of the creative current. the theory might be generally stated we call the original principle of the universe we understand that He is incessant life. but it never entirely . reaches the end of Now. to spatiality." but to go a step further and replace " our will the impulsion which itself in it over again the genesis of matter. and each of these two movements is simple. his thought is When we remove the metaphors in which swaddled. it immediately begins its degradation towards space. is the inverse movement. this its movement. theory appears to bristle with difficulties. if it were unopposed. matter. the matter which forms a world being one undivided flux.

while life ascends from that point. The truth is that this is an interesting and while the other disintegration. matter descends from it ? If so. which may be turned towards one extreme or the other. it is difficult to see how they will ever come to oppose one another. Matter. The analogy of whole their creation in our world does not help us here. matter movement the direction of which is opposed Does he mean that life and matter have started from a common point. to believe that these jets should at once begin to " There seems to be eveiy reason their activity free nature. Further. . and ingenious cosmic speculation. owing and the existence of matter must not be assumed as a factor in its own genesis. This can only long before mean that making it are able to enter into the Divine has not ceased to " dure. what precisely does Bergson mean when he says that to the opposition of matter. ing. but our line becomes too short to fathom the depths in which we we find ourselves Mind and live with Him the creation of a world. as Bergson himself has argued. is —their why essential freedom. 1 take it. in fact. is that " analysis resolves matter into elementary vibrations. fall " ? they should continue nature. we cannot tell which. has not reached the end of its natural movement. is there any reason . But the difficulties connected with the theory of matter must be pushed further. more perfect organization ? differ merely in degree. and that. Does he mean that one is a movement towards is a to that of life ? is a movement towards Then any two stages will it will be impossible to deny definitely that there is only a single movement." that history. Bergson says.FURTHER DIFFICULTIES 181 There seems to be no reason at all why this original pure creative activity should ever be interrupted and even if it does throw out so many jets. even it is still power is decreaswhat Bergson means when he says though its creative This. for divisions take place in the vital current.

It is necessary " to push intelligence beyond itself by means of an act of will. however. he has. If this meant only that reflection cannot be prior to action. appears only through the negation of the " willed " order. and Finally." to pass beyond reflection. and it is just here that we are disappointed. p. Tr. The extent of this disappointment will be clear when we have sought to bring to birth the categories of intelligence. almost. he has not made his meaning plain." 2 Now. which is the equivalent of the succeeding moment and may be deduced from it. if on the point." manifest.C. in the passage quoted above from L' Evolution Creatrice." as " subject to necessity. 219 (Eng.1 FAILURE OF METHOD 82 of which the shortest are of veiy feeble duration. One is forced is Bergson has no clear idea of matter. to rise above " con" ceptual thought " and enter into the " indistinct fringe which surrounds it. but not completely." an " incessant repetition of the past. It is very important for the coherence of the results of the application of his method that we should be certain to the conclusion that or. vanishing." This effort 1 E. 212). each of Memoire. after the manner of Descartes. contrasting. matter as it actually reveals itself with " an existence conThe sisting in an unceasingly recommencing present. the " automatic " order." We find him. In the action of which Bergson speaks we are supposed to " transcend intelligence. is " the impli- yet matter — the movement opposed to the life movement in fact. The guiding principle here is that " action breaks the circle " in which any criticism of the faculty of knowledge encloses us. we might unhesitatingly adopt it. as " a present which is always beginning again." contradiction here involved order in matter citly is is intelligence." as " unfolding a scries of moments. but it means more than that. p. . in Matiere et he speaks of matter. the order in matter. intelligence contained in the original creative force .

we replunge into the vital current. by relaxation of the will. conceptual thought.WORK INTELLECTUAL 183 " introduces us into something vaster. in acting freely. which takes place on occasion of perception or conception. is an attempt to give a psychological account of this delicate mental process. Intellectuel dissipates movement of mind But the such a notion. and the reciprocal independence of which would be complete. the effort of memory. and at the end. memory and will are more and more eliminated. will are identical.e. that in its act of is to say. If. towards the extremely opposite limit. when we become an indivisible and freely acting will. our mental life (if life it could be called) would consist in the continued repetition of a single plane " of inert mental states. article on U Effort In this essay Bergson examines separately the various species of intellectual work. way we should have brought to birth in our consciousness. it might seem as if all may be predication." and " from which it has had to detach itself. At this limit the self would be entirely In this spatialized. Now." and we enter Thought thus passes beyond into a sphere where cognition and where there is no longer any separation between that which knows and that which is known. implies the development of difference within the content which psychical regarded as the ultimate subject of at first sight. from this upper limit." in which " pure understanding has got carved out. We achieve this when. to follow the forming judgments. Bergson's account of the differentiation of pure duration. — — . all it must be admitted that all intellectual process. itself. and. which would be " perfectly external to one another. self space This materialization of the has been followed in some detail in the first and second chapters of this book. i. we now pass. the effort of intellection in general meaning by that the effort which we exert in the attempt to comprehend and to interpret and finally.

as " going from concepts not yet entered. it I is ordinarily called the act of judg- In no part of his work has he dealt with the fact implication judgment is treated as if were the act of imposing an empty universal clearly held before the mind on of which judgment has a perception into the formation Thought. he thinks. from the diagrammatic repre" There is mental Or again sentation to the image. The consciousness of effort is the feeling of interplay between mental states." Thus Bcrgson is able. is to things. and further." effort : only where there are intellectual elements in process of organization. and who or what feels requisition the effort Bergson does not say. After a brilliant examination of these various species of mental work. is The term " not to judgment " not mentioned. ordinarily understood.THEORY OF JUDGMENT 184 the effort of creative imagination or invention which he considers the highest species of intellectual effort. there can be no reason for retreating from the position that the primary fact of knowledge is judg- . One can scarcely speak of judgment when the judging intelligence has been explicitly excluded. by a certain composition or a certain interference of intellectual elements amongst themselves." It is clear that intellectual effort is be identified with judgment here. and what By of judgment. the explanation brings into no more than the contents of spirit and the movements of the body." In the absence of any treatment of judgment by Bergson. he asserts. It is a pity that Bergson has not attempted to show the distinction and the relation between this fact of intellectual effort ment. " to explain the effort of the intelligence without setting out from the intelligence itself. he concludes that " intellectual work consists in leading one and the same representation along different planes of consciousness in a direction which goes from the abstract to the concrete.

Where man can make no judgment. for reality exists for us only the scope of our judgment. it N^ is the thing in one of its aspects. he can have no knowledge. the bringing of reality to birth. for example. as for example in for us no existence without knowledge. In the Prolegomena Kant makes a distinction between Erfahrungsurteile (judgments of experience) and Wahrnehmungsurteile (judgments of perception). The initial fact is our awareness of the concrete something which becomes an object of knowledge only loose when through the introduction of difference we are in a " position to make some such statement as " the bird flies — the object of perception becomes defined in know- i. Judgment is the act by means of which evolution of percept and concept takes place contemporaneously within knowledge.e. in a sense. or of a perception and a concept. a fact | / . \ . when it comes within In a very real sense there is which is implied in the statement that there is for us no subject without a predicate. Until made. the simple judgment " the bird flies. Take. by the latter empirical judgments which are merely subjectively valid. introduction of difference. we have no knowledge of the its its existence (which also differentiation from the self). same time. ledge by the predication of the this differentiation is object beyond the awareness of involves judgment in Judgment is It is at the attribute of flight. and he understands by the former empirical judgments in so far as they have objective validity.JUDGMENT AND DIFFERENCE 185 ment. Now in this evolution of knowledge the predicate or conceptual element is not brought to It is evolved from within the thing from without. which we afterwards connect in a judgment. and that judgment is not the bringing together of two ideas which have lain and separate. In judgments of perception there is merely a succession of ideas. the very act of bringing knowledge to birth." We have not first the idea of a bird and the idea of flight.

. Kant rightly contends we are not on the plane of knowledge at all the ideas on this level are a deposit of the rational activity of mind." " the in judgments of experience there stone becoming hot " . incipient only in the animal consciousness. and that of reasoning. while he is not warranted in calling judgments of perception judgments at all. in the consciousness them on the level of rational consciousjudgment conceptions from an It may not be necessary integral part of the percepts. even in the life of the animal in which thought makes its closest approach to pure feeling. is not free from objection. it indicates an important difference between two planes of mind which has been made clear in Professor S. is the normal promind of the animal. ." In the second case. as stated by Kant. as it were. is a universally valid connection asserted in a world of universally valid connections. unifying consciousness acts in the formation of the vaguest idea. But behind the distinction made by Kant and Laurie respectively.KANT AND LAURIE i86 the successive ideas " the sun shining on a stone. not. — always is lower stages of animal life. as for example in the judgment " the sun heats the stone. " " images of objects consciousness attuent level of the which pasarc reflected. but fully developed in the mind of man. Laurie's distinction between the " attuent " consciousness of the animal and the rational consciousness of man. there is a very real difference which must be insisted on — the difference between association we might almost say. distinction. while the . the categories are brought into play Now. and the consequent On the distinction between " recepts " and percepts. which. cedure of the which is the evolution of knowledge. It may be necessary to insist that a purposeful. to admit a purely receptive stage even in the animal consciousness. in the first case. however nearly this limit may be approached sively receives ness there in the . S. On the association level. of ideas.

a level on which. and the nearer the approach to pure space. one or other of the categories is implied. nality. reciprocal independence of parts. then in every movement of rational thought. \ view of judgment and a unity of consciousness If this as essential to knowledge be correct. over and it above the image of sensible perception. rational a mechanical But there can be no doubt concerning Bergson's position here.NATURE OF JUDGMENT not amongst these that reason moves its activity always the evolution of universal objective connec- It is is 187 . which make them objectively valid. we have indeed. As Kant expresses " Judgments of experience always demand. . noch besondere im Verstande urspriinglich evzeugte ist. activity which is.e. he deposit of such activity. as has no place. how it is difficult to see Bergson's account of the degradation of spirit into For what does this spatialization of the self and concomitant emergence of the intelligence mean ? It involves the postulate that the more complete the descent from pure spirit. iiber die lichen Begriffe. The intellectual self. i. consciousness must be the intelligence finds its perfect realization association level. 1 It reaches its climax in the third chapter of Erfahrungsurteile erfordem jederzeit. and consequently the unity of consciousness from which they spring. where the process of externalization is followed social in detail. Now the characteristic of space is mutual exterintelligence can be accepted. : tions originally produced in the understanding. interests. Prolegomena. in every judgment. dass das Erfahrungsurteil objectiv Kant. welche es eben tnachen. This thesis is developed in Matiere et Memoire. certain conceptions in a world of abiding objects. is an outer crust of juxtaposed elements which have been externalized in biological and argues in the Essai. the more perfect is the intelligence." 1 If this be so. gultig Vorstellung der sinn- Anschauung. consequently the characteristics of spatialized same. § 18. on the seen.

. at the extremest limit But at each of these limits knowledge At the higher limit the object dispredicates sink back into the subject.e. by the proportion of the " virtual activity " of the sub- ject to his " real activity " . which our knowledge is. At either limit knowledge . whether this be denominated activity. Finally. and you destroy the^ that relation relation i. and must limit. and. remove either term. and we actually of all. you destroy knowledge. having elevated ourselves beyond ourselves to a point at which knowledge and activity coincide. purely conceptual. in be. Knowledge is not identical with being. At pure space. becoming. We pass. On Bergson's supposition. the principle that the mind must become that which direction viz. then the essential feature of know- it demands the direct contradiction of this principle. Any attempt to identify the two leads to the darkness of Spinozism.— DISAPPEARANCE OF KNOWLEDGE 188 L' Evolution Creatrice. at whatever stage we come upon ledge it. at the opposite having degraded ourselves beneath ourselves. in which subject and object are differentiated in which the degree of consciousness is determined . would disappear. in which the progressive adaptation of intelligence to matter in Bergson's thought in this one to which reference has already been made. conscious of something—-that expresses the supreme relation beyond Knowledge is which human knowledge is not found. Knowledge. in our descent. dissipated into predications which is nobody makes. appears . all the lower limit the subject vanishes. I. is invariably knowledge of something. is The underlying motive is knows. we set out from pure activity. we reach a point at which subject and object again coincide. pursued. or immutability. are matter. transcended in a mystical act. But if the preceding analysis of the act of knowledge be correct. through the phases of what is ordinarily called knowledge.

these. and that if moment they were to become zero. the guiding conception of space. regression this that as will and are progressively eliminated. and. it is difficult to see why. dealing here simply with a limiting conception." is and this self. contents. in that a self has begun It memoiy. as an organic whole possessed of. in fact. now. "Absolute would involve absolute uncon- passivity " ever entirely took place. grant surely obvious is judgment. psychical " states " of the self with the self if we were compelled to admit that the without remainder. Possessed of sciousness. concerned. Bergson is. may mechanize or spatialize its own so-called content without thereby itself becoming materialized. / should not see the bringing to birth of space. at present. into its self itself. that if the inversion of the ." is interaction between all its parts. us. may be that is. amongst others. we connect the account of the genesis of the intellectual form with the account of the genesis of matter. grave difficulties arise. It has already been pointed out that." That would happen only if we were compelled to identify the a necessary factor. for 189 Let moment the towards space. a self may imagine the content of consciousness gradually spreading itself out plane. If. knowledge just as progressively vanishes. without " descending in the direction of space. according to Bergson's view in L' Evolution Creatrice. analysed. with we are order to meet Bergson here. for in the process / should disappear. intellectuality should assume the extreme form of space. on a its level as well as the psychical " states.INTUITION OF SPACE It is the lower limit with which. If this regression the idea of space. It follows same movement has created at once the intellectuality of mind and the materiality of things. but the self. at that very consciousness would disappear. " matter is that there extended without being absolutely extended. in the case of mind.

will it. unduly One is puzzled.e. let intellectuality has assumed such an are told that " the mind prolongs homogeneous space Matter." such an expression two pages further on " Physics in the light of this utterance. and do not it is diffi- understand how a process of division. by its process of repeated pletely attains pure space. suppose that it does go on. and consequently always in need of revision. at finding as that which occurs only comprehends : when its role it pushes matter in the direc- tion of spatiality. is always too precise. and reaches. without quality has no ." more distinct How is it extreme form to its end that ? i. Further." he himself seems to recognize this. after all. think of space infinite Space so. " performs a dissection of matter which says." Bergson " Our perception. of co-existing points. suggests to representation of space. once set on spirit the the way. will ever generate the idea cult to how of a continuous whole.— — INTELLECT OUTRUNS MATTER igo whereas matter never becomes entirely spatialized. in representa- the goal to which matter aspires but never com- tion. " reach at last a common form. i. at the best. Our science. We to —the movement constitutive of materi- we are told again. but mind. conception medium. They do not. with an would leave number homogeneous medium infinite a perfectly It us. no matter far it may be continued. always subordinated to the needs of action. as and is ever arrive at the "an empty and homogeneous infinitely divisible " I ? continuous throughout. outruns matter itself.e. But why should mind One ? would have thought that its inherent nature would make But it a most unwilling rival of matter in this respect. ality. accentuates the spatiality of matter." But us keep to the main point. be so eager to go on to reach this spatialized form subdivision of the parts of matter. mind the Matter gives to impetus towards space. which aspires to assume a mathematical form.

. is a " veritable means of contact " with the Abso- For purely speculative knowledge mate " or degree. so to speak." In the mouth of most idealistic philosophers )( . The difficulty here is not entirely removed by the expressive metaphor that " matter is ballasted. then. to be told that mathematics lute. the conception of space as infinite requires explanation.TRUTH OF MATHEMATICS peculiar right to the name of space. It some The mind's contact with matter would again. and has not any speculative value." pletely to matter and space. for that to separate itself represents simply the direction in which matter refalls. in our " Mathematics in general scientific knowledge of things. for there is Bergson is here encountered which Locke similar that to met by a difficulty appeals. that mathematical knowledge is relative to our faculty of action. " artificial. to he in the same connection. becomes very difficult indeed to see how " touches the it can be maintained that mathematics absolute. It is rather disconcerting. it " approximately mathematical. the imagination. There is an order." " One cannot insist too much on the artificial element in the mathematical form of a physical law. for example. Then." This is is not " approxi- or " conventional " in the least the whole point of Bergson's philosophy. Once more. and they go to support the position which was adopted in the earlier — works viz. pure quantity. of its own." " Laws mathematical in form can never be applied com- matter would have to be pure from duration. and." and why mathematical laws or relations should be exalted above all other concepts. It is. and no reason to regard matter as infinite. thing. 191 if it be any- Space has qualities or properties has. immanent in matter." These passages are quite in harmony with the view that matter has not reached the end of its movement. consequently. three dimensions. with geometry. like Locke. not generate in it the idea of infinite space.

then intelligence is capable of revealing the nature of duration. and movement. of matter as exists now. Bergson says that intelligence. then we are back in the previous difficulty that this is merely an ideal matter. Science and con- sciousness are in fundamental agreement. quality. which he compares to a solid kernel. so that mathematical science. and the necessity an intuition disappears. "by an even more complete demonstration of the reciprocal action of points upon each all material other. organized and unorganized. is not radically different from the for ^ fluid which surrounds it. and place . returns. Finally. The ledge. is is matter." Now. it symbolically true. If it is the latter. provided that we regard consciousness in its most immediate data. " Science. but all his proof of the genesis . tends to approach the view of matter which is gained by means of intuition. and scientific knowledge cannot be regarded as absolute knowledge even of matter. in spite of appearances. and that mathe- Space is immanent is an abstract or this interpretation in matter only in the sense that matter tends towards space as an ideal limit. and The sole inadequacy science in its remotest aspirations. former. an inseparable aspect of not available.TRUTH OF MATHEMATICS 192 would mean that space this all matics is true of that aspect." of the physical sciences lies in their incompleteness they cannot " embrace en bloc the totality of things. after all." Bergson says. approximately. and It is practically. is not true so cannot be " metaphysical " difficulty increased is know- when we remember Xthat physical science. taken in its entirety. and so But for Bergson hypothetical science. to the idea of a universal continuity. of which matter are we to understand Bergson to be speaking here ? Is it the matter which has not yet " separated itself from duration " or is it of matter conceived as having reached the end of its movement ? If it is the . them exactly in their relations to each other.

the intelligence was primarily a faculty of establishing relations. and those relations were all mechanical." the " interruption " of the order in life. and so in intelligence. So many unsolved difficulties beset thought in this connection that we may conclude that he reason was on his has not succeeded in establishing the conclusion that the form of intellectual knowledge is to be identified with space. is. It is further upon the necessary to see how he was led to what we have argued to be an illegitimate of the province of reason. for it is the climax of his latest book. not enough to have attempted to show that the arguments which Bergson has adduced are insufficient to warrant the limitations which he has placed nature of intelligence. " intelligence imposed its N : . As Bergson himself puts it. For Kant. to use his own words. It was of supreme importance that Bergson should establish his position here. and we further take it up into the forms of the categories.FAILURE OF THEORY 193 of the intelligence goes to show that the order in matter. the " suppression. intelli- gence and intuition. are two opposed movements. the narrow view which he takes of intelligence its trial. consequently. son's ingenious theory of the ideal genesis of matter Berg- and of seems to raise more difficulties than it solves. Kant had asked " How is mathematics possible ? " and " How and his own reply was that we is physics possible ? " impose on reality a certain order which we find again We in our mathematical and physical investigations. and. and that matter and life. restriction ance of the view of the The clue to his to be found in his accept" form " of knowledge which narrowing of reason's powers is Kant expounded in the Critique of Pure Reason. impose the form of space on a given raw material. and in addition." the " inversion. The form of understanding must be of a certain nature if the physical science of Kant's day was to be explained. or that It is it even tends towards such an identification.

" " living. anterior to all experience." This " form " of which he speaks is not the form of the " inner. in essence. Bergson accepts the Kantian view of intelligence as a " form. — is . It is significant that in the years of Bergson's studentship the " official doctrine " in the University of Paris was " Kantism. he avers. as we have seen. and from view that intelligence imposes its order on a For Bergson." " qualitative. the difficulties in Kant's position which arose from his illicit assumption of things-in-themselves." while he seeks to avoid. in which our experience comes to again he speaks of intelligence as " only a form without matter. his untenable formless matter. veritable stuff which the action peculiar to each intelligence will cut into more particular relations." and of the " purely formal character of the intelligence. while accepting the limitation of intelligence There here implied. In fact. nothing here to indicate that Bergson refuses to accept the Kantian view of intelligence. Bergson characterizes the sharp distinction . denies each of these propositions. at least. In the Essai." " dynamic " self which endures." which wasfsummed up in the following propositions : There (i) There (2) no kind of knowledge other than scien- is knowledge. And knowledge of very general relations. a means of knowledge other than intelligence There is —intuition." " static " self." Now.INTELLECT AND INTUITION 194 form on matter. tific is no means of knowledge other than intelli- gence." " social. It belongs to the " outer. Bergson. metaphysical knowledge and there is. a kind of knowledge other than scientific knowledge that is. the spatial projection of the inner being." Intelligent beings possess " natural insert itself. we find him speaking of the moulds (cadres)." " solidified. the " form " of intelligence and the order in matter arise in precisely the same way.

. between the homogeneous and the heterogeneous. and. of making this fatal bargain by (1) : Regarding space as a form " introduced real with a view to action (2) whole of knowledge." i. Kant had paid dearly for the necessity which he attributed to his forms of sensibility and categories of understanding as the con- mind tributions of He had price to of the Bergson sees to the concrete knowableness of both matter and spirit. other tiation than that of qualitative differentiation. homogeneous medium. its with Kant." but a form of action. beneath concrete extensity. finally. and. and space is regarded " not as a property of things." and. distinguished this space from the matter which fills it.e. not action on matter. a reality with no quality. of " a principle of differen- intuition. therefore." he says again." " We have." but as " a diagrammatic design of our eventual It is not a form of knowledge." not a " form of contemplation." " an essential condition of our faculty of knowing reality. One result. as " this vital distinction. and so not foreign to the form of perception. of the Essai which Kant made between the forms of space and time. and he seeks to avoid the necessity this clearly. which we " throw beneath the continuity of sensible tinction qualities. and leaves us with a sensibility possessing only the form of space. In Matter e et Memoir e this thought is developed.BERGSON AND KANT made by Kant 195 " between the matter of consciousness and form. With him." is He speaks of " the or rather the conception of an empty." " assumed the existence of a homogeneous space." and Regarding space as immanent in matter." Bergson gets rid of the disis that indeed. we have admitted that homogeneous space a form of our sensibility. purchase this necessary contribution at the into the and not with a view to knowledge. a wholly ideal diagram of arbitrary and infinite divisibility.

We it may. but by holding that. practical capacity. but he has sought to escape the relativism or phenomenalism the plan of our Up activities to this point. transcend this practical point of view in pure knowledge. which we stretch beneath material continuity in order make ourselves masters of it.INTELLECT A FORM 196 On Bergson's knowledge. but to practical necessity . he is contributed in our considers. sense that it is " the symbol of fixity and infinite divisibility " which we " thrust into extensity." unconnected impressions may mind to a non-spatial a chaos or mere multiplicity of not by asking whether space . as the necessary condition of what comes to abide in it " it is necessary only in the sense that it is " like an infinitely fine network it is to . or of the faculty of scientific knowledge. and at the same time some advance in thought . discerned by us but not contributed. of the Kantian standpoint. not by questioning the view contributed by the that space is " sensuous manifold. be an essential aspect of reality. is its is that space. then. to decompose it to according to and needs. in the is. all. "Amorphous does so in the interests of action." not in order know matter. to act upon pure speculative knowledge of things in the sense that Its necessity is a it. although space is contributed by us to reality." Bergson has accepted the Kantian view of space as a form of our ordinary faculty of knowledge. ordinary the be called so at faculty of distorts the real. In L'Evolution Creatrice this position is still further emphasized. if it theory. The essential point for the present purpose apart from the question of value. not a necessary condition of our it is given " it is . may but it and inert space " then. and must. and so more or less per- verts our knowledge of reality. the form of knowledge. not necessary begin with. " vital " or " speculative " a form or diagrammatic design which has exist- ence only in our minds.

" great spring of our intelligence and intelligence tends naturally to We have already seen that. our representation of space. categories are provisional "conceptual directions of thought. It is true that he defines the form as the totality things. induction and deduction depend for their validity upon a pure spatial intuition. and space becomes the single inexorable condition of knowledge by means of intelligence. intelligence. when it is successful makes its in explana- All the operations of our intelli- gence tend towards geometry as the goal at which they "It find their perfect achievement. which is the makes it go. so. the the only difference being that he seeks to account for spatiality Physics of intelligence.INTELLIGENCE AND SPACE 197 takes place. " bathes in an atmosphere of spatiality. the categories of all the understanding are subsumed under the one —space. in Bergson's expressive phrase. in the Essai. All the other so-called which is state. We have just seen that space a necessary condition of our perception of is and here the whole trend of Bergson's thought is towards the identification of the form of knowledge with space. Our inductions are we sink the the exact proportion in which certain in qualitative . For Kant." somehow beaten out in the process of experience. and ascribes an absolute value to the latter. immanent in is a latent geometry. according to Bergson. of the relations which are established in " the " matter given by the faculties of perception in the brute These relations are established so as to constitute a systematic knowledge. Our space and mathematics. explaining the nature of matter tion in mathematical laws. in L' Evolution Creatrice. As. the form of time (as a homogeneous medium) was absorbed into the form of space. But it becomes clear that the supreme category is that of space." The same might be truthfully said of Bergson's own position. It was pointed out earlier that he distinguishes between concepts and mathematical relations.

is it becomes quite the form of intelligence. and Plotinus. always goes " from concepts to things. represents the natural development of a metaphysic constructed by intelligence unaided and that this development illustrates the inherently cinematographic nature of the intelligence which mechanizes or spatializes Further. . it becomes knowledge purely relative to the human under. clear that space. Bcrgson argues. physical science The is relation of external causability in " purely mathematical. contrasts the and emphasizes the view that science. the real. is when one supposes that law. so that geometry is the ideal limit of our inductions as well as of our deductions. he method of " analysis " with that of intuition. does tend to such a system. of causation is The concept not a necessary principle except in a mathe- matical form." and he holds that modern science. Aristotle. task were completely achieved reality to us as a single intelli- The universal mathe- it would present system of mathematical relations. that the Greek Philosophy of Ideas.INTELLIGENCE AND SPACE 198 differences in the homogeneity of the space which sub- tends them. a single system of relations which imprisons the totality of the real in a net which it throws out before it. standing." In the closing chapters of L' Evolution Creatrice. for Bergson. recognizes quite clearly that the science which Kant had in mind in his Critique of Pure Reason was " this kind of universal mathematic. in his usual illuminating and suggestive style." he says. which proceeds by " If analysis. in the Introduction a la Metaphysique. Now. he says further. is wholly a work of analysis or of conceptual representation if it aims at being an immense mathematic. one would have thought that the history of modern thought had made it plain that such an abstraction should . in so far as it is the work of pure gence. matic." " science." He . developed through Plato. If we correlate all what the world of and if its ideas becomes the Idea consists in a relation or these statements.

If we set out from the view that the faculty of knowing is this skeleton. is The initial —they are two different cleaving of the self into two due to the illegitimate abstraction of one aspect of the life. Then. It and determined. intelligence of . But in the nature of the case it will be impossible to fuse together these two disparate parts of the self so that we shah have a self irreparably divided into a static intelligence on the one hand and a pure activity on the other. a mere form. This is just what has happened in Bergson's case. it is inevitable that difficulties will arise and confront us." So that we have in the one being or person. a purely active self on the other. This primary division or rather opposition within the self inevitably works its way into the whole of the world which we know. in itself. He has. compel us to supplement this mere and this can be done only by the reinstatement of the will which has been initially left out. it is true) over against reality. as the absolutely homogeneous to the absolutely heterogeneous. the consciousness which we have of ourselves as energizing. about which the only clear thing we can say is that it " becomes. will framework of a self. to begin with. In the first place. or at best one self which oscillates between two opposed forms. these two contrary parts two opposed selves. set intelligence as a faculty of knowing (in active beings." " pure activity. Space is opposed to duration. Matter is opposed to spirit they move in two is fixed — — contrary directions. underneath this inert framework of a self he has conceived another self. In itself it is the no one it is a mere skeleton. the interests of action. an intelligence-self on the one hand. . and the subsequent attempt to remedy concrete mental .INTELLIGENCE AS A FORM 199 be relegated without hesitation to the rubbish-heap of useless philosophical hypostatizations. Science is opposed to metaphysics ways of knowing." that it is " duration. and the world of reality which it would reveal to us would. be a valley of dry bones.

its activity. . for though these fundamental relations or principles or categories are permanent elements in the structure of mind. and the opposition between the changeless and the becoming aspect of the universe as a whole. also loses its this point of force. a " grasp of contact with the absolute. The concrete fact the highest type of organism which is we know. The will is the energizing of this rational organism. self these mono- In the actual functioning of the principles realize themselves in an incessantly varying multiplicity of particular concrete cases. . That advance is suggested by the open avowal of the possibility It has already Creatrice there of gaining metaphysical knowledge. of matter with spirit. Further. been mentioned that in L'Evolution was an apparent advance which at first seems to lead us beyond the position that intelligence is a form and intellectual knowledge merely formal. is the organic self. modes of activity.APPARENT ADVANCE 200 the omission by the erection into independent reality of another aspect of that life. and that likewise an abstraction. From view the opposition between the permanent and the active element of mind disappears. is This aspect ." by means of intelligence alone. This could have been avoided by recognizing the fact that the form of intelligence the will is an abstraction. their permanence does not imply inertness if they ceased to be active factors in the development of knowledge their permanence would cease they would disappear. it is only in so far as they are abstract elements that their permanence can be regarded as that of tonous changelessness. generally presented as a deformer of reality. with its In the form of space. which is expressed in the contrast of space with time. and the form of intelligence expresses its fundamental The existence of this self consists in and in the so-called form there is really nothing inert. earlier books the intelligence.

" so to speak." In other words. It becomes clearer here that the mathematical and physical sciences " tend to reveal reality in itself." and that there is an evident accord between them. " enslaved to certain necessities of bodily life." that is " ballasted. But the point emphasized is that " provided one considers only the general form of physics." " disfigures. This is the general view of Matter e et Memoir e. the emphasis seems to fall " action cannot move towards spatiality. suggestion that mathe- " absolute " knowledge. when. to say the least. Emphasis is laid on the approximation of intellectual knowledge of matter to the intuition of it. one may say of it that it touches the absolute. it cannot view the whole all at once..APPARENT ADVANCE 201 of intelligence has. cess has or rather symbolic." Many which rather lay other passages might be quoted. L'Evolution is of even relative Creatrice. if any." The only invade the problems of defect of physical science is that it has to " fragmentate matter " and " put the problems one by one. leads matter to become separated into objects clearly external to one another. intellect. stress on the of matter. and there matical knowledge is little. in physico-chemistry. In however." that " an identical prohad to carve out matter and intelligence at the same time. and not the detail of its realization." " disorganizes " matter the is ." and " become relative. absolute reality. they life and consciousness. Intelligence " disarticulates. i. with geometry. has not followed the internal lines of the structure of things." all fact that the knowledge.e. the greater emphasis given to it. on the thought that matter " tends in the unreal. in a stuff which contains them both." and that the externality and relativity of our knowledge is replaced by an insight into the inner heart of being itself . in distinct concepts.that " the same movement which issues in the determination of the mind in intelligence. with which intelligence furnishes us to the contingencies of action.

either case we should transcend So that when it is the human point of view. broken." " symbolic. as " relative. and consciousness. and. and. in " a sifting humour. for we should live freedom." full value appears to be given to knowledge on the one hand." of flashes. should have perfectly to conquer necessity. said that intelligence can bring us into contact with the absolute. and a sphere reserved metaphysic on the other a consummation devoutly to scientific for — be wished ! Intelligence takes us to the being of " brute matter. foot- holds in our descent to mathematics. There " is and a current antagonistic a certain current of existence. there are two corre- sponding absolute forms of knowledge —pure intelligence on the one hand." They " a practical are merely instruments. as it is per- . we find that the The existence of two forms and these are known in two this really merely apparent. and pure intuition on the other. are compelled to articulate our experience if we are to know. of the " absolute " flash. the inner heart of implied.APPARENT ADVANCE 202 " through the combined and progressive development of science and philosophy. exercises a it is good deal of fascination on the mind. In . we. it cannot be the intelligence of is made. mathematics would be a grasp of the absolute if spirit were spirit. But. and feel ourselves doing so." and intuition reveals to us in a when the we begin advance first spell is to ask is different ways. Without Kant's postulate of " things-in-themselves. The point to be emphasized is that these are ideal limits." as giving us only equivalent of the real. as human beings. when at first clearly perceived. which. what is or in a series life means." This more fully developed view seems most hopeful." " mere provisional dia- grammatic representations. to it " . for Bergson the middle state to which reference condemns the concepts into which we. // matter were to reach the end of its movements. as to make no effort to instal ourselves at the heart of life.

" It now becomes evident why some have maintained that to we are watching. and this is contrary to Bergson's doctrine of the concept. and to regard mathematics as a hypothetical science. and not the detail of the absolute. that mathematical knowledge not true — climax of it its would be true only if is matter reached the development. he is logically driven to the startling conclusion. the development of scepticism. its grasp of the abso- comes about. at the other. or rather. The same conclusion emerges when an examination is made of the statement that physics. for that matical relations which attain to this validity. and these are arrived at when intelligence leaves all the categories behind it and " bathes in spatiality. know- ledge of reality becomes purely formal . disintegration.IMPLICIT SCEPTICISM 203 approximates to the intuition of matter. suggested in fragmentary sentences which seem to indicate the underlying impulsion. consequently. Instead. tion to intuition. and. As we have already seen. Therefore. It is only as intelligence rids itself of every concept and confines itself to the pure form of space that its approximafected. in the elaboration of Bergson's philosophy. it is not open to Bergson to take the way of ordinary idealism. he must have in mind the system of mathematical equations which the laws of positive science are being reduced. All . when Bergson speaks of the general form of physics. its realization. It thus becomes evident that the supposed advance is not real. At one extremity. it becomes entirely inarticulate. for no predication can be made. It is only mathe- tive universe into a concrete system. general form. dealing with ideal elements. touches The absolute here cannot mean the qualita- which science has progressively articulated would imply that the concepts through which our experience of nature is systematized represent actual articulations in nature. if we consider only its lute. The formal nature of intellectual knowledge is here once more strongly emphasized.

it may well be argued.IMPLICIT SCEPTICISM 204 The glory of human. as a possible preliminary to metaphysical knowledge. intelligence. our humanity has departed. not. resign ourselves ignorabimus know ? In so far as the melancholy fact to Because we are what we Ignoramus et we cannot : are. we cannot be ? If " we are to know " brute " matter. if we are to know. He has the highest understood (as he under- as a useful instrument in the activity of life. we must become what we are and what. If we are to know pure spirit. . That powerless seeking to safeguard it. intelligence. while Bergson has suppressed. however. and All that will redeem us from this complete scepticism. And because we are neither " brute " matter nor . is the clear proof that intuition can supply the place within knowledge of the proof must now be which. This merely mocks the consummation of our impotence. we must be pure spirit. and Bergson has no such end regard for the stands it) human in view. pure spirit. must we avenues of knowledge appear to be closed. considered. we can know neither the one nor the other. we must be " brute matter.

at a theory of time which is intuition. then. a development of the distinction outer. — and of the The conception of time elaborated work demands. he arrives all his thought. throughout his argument. et made the Essai between the inner soul in this in a sense. has in view three ideas First : Space conceived as an empty. for in lived time or psychical duration he finds the very " stuff " of existence." that of the is. or spatialized self. Analysis shows that Bergson. MATTER AND FREEDOM Bergson life method of the applies place. it is an account of the universe interpreted in terms of the life and Matter e of the individual self." Third : Time make as a homogeneous medium in which we and in which we count the — distinctions time of reflective consciousness as lated in mechanics. — Memoire in pure is Chapter spirit life largely II. it is postu- . to the of the and. is to say. L' Evolution Creatrice but the Essai " writ large. Time as the pure succession which our conscious states assume when our self lets itself : " live. most important of is all his The Essai works. we have the centre of in the first seen. our special attention.CHAPTER IV THE NEED AND VALUE OF THE INTUITION OF TIME. homogeneous : Second medium. the Indeed. as self.

although of a different order." It is homogeneous. homogeneous medium " " " self-sufficient. is be explained." " existing without is no quality it qualities of bodies. neither duration nor real succession. is " a reality " as solid as It sensations themselves. exists in reborn. geneous medium are not successive repetitions. It which it indefinitely dies and is In the material world there is relative position of an eternal now simultaneity in of parts. matter which fills Space it.IDEA OF SPACE 206 His contention is that the third idea the origin of which may a spurious concept. "a reality with is "an empty. It is due to an interchange of elements taking place between pure space and pure duration." the ghost of space haunting the reflective consciousness. points." a " fourth dimension of space. of course." The moments of the material world " do not succeed each other except for a consciousness which keeps them in mind." " We observe outside us at a given moment a whole system of simultaneous positions of the simultaneities . as we have already seen." It is " the extensive symbol of true duration. — geneity consists in the absence of every quality. they are simply repeats its past. since succession can only be thought through comparing the present with the past. and " homo. which preceded them nothing remains. to the " trespassing of the idea of space upon pure consciousness. is accepted as a form which is to be distinguished from the Let us consider respectively. simultaneities." To put this . The material world . But what precisely does this mean ? It means that what we call successive states of the material world conceived of as existing in this homoqualityless." In this homogeneous medium there is. of " Outside ourselves we and consequently nothing but which we could not even say that they are objectively successive. Space. first the ideas of space and duration and next the process by which pure duration becomes spatialized time. should find only space.

and so a non-entity. if it be imagined as independently existing. else. Within still its spatial an ideal space remains as a quality is . It is true that away it a process of abstraction we may think of the external world except But what we then have the spatial or extensive quality of the material world. homogeneous medium no here and there. it is always a certain kind of order in objects : merely a point of view from which we order our experience. " There is distinctions. it — : than anything In a pure. itself in its entirety. from which all quality is absent. This account of space and of the existence in space of a material world which does not endure lends itself to Is not a self-sufficient First criticism in two respects. along with all other qualitative In the words of Professor Ward. it ever will be. no duration time counts for nothing. homogeneous medium. or matter considered as an independently existing reality. — only in relation to external objects. independently existing. Its it is thoroughgoing relativity constitutes it an absolute relations without jundaa absolutely relative a system of mentum relationis. is spatial order. and not in any way different from what In such a system there is no accumulation. If moment. this ideal space. present. no east and west in pure space. there can be no reason for calling it space rather future. there would be no difference between past. Considered objectconively. an impossible conception ? Can we conceive a reality with no quality ? But second. and in at any would be the same as it always has been. and the order which emerges sidered subjectively. The objects of our experience are such that they respond to our questions from this point of view. the distinction between " here " and " there " would disappear. . in them is by all qualities properties. could present it to a consciousness.QUALITY OF SPACE as simply as possible — in a purely 207 mechanical system. as such." We know space .

it is the condition of one level of experience in the sense that if the spatial order on that level were to be removed. The course which seems to be suggested. and space be regarded as a ready-made " form " into which the raw material of sense is run. does not warrant the presupposi- tion that the knowing mind form which causes to expand or contract at it is furnished with an will. knowledge would at the same time dis- This. spatial order (as well as time order) appears only contemporaneously with the emergence of a concrete. but as conditions of experience.QUALITY OF SPACE 208 which is the space of geometry. In human experience. same time as the concrete Consequently. But this does not fit in with the facts which an analysis of experience reveals. there tatively different from a " not here. though perhaps not intentionally." is no " here " quali- In such space points may be imagined which have no other characteristic than that of position. one large section of appear. the ultimate character of spatial quality. spatial order develops at the qualitative does not articulation. they are space possibility of known not merely conditions. as and they are not conditions of experience in the sense that they exist prior to experience. at Man least partially systematized nature. and the only difference between any two would be a difference of position relatively to each This merely emphasizes the ideality of space and other. although and time may be ultimate conditions of the the experience of nature. however. either as a " form of sensibility " or as an objective medium. by Kant in the Transcendental Aesthetic may be followed. empty and by . to The first which qualities are subsequently added. of parcel out a qualitatively indifferent material world all into objects. to which attention must necessarily be primarily confined. We cannot attribute a self-sufficient existence to this ideal space. Any one of them can be arbitrarily taken as the starting-point. So far as space is concerned.

pp. that emptied of its qualitative content. in auferbaut . ordered. Natorp). originate in the development synthetic process in which " nature " becomes species of order themselves first of the whole for the " understanding " a structure. either in the mind demand or as an independent objective human This would medium. setze . a demand which has only to be stated As to be at once rejected as a call to do the impossible. sondern in ihrev Gesetzmassigkeit sie urspriinglich mitbedingend. It would be less ordered. how- ever. but as originally conditioning themselves come to birth. however. in der Entfaltung des ganzen syn" die " Natur " sich dem " Verstande erst dem jedoch nicht als ein nachtragliches Ergebnis der Naturord- nung. we should take up a point of view outside or prior to experience. als ein eingeborener Besitz unseres oder dock nach einem ursprunglichen " Ge" desselben. Ordnungen selbst entstehen thetischen Prozesses. welche. go further. and the conclusion ginated. that space existed prior to experience. how cannot get behind this experience to see but reflection upon its nature can it ori- show that without this spatial order our experience would not be what it is. unserer sinnlichen Vorstellung der Dinge gleichwie ein sondern diese voraus feststehendes Gradnetz sich zwangweise auflegen Anschauungs-vermdgens . sensible idea of things like a ready-made but these net. : 59 and 60. " Philosophie Ihr Problem und ihre Probleme " (P. ." x concrete experience. . We it in its regularity as they The starting-point is the and in other ways. spatially. . and the whole science of mathematics soon as space is 1 In letztem Betracht sind also auch fur Kant selbst Zeit und Raum nicht jene festen Schemata. and assert warranted that space We experience. They do not. is is a necessary condition of human cannot. impose themselves by force on our means of which may deal. or according to an original " law " of the same. as an innate possession of our faculty of perception.A CONDITION OF EXPERIENCE 209 it carves out objects with which intelligence Space (and time) are not " these fixed diagrammatic representations which. arise as a subsequent result of the order of nature. it becomes unreal.

are not essentially distinguishable. space is when the it is just emphasized in between duration and when it is maintained that in any moment. the essential characteristic of spirit i. nothing is left of the opposition strongly asserted the material world. when.e.e. Bergson says. the disparateness between the two which the Essai. does assume space as existing " over against the living self. — past that " in pure space. as ordinarily conceived. But this theory seems to raise more difficulties than it solves. that repetition of the past tically. even prac- is with the accumulation of the past on the present which goes on in the life of a mind. In fact. Bergson." " outside the ego.— — — BERGSON'S DUALISM 210 which is based upon this abstraction must be admitted to be hypothetical or ideal." The difficulties which he encountered in his attempt to show how this homogeneous medium originated as a form of intelligence have already been pointed out. But it must be empha- — asserted. Matter is said to repeat its past. this consummation is achieved only by an ambiguous treatment of matter. not to be identified. the spatiality of mind have been progressively adapted to one another. and I cannot see that Bergson has got rid of this dualism. and so. a form of sensibility an assumption which plays a most important part in the argument that time and space. tically in the interests of clear thinking." there is " mutual externality without succession. He endeavoured to escape the dualism of Kant by maintaining that the spatiality of matter and the form of intelligence i. Having assumed the existence of space as a homogeneous medium emptied of sufficient . the power of memory is not entirely foreign to matter. setting out from a frankly dualistic position." The whole difficulty arises from this assumption of space as a self- homogeneous medium. he ends by making possible a union between mind and matter. however. at is . Even in Matiere et Memoire.

Bergson goes been eliminated. But certain questions present themselves at this Do we point. then there would seem to be no ground for differentiating it from space. the counting is When ordinal : a points is the are counted in time. it is a nonentity. of the space order and the time order. b the second. empty " form " which is imagined to remain after all now The the " matter " has been taken away neither time nor is Bergson calls it space. his arguanother. So long as thought remains on the conceptual level. the characteristics of space and time. first point. The distinction which he draws between space . let alone two ? Why and time in different ways ? In emptying each of all its " matter " have we not deprived both of all As the distinction between " here " and " notreality ? " disappeared in pure space.SPACE AND TIME 211 on to argue that there cannot be two forms of the homogeneous distinguishable from one If Bergson's assumption be correct. so the distinction between here qualityless treat space " " and " not-now " sinks out of sight in pure time. Why erect conceptual space into an independent. been pointed out. and immediately his difficulties begin difficulties which persist throughout his whole philosophy. ment is inexpugnable. and conceives it as a reality. — perceptual and conceptual space is real and important. self-sufficient reality ? The impossibility of doing the same with time and yet of maintaining any difference between them should have caused Bergson to re-examine his notion of space. or. but a similar distinction between perceptual and conceptual time might have saved much trouble. indeed. more precisely. from anything else. or. . are distinguishThese characteristics have already able and irreducible. not begin to suspect that neither the time Can there be one is real ? nor the space of mathematics homogeneous medium. If time as mathematics conceives it is a homogeneous medium from which all quality has all quality.

further. Spatial multiplicity implies simultaneity tem" Points in time. and not only do they not displace one enters. is the temporal externality . the counting so on. When a next . Thus the spatial multiplicity and the temporal multiplicity are distinct.) be admitted that the temporal conception of reality can be differentiated from the spatial concep- . and so on and when one point " is " all the others " are not " some are not yet and some are no c . one beside or near another temporal multiplicity means points. while in space all points stand together. but they support one another. the points are reciprocally external to one another. two. — When longer. at once a time consideration comes in. second excludes first. on the other is numeral. . If the idea of a first." and the point which is " there " not " here." poral multiplicity implies succession. (Bergson has rightly emphasized if it this. is then the series at once temporal significance. the last He another. It is one." points out. Spatial multiplicity means points. In spatial externality. points are counted in space." but both are present simultaneously. ' must give way. but time as most simply apprehended — the movement from one point to another In time is it is possible in only one direction of one point to another One to another. another. by a progress from one realized was. and conversely. another is . that externality of point to point has a different and space signification in the case of time respectively. three. represented in the time loses its if a reciprocal externality series. one. not one of them successive. says Natorp. Not one of them is two includes All are a second. etc. and and the point which is " here " is not " there. be introduced into the manifold of space.. on the other hand. " succeed one another.' SPACE AND TIME 212 the third. All attempts at the measurement of time issue in this latter result. Now. . the first. one before or after hand. —not measured time. and becomes spatial.

proceeds upon the assumption that his proof includes a demonstration of the inability of the human mind to conceive a temporal order as distinct from a spatial. proceeds to of all content. tion has been performed. Now Bergson. consciously or uncon- form which remains a concept. But. its empty and attempts it by abstraction empty to represent the — attempts. sciously. the form which is imagined to survive will be identical in every case in which this operaIt will be pure homogeneity. But Bergson gives to this empty however. the possibility of numeral counting does not include that of ordinal counting. It was said above that so long as we keep to the conceptual level the characteristics of the spatial and the time order respectively are distinguishable and irreducible. acceptance of the proof which Bergson has offered in support of his time involve admission argument that its that spatialization human the all attempts to measure would not demand the intelligence be kept within its its limits. the point reached by in regression The result intellectual is invariably . is 213 philosophy Its significance for indication of the abstract nature of the results of positive science. Instead. The simple fact that. Those characteristics have been pointed out. this pure homogeneity. when dealing with space. form. Bergson. the will for us identity be one of nonentity. of recognizing this.LIMITS OF BERGSON'S PROOF tion. however. to image which gave it colour and distinctness has been eliminated. and in his subsequent arguments it is. it may be seen how Bergson has been led to disregard the real limits of his proof. incapable of is The proof must conceiving time as distinct from space. the name of space. should make one pause at this juncture. one might say. is that But since that endowed with the properties of whatever be the space. so far as the points counted are concerned. in addition. starting-place experience.

homogeneity ? once this mistake has been made. knowledge has moved towards self-destruction by eviscerating concrete experience to remain. — . spatial. In the one case we have an ideal space. we say. homogeneity.e. but this does not imply the identity of time and space. space the subordinate all concepts which are beaten out in daily experience. a In the other case there is an ideal time. " them. but at a conceptual form which teleology. instance. . Space is one point of view from which the human mind inter- properties of time. when we in popular language. The measurement of time may demand its translation into space. abstract from this " matter. impure as intellectual concepts. fact at of sufficiently the content of intellectual experience. all. from an ineradicable propensity of but from Bergson's initial error of giving the intellect. come to be contrasted as the purely homogeneous with the entirely heterogeneous ? In a very real sense space and time have reality only in virtue of the " fills matter which. of all its tion in qualitative content ? Has it not its founda- the fact that he has. the basis of is KNOWLEDGE them So too are all. and any concrete you not arrive.SPATIALIZATION OF 214 Empty the same. it is true. but the homogeneity is that of succession or flow." the hypothetical or ideal reality which remains is. with the qualities of space. But it is extensive. confused spatiality " pure. qualityless something which not to imagined is when. and. . homogeneous in all its parts. how qualityless. in reality. from the outset. space and time. in neither homogeneous medium utterly devoid of quality. possessing the which are distinguished from those of space again homogeneous throughout. matter and spirit. causality. name of space that colourless." with And cannot one see i. and therefore qualitative. are is fundamentally Time. the annihilation of knowledge. Does not this wholesale spatialization of knowledge arise.

and has erected that into a self-sufficient existent reality. and to call this fluid mass. he says time. is the tendency to make no essential distinction It between succession and the conditions of consciousness of succession. 215 The order which emerges is distinct in each case. then. the procedure suggested by mechanics and a mathematical philosophy) and has form which remains space Over nothing which has against this he has placed a reality of this immobility. time is another. of between time and the conditions of consciousness " Succession exists For example. might be urged that when he speaks of space as utterly devoid of quality he means that space is an extensive homogeneous medium. no doubt. Hence the dualism which runs through his thought. The next step was to treat in the same way the appearance which reality presents when its spatial characteristic disappears. and the one order cannot be resolved into the other. Bergson has omitted from consideration the distinctive features of time and space (following here.— ARGUMENT BREAKS DOWN prets or orders experience . absolute and immobile. But before proceeding to examine the intuition of duration. time. It Bergson's argument seems to break down here. occurs again and again throughout his later work. This reality he denominates time or duration." Again : " Each of the who keeps the past in so-called successive states . . But if this is his real meaning the argument loses its point. from which all permanence and homogeneity is abstracted. At the very beginning of his philosophy. for it hinges on the impossibility of there being more than one homogeneous medium. and which called the neutral the pure space of geometry. : only for a conscious spectator mind. we may note another feature which is prominent at the beginning of Bergson's thought. He has first isolated from concrete reality the aspect of permanence or homogeneity.

. although one persists the same throughout. simultaneities multiplicity their . no matter whether it will we attach meaning which Bergson gives to it or not. we grant the existence of such a world. while the other changes in time. and a hypothetical mind which should be confined to experience of such reality might never rise to the conception of change or of time . all that we are warranted in saying conceive a consciousness similar in is its that if we could existence to this knowledge of succession would Such a consciousness would be conan ever-renewed present. the never arise in demned to it. however. as Bergson seems to suppose." In these cases. exist in time. quoted ence is does not involve change. because for a static material world exist- conception of time.SUCCESSION 216 of the is world exists alone external real only for a consciousness. but it is not. " In space we find . But though memory static material world. If we are ever to grasp the course of time. and the mind." which. within time. are distinguished from one another in the sense that one has ceased to exist all when the other appears. a necessary condition of a knowledge of succession. once more : without suc- ceeding. it does not follow at all that memory is a necessary con- is dition of the existence of succession. whether within itself or externally to it. And . dynamic succession and mere succesThe distinction is a real and important call one. Bergson has in view a distinction between what we might sive repetition. therefore the material — world does not actually exist in time it exists in an eternal now. be admitted by all that the mind must have the to time the . If. a distincbetween succession and something from which that feature is excluded between a reality which exists in time and one which does not exist in time. in experiencing this change. would develop for the first time the The thought suggested by the passages that. It is a distinc- tion — Both tion within succession.

since the present oscillation is radically " In space distinct from the previous oscillation. to is along it of consciousness. of the condition of our not by any means necessary Take the example given by the existence of time. when they are viewed under the form of time) than they would . either case We spectator " we should have cannot help perceiving it we cannot say. it is This i. Bergson..e. position of the single single Suppose we hold before the mind two different simultaneities.e. distinguished from one another without succeeding." that they succeed each other {i. Not only so. " mutual externality. simultaneities It is how " exists only for a conscious ? by a conscious spectator it could see itself." not a mere matter of words." he says. for in to step outside knowledge. that of the position of the hand and the pendulum At any one moment there is only a pendulum simultaneous with a of a clock. must we say that the succession between these two relatively different position of the hand. two relatively different positions of the hand and the pendulum. . For us they appear as successive even though we know quite well that only one of them is actual at any one moment. knowledge of time . SUCCESSION 217 power of keeping hold of the past and presenting with the present in one moment grasping the fact of change. There is that one This is a real distinction. but the two sets of simultaneities have more " meaning when we are able to affirm that they are " first " and second." Again : there are simultaneities which. are in the sense has ceased to exist when the other appears. only it appear would appear if if presented to so without a consciousness of time. certainly. That this is so is indicated by Bergson's inability to express himself " There is outside us. under the condition of time. and perceived. save in terms of time. have were our knowledge confined to the apprehension of them as only spatially related. or how it would a mind deprived of memory.

one of which is known to be actually present. we were different from the assertion able to step outside of knowledge. the statement that it persists implies more knowledge than the bare assertion that it exists. real change is identical with time. if we could go no further than that would imply. An intuition of time. knowledge " ? To begin not to it should be noted that Bergson knowledge or intuition of pure duration gained simply by thinking away the with. But we cannot stop there. Bergson seems to do) that we can assert anything about reality except as it exists for such a spectator. and we have no ground for saying unerringly simultaneous positions of mind. and two sets of these simultaneities. but we have no right to affirm that. and become the object itself.TIME DISTINCT FROM SPACE 218 by apprehended between the space which present themselves at any one moment. is not necessary. For us. could be justified only if way In either case. the the objects in — — that succession only exists we mean imply a for conscious spectator. asserts that the is — be . even if an object exists in the sense of persisting. The view which implies that reality exists for itself in another way from that in which if it thereby exists for us is to (as essentially identical with Kant's position that things exist for themselves in a our perception of them. then. Further. if the in- ability of inteUigence to arrive at a conception of time which can be differentiated from space be urged as the We must now ask " Does the intuition of time add anything to the stock of human basis of that necessity. Real change may be the condition of the development of our consciousness of time. therefore. while the other is known to exist no longer. in relation to our mind and in thought the relation of the mind to the facts is the important thing the snapshots of the external world present themselves as successive.

This fact finds very clear expression in M. Space qualitative. thus reducing them to a colourless mass. neglected — the aspect of of consciousness. mutual externality without succession in pure duration there is succession without mutual externality. pure homogeneity is Space is is qualityless immobility . the is is preference. and some kind of position time. "It is the form which the succession of our conscious states assumes when our ego lets itself live. in the past. intuition may ledge. It is in the free act that duration is felt in its purity." aspect of the conscious life which has been. in which he develops the thesis that every fact of consciousness is idea. when it refrains from separating its present state from Bergson justly lays emphasis upon an its former state. not inert they . as living states. in so far as involving kind of discernment. Fouillee's work. . heterogeneity. growing whole.INTUITION OF TIME differences 219 which present themselves amongst our states The of mind. but involve the negation of conceptual knowis it only as a positive act shunned. being. La Psychologie des I dees-Forces. life of a freely active pure duration when all Bergson's theory is consciousness of an accumulated experience out of which the concept of time is is felt only in our past converges not that the is developed. In space there too much is . A. if substituted that is the intuition takes place and Spinozism we are to take advantage of the rare Fur- necessary is moments of possible insight. is a special power of deep introspection ther. some a force in so far as involving The peculiarity of Bergson's that he identifies this mass of idea-forces with Time is and the moment identified with the real nature of of free activity towards a present act. germ The life the . form an organic. duration duration . its are States activity. duration is is is pure entirely becoming. and it manifests itself there as just the extreme opposite Space of space.

not unlike the . It is compared to a living being whose parts. in which the tinguished.INTUITION A REGRESS 220 and any attempt to conceptualize The distinction is fundamental for him between the duration in which we see ourselves The duration acting and the duration in which we act. This array of negative statements produces the feeling of entering a dark cavern. Duration is compared to a melody in which the notes melt into one another. it is out relation to number or space. When tion one attempts to gain any clear idea of what durafor thought. another a finger. one is directed to the region of meta- is phor and negation. but here of course the notes need be apprehended separately as well as in synthesis. " Duration is a qualitative multiplicity an organic evolution which with no likeness to number a pure heterogeneity is yet not an increasing quantity In a word. . . knowledge. conscious states have no relation to quantity " cannot tell whether they are one or several " " nothing homogeneous " in it . retrograde spatialized time. moments of inner duration are not external to one another. in which duration time the in which we act is lived of the self it duration.e. by one to the metaphors. within not. is issues in its mutilation. ." it is " inexpressible " " the deep-seated " language cannot get hold of it " It is a " confused " multiplicity . not for these ex- much are all gathered from an experience into which space has already intruded. the in which there are no distinct qualities. permeate one another because they are so closely The states of the inner self melt into one connected. . i. . more light If is lights of knowledge are one we turn now afforded. although to distinct. a pro- knowledge of time vanishes within a sort of quicksand of feeling. we see ourselves acting This identification gressive. by which step. there is a multiplicity " with. but a is is conceptual." "we . like the crystals It is of a snowfiake at the touch of a wholly dynamic process.

for the moment. and. becoming. pure be- completely outside are And Bergson be grasped by thought the of ordinary limits does not hold that they are to they are lived and : You felt.DESCRIPTION OF DURATION 221 purely qualitative way in which an anvil. entering into ourselves. In fact. rather than thought. pure whole. All these metaphors confirm the impression made by the negative description of duration tion we ledge as lived and is lies impression that this dura- beyond the ordinarily understand something it is to the positive statements concerning impression becomes conviction. would realize a series of blows from a hammer. It is the imperceptible organizing of states of consciousness into a Now. mutual interpenetration. fectly clear and future. if it could feel. It is pure quality. and should we call this felt feel Surely the essence of the knowledge of time tinction between past. There no reason why this fluent mass should be called time rather than anything else. that we can leave ordinary knowledge behind us. coming. and who had no idea of space. living live this life it. thought. pure heterogeneity. — the something which is Pure duration the form which the succession of our conscious states assume when our ego lets itself live. ourselves activity time is and ? the disit is per- that these distinctions cannot exist except thought which involves difference. Now let us suppose. this know- limits of that it. felt When we come it. is activity. all but no predication can be made of it without introducing difference into it and thereby distorting it. quality. This felt heterogeneity. Why of pure activity. It is an interconnection and organization of elements such as would be felt by a being who was ever the same and ever changing. there is every reason for a kind of is . cannot predicate anything of them without mutilating them. this felt mass of pure fluent the ultimate subject of predication. present. pure heterogeneity.

much is feebler in the case of such beside the point. no predication at all can be made of it. with equal other ways besides. For a self which has the power of reflection. may be seen. the consciousness. primacy of cognition. to be the germ out of which But this mass itself the conception of time develops. and the substitution of an undifferentiated flux In a state of feeling. so to speak. since vanish. conception. is an ideal objective existence. and reasoning. transported But no appeal into the realm and so are of discursive to this ideal stage of knowledge. the approach to an involve a descent towards would intuition of duration the mental life of the amoeba. cognition has been made. and cognition would if is at a a state of pure feeling were attainable. without the apparatus of judgment. what Cognition has been progressively minihas happened ? mized. some would hold. and as soon as we attach a predicate to it we represent immediately thought. or human consciousness while letting human knowledge. consciousness is a being than with man. In this endeavour to grasp immediately. to is life its supre- or unreflective activity. In fact. as articulation becomes blurred in proportion as cognition surrenders macy passu. strength. or vividness of go the clearness of . To reply that this is not so. minimum. consciousness. You cannot switch enfeebled. fitness.UNDIFFERENTIATED FLUX 222 why. designate we express its nature only partially. pari You cannot retain the degree. can give us any help at all in forming our conception in known of time. it to ourselves as object. which differentiation between the knower and the is conceived as transcended or as not having taken place. for clearness of consciousness means clearness of conceptual articulation. of the ever-increasing burden which we carry with us. many but which we may. the accumulation of experience. and. In any case. on Bergson's view. which we may call time if we in please.

mysterious psychical way character. with a different name. however indistinctly they may be present to consciousThe three are inextricably intertwined. may be conceived as the ideal and we may picture of an animal very low down in imagina- in the scale as a continuum of confused feeling in which the differentiation. be lost. through articula- is felt. presentation or object. between subject and object and between moment and moment a regression all distinctions. Dawes writing here in connection with Bradley's Hicks (who view of feeling) one may say that " an original sensuis ous a-n-zipov. in which in some and out of which. A state of confused feeling limit of such tion the life a regression. : Bergson points us for a feeling of pure duration to the " land of dreams. at any rate. in which all differentiation never attained by us. if any there be. with the idea of time by feeling of multiplicity that we way of this cavern of confused and heterogeneity. knowledge of intelligible fact emerges. disappearance of any one involves the disappearance of There is no escape from the difficulties connected all. Bradley's feeling. feeling of in fact. sink would For us there is always feeling. in which we have a " confused instinct of it. undifferentiated from which The conceptual difference has been eliminated. and he directs us to the animal consciousness. that our minds . nor yet to the imagined unreflective pro- on human deepest psychical gress of the life. is very vague. pure duration is. We rather feel are losing our bearings altogether.A MINIMUM OF COGNITION 223 its clear light to the unreflective psychical content of the animal. is a notion it strikes me which I have vainly struggled to grasp rather as a conundrum than as the solution of a problem. But it is obvious that in each of these instances we are regressing from our standpoint of intellectual knowledge. and with Professor G. In such that of time included." tion. out of view. and the ness. and volition. is The end.

parts It is only when meaning and the nature of the whole cannot the nature of the whole of the parts the they are parts grasped that the is full be apprehended by a separate study of the parts. that of purpose or end. we must pass beyond that stage of thought in which the mechanical categories alone are necessary. and that time things. But the passage to this higher level does not exclude the mechanical interpretation : it gives ledge of a living organism is it are able to differentiate its parts constitution. Bergson is indubitably right when he argues . We know an organism truly only as we know the parts which we have isolated not merely as parts. for the parts of an active whole are essentially different from the parts of a mechanism such as a watch. If the nature of any organism is to be understood. The organism more than an aggregate of parts.IDEA OF INTERPENETRATION 224 and space. is clear. not less. are not each perfect and self-complete . and. as such. and Our know- but more. are engulfed the in darkness all of impenetrable night. only so long as they live in the whole. we and are going from us. when we to state their chemical not by letting go this knowledge and another department of knowledge which excludes concepts that we shall perfect our knowledge of the organism. but by regarding this mechanical interpretation under a higher idea. Similarly. exhibits the most perfect penetration of parts interpenetration an organism In of parts. Both Bergson and Kant have emphasized is this fact. The personal consciousness is the highest type of organism. but as parts functioning in the activity of the individual as a whole. stepping into It is new meaning. Examination of one of the features of psychical duraupon which great emphasis is laid that of inter- — tion — will show that the idea of pure duration is not to be grasped by letting go all conceptual differentiation. and placed it almost beyond dispute.

is to . The aspects which the are but aspects. multiplicity. only i.IDEA OF INTERPENETRATION 225 that the psychologist can. is an important one. first stage. when they of a judgment of some kind. psychical organism. ulti- The same truth may be put in another way by saying that psychology must be supplemented by a theory of knowledge in which all the judgments or functions of unity are shown to have But the their source in a self-conscious soul or subject. present a mechanical reconstruction of the self. the psychological.e. never colourful self.. then. at the best. its of the self own is self-realization. you cannot speak of thinking of parts. issue in the when they self. and when the ascent is made to the second stage. may in a living. psychologist known truly are isolates known when they as elements of a functioning expression be used. parts of a purposeful organism. can never lead to a grasp of the nature of the tion They self. it and their combinaimage of a motionless ghost. are Bergson's But surely not be denied that the knowledge involved in the will statement that in the penetrate ence at is all elements which interone refused to introduce differ- self there are greater than if Yet into the concrete living physical content. the most perfect type of organism. etc. by aggregating the parts which he has isolated. speak of interpenetration of parts in any but an entirely metaphorical sense. knowledge mately. interpenetrating parts without first It would certainly be a mistake to remain at the level of considering merely parts or aspects the parts are understood only when they are regarded as . or. he ought If. which in in the case of the are seen to be factors its turn is an activity of conscious mind in pursuit of an end which is. He the is when he emphasizes likewise right the fact that most ingenious combination of concepts of unity. active. if interpenetrate. capable of greater perfection according as the analysis on the lower level has been Bergson more perfect.

and if all the predicates which are attached to pure duration are way. is that . such an immediate grasp would involve. and that which does not act may cease to belong to consciousness without thereby ceasing to exist in some manner. the ideal of knowledge and kind of knowledge a consciousness capable of comprehending immediately and exhaustively the nature of reality would have. of the active. in L' Evolution Creatrice we are told that conscious- . then he condemns us an utterly predicateless knowledge. but its perfecting. it is by the multiplication of predicates that knowledge becomes " stuffed and full. but the simul- ideal of the of is and the supreme knowing What —that is the subject.e A LIMITATIVE CONCEPTION 226 to recognize that the introduction of difference or articulation of is it. of the actually lived." In Mattere et Memoir the central principle of the whole thesis is that " consciousness is is the characteristic note of the present. it may be shown from Bergson's own works that this idea of pure duration is "a limitative conception. in short. that to say. difference type of both knowledge and reality to us in self-consciousness Not dead is . the identity. taneous development of unity and difference life. furnished immediately —here again is unity in difference. which is a contradiction in terms. essentially unrealizable within experience." If he uses the term interpenetration of parts in an entirely metaphorical sense. not a negation of knowledge. not the annihilation of our incomplete safely say that knowledge. but exhaustiveness of predication not abolition. Apart from any general argument. but we may we have no means of knowing." Again. however. but the realization the differences higher unity being grasped in an increasingly- that the ideal of knowledge . The type of knowledge is the judgto be understood in a similar to ment —unity in difference —again unity in individual the type of reality . not pure heterogeneity.

We an interrup- are not. In the case of pure duration there can be no question of choice. comes within the sphere of consciousness. and yet continue to utilize the light of consciousness in an intuition. and that." but it is already on the way to become part of a concrete perception. Bergson's thought here comes to this we are conscious only so long as we are being summoned to action. and it is only because it is on that way that it has become even so much as a " vague nebulosity. man may cease to exercise his intelligence. which includes other organisms akin to our own body. What immanent 227 in the zone of virtual or possible bearing has this view of consciousness upon the problem with which we are dealing ? Put simply. but only as interrupted.— UNCONSCIOUSNESS ness the light is action. there to action. socialized.e." Until it became incipiently externalized. it remained in the shadow of the unconscious. tion. when the representation is adequate to the action. we are conscious only of the life which unfolds in life lived in contact with the external world. If. . on Bergson's own showing. conscious of our inner duration as such. there is such a thing as pure duration. is consciousness only there is choice we when there is choice. i. intelligized. the We when are conscious of the contents of the self only they have become to some extent externalized. " vague nebulosity. or when there is no solicitation that In other words. is an attribute of it is and with the disappearance of these individuals consciousness. it never. space. consciousness disappears. and when are already at the intelligence stage. Consciousness jects or individuals. It is incompetent to reply that once having become conscious. then. then. too. vanishes. since choice arises only in the event of of a pause for guidance. for this argument implies that an an attri- intelligent sub- attribute can exist apart from that of which bute. The " pure " memory is a differentiated.

leads to a similar conclusion. the achievement of which he regards as a neces- . never realized The attempt to realize it seems to we should step outside of consciousness. At the limit would be the pure homogeneous. or to preserve any " To put duration in space Again trace of past time. effort of intuition and again. " repeats the past unceasingly. by which we shall define materiality. within experience. a timeless extreme from pure duration. the metaphysician is urged. nothing but repetition. of the as supra-conscious. Bergson assumes throughout that outside us there is space. .INTUITION OF MATTER 228 The conclusion appears of pure duration is to be inevitable that the notion a passage a la limite.. M In L' Introduction a la eta-physique we are conceived to " transcend ourselves " in an effort of simultaneity." he externality without succession." In Matiere et Memoir e." an attempt this that is made to timeless existence. matter is defined as "a present which is always beginning again " it intuition in . reverse to knowledge —rather the ! Consideration of the intuition of matter. In the Essai. in which there reality at the opposite " Inert matter. But it can scarcely be maintained that if knowledge were to be swallowed up in supra-conscious risk. demand that It is significant in this connection that supreme in L' Evolution Creatrice. action will break the circle in any gain would accrue action. does not seem to endure. we never in the fall show how It is In L' Evolution Creatrice. spirit descends towards true that Bergson admits into the absolute passivity involved extremity of this movement." which we " proceed to an infinitely diluted duration. and to take the which knowledge encloses us.. " tells us." is : is and place succession within really to contradict oneself. if he Bergson speaks. an exalted point as to be to place himself at such is able to observe the genesis of intelligence. but even the relative passivity.

for in the humblest sentient being there is discernment.PURE PERCEPTION 229 sary condition of an intuition of matter. since the supposed intuiting self would have disappeared. If were attainable. but rather as a factor in a concrete perception which always contains in addition representative or ideal ever. we do not know. however individual mind. but of action. not as This concrete fact must be our starting-point. The fact of knowledge has come about. But such an admission is not necessary. but. This is to be considered. fact. has carried us far towards the complete annihilation of knowledge. The external of knowledge. for such exists an attempt implies the assumption that knowledge before of matter is exists it arrived at ! The so-called pure perception by the gradual elimination of the ideal elements. in the case of the world of the lowest living being as it is for it . . it would be an intuition this intuition which nobody had. An analysis of sense-perception reveals as one element a direct grasp of reality. which. it might still be maintained that the point reached was not that of knowledge. to admit that there is a stage in the scale of sentient life at which a " pure " perception takes place. it is the world as is it the external world presents itself to an however undefined the individual and If it were necessary however vague the presentation. in the life of which knowledge is at a minimum. in turn. how- an isolated stage in the development of senseperception. implies the annihilation Such a pure perception would be approached most inferior living being. but this involves the progressive eradica- tion of judgment. But even in such an extreme case the limit is never reached. impersonal. as indeed Bergson himself indicates. diffused into the being of the matter which it is conceived of as knowing. We cannot set out from unconscious perception and watch the genesis of the concrete fact of conscious perception. until it has elements. become a a pure.

be for has no meaning for us. for there seems to be no path by which one might travel from this morass of heterogeneity to the barren desert of qualityless homogeneity into which Bergson has resolved space from a timeless reality to a reality which is all time. Bergson says more than once that pure duration has no relation to quantity. and does." " penetrate. for we should descend below the level of the humblest sentient being. How then is the passage from the one to the other to take place ? Bergson holds — that there is a symbolical representation of duration. We cannot retain the light of consciousness and at the same time live the existence of matter. maintain that by an effort of we can descend below the level of individuality." " live. the conclusion forces itself upon us the pure intuition of matter is a limitative conception. the point of view of knowledge would at the same time be lost. But if such a feat were possible. likewise an intuition of matter." the reality of matter. for itself is We intelligible. that essentially It is the same. however incipient. then. Even if it pure time were necessary to admit that an intuition of possible. in however.INTUITION OF MATTER 230 vague. or space. the difficulties connected with his theory of time would not be at an end. Here again. conceive What timeless the exist- a speculation which should cease to be. It is its consciousness as a purposive unit which " discerns " the external object. know- Indeed. reality. impossible. real addition to nor does the intuition of matter. for we who know ence of matter may effort necessary to ledge. number. To say that matter as we know it persists. The time. Bergson may. and that they are what Bergson attempts to state them is to be. choice. . or vice versa. intuition and " touch. both involve the abdication of the point of view of knowledge. in the know matter intuition of time perfectly is us to exist in time. in that makes no way.

must be affirmed that comparison is possible only when there is a common quality. This consciousness the fact to be explained. is only pushed back a step. In the second place. : them afterwards allows to —a become intermingled- position which. . for it already involves to a vague metaphor . . " a real space. in the first place." But. brings in a connecting link. obvious that the consciousness of the simultaneity of two objects or events implies already difference There the idea of time in some form. points under that relative position now. between " here " and " now. the heterogeneous moments of which penetrate one another. There consideration is consciousness of the present involves also consciousness " now " has meaning only as related of past and future . without duration and a real duration. . simultaneity. Now. is it sufficiently is the intersection of the two. enters in also. to " not-now. Bergson. which. consciousness of time. from the nature of the intuition. he says. " There is. it must be asked does this intermixture take place within the life-history of the individual ? If so. Appeal of simultaneity is. is sup- im- If the osmosis takes place in the race the diffi- possible. The comparison of these two realities gives rise to a symbolical representation of duration derived from space." is an irreducible and simultaneity implies not only relative position in space —a time-element The occupy an essential difference between the consciousness of the side-by -side-ness of two points and the side-by-side-ness of two points plus the consciousness that they are side by side now. however. . and pure space and pure time culty it are entirely disparate. then it is necessary to presuppose that each individual mind has an intuition of the two extremes and ." he says." then. Further.DURATION AND SPACE 231 which consists in the mixture of the idea of a homogeneous medium borrowed from space and the idea of succession borrowed from pure duration.

to be carried away by the force of his metaphor. menon of When end-osmosis. when Bergson goes on to describe the exchange between these two through which the idea of homogeneous times is generated. contents of mind could intermingle like physical substances. he presupposes throughout the time which he is seeking to explain. if of ject ledge action takes place The content of mind that expression be objected to. to what physicists call the phenowill not help us here. in his explanation of conceptual time. for example. Now. and If these realities are so entirely distinct as Bergson makes vice versa. — or. Bergson has not revealed the acts of judgment by which duration and space are combined so as to form time. since he by a has series of judgments. and the development of articulation within that progress is accomplished in a definite manner.DURATION AND SPACE 232 To say that an exchange takes very similar place. Outside me to in space there is never more than a single position of the hand within me there is the process of and the pendulum pure duration. known. The fact is that Bergson appears. The progress of knowit. initially fixed in such a way that a great gulf between time and space if any judgments are possible in regard to time. He speaks. the ultimate suball is predication — is one. gives an example to illustrate how the exchange The example he seems to be landed in hopeless confusion. is eyes on the dial of a hand which corresponds the oscillations of the pendulum. they are utterly foreign to space. and gives a minimum of attention to the fact . well is clock the follow with I movement of the my Bergson effected. and he has failed to realize the difference He speaks as if the between knowledge and action. within that the sphere of thought only along the lines of judgment. viz. Nor can he do so. explains nothing. . of an oscillation of the pendulum which occurs at the same time as the phase of the inner life.

" Now. of events which I of course. If they are to have any reality they must be considered in connection ideals without with their " contents. They That is a necessary condition of the knowledge of any relation between them. moment under such a way having disappeared when the conceive them in that first conceive I i. then it may be difficult for one who stands off from them. But I the relation of time. that I think of the second comes as successive. so to speak. events as successive. We stop . these events are arranged side by side in one moment of time.DIFFERENTIA OF TIME them. If anyone could look into my mind he might say that these events were only spatially related. looked is something that The escaped has which he has overthe actual differentia of time from space. as already pointed out. It is an abstract representation of each event itself. which is.e. if not all. along an abstract line. but for me. It may possibly happen that I range the events. Whatever else them and so on. they are related as successive. to confer on these events that which will make them appear to be successive. of what actually occurred in the intervals is left out. This impasse suggests Bergson in his analysis. If we begin by assuming a perfectly qualityless medium in which events or objects are set side by side. co-exist in one state of consciousness. then 233 only by a tour de force that they can be it is amalgamated. that and we know exactly what it means. But we do not begin with such a medium. and by a process of abstraction element we of succession represent isolated remains. Pure fact time and pure space. as into existence. We set out from concrete experience. when represent a I number have experienced. it is true. or the mere outline of the events. are alike any independent reality. as my mind sees them. and much. in I think them has been abstracted. a more or less abstract representation.

That has to be admitted. in We directly and by abstraction activity. one act of synthesis. it is simply the in ' : we fiction that does not enclose things like a frame . present. but they were immanent in it from the beginning. reflection. We grasp the event as a whole. and afterwards set them side by side in a medium apprehend the either of time or of space. present. and In the one moment not under their space aspect only. and the per- the perception of past.) He has identified time with space. the present. We do not perceive first one immobile object. the or analysis or articulation we come elements of past and present within which tion of something and the future co-exist is not yet. on future elements in it. then and future in the another immobile object. ception of an event is is closed. and future. Fouillee says qualityless either thought of or implied. present. by pure abstraction and is a as ' medium represent time Time which events are displayed. transition be- tween past. so to speak. event. no is homogeneous medium " It As M. relative homogeneity which we introduce into it The arises from the fact that we abstract everything save the fact of succession and consequently the itself. they are known under their time aspect. to see that it. Therein consists are able to grasp events external to us.DIFFERENTIA OF TIME 234 there there . and These fall apart. and not merely as juxtaposed —that is. and under the guidance of the idea of time the mind can by analysis discern past. present. consciousness. cannot deny that mathematicians have done the same. . but the essential point is that they are known as past. and then when he wishes to restore that The which he has omitted. indefinite succession of real or possible successions." We that past. it has the as well as an indica- The past. and its reality. present." Bergson has omitted (One this element at the beginning of his analysis of time. the way peculiarity of time is future are " held in solution. and future.

The capacity of perceiving change." but of consciousness past " and within that of consciousness past.KNOWLEDGE OF TIME 235 we have " the present memory of the " the present prevision of the future. We do primarily primarily." Psychologists may show how this vague knowledge grows in clearness through the appetimotor activity of the subject. co-exist that elements to be temporally regarded. but they must set tive or . Bergson If they are has brought this clearly before our minds. but as successive. and moment future are conceived. akin to the vague knowledge of space which has been called " extensity. as Kant would say. change. the in the one moment as distinguishable of consciousness must be perceived and irreversible phases of a continuous In other words. perceive change does not now (whether call to internal or external change be considered). In any investigation into the nature of time that must be our starting-point. There is no need to suppose that we set out with an intuition of an empty form. sciousness. This is just what happens. differentiation were possible within that and object." could ever impossible to see If we are to have any conception of time order we must be capable of holding more than one element arise. If we are confined to begin with to the perception of just one object at a time. implies an incipient knowledge of time. a condition These elements must co-exist in conin consciousness. and in the change Psychology may is immanent. in consciousness. which exists independently of all sensible experience. perceived the time order show how this time order comes to be clearly discerned by us. though But co-existence of experience of temporal order. which must be admitted. either " within us " or " without us. if no it is how the conception of time or succession. a " pure " form. we must perceive change directly. not as co-existing. present. does not necessarily imply consciousness of that order.

so far as the reality in its varying degrees physic which is ethics. it grows. we seek to reality turns out to be such that an interpretation can take place —an order of succession reveals itself in the universe of our experience. The explanation of Bergson's procedure seems that indicated in the previous chapter. and interpret reality. though admittedly incomplete. and a meta- to symbolical expression. as even possible. science. has been able to grasp is . it tion or self-regeneration. are able to interpret the world of our experiences as From and more an orderly system of continuous change. in saying self we one essential characteristic which. from the very beginning. head : "In self. present from the beginning. time becomes a point of view. be necessary as soon as it is revealed to the It is only by transcending human experience that a timeless knowledge can be imagined and seen to reflective consciousness. this point of view. has been overlooked say free creator. human mind condemned and aspects. self. can be answered only by and this interrogation the articulation which the intellect can present by means of a series of The judgments. body of knowledge which embraces the truth of physical psychology. since Kant's time." of the He which exhibits two aspects. it leaves the mind in a state of interrogation as to the nature of that progress. as well Under the form of time we more as an order of co-existence. different from space. from the living active. That to be has started by a continual process of It is crea- In the words of Professor Muir- saying subject we say self. religion. the best. time seen to be a universal con- is dition of all our knowledge. in this way.INTUITION OF TIME 236 Looked at out from this primitive awareness of time. There no apparent gain to knowledge is tion of time with in the identifica- At the creative progress of reality. lives and philosophy. from which. choice lies between that systematic.

pushed them to their extreme limit. It essential. unchanging homogeneous plenum. at the thought of a permanent. from which activity all and creation are banished." that " the act expresses the whole of the self. on the one hand. and imagined that they can have an all changes. this treatment which dom is in line will with the best traditions of idealism. active has vanished— knowledge is swallowed up in a form appeared. his determined resistance of all attempts to mechanize freetreatment of the problem of freedom." one " which is the whole soul which gives rise to the free decision. pure creative activity. another. pure heterogeneity. living." that "it will be so with which much it is the freer the more the dynamic series connected tends to be the fundamental . self of being which an object without a subject or a subject without an object. at the sinks back into the undifferentiated liquid lapse it is pure duration. is It is a true but not a new doctrine that a free act is one of which " the self alone is the author. the is It remains 237 But there is fundamentally one self which persists throughout The life embodies these Bergson has isolated these opposite but inseparable aspects of the living self. This conclusion is confirmed when we consider Bergson's There is much in meet with hearty acceptance in most quarters worth considering. equally identical. from which all identity has dis- At both extremities the concrete. and on the other at pure duration. At the one extremity it is refracted is the multitudinous points of a homogeneous space into which other is which eternally and changelessly self-identical .BERGSON'S PROCEDURE or at least minimized in some quarters. Thus he has arrived independent existence. advocates But his final a most admirable piece of brilliant word on freedom is unsatisfactory. His consideration of the controversy between the determinists and free-will analysis. its self-conscious two forms of existence. For example.

There we can never is no render our- intelligible sense in which we can say that causality applies to our free activity. decision his is the progress of this inner duration. It the heterogeneous multiplicity of states is The free Some of of consciousness which permeate one another. for " the law of causality binds the same effects to the same causes. a free act is wholly imprevisible." the self. it issues cannot ." It is " an depths of most reasonable pondering over most reasonable pieces of advice. There can be no doubt as to what this self is for Bergson. and original." and so finds no point of application in pure duration. new. "A cause cannot repeat its effect here." The whole question of the philosophy of freedom." " The relation of the free action to the state from which be expressed by a law." unique of state is For a similar reason. selves absolutely free. for every successive phase of the progress here is heterogeneous. have that indefinable resemblance to it which one sometimes finds between the artist and his work. most characteristic expressions in this regard may " The deep-seated self which ponders and decides. exceptional. lies in the conception of the nature of this soul. into one another to form an organic whole. not unperceived but rather unnoticed. which grows hot and blazes up. to " get back Such moments of free activity are into pure duration. and unable ever to occur again. however. since this psychic its kind. indeed. when they express when they it." It is a " self in which succeeding each other means melting appropriately be recalled." " In the organized and living intelligence. and. below this rare. since it will never repeat itself. is a self whose states and changes permeate one another. something else was going on —a gradual heating and a sudden boiling over of feelings and ideas. this fundamental self." and that " we are free when our acts spring from our whole personality.INTUITION OF FREEDOM 238 self." To act freely is to live the life of this inner self.

in all cases of really free action — " weOccasionally. that we choose in defiance of what is conventionally called a motive. against every reason. that feeling and will have own which the in other forbid their resolution into cognition.INTUITION OF FREEDOM 239 from motives. and this absence of any tangible reason is the more is at the great tion with others. opposite subject — characteristics of their into tendency the resolve to feeling-accompanied But self-conscious activity must be tendency which we find " in Schopenhauer to regard the " known self as nothing It is that strenuously resisted. any more than why it should be termed time. But if free activity is to be identified with the progress of pure duration. striking the deeper our freedom goes. even. and perhaps." fact. That way lies scepticism. but the has escaped his notice." The conclusion we begin raise that is we can live freedom. This pure activity has already been argued to be essenThat argument need tially unrealizable in experience. One may be in thorough agreement with Bergson in the view that freedom consists in activity. " It decisive of our reputa- Finally. and of omitted. no reason can be alleged why this activity should be termed free or spontaneous. and yet more with ourselves. free activity does not spring and solemn crisis. decide without in any reason. and thus placed beyond determination by thought. scepticism. is In Bergson's account of freedom one essential factor He speaks continually of the self. the personal tinge which essence of the human all self free actions have. But in certain cases that is the best of reasons. not be recapitulated. the despair of reason with itself. and the willing self only as real. and in an activity which beyond the passes of logical reasoning limits words. This looks like thorough-going puzzles. but immediately to say anything about insoluble it we spatialize and it. His .

passages " ours " ? is But the " our." for example. expressed in Bergson's peculiarly vivid style. thoughts." ." and " reasoning. living things a permanent motive with hands and acquired. man which But the has criticism its may fury.ESSENTIAL FACTOR OMITTED 240 account of freedom has been criticized as logically implying the position that an animal is more truly free than rational and reasoning man. But what is self. it. how was case of rational beings is But how was that past experience the permanent motive formed. " heating." word which haunts one How In what sense has this there an " is I " the organization of these states taken place such in all become experience ? How ? Our past has experience enters into our present in the shape of ideas which give our character a certain bent by establishing which are. as Bergson says." that " many float on the surface like dead leaves on the water of a pond. Many of the expressions which he employs." — This is a profound truth. He draws attention to the fact that certain ideas " are not incorporated in the fluid mass of our conscious states. and " blazing up. and these new acquisi- not merely grafted on the condition of the admission of an idea into the very fibre of our psychical life ? No satis- factory answer to these questions can be found in the expression of Bergson's thought. with our personal idea of happiness and honour. altering imperceptibly every day. feet. with the whole of our most intimate feelings. and aspirations." " boiling over of feelings. and there is some point in the criticism. in the ? Our tions are blended with our to character." suggest the prompted by appetite or activity of the brute that activity of passions. or source in his appetitive be pushed even further Bergson says that " the free action agrees than that. ." especially since these are contrasted with " pondering." " deciding. in a sense. with that particular conception of life which is the equivalent of all our past experience in a word.

rather than the judgment. ideas which never blend perfectly with the whole mass of the self as being " the result of an improperly assimilated an education. in the last resort. education which Now. tion is only one aspect of the existence of a self-conscious rational subject. before the bar involve the further admission that this " ponders." " reasons." and " boiling over. while at the same time he would." if perhaps. idea may be present to which I contemplate and examine as an assayer might examine a specimen of consciousness as an object Q . be made. No idea has come into relation with it Every idea which enters vitally must receive its passport from into my that aspect of the conscious life with which my self." " elevated above the self which is described as " heating of a judging self is which self. " decides. he would surely have found himself compelled to alter considerably his account of the self as pure duration." whose essence is revealed in pure whose existence is the continuous life of a memory memory which pushes the past into the present. progressive until it is life An judged as good. in an activity other than that of judgment and reasoning ? He would have seen that what he has called pure dura. is a function. appeals to the memory Bergson had pursued the thought here suggested. idea which is to the self must appear." " judges." what as to constitutes the passport of an idea into the active life of In one place he speaks of those feelings and the soul.ESSENTIAL FACTOR OMITTED that "it by no means the is case that all 241 conscious states blend with one another as raindrops with the water of But he has not pursued the question a lake. no idea becomes active we are now as a judging self. have removed a decided defect in his treatment of human For does not the admission that any become an integral factor in the life of freedom. of This becomes me admission whom memory must. In directly concerned. truly mine until however.

but in that case sense. and by which I identify it it derives from being as mine. dom must be grounded in the nature of the original activity of the self. external to immediately it remains quite inert it But me. and acquirto ing the personal tinge of feeling which mine. to the realization of which all our activity is directed. Bergson. predicate been It acts explicitly or implicitly. one would hardly be so bold as to say that man is free. idea conditions bodily and determines physical behaviour. says that. attributed to " good. have judged these beliefs as good in the light of an end which is for us the supreme end. there would be no single human action so long as attention . for.— JUDGING SELF SUPREME 242 ore. but that is not the crucial point of the problem concerning freedom. them the The whole dynamic content of my consciousness has become " content " only because it has we have. we have adopted them without any reason. It is not strictly true to say that we have adopted them without any reason.e. — pass into action thereby gaining a " vital and causal " value. by an attempt to follow the transThe fact of freelation of an idea into bodily activity. man's) choice. They have become our beliefs because as self-conscious subjects. it is. as good." he says. and that what makes them valuable in our eyes is that they match the colours of all our other ideas. but ing of the beliefs to which —and this is the vital point — that is only because we. Kant saw this clearly. i. let " quivers with me judge life. " we could investigate thoroughly all the phenomena of his [i." distilled may through the alembic of a self-conscious not be clear how an /. They do match the colours of all our other ideas. is confined to bodily behaviour. in a and has become an Consequently it immediately tends either mental or bodily action integral part of me. " If.e. in a certain sense." it it . Nor is it possible to vindicate human freedom on psychological grounds. speak- we most strongly adhere.

creasing completeness by the and yet unified with in- original activity of the self. The activity tinged with feeling which marks of this its organic activity as personal. but to modifications of which the subject. according to principles which reveal themselves as funda- mental in self is its structure. ." in- different. something It tion." " a colourless substratum. but active. the end of the changes which are accomplished in consciousness is not outside consciousness itself. Ed. has a living content. " The consciousness which is apprehended in reflection form. This view of the self is well expressed by a distinguished colleague of Bergson's. of equilibrium. and whose nature reveals itself in reflection." This is a more concrete and intelligible self than that which is described consists just in the conservation as pure becoming. In the third place. it is never perceived in the state of repose. 380. more and more differentiated. In of respect freedom. and recognize as necessarily arising from its preceding conditions.' It is not something empty and inert. It is an organism of conceptual ele- ments." " is It a reality whose existence consists in activity.JUDGING SELF NOT INERT 243 which we could not prophesy with certainty. From this point of view we may find ourselves in agreement with Bergson when he says that for a conscious 1 Critik der Reinen Vernunft (Kant). on the contrary. full of concrete determina- In the second place. and perpetual aspira- — new changes not to modifications which come from external sources without its concurrence. and of indifference. through its ideas tion to to it or feelings. it and the growth of all the functions of the conscious life. Hartenstein. It is change. is the operator or the co-operator. not empty forms. living universals. p." The this empirical character there is no thus l self above referred to is not " amorphous." " immutable. a simple ' is.

speak. which imme- upon that judgment. Now. life of such fashion. The conscious life is not merely a mass of interpenetrating states passing imperceptibly which contains the previous and something more besides it is primarily and fundamentally a self whose very existence consists in this to a heterogeneous state states . then the body. whatever form it may take) that takes place in say. But we go and we say that in indefinitely creating itself throw the stress on itself. the practical judgment (however vague life may it is be. but also in re-creating. In this way the two fundamental characteristics of the self may be preserved. The which form the point. so to personalizing agent which draws these con- densed ideas out of the current of duration is and the permanent element in the conscious an individual self is conceived. it is it and for itself. the existence of the self consists not merely in creating. and " selves in living " states at all are balloon-like is omitted. itself to be a free responsible agent in proportion as becomes present. and unconditionally good. " of which Bergson takes no in reflection. outlet. to it becomes evident that the fact and guarantee of freedom must be searched for elsewhere than in the activity of such a . or ideas These are a state of greater or less condensation. If this be true. things filled For him. individual with memory affixed to bodies. and in the activity. mental or bodily. we may re-creation of itself which. " but the supreme condition of there being these " organized account. to change in growto grow further. in Spinozistic be the idea of the body. We ing. and which more fully knows diately follows . to just this " I His self is a heterogeneous succession of states.JUDGING SELF NEGLECTED 244 being to exist consists in changing. its self-identity or permanence and its diversity or continual change while at the same time a basis for freedom is found in this ego which refers its acts to itself as subject and as cause.

Indeed such involves the consideration of in himself is a theory cuts If inimical to away human freedom only when it is is the foundation of morality altogether. never merely as a means. the intelli- free passage Now. which is not yours or mine. is and turns out to be an In order to become insinuation of spirit into matter. in the essay entitled L' Effort Inthe effort which takes place within this indi- tellectuel. that can be achieved shown that man has a self-originating power of self-perpetuation. This is one of the thoughttreasures which Kant has bequeathed to us. That activity become. undetermined activity. would entirely disappear in unhindered. means impulsion. if not strictly external self to the individual language.. of the is it I.ANNIHILATION OF FREEDOM the " empirical " self in the Kant sought beyond self. to a fuller extent. are all psychical remembered the body. any theory which man as other than an end human freedom. In plain means that the nearer the approach this to the ideal of freedom. made self. Chapter memory. " intelligible " self for 245 guarantee. thus : Kant formulates " Behave as to treat humanity. an end. vidualized self examined." Bergson speaks in L'Evolution Creatrice of our placing . the less human is does the more individuality is lost sight of. to be established. this compelled to a similar procedure. the central fact of the great categorical imperative a way Galilean. to is as already ex- that. but that of the cosmic elan. at all times as in his such person as well an end. and Bergson is et Memoire In Matiere and. consciousness. the and at the extreme limit personality this is the upshot of Bergson's treatment of freedom confirmed when plained in gence. in thy always own as in that of every other. and which is the basis of teaching all of the true religion. aware of free activity Bergson must rise above the human and enter into an elan which is. at least supra-personal.

" but one in which the personal aim of each individual is harmonious with that of every Not community of purpose even. Kant found menal." By confining the sphere phenomenalize it — — of application of the categories. The ideal self-determining act all-comprehending will. —only on such conditions is morality no explanation of human freedom. but freedom was for him merely a standpoint. to affirm that freedom is attained in an It it necessary to describe freedom as nou- counselled to treat other men to act "as if" they were men from this point of view.KANT AND FREEDOM 246 our will in the impulsion which be done. for the law of mechanical causation of means and end is a universal and necessary condition of all experience of phenomena. in If that could the self-originating. between categories and ideas. other. and He that is possible. The most that we can do if we are to preserve our souls alive is to bring our wills into harmony with this wider will. If we keep to the strictly ethical level the same truth manifests itself. a channel. two kinds of reality. He sought to save freedom this was the goal of all his thinking by his distinction between understanding and reason. To was to destroy it. but denial. but harmonious development of personali" Be a person and respect ties. society is not one in which all the individuals yield to " a formidable impulsion. Not subordination. between " two kinds of world. by which we sank our wills in this But we should thereby commit moral suicide. our freedom would it lie prolongs. we transcend the indi- state. The alternate course implies that we become a means. a fact which ever comes within human It was not experience. but harmony of purposes that is the condition of an ideal state. rather act its is by which. vidual human if free. — persons " other possible. between the phenomenal and the noumenal. two kinds of action. is the end to be achieved. he made way for the .

" l itself Free- dom. .KANT AND BERGSON possibility of freedom. subject to the law of mechanical causation. nor be subject any of the conditions of time-experience. . and then to follow the passage from to free or " intelligible " to empirical activity. I should Kant. viz. a transcendental idea. ungraspable in thought. signifies spontaneous. then. of the causality of experience. which Kant regarded merely as a " standpoint. freedom is. It cannot be grasped it is a regulative maxim." a " maxim. entirely within experience. 2 Ibid. the original choice. " The freedom of the intelli. belongs to the intelligible character. to the homo noumenon. according to Bergson. phenomena. 247 The empirical person like all is. but not what. But.' intelligible ." 2 The activity of the empirical person. will exhibit a causality character. for there is between Kant's position and that of feel compelled to ally myself with a true sense in which the subjective function in which freedom 1 lies is Kants Begriindung der Ethik (Cohen). . the behaviour of which cannot begin in time. the " intelligible " character is " not the law of our causality. but which can realize only in the regulative arrangement of events. on the other hand. of the homo nou- menon. We may say that. accomplished outside of time. " character " which lies entirely falls is which to be ascribed to a beyond experience. In this pro- cess of translation he finds the type of true causality. This indicates the necessity of succession." It is possible. The law indicates the necessity of quite another kind of causality it is a law for the causality of noumena Thus the intelligible but these are points of view. If the choice lay Bergson. which not characterized by the establishment of the is sequence of cause and effect. 245. . Now." an " idea. p. to instal oneself in this free activity.. 126. as we saw in Chapter I. that it is possible to grasp this noumenal freedom. p. gible character . ' the law of thinking. Bergson's claim amounts to this.

in the Critique of Practical Reason. provided in advance the refutation of such a conception of freedom. " with regard to that free- dom which must laws .— BERGSON AND HERBART 248 we usually understand that term. These conditions. it be considered as the ground of all moral immaterial whether natural causality is is defined through motives which he in the subject or which to him. and the starting-point of Bergson's " true " causal progress is essentially unrealiz- as able within experience. that ease in changing objects which we straight away. In the place. and that too in previous conditions. it does not matter whether this causality is necessary through instinct or through rationally thought-out motives. whether they bring forth action through ideas and not through bodily movement yet they are always motives of the causality of a these motives may be. which he characterizes as " fundamentally not a whit better than the freedom of a roasting-spit. and what remains is a sliding mass of ideas and feelings akin to Herbart's mobility of " Our household animals." But Kant has. — being so far as his existence is therefore so far as his existence time.e. by an elimination of the permanent and the systematic. then. without any reference to morality. For. The human child plays and imagines infinitely more and herein is displayed that : mobility. if conditionable in time. however inward whether they have a psychological and not a mechanical causation i. as first the flux which is it asserted has already been pointed out. is necessitated the subject is by past to act." says Herbart. . . if these determining ideas have indeed the ground of their existence in time. and these are external . recognized as a real approach to freedom. " play as the insect cannot. and so on. Vorstellungen. again in preceding ones.. are no longer in his power.. to be freedom arrived at is by a negation of thought. In the first case." He says. and thus though certainly .

is Kant may have been wrong in thrusting freedom into the noumenal sphere. to to translate conceptualize it. a representation or in a con- not fully conscious. we cannot objectify the subjective 1 Kritik der pvaktischen Vernunft (Kant). it clear. the unifying activity. p. 41.." 3 to remain confused. and this ance. 38. many in " process becomes differentiated under the regard and Dwelshauvers." unified. 227. says The apperceptive unity. .. because more. . s Ibid." In the second place." REPRESENTATION OF WILL him leading to psychological freedom (if 249 word be this taken to signify a merely inner connection of the ideas of the soul). fixed for consciousness in cept it . 2 La Synthese Mentale (Dwelshauvers). an activity more profound and direct It is analysis of the data than discursive thought. more The is Again " : It is neces- from emotivity. p. confused. the process starting-point of is of primary import" true Bergson's causal incapable of being grasped within experience. The same thought is elaborated by Professor A. from the point of view of classical psychology. Pringle-Pattison when he argues that " it must be for ever impossible to pheno- menalize an action . consequently it is. it into This This last sentence puts the matter admirably in a nutshell. We may and that an say that it is condemned is impossible to render objective would be it representation. is : never is Reflection by may after- wards evolve the meaning of it. to annihilate it. S. still bring him under the necessary laws of l nature. of consciousness. ed. ing which in the causal of consciousness. whose thought is essentially incapable of being fixed is respects closely akin to that of Bergson. Rosenkrantz. its parts interpenetrate intuition deals with the spiritual act sarily inseparable 2 it itself. but he was right in so far as his argument implies that will cannot be made an object of Bergson himself says that the pure becom- knowledge. p.



function as such."


Knowledge of


never becomes

identical with will.

which has been argued
work be admitted, if the
the supreme relation of cognition,

If the nature of the cognitive act
for at


earlier stage in this

subject-object relation
it is

clear that there

must be




a point at which the limits of




subjective function, as such,

cannot be cognized in the ordinary sense, for it would
have to become an object, and so would be no longer







always knowledge of something.

not this exactly in line with Bergson's argument


so far, but at this point Bergson introduces another

kind of knowledge, which is substituted for knowledge
through judgments. It is this step which cannot be permitted, for


involves the identification of cognition and

feeling or of cognition



Cognition involves the subject-object relation.
as such,




purely subjective, and thus can never become


primarily the immediate awareness

of the functioning of the self or of


must not be


imagined that feeling exists apart from cognition.


and will are inextricably intertwined,
mutually dependent in human experience. But feeling,
in the purest state which we can imagine, is already " a
note of interrogation," which is answered immediately,
however vaguely, by the self, functioning in thought.





be said that existence


and cognition implies functional


tinguishable elements in experience,

can be resolved into the other.
stimulus to cognition and
of knowledge

immediately given


but the judgment of existence implies cognition,


in the




a continuous

always designed to



and with the development

shows no tendency to resolve


Man's Place


These are

and no one of them

itself into


(A. S. Pringle-Pattison), p. 80.




purpose which

be further knowledge


beyond knowledge

the purposive activity








Here again

not to be identified with the


problem to problem, but these problems present themselves to persons who feel and who are dominated by
cognitive process.


so to speak, the striving


The progress of cognition

includes that process.



The abstract independence of each aspect of spirit may
In so far
be emphasized from another point of view.
as cognitive, the self


not personal, for the categories

of the understanding which are conceived to form the

fundamental groundwork of the self may be considered
as also the fundamental groundwork of the universe.
is only when the sphere of will and intelligence is entered
that individuality



mind Kant's
(humanity) and Mensch




It is true that, bear-



we must admit

(individual men),

that ultimately the purposes of the individual and those
of humanity as a whole are identical, that " if the indi-

vidual constructs a world for himself, this world cannot,

remain for itself, it must itself be ranged
law with everything else, the law of uni-

in the last resort,

under one




a matter of

does not thereby lose

fact, gains it for




selfhood, but, as




the individual rises to the conception of an end which

embraces a society, however narrow or however extensive,
only through his capacity to conceive himself as an individual, i.e. as an end in himself. Thus the will is a conFeeling, however, is entirely subdition of personality.
the most emphatically
man is a feeling and
willing subject he




in a degree

a point at which

Philosophic, Ihr Problem

impervious to other selves.



and the

und Ihre Probleme (Natorp),

p. 104.



becomes mine peculiarly, exclusively mine.
does this imply but that " the subjective function



as such "

can never become an object of presentation,

and, further, that knowledge


not to be identified with

and will ?
Does the choice lie, then, between Bergson's intuition
and Kant's noumenal freedom ? Not necessarily. These
which involves


in addition feeling

are in reality fundamentally identical, since the intuition
implies the elimination of knowledge.
to a satisfactory solution is suggested
" There can," he says,

of soul or spirit



inert cannot represent

"be no

idea formed

ideas whatever being passive



by way of image or

Bergson and Kant are both
agreement with Berkeley up to this point. But Berkeley

which acts."

likeness, that



Possibly the clue

by that acute thinker



" Such

acts, that it



the nature of


cannot be of


itself perceived,



or that which

but only by the

Our being may,

does indeed,

consist in evolving, in willing, in organic effort. Professor
Ward says somewhere
are, being active."



whether the activity be regarded from the cognitive or volitional point of view.
But Berkeley states an



equally undeniable truth

when he

asserts that

the nature of that which acts " only


by the

we know



Cognition does not exhaust the nature

of that which acts.

Feeling and will are equally essential

aspects of experience.


have immediate certainty of

existence in feeling and activity, or better, in felt activity,

but what that activity

is, what the nature of existence
known only in cognition. We know that we are free,
not because we are expert psychologists, or because we
are aware of an internal heating and blazing up which no
amount of reasoning can stem, or of an impulsion which
courses through us
not because at any stage the act of
Principles of Human Knowledge (Berkeley), § 27.

is, is




knowledge is identical with the generative act of reality
but because we discover that we are capable of ideals
which are peculiarly our own, not imposed on us from
without, but originating in us as uncaused causes
because the conviction of duty
we are " autonomous "
These facts lie open to consciousness.
They proclaim our freedom and form the groundwork
of morality, and they all fall within the sphere of intelligent comprehension. It is not necessary to suppose that
freedom is an inference.
Free activity is immediately
grasped in feeling, but its nature does become transparent
in knowledge in the effects which it produces.
One result
of the subjective function is the process of knowing, which
is logical
another is action according to





we know

All that

in these results,

of the function of the self

but the open facts of purposive action,

of responsibility
the glow of
which we have on the occasion of acts in which
we truly realize ourselves, and the pain of remorse which
we feel when we fall below our self-constituted ideal, are
enough to vindicate our essential freedom. On the other
hand, the feeling of activity which is an implicate of all
our experience as free beings, and upon which Bergson






rightly lays such stress, never, as such,

of cognition.





absolutely inarticulate until

and cannot,

becomes an object

Cognition never passes over into feeling or







in cognition,

therefore, itself be substituted as a separate

It is rather the promise and the
potency of knowledge, as well as a stimulus to further
knowledge. But knowledge, it must be repeated, is always

kind of knowledge.

knowledge of existence, whether


of the subject or of the object

never becomes identical



with the subject or with the object.

be of the existence


as distinct

from being, cognition as distinct from feeling and




involve judgment, and judgment involves difference and

If Bergson holds that, as a psychologist, he can perform so violent an effort of abstraction as to feel the
fluid, fleeting

passage of duration, the activity of will as

due deference to his wonderful skill
it may be submitted that he is
If he remains conscious of anything at all
at this stage of abstraction, it might with a fair degree
of plausibility be maintained that he feels, to use his
own phrase, " an inquietude of the body." In this obscure
region such a delicate shade of distinction cannot be
discerned as that between a " movement of mental states
or mental oscillations " and their harmoniques sensorielles.
such, then, with


in psychological analysis,



light at this point is

too feeble to enable us to

gain any knowledge of such extremely fine differentiations within this " indistinct," " unstable fringe " of feel-

As we descend from the

ing which loses itself in night.



experience becomes progressively less cogni-

and approaches more


closely to the

vague flow of

organic sensations which a drowsy animal before a


be supposed to




on the other hand, we imagine

human mode of cognition, then
we must needs conceive that at the extremity we should
" see God and die," for in the moment of supreme intuition we should cease to exist as men.
In neither case
should we have knowledge of human freedom.
Bergson's treatment of activity guided by motives is
ourselves rising above our

incomplete and unsatisfactory.


the character of a motive,

does not definitely

but incidentally


appears that he has in his mind three possible conceptions




First, a



be regarded as a force

upon the mind and impelling

of action.

ment of past

Second, a motive
ideas which the




to a definite line

be only a rearrange-

projects into the future,



the realization of which consequently involves no evolution,

no creation of anything new.

Third, a motive


be the adumbration or prefiguring of future activity, a

kind of forward look by which we become vaguely aware
of that into which the present

about to develop.


does not require great consideration to show that


not any one of these ideas






be set aside, for reasons which Bergson himself suggests.

The second and

third are not the


analysis of experience.

outcome of an accurate


examination of mind

and judgments concerning what ought to be, between
sein and sollen.
So far as knowledge is concerned, it is
the one organ which knows throughout, but the matter,
so to speak, of judgment, differs in the two cases respectively.
In the second class of judgments " the object is
thought as something yet to be produced." This is not
leads to a distinction between judgments concerning

a question of possibility or of theory

The mind




it is

a question of

able to present itself to itself as some-

it has not yet been, yet which it is aware it
ought to become, and which it may strive to become.
It may be said, then, that the ultimate motive is to be

thing which

found within the

ment and
ment and

after self-perpetuation,


perfection of being,

to be emphasized





and of course this developBut the point
the future.

that the essential element in

motives to continued action



the consciousness of a per-

fection but partially attained, of an intellectual, moral,
spiritual experience which, as yet incompletely

conceived of as attaining to greater, and,






In most cases this ideal does not come





generally only implicit.

reveals itself to reflective thought, and, once grasped,

seen to have been active throughout. At every stage
man's mental history there has been a more or less

it is




be observed that this supreme motive It is to a rearrangement of past ideas. All the way his reach has exceeded his grasp. self-perfection — the is to —his individual. faced by various possi- of action. It the is is not individual's continually renewed conception of himself as something new. as stated above. From view it would be easy to pass to a wider teleology." more advanced stage He identifies in the attainment ol himself with the idea. more but. It is true that the nature of the supreme end reveals itself ever fully as we follow on to pursue it. personality that some progress has been ality in the sense but in the sense made by towards the supreme end. in general. In its realization of this conception the personality certainly evolves and passes into something new. such a conception of motives is by an immense gulf from that idea according to which a prefiguring or adumbration of that which " are possibly about to become. which reveals itself not only in the individual. which immediately becomes dynamic and has for its ally the whole force of the willing personality. and throughout the universe a teleology which would escape the strictures which Bergson has made reflection this point of — upon the conception of teleology Further. in the particular circum- stances in which he finds himself. from the sphere of new has been entirely metamorphosed that the same personThe conception has passed sollen to that of sein. but in history.NATURE OF MOTIVES 256 something other than clear consciousness of himself being moment and which he knows he ought Under the guidance of the ultimate " end " he at the be. but he has not been ignorant of that at which he has grasped. presents to himself an idea of himself bilities as being at a his " end. shows that it has been active throughout. The notion of " ought a motive we separated is . some- thing which never existed before —not the into something quite heterogeneous.

" identical elementary conditions " must repeat themselves.TWO VIEWS OF CAUSALITY 257 that notion an implicate of the former conception would lose all significance in the case of the latter. But while this the process by which it has been reached truth. this thought freedom. Few will be so bold as to attempt to contro- vert his general conclusion that the principle of mechanical causality emphasized full is human cannot be used to disprove Kant has bequeathed its recognition. further confirmation possible a of made Thus. the principle of causality is a necessary relation in the sense that R it asymptotically . This is an important point. causes must be capable of reappearing. as a necessary principle. viz. future. he deals with the principle of mechanical causation as the law of regular succession of phenomena. In the first place. the continual tendency of the intuition of freedom to become identical with the lapse of undefined ideas which one might conceive felt the life The lower the descent of the animal to be. In Bergson's work there are two distinct views with regard to the principle of causality. treatment Bergson's is is this state realized is that in the intuition of freedom knowledge of freedom at a of given to the argument is minimum. and the point upon which he lays the greatest stress is ing to this law the same causes produce the that accord- same effects. and that if causality. in the animal scale the more nearly — the vague anticipation through the of consideration motives. already been emphasized. not beyond criticism. for it bears upon a fact which has is . and this consideration may furnish further proof that the intuition of freedom demands the extinction of cognition. and the relation of that principle to the fact of freedom. Looked at in this way. and Bergson has position demands to us. is to have any meaning. We are now account in a position to consider Bergson's of causation.

" But the principle he goes on to say. and no effort of logic will succeed in proving that what has been will be or continue to be. would not be strictly applicable in a world of change. " for the successive moments of real time are not bound up with one another. and will never re- it. indeed. and between an exertion of force and the act that springs from it." same antecedents (If this to contain alternatives. of human cannot take place within the domain activity without the mutilation of the facts to which it is sought to apply it. it supposed is to bind the future to the present. it would lose all to the facts of inner consciousness. take the form of a necessary relation.) as a On is will give rise statement much doubt intended is as to their this view. a world which time actually counted meaning if we sought to apply in and . the principle of causality necessary principle would be applicable only in a world such as Bergson's material world. the " absolute law of our consciousness." have already expressed my hearty concurrence with Bergson's general position that the law of mechanical causation can never be used as a means of disproving human freedom. then. for " a deep-seated inner cause produces produce I its effect it once for all. The relation between motives and volitions. of real succession. in so far as of causality. can never. as such. of pure duration. the ordinary application of this principle. is essentially different from the relation between causes and effects throughout The real nature considered from the mechanical level. in which the past is repeated in the present it . and if we look at nature from the mechanical point of view we cannot say that there is anything like this in the . differentia of actions determined by motives is that here there is conscious anticipation of an end to be attained. that. that the to identical consequents. there equivalence.CAUSALITY AND FREEDOM 258 approaches the principle of identity.

The cause. of change. so to speak. consequently. and all there must be the experience This experience is given in sense the hint. We seek a causal connection. While factor. the principle of causality. In experience of a purely even mechanihave no place. law of cause and this sense. which he has isolated. in free this is tion is is eliminate the essential by Bergson on the much necessity of repetition The to be ascribed to causation. falls apart in the progress of thought into cause and effect which are grasped as differences in a unity. then. have a cause." to discover in it but from a concrete fact. The clue for its appli- static world. it is laid ing we activity if stress mean- principle of causa- the law of change in the universe. a causal law which point to be noted is is of succession. We do not set out from two isolated objects which lie " loose and separate. could cation would never be forthcoming. If we mechanize physical world. it . at once essential that before the category of causation can come into play at perception. and is rejected we have The universally true. comes must. would never reveal itself in experience of such a world. is law of causation. the primarily and funda- effect is the In ground of In scientific research the investigator seeks induction. has come out of nothing. is its first as contradicting the fundamental alternative the second alternative being adopted. in so far as that comes within our experience. to arrive at a point at which he can say that either the event under consideration has no cause. cally considered.CAUSALITY AND CHANGE 259 But this is the vital point to be explained any attempt to account for free activity. which develops. which suggests the application of the category of causation. and its explanation demands the introduction of a principle higher than that of strictly mechanical causation. every change. or else a certain set of conditions. we say. and. and mentally asserts that every out of something — it it event. necessary to add that far too is so.

militate against its character oj the contrary. is the a character which the commonplace conception of abstract generaliza1 obscure. or that have any meaning will that is causation if is to must be true that what has been it be or continue to be. does not in any way On a universal law. between any two somethings within a unity there must be a determinate inter-connection presented by the it : — content of that unity. and. " The principle of causality does not consist. the nearer to for its comprehension." In another place the same " Causation does not depend upon mere thinker declares tion tends to : repetition of conditions. would cease only to have practical value. essentially creative is intelligence lies in continuity through and not dependent on an unchanged recurrence. The principle of causation cance even if sets would not lose its signifi- of conditions did not repeat themselves . in saying simply that the same causes produce the same effects. 1910. I repeat. for in such repetition there is nothing which demands the use of that principle trary. we approach On the con- mere repetition the more entirely does causation lose its significance. . is not justified. such uniqueness true characteristic of that all is universal. As Professor Bosanquet says " Everything must be followed by something must be continued by something on every side." 2 This truth is similarly expressed by Fouillee. 8 International Journal of Ethics.CAUSALITY AND IDENTITY 2 6o Bergson's view that the essence of causation the same produces the same. Unchanged recurrence is destructive of comprehension by means of the principle of causation. as some imagine that it does. but in saying that 1 British Association Address. the repetition of it being excluded by the individuality of the whole. Oct. Everywhere the tracking of the universal which difference. the consideration that every such inter-connection might be received as unique.

teleological. 261 be unique in the world and if it without anything identical appearing before it. the tracking of the universal. The truly causal interpretation is implicitly. even sui generis. pp. vol. this unity. ii. necessarily approaches the principle of identity. to some extent at any rate. as it becomes more intelligible. The true type of causality is to be found in interpretation of the universe. As a matter of fact. and It is here that real activity we have already seen that our knowledge of that activity consists in the cognition of an idea or motive or " end " present and active through- human out knowledge daily idea. the law of causation carries us or after away from the bare principle of identity. the causal activity of the is self. Hence his position that causation. our causal motives which guide our these is an actively working interpretation of the universe Psychologie des Idces-forces (A. Elaboration of causal laws means development of differences. difference. 306-7). the particular Each of Now. says." I But Bergson clings to his contention that the form of intelligence is essentially identical with the form of space. make but. the scientific and made the breach too wide between mechanism and teleology. or rather development of a richer unity through not a bare unity. which is Bosanquet as unity through The objects are only objects as elements in and the interpretation of the universe cannot the remotest pretension to completeness until it has tracked these universals. primarily encountered. Fouillee. in activity. is . The It is differences.CAUSALITY AND IDENTITY any effect whatever. over-mechanized indeed. is bound to a whole of reasons or of causes which determine it such as it is at the present moment. 1 La This " end " becomes transparent to life. is differences. It unity in infinitely variable true causal interpretation of the universe not the establishing of sequences between objects or is events which lie loose and separate. Bergson has.

cannot " objectify the subjective function as such. In the causal interpretation of nature. versals is of uni- at bottom a tracking of the meaning and design the difference between actions Of course of the universe. mized. upon the knowledge of our own activity as subjects. The an elaboration of the ideal implicit cause. we deliber- activity in the light of a consciously an ethic of man. we investigate ourselves as we Nevertheless. anything at all ledge of nature own activity. can be clearly defined in knowledge only in the effect. in the other. If that be freedom is not the inscrutable thing which Bergson would have us believe. We agree with Bergson and that the principle of causality does not contradict freedom. the end which nature is fulfilling ately interpret our own anticipated end. as . though confined to an examination of nature as end it is. the scientific investigator does not know. achieved in pursuit of an end consciously anticipated. Indeed our know- dependent. and assert that it derives its complete meaning from the consciousness of activity on the part Causality comes to its full meaning of free individuals. Our way of knowing nature by means of intelligence does not prohibit us from knowing so." fact of our Wc of our is . only within the sphere of human activity. but we go further. upon the Kant the bearing of this argument problem of freedom. in the last resort. that is to say. the progressive elucidation of we are involves a progressive clearing of that which we aim to be.TRUE TYPE OF CAUSALITY 262 anthropomorphic through and through. in consciousness. The tracking in a sense. is the positive scientist regards investigate nature as ought to be. and the actions of the unorganized world. far as it meaning of the has been achieved. but not of While we it. at any rate he does not concern himself about. and consequently is. must not be miniIn the one case. implicitly teleological. we elucidate the implicit in nature so Observe. then. ourselves as it is. There nature.

and. inextricably bound up with the possibility of man's grasping. the universe in causal laws remain. That is is interrogated from to say. and the light of that comprehension in we can attempt to give an ethical interpretation of the world in addition and the one does not exclude. with Kant." and in that case the being in such a universe would be an But the basis for this assertion of the always-to-be-supplemented mechanical explanation be found in the fact that we at an end which we Consequently. and the point of view of purpose — i. the meaning of the activity to a scientific. In both cases freedom ceases to be an attribute of man as he is. intuited freedom which is ungraspable in cognition as such. possibility of an ethical interpretation of ourselves. . A mechanical interpretation of and is. know and which realize the is is to ourselves as aiming not yet fully achieved. " noutions. is. its " end. for us must always universe which would be capable of exhaustive explanation in causal laws would be one which had completed developing human insoluble enigma. with Bergson. and when we tion because unfulfilled as active in interrogate view of an nature from from an ethical point of view we discover that she has an answer to our quesThere is then no need to posit.e. will not be satis- us fied until the universe as it is for the ethical point of view. which appears in the articulation of concrete nature which the physical sciences have achieved and are achieving. but rather The possibility of that revelation within knowledge of active universals. of selves as free subjects. There is a large element of truth in Bergson's argu- A ment. menal freedom. within knowledge. further." nor. taken as a whole. we rise to the conception of the inexhaustiveness of mechanical explana- we know ourselves end. inexhaustive.— ARGUMENT LARGELY TRUE 263 but we can and do comprehend that we arc free causes. in the last resort. completes the other. we will.

According to this view the true meaning of causality is to be found in an idea intermediate between tellectual the idea of efficient causation. implied in Chapters Memoire. The man in his present condition is fact of purposive action. in which. first into images and then into action. attraction. the innermost life of the self. et and the article entitled L'Effort In- which appeared in the Revue Philosophique for January. We shall which tion is is now pass to the second view of causation involved in Bergson's thought." the innermost content of conscious- itself. open to con- all lie sciousness. ness. the fact of self- originated motives. in action on matter. suggested more This concepof Matter e III. although more nearly related to the latter. the fact of duty. The free decision is supposed to take place outside the limits of all determination. which Bergson . for example. Let us examine this view of causality as followed in detail in Chapter it is applied This process has been to the action of the individual. 1902. though originally interpenetrating. or causation by by impulsion. from the intensive to the extensive. in the closing part of the Essai. There he emphasizes the fact that this causal progress is intermediate between a radical mechanism and a radical teleology.SECOND VIEW OF CAUSATION 264 the basis of ethics for removed. I. he seeks to show that intelligence and we have instinct. or causation and final causation. in pure duration." This is the guiding idea of Bergson's theory of evolution as contained in L' Evolution Creatrice. and these constitute our knowledge of freedom. have become differentiated in the progress of evolution or true causality. Causal activity consists " in the gradual passage from the less realized to the more realized. as seen. from a state of reciprocal implication of parts to a state of juxtaposition of these parts to one another. but this free decision immediately tends to realize with us. It is the translation of the " idea. stated in clearly and II.

confused notion of the end which is to be attained." It is As " of the very essence of fluidity and soon as the process of translation begins a vague. actually realized It is felt as " pure is " Present process of the calling and active though it be in the up of images. but nearly approached in the case of an animal. the consciousness of which is elevated . and the so-called motive kind of prefiguring within consciousness of the translais tion of this volition into action. its metaphorical and disencum- bered of the intuition and of that view of intelligence which we have argued to be untenable. one may imagine. It has already been argued that the starting-point of is only asymptotically approached such a causal process in experience. undetermined. But when denuded of interpreted dress. set out the case of installing ourselves in the the " pure " in not a hypothetical state. becoming. idea — This in in we may by memory. this theory presents the outline of an acceptable account of the develop- ment of knowledge. there is Bergson's thought corresponds to a motive as ordinarily understood. unconsciousness — is a uncaused. the volition takes place in the depths of consciousness— or rather. in intelligible terms. but is a violent effort of abstraction." It is " fleeting." memory. a dim idea of a future action conceived as This dim idea is the only thing which in realizable." " not to be fixed under the regard of consciousness. is human experience. and from the effort to the act. calls holds that in 265 following this process from the idea to the effort. then the volition is not deter- mined by the motive .SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS VIEW He pure causality. If this be so." mobility. The intuitional starting-point may be replaced by that hypothetical mass of feeling out of which knowledge seems to come a limitative concep- — tion never actually realized in which. it is effaced and dis- appears behind the images once they are called up.

related to other objects — — clearness spatially. principles in particulars They which live are as thus organizing constituted individuals. fundamentally spatial forms. he would say inert objects. according to Bergson. so to speak. Thus there appears. that as the differentia- and developed through judg- tion incident to cognition. ments. an increasingly complete unity.e. emerge on the field own self. inert. of a larger organism. Let us rather say that consciousness begins when difference appears in this mass very little logically pregnant with knowledge. admit that consciousness begins when this nebulous mass begins to condense. clusters capable of differentiation. in fact. it is it is the characteristic strongly emphasized in Creatrice in which Bergson development in affirms that the direction of both individuality and association is an essential. In the case of life. along with the differentiation. not a contingent those parts of L' Evolution . greater on the pattern of are incomplete individuals constructed our still These objects of vision. members. objects. and the spatial relation between these objects this fluid — — is intelligence. Let us say. This double development in the direction ot a more on the one hand and of a unity perthroughout these differences on the other is the differentiated unity sisting very genius of knowledge. also and our knowledge of them knowledge of these relations. we see them to be but causally increases with our it is true. mass of interpenetrating parts becomes a multiplicity of juxtaposed parts images.— KNOWLEDGE AND 266 LIFE Bergson should above the level of feeling. when cognition begins us say at once that consciousness and cog- let Gradually. as indeed of life. The universals which are tracked are not empty. nition are coextensive. not pieces carved out of a homogeneous With progressive plenum. The objects are seen to be individual parts of a larger individual. i. instead. proceeds.

INTUITION AND feature of the evolution of KNOWLEDGE Why life. not in that self. It is to be found in Bergson's initial extrusion of all real activity from the intelligent self. 267 not recognize that an essential characteristic of the growth of knowledge ? Why insist that knowledge exhibits only the one tendency. to each other. To sum up found at if : the explanation of freedom is to be must be sought in the nature of the self any attempt to transcend the limits of Bergson is enthusiastic and eloquent when all. for Knowledge is the temporary negation of outside the sphere of knowledge. of the infinite gulf between the animals and man. and Bergson's intuition of freedom makes as to our faced. it as such. the limits of possible experience. Bergson follows it resolutely. once he has entered into this way. way But the If know- itself activity. it free activity. he the universe in of the wider the inherent life in which we are partakers. prepares the is not implications of such a position and activity are foreign ledge that activity can never must be is it clear be grasped in knowledge. and the richness and variety great metaphysicians. he speaks of " the absolute reality of the person. comes out of It but for free activity." of the by consciousness of human affirmation liberty. but capable of living a truly personal the it is in nature of ourselves as individual persons life that the basis of assurance of any immortality worthy of the name . knowledge as Kant's noumenon. disintegration. freedom. viz. that towards disintegration ? The reason is not far to seek. little contribution Both beyond lie Neither adds one iota to our knowledge. seeks for real activity. Reasons have already been given why this procedure is unwarrantable. of the probable survival of the person after death. Like all makes us feel the vastness of which we live. and it is also logically enough. spiritual activity. However. differen- tiation.

and so lose our selves in that life. the intuition of freedom of which are are not merely. derives its justification from the fact that it is a new method of philosophy that is under review. intelligence alone. power of self-originating in ourselves the Further. but the theistic faith has its philosophic basis. the immortality which mystical swooning into the realization life we achieve activity only because free we seek in the life of God we . or even . however. in which the method of intuition is applied primarily to the problem of the nature of the inner life.INTUITION OF FREEDOM 268 is to be found. and it seems desirable to limit oneself to a consideration of the application of So far as matter Bergson admits. but in living the life of man that we find and realize our freedom. in Bergson's picturesque phrase. in turn. great stream of life has become divided. It seems. God may be perfect Freedom. as . rise to the conception of freedom. and therefore that intuition has been that is method concerned. in living the life of God. not mere pulses not a is but a perfect of God. " rivulets into is We of ourselves as unique individuals. The immortality which such a view of freedom suggests is that of Nirvana. an ever-active Will it is not. however. This somewhat lengthy examination of the Essai. Indeed. in one crucial instance. the dim conception of God's we have discovered action. It is not meant by this to deny that the hope of immortality finds its foundation in trust in the nature of God. if which the by this it found beyond order gain to Bergson speaks we larger would require to pass out of ourselves into the life." is to be that in suggested that our free activity ourselves. is progressively attaining to a more thorough knowledge of it. The demand for an intuition of matter thus seems to be superfluous. on the knowledge of the nature of our own self as it becomes transparent in reflective thought.

METHOD OF INTUITION 269 only incidentally brought under review in the preceding finally. . we it are dealing with the life of the individual. then a fortiori cannot be admitted when we come to treat of the wider life of the universe. if the method is not acceptable when criticism.




justification. . knowledge.CONCLUSION ESTIMATE OF THE VALUE OF THE INTUITIVE METHOD The which the preceding criticism has I have attempted to show that the view of intelligence which preponderates in to trace Bergson's works is not adequately supported and to estabthe steps which led him towards this view conclusions to led are. lish the position that the nature of intelligence is not such supplemented by intuition. but simply by feeling and will. the loss of a true distinction. consequently a step towards con- fusedness . that it really implies that if the psychologist or the philo- sopher can say " here causes cease. in the main. that the time intuited is best described by that the intuition of freedom is. and is of no more value for knowledge of human freedom than a noumenal idea. which has no more right that of to be qualified as freedom than to be dominated chance " . . negative." he add demands the elimination of cognition altogether. be called succession or a backward step in becoming. negatives " pure indetermination. is entitled to that the intuition s i . with as much which signifies realities which intelli- that the so-called intuition of time might. . if anything. "here commences freedom " . Criticism of the intuition of time and that of freedom was directed to show that they add as to require to be nothing to the conceptions of these gence supplies .

. I mean power of the this that on to say the combat say. is too great. de la Soc." which our criticism has led be admitted. the intuitive method involves the 1 " Vocabulaire philosophique " (Bull. negation of conceptual representation that these — it antinomies would disappear. is not the conceivable They present themselves at a certain stage in knowledge. rise and it no satisfaction to reason to affirm that they can be is solved by will or by life. whether it is not know- be the Kantian noumenon or the Berg- is not one which will satisfy reason. de Phil. to which alone they present themselves as problems. Considered generally. " by causing the problems round which Indeed he goes is sustained to disappear. and are due the finiteness to dition. impossible. in conclusion. and imperfection of our human con- Their presence. intuitive his insoluble contradictions and oppositions into which intelligence leads us. perfectly rounded- of knowledge —the consummation. sonian intuition. intuition of the is for resolving immediate is oppositions mark by which the external recognized. and that the supposed is illusory. They These antinomies are problems of reason. to its capacity pressing problems." 1 by supthe true This claim If the conclusions to reminds one of Kant's " as if.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 274 Some remarks upon the are necessary. system off In a perfectly coherent. Aout. 332." " immediate. it must be acknow- ledged that this claim solution of antinomies within knowledge. The only acceptable solution would be one which rationally explained the emergence and such an explanation is not of these oppositions . 1908). thus capable of explanation. need not throw complete discredit on the form of knowledge. Fr. . method in Bergson makes for One prominent claim which method is that it banishes the general. In any case the explanation of them which implies a leap out of knowledge into something which ledge. p.

whether expressed in the French or the German philosopher's way. itself.ESTIMATE OF ITS VALUE 275 assumption that knowledge of reality as it is for itself is different in kind from knowledge of reality as it is for a knowing subject. so far as because. reality. so. fundamentally is which we act. upon life. not a subtle contradiction in the assertion that reality demands our annihilation as knowledge of the Let it be admitted that life is not ? exhausted in knowledge. be reality as it is for a subject. in the case of matter see " —from The duration." and this of cleavage runs throughout Bergson's philosophy. reflection reference to the unity of self-consciousness. nor that would imply its own It is its identification its with extension to infinity life. valid. But have we not here another version of Kant's distinction between " phenomena " and " things-in-themselves " ? Such a distinction. we grasped by reason is essentially perhaps. which knows and it always knows someThere is no knowledge where there is no polarizathing." Bergson acting " ourselves from " the duration in says. This refer- in this relation we call knowledge consists. and that one of the features of our human knowledge is its capacity of infinite expansion intelligent subjects : it by no means follows that knowledge can or ought to be identified with living. ence to a self is the supreme relation . It is unjustifiable. and involves in every case a characteristics. is unnecessary and unthough incomplete. is. Further. reality as different —except. Knowledge has which must not be lost sight of. Reality known must then tion into subject and object. and less Is there is. reality as it " in which different line is it is for itself. accurate if reality has an we can never know that that is know what the nature of that existence existence for much unnecessary because our knowledge of It is justifiable. it goes. The difference is not one of degree. but there is no ground the distinctive thing which It is always a V self Y .

Further. it be recalled here. It may legitimately be affirmed that the conceptual representation was implicit from the and that beginning. . : in duration ately how by an it is immediand many other things effort of intuition. biguity has already been may commented upon. without. as two This ambut. such as one may con- God ceive that of to be. if relativism if and scepticism are seems to be the only tenable view. if the infinite absolute scepticism. It does not follow that the conceptual system which is found at all stages between these two conceivable limits is essentially different from what is given in feeling or from what is immediately grasped in a perfectly articulated knowledge. under such for the assertion that it is it from conditions. to be avoided this the conceptual representation was not implicit in the given reality. the end at it would be perfectly transparent to consciousness. having developed gradually in knowledge. though not an exhaustive. causes some ambiguity. Bergson's attempt to avoid relativism and scepticism and yet to separate and intelligence intuition kinds of knowledge. from reality as reality as it it is present in or to a finite mind. yet a true articulation of the reality " If I replace myself given in intuition. no ground not quite foreign to reality . and it must have been imposed on we have. for the Sometimes Bergson indicates that the thought construction is. I perceive unity. for. development of the conceptual representation led to its annihilation. we should have to acknowledge that the form of human knowledge is radically vicious. In fact. is so. to let it be admitted that knowledge appears come out of and melt into something which we ma}' term intuition. in which case we are on the straight road to while. Thus he says sake of clearness. except in degree. because that is for itself differs. multiplicity.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 276 for the affirmation that.

. if it be displaced by the first view of the relation between intelligence and of reality altogether. which is also consistent with his theory that intelligence by the law of identity. to set them side by side. intelligible In another place he says that the clan of this kind. made with these might be vital its infinite . 1 1." to take concepts already made. being nothing but the shadow of a body that to think consists ordinarily in going from concepts to and not from things to concepts that to know a is. escapes a study richness but the general tendency of his thought about concepts. he speaks of which intelligence can resolve indefinitely into elements without ever completing the analysis. in the usual sense of the word " know. that the concepts of unity and multiplicity.M. are ready-made garments which will suit Peter equally as well as Paul. and to combine them together until one obtains a practical equivalent of the real. We are told that the intellect has a natural knowledge of certain very general relations which the activity peculiar to each individual carves into more particular relations . reality latter has presented in there put forward is A Pluralistic Universe. ESTIMATE OF besides. and. . is which are imposed on immediately given the view dominated empty forms that concepts are is and be- quotations in line reality. in L' Evolution Creatrice. because they do not outline the form of either of them . Bergson expressly identifies himself with James in the view of the concept which the things. has no weight. that to analyse consists in expressing a thing terms of that which it is not that concepts are really symbols which are substituted for the object which they symbolize that the concept extracted from the object in . . both because of cause of 277 its Many more divisibility. for example. The thesis that concepts negate the inner nature In fact." free acts ! ITS VALUE Again.. this latter view is fundamental in Bergson's philosophy.

is clear that. experience. Reality is given. in the intuitive is first set of passages quoted and in many others besides. position is undoubtedly According to this second view." cepts are blind. But Bergson goes too at all. This consummation need datum of Pluralistic Universe (William James). immediacy : This fact has already. Abstracted from objects of perception. and which are applied from the outside to a given reality. p. logic. in — — several times. a great deal that is claimed as peculiar to the method no longer so. and that concepts " negate the inwardness of reality altogether. but great if that darkness. to which they are utterly foreign. inner or outer. no matter how far the conceptual construction is carried. " Reality. been noted. especially when some forms of idealism are kept before the mind. It cannot be doubted James' words. 212. concreteuse what words you will exceeds our ness. His argument that. true . the second is The first quite false. it never exhausts the nature of and unanswerable. they are indeed mere shadows with no weight. overflows and surrounds it.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 278 intuition. If that be so. quite a different thing to contend that concepts negate . concepts are abstract ideas which have got beaten out somehow in the course of experience. life. far in and involves himself in difficulty our thought construction when he argues that a mere symbol of the im- is mediately given reality. There can be no doubt that. . Concepts without percepts are empty. if it is known an immediate perception or contact or feeling. Bergson emphasizes a fact which needs to have stress laid upon it. then Bergson is faced with the whole difficulty of the Kantian position in regard to the relation which is 1 the A between the categories and the raw material sense." reality. is Percepts without con- the light within us be darkness It is how one thing to hold that con- ceptual knowledge does not exhaust the nature of reality it is the nature of reality.

a bare nothing. as 279 already pointed out. Time and space have for us no reality apart from the succession of ideas in in space . but they can be there for us only because they were immanent in the given from If we proceed to disconnect these the very beginning. do we call one observed sequence causal. not of a bare attribute. which is. Bergson adopts Kant's position to this extent that he conceives intelligence as a form. later on. or. aspects or abstracts from the given in which we have . They have meaning and aspects of that which is given. and if we seek to image them. however. for example.ESTIMATE OF ITS VALUE not surprise us. causation loses time and of material things all its significance if we attempt * . from Bergson's point of view. The same difficulty. confronts both thinkers— What is the clue in the nature of reality which demands the elaboration of any concept. describing intelligence " a form without matter. Apart from their individualization they are empty abstract ideas. as Kant makes a faculty of knowledge. them an independent reality. or of one concept rather than another ? Why." The fact is that while reality. and only secondarily as a faculty of knowledge. which and we find him. and another simply a sequence. and to give we are on the reality only as cept is wrong track. the idea of an attribute particularized. Berg- intelligence son considers as it primarily an instrument of action. The con- discerned them. a homoit throws beneath geneous and empty medium. they take some spatial form. which we in the sense that these distinctions do not impress themselves upon our mind as a passive recipient they are there for us only through the activity of our discerning intelligence. We saw him setting out with an intelligence equipped with the form of space. for. act as though the one were causa) and the other not cases that is may also we be said to ? The only satisfactory reply in both discern certain make distinctions. in fact.

omit all presuppositions as to the form and nature of intelligence. but to make it the vehicle of our activity. between The path and understanding. a genuinely efficacious instrument of life. because it does reveal. there is no need to suppose that the acceptance of a thorough-going theory of the validity of knowledge carries with of reality is it the admission that the nature or can be exhausted in cognition. which while it opens out a boundless field for knowledge. If we consider reality from the point of view of space. if any proof were needed. however incompletely.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 280 to consider and effects. that our grasp of reality in knowledge and incomplete. clarify our thought on the theory of the concept and on the characteristics of the cognitive act. individual agents. we If it quite independently of particular causes Berkeley has taught us this lesson. Feeling and will are undeniable aspects of our consciousness. the — all its degrees the reality in which is given in inner and outer immersed which we are and " " us find our way about sense and it enables not only to inwardness of reality in — in that reality. or causality. rational. recognize frankly the obvious finiteness of our knowledge. in each case the progress of reconstruction is seen to be indefinite. the way is open for a view of the relation between the immediately given and our conceptual construction or knowledge of it. because theory may is clear for a theory according to which intelligence becomes. As indicated above. the recognition of the finitude of human knowledge has been frankly made. This proves. and thus to develop our inmost nature as purposeful. The limits within is finite which knowledge moves . as well as a faculty of knowledge. escapes encountered by every antithesis. or time. and must not be omitted in any attempt to decipher the meaning of the universe. in whatever form sense the difficulties necessarily all dualistic it of its be expressed. In addition.

more deductive. for example. on will in the vital impulsion which it prolongs. more to know.ESTIMATE OF are too evident necessarily human. as Bergson says. it sends us back questioningly to the enigma. from one point of view. of the Our mind staggers finite- at the Such things thought of the possibility of omniscience. Possessed of a keen desire to pierce the mystery which surrounds us. We cannot. since we arrive at a more comprehensively unifying generthere is fected. the vital current itself. in their turn. but what the immediate as such is we there is always cannot say. presses heavily on our spirits." and although our solution of each of them issues in a higher synthesis. We are not. the other hand. by any means. We do know. alization. It is true that we must put our problems " one by one. raising a multitude of new problems which. but. be to ITS That sounds emphasis again and again trite. must be put " one by one. although he suggests that we can when he invites us to place our Nor. no indication that the synthesis will ever be perWhile the progress of science. we so desire. we see more of the same kind puzzlingly. are too difficult for us. nor can we ever become that. makes our knowledge. but it is . but the history of such attempts has made it clear that the apparent transcending of human knowledge has been really an undoing of it." Reality. get rid. do we ever approximate to the point of view of the merely sentient animal. These are the two It appears to limits within which knowledge moves. it is invariably along the main lines of reason. come out of the immediate and it appears to go into the immediate. as given in im- . VALUE overlooked. but in part . and which. when the enigma is solved. when we are in certain moods. 281 Our knowledge but it is has needed in the history of speculation. even if ness of our present condition. men have again and again attempted to rid themselves of the limiting condition of their humanity.

care should be taken not to allow its range much. is reached. When it is said that knowledge is phenomenal to be limited over tion of in must not be concluded that it is not true of reality. From is fuller. and must be. " the gold piece of which we shall never finish giving the change " in discursive thought. the higher point of view the knowledge For example.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 282 mediate experience. It expresses the reality of the universe for us. Again. yet it is true. of a different kind. When. but that we do not know the universe in its entirety. that is. not that it for it is radically incompetent any degree of reality. There is no other universe than the one we know." it is not to be inferred that there is any other universe than that which we know. when it is stated that knowledge expresses the nature of the universe " for us. while the limits of our knowledge are thus openly recognized. the interpretation of an organism does not teleological make tomical or the physico-chemical account untrue. causes us to realize that each of these that reality it to be. incompletely. but truly so far as it goes. phenomenal. nition of will is is the anait merely incomplete and richer than the mechanical sciences reveal One thing seems not knowledge the levels is not thereby ex- certain — and this is : the process of cog- by discarding the form what is demanded by the be completed . but not different. reason — within cognition. Although our knowledge is. and there is no other knowledge. is. But. nor to sanction the condemnaknowledge in any department because of its inexhaustiveness. than human knowledge at least we cannot assert that there is. phenomena are real. a higher standpoint knowledge gained on the lower cluded. The universe interpreted by to grasp is the real universe truly interpreted. The word phenomena was chosen order to draw attention to the fact that our knowledge is not yet completed. in Bergson's expressive phrase.

. to a self-realization immediately per- The genius in morality. or. morality." joy. though. beings. art. to clothe itself in metaphor and symbol. or. to fall immediately into contradiction. seizes. In following them we advancing towards more complete metaphysical genius rises to know that we self-realization. are The a higher point of view. The genius in by his superior insight into the beauty and inner harmony of the world. from which the universe may be interpreted in terms of cognition. and expresses more or less perfectly. the view that they are opposed. with his piercing vision. complementary ways of knowing. an aspect which men of lesser mould immediately is there to testify to this higher power. penetrates into the moral order of the world. and religion. in unifying our experience more completely. as Bergson expounds it. With an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony and the deep power of We see into the life of things. the chord of a universal sensation. It would be foolish to The possible. is possible. —he strikes. should it seek and find utterance. in the departments alike of science. and so feel to brings be a revelation of the heart of reality humanity ceived as such. t ..ESTIMATE OF VALUE ITS 283 predominating view of the relation between intuition and intelligence. and that it were adopted by philosophers as a substitute for the critical method of reflection. and his ideals exercise a compelling force on all earnest spirits . ostensibly. art. finally. and his insight commends itself to us because it enables us. but only clear presentation. so to speak. deny that flashes of insight are human efflorescence of genius in life. to ourselves realize These are the more fully men who can say as intellectual : ". that the intuitive method. they need no arguments to support them. Let it be supposed. however. then philosophy would be compelled either to remain for ever inarticulate.

that different their many different images borrowed from very by the convergence of orders of things may. We cannot analyse the steps by which the intuition is secured. however. that the process rational. for be gained after a long companionship with the external manifestations of reality. since it To him who is artist. action. that the intuition may says. flashes out an hypothesis . will is not nonbeauty and of goodness. so no rules down for metaphysical intuition can him who obeys them the insight which Bergson beget genius which can be create in laid compares to that of the " listeth say. As Socrates said in regard to the poets. be urged that Bergson does state very nature of the insight of genius prevents being even stated as a method. no law. they seem to achieve their work. at least. making the intuition we a method of Just as no strict following of scientific method when it is non-existent. direct consciousness at which a certain intuition is to to be had. not by wisdom but by a " natural inspiration. fully the act of genius. since there are laws of But." and the purer the genius the more " inevitable " the work. put is but the it from may. who. after synthesizing a great many facts. again. but cannot tell whence it cometh." Any method which forward must be capable of being followed ." The insight of the genius is " inevitable. the precise But point this suggests something very different from the intuition of the artist. Bergson himself affirms : not himself capable of giving to himself the intuition of the duration constitutive of his being. nothing will ever give it. The wind bloweth where although we may we cannot analyse are precluded from philosophy. example. as these are systematized in the physical sciences.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 284 But such " intuitions " there for the attainment of is and we hear the voice thereof. and. It rules for He the application of his method. It suggests the genius of the man of science.

the logical processes implicit in elaborated. " of assimilating the salient facts is necessary to it . Thus only the crude materiality of the is The metaphysical disengaged." not. ing facts is is resume of pre-exist- seen. at the base of their observations. by means of one another. in an act of subconscious synthesis. The vigorously its formulation are active mind." Bergson goes on to say. nor is the concept which he supplies to link together the observed facts. He elaborates something new. the It is at least go " is to walk slowly. while the more cautious. namely. To be not alogical. con- one has only to consider that an hypothesis as to laws passes into an accepted theory only vinced of when this. all the preconceived and undeveloped ideas which observers have deposited. Whence came the extra- ordinary synthetic and creative power which he exhibits no one can say. so to speak. patient mind would have had theless.ESTIMATE OF VALUE ITS 285 which furnishes an explanation of the facts observed and many more besides. the synthesis or But neither known intuition thus gained hypothesis formu- the lated by a scientific genius or a vigorous thinker merely a resume of the work of his predecessors. that the synthetic activity is is certain. step. " makes the mind still less is it expli- . un- known to themselves. One thing. went through these processes at a gallop. at least. as we have knowledge. Let us pursue the examination of this manner of regarding the metaphysical intuition. The metaphysician " sets out from the totality of observations and experience gathered up by positive science." " It is not merely a question. accumulate and fuse together suclr an enormous mass of them that one may be assured in this fusion of neutralizing. step by procedure in both cases not non-logical. Never- essentially the same. is What not presentable to thought . Scientific genius consists just in this power of rational synthesis and the ability to formulate comprehensive hypotheses.

1 Its Letter to Mr. he careful student of the history of metaphysic as in will be the philosophers themselves. Le Roy. then philosophy becomes intelligence merged is The philosopher science. as show. Sur la Logique de I'Invention. Wildon Carr. the sophy." son's latest some day. published in Proceedings of Aris- totelian Society. the principle of progress reflected invention by which To ? verification is seize effected the order of knowledge. be an expert will prrysicist. the mind of invention penetrated with a light which manifests it to itself — briefly. he contemplates of science " deciding. its procedure is logical throughout. . should philosophy decide to follow this new method. better. besides being a all to the possibility enter into the way which philosophy will henceforth travel. H. if not the mind of invention become conscious of its processes and its powers. or biologist. guided by the rules which Bergson has laid down. the procedure of the scientific discoverer and the If intuitionist and how to see it it fact the sharp distinction I broken down.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 286 " goes " much more strongly than upon which we may insist is that. When that happens we can call science what scientific men to-day call philosophy. " is philosophy. realization in the order of in being. in one of Berg- statements. it " lives Indeed. 1909-1910. and. is the specific role and the peculiar office of philo- aim is less to gain results than to arrive at becoming gradually conscious of the secret force." he asks. We cannot why one mind cable The one another. in an article entitled. a close follower of Bergson's method. or these combined. then to it develops by judgment and reasoning. The fact of knowledge must be posited to begin with. " What. once going. in psychologist mathematician. get behind originated originated. but once having have tried between intuition metaphysician are identical." 1 This fact is brought out strikingly by M.

while the philosopher is supposed to con- himself to the inner experience and the scientist to the external reality which is the object of his investiga- fine tion. we confused. the scientist will be permitted to analyse his intuition as exhaustively as symbolically as possible. in order to take the its systematic construction. if philosophy about to adopt the method indicated by Bergson. however. it has.ESTIMATE OF VALUE ITS 287 mind and of life. while the philosopher must remain dumb. But surely philosophy will have made a very bad bargain. for. that. The philosopher. the philosopher seems to be that. then. interior power. to be remembered that in this act of invention or intuition the distinction between subject and object has vanished. must remain metaphorical. catch a glimpse of this inner impulsion. We ment come back now to the point from which this arguThe difference between the scientist and set out. then. will have to be a scientific inventor. in a violent effort of abstraction. as well as a skilled psychologist who can. and his intuition ever unexpressed. and express little he can. will ever abandon It is its clear and methodical. or at the best inarticulate. Both have precisely the same the language of reason. The advantage here is all on the side of the scientist. of of this interior impalpable mobility. . and expression. though always- to-be-completed expression. experience. path indicated by a philosophy whose it discards intelligence and the language of intelligence. a fleeing continuity of nuances harmoniously blended. much will too sanguine. since One may predict. symbolic. when he Bergson is predicts that science way which now the intuitionist too much to hope for that science one day enter into the philosopher travels. and the act of knowledge coincides with the generative act of reality." l He goes on to speak power of mind and life as a dynamic. or as it in language. nevertheless. is 1 Revue de Metaphysique et de Morale. 1905.

vivified by : the intuition. Indeed. " There is not any durable system Bergson himself says which is not. in the last resort. life.C. — — different agreements one truth. Dialectic necessary to put intuition to is necessary also in order that intuition should break itself up into concepts and propagate itself to the minds of other men. not merely from a practical point of view. . in some at least of its parts. to be " put to the proof. But through dialectic which is only a relaxation of intuition many . as there reality is is only one reality. though more than. There The one is only one truth. God. is not essentially different from what we conceive off 1 E. similar which followed. to intelligence. however. then. it seems that the last word in philoto that sophic discussion must still be uttered by reason. p. while there is only This quotation makes a large admission. This. at the thres- new hold of a era of philosophical agnosticism. 1 yields really are much that I am concerned to claim. 259 (Eng. the philosophy of Kant. Tr. . which an examination of the upward progress of knowledge suggests." and possible. but as the arbiter in speculation. The intuition must submit itself. but we may confidently abide by the faith. the one Reality." and the harmony of our thought can be secured only when it is rationalized through and for it restores reason to its through. and the one perfect rounded- truth is His. supreme place as the faculty of knowledge. . 251). philosophers do agree to adopt the intuitive method. is the final test of the truth of power to lay antinomies.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 288 are on the edge of the slough of scepticism. not its rationality. and which Bergson would desire as little as he. though man can never approach the point of view of God. that. the test. p. Even if. in some quarters. but its inherent Thus reason is supreme in philosophy as in intuition. Dialectic is what ensures the agreement of our thought with itself.

which functions in judgment. difference. namely. and expresses itself in the form of relation between subject and predicate. however. is up it 289 and that His knowledge. indeed. and must remain. — mean the lesion of the nerve of intuition as a distinctive method of philosophy. but of the faculty of knowledge in its entirety. and the establishment of such a method. as distinctive. At this stage. to catch VALUE ITS " trans- it not of such a kind as to exclude it. under the guidance of the principle that " to judge. though to be. been regarded as fundamental in his thought. but an infinitely wider vision. whether immediately or mediately. reason is. I wish to draw atten- the tion to the fact that there are revolt within Bergson's The ambiguity which own mind is shown many indications of a against this opposition. the opposition between intuition and intellect. Meanwhile. in speculation as in practice." of sameness in. treat intelligence as ideally something more than bare relation identity is willingly and unreservedly recognized. the only trustworthy guide. It would lead directly to the acknowledgment of the supremacy of intellect not of understanding as divorced from sensibility. T . in for us. is to see the element and not independently of. dominant feature in his philosophy has received emphasis and has been made the subject of criticism. it be insisted that reconsideration of the nature of must intelli- gence. in his statements of the between the immediate intuitive grasp and the conceptual construction has more than once been referred But while this tendency to to in the preceding pages.ESTIMATE OF Him cends " ours. would involve the letting-go of the greater part of that which is claimed to be peculiar to the method of intuition. is the avowed aim of This would Bergson's thought. This has. In the foregoing examination of Bergson's thought.

member the most clearly defined individual. of course. If it is of the action. the whole is finite not yet com- Without us it cannot be perfect. not have the same significance for metaphysical construction . and its very completion must include the perfection of activity. whatever else may be . is lie realizes himself a now through not the negation of time but so the perfection of activity annihilation. sary to retain opposition this is whether it is necesbetween two procedures of thought contrary in direction in order to find room for the recognition of a fact which — the nently into view by he. plete.a THE INTUITIVE METHOD 2Q0 The main problem which faces the mind. its infinite not its own could be regarded as an evanescent accident of his individuality. For such a static whole he substitutes a world which lies wholly open in the direc- tion of the future. activity would. and his perfection does not in stagnation. being active . growth. which stands over against the mind eternally the same. While the not yet complete. not merely that individuals are active. activity. has done so his brilliant to bring promi- fact that activity is an essential feature of reality. waiting to be deciphered. cessa- He tion of activity. evolution in — the essential characteristic of reality the highest grade which individual is we know. is whole. but that the whole must be interpreted in terms of activity. after a study of the works of this great thinker. protests consistently — foreign. as a whole. but man is. much thinking and writing. In the emphasis which he has laid upon this fact the of Bergson's philosophy for future thought significance He and throughout against all forms of philosophy which imply that all is given " block universe " to which change is in the last resort lies. and the The it has not been and differentia of the individual is its nature of the whole must be such as not to exclude activity. is develop- ing into something which is not yet. a world which. and as eternity extension. Man.

and the ultimate whole cannot be less than a It is the capacity of real action perfect individual. the one of its multiplicity. not unity opposed to difference. If the cardinal defect of Greek philosophy was. which erects man to individuality. Bergson's theory of unity and reduces stedfastness. it it to a viscous sought to pass by the mobile. as Bergson urges. It was just now stated that personality is unity in difference. setting out from ideas which exist in eternal in time. Every attempted explanation or understanding of the whole must be dominated by this supreme category of self-consciousness. the one in the many. main that setting out from pure activity. No one will deny that personality is the supreme type of individuality. but a unity which continues.ESTIMATE OF ITS VALUE 291 said to be " mere appearance. If Hegelian rationalism leads to a construction of the whole which excludes the possibility of real activity becoming robs reality of all mass of impermanence. insistence should reason and accept intuition as a substitute think so. the fault of Bergson's philosophy is. perfects itself in difference. Spinozistic undifferentiated " substance " and Bergsonian heterogeneous " becoming " are both over-emphasized aspects of personality. and the ultimate nature of personality is seen to be unity in difference." activity is indubitably real. he seeks to pass by way of slowing down to the immobile. and the whole will have to be understood neither as an unchangeable self-identical unity nor as an ununified many. in If individuality to is ? upon forswear I do not be our starting-point the interpretation of the universe. then the highest form of individual which we know must be our guide. that. Does the recognition of it demand that we. as all this and the philosophers. the other of its unity. and thus makes permanence a negation All these philosophic positions t 2 have been reached by . and thus made way of diminution to activity a negation.

Thus the would be thrown more effec- are incomplete individuals. activity. All forms of idealism which point to an eternal complete whole which somehow reunchangeably and finite minds must be set aside. and which opens the way to pluralism. the ness To all assertions that demanded by thought. to see that. for the reality of individuality thereby en- is dangered. are " supple. Self-conscious- the indubitable example of the union of such diversity. achieving. that many. such an opposition The apparent opposites. of the presence of the germ of such an . reconsideration which may lead of the him I am is so much in suggestive of such sure. It is putative activity equally certain that that form of idealism or spiritualism which presents the individual as a rivulet in a stream of becoming. whether in judgments or in deductive and inductive reasonings. of unity to multiplicity. variety.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 292 a series of oppositions. for the itself in produces involved is merely apparent. tenable. yet active in the highest perfect unity. that they empty forms. the opposition of identity to diversity. which are fundamentally identical. still self is pursuing " ever becoming. concepts. is undegree. not light of his brilliant intellect tively than hitherto Indications on the nature of the whole. manence excludes is is unity multiplicity. inexorably stedfast and self-dependent. " still always manifesting greater . There the course of Bergson's thought that is an idealism. tion of idealism is one which truth contained in these two forms. yet always self-identical ." not fixed. will look to him for a nature of intelligence-knowledge. in the actual life of reason. always approaching to The whole is at least the most perfect unity and yet most perfectly differentiated. and the only ground for the assertion of real The only acceptable presentawill embody the element of activity rendered insecure. may one answer identity be given. that per- of permanence to activity.

feeland willing. he reaction his has failed value to an essential truth which against to give Hegel has — bequeathed to us namely. too rich and too various to be imprisoned within life it which human reason in his contention that " ideas " are essen- . mechanically grouped together as its meaning of the cause. in his calculus. dynamic . but in his legitimate insistence upon the reality of that which he sees. however. that. above all. for example. naturalism. creative man and the universe. sideration in the course of the history of speculative thought. but that the full cause becomes apparent only in the effect and emphatic stress which he lays upon activity. I am in the produced. Bergson sees an aspect of reality which has too frequently escaped coning. has emphasized. and his " Duration " must be placed beside the absolute " One " of Plotinus. in intellectualism. in his between associationism and individualism in the evolution of life . feels. in his determined opposition to materialism. and a too narrow rationalism which would represent reality as exhausted or exhaustible in cognition alone is any finished logical construction of can project tially in his insistence that . with this rationalism . he thinks. he has omitted to take sufficiently into account that other aspect which Hegel.ESTIMATE OF VALUE ITS 293 idealism within his thought are contained. would. With keen metaphysical vision. and. and wills as a rational being. obvious his in the of recognition of a unity of direction statement of the of the the infinitesimal conception the after feeling relation of nature psychical elan . and the " Infinite . as the essence of the life of Such a reconsideration thorough-going change forced the to sufficient conclusion or in the constant activity. in the repeated implication of the principle that the nature of any effect cannot be grasped by the conjunction of a number of elements. that in all man's thinking. involve a work which he has already work alone before me.

much as to reason. which. To many suggests. morality and religion is the always to the heart of a rational being. Knowledge. and their work primarily to the heart. very diverse impressions. the artist. to measure. the seer. remaining near its source. reconciles. when their be judged of. the joyous chant of the future." men who. terms irreconcilable by the The language which it speaks when it borrows the voice of philosophy is not comprehended in the same way by everybody." This of Bergson's consideration may philosophy be brought to a close by applying to Bergson himself the words. are the the professional philosophers. The work of Ravaisson will leave behind it.THE INTUITIVE METHOD 294 Substance " of Spinoza as an example of the illegitimate passage from the apprehension of a mere aspect to the assertion of its independent reality. it bears but others as in a dream. Some judge it vague. with a growing approximation. It is the hypostatization of the " subjective function as such. then. as indeed it appreciable intelligence. more than have preserved inmost soul of humanity. is in its Others expression. experience all that it feel it precise. as every philosophy must do which addresses The itself to feeling as poet. must stand. because they ears only the echo of a past which has disappeared apprehend in it. a reality incommensurable with our thought. which he used concerning M. but it is to addressed and the ultimate bar at which philosophy. At intervals a soul arises which seems to triumph over these complications by dint of simplicity the soul of an artist or a poet. full of eloquence and admiration. in any poetry. truth may be alive . art. is reason. . in a harmony — by the heart. Felix Ravaisson-Mollien towards the close of an address delivered before the des Sciences Morales et Politiques members of the Academie " The history of philo: sophy brings prominently before our minds an unceasingly renewed effort of reflection which labours to attenuate difficulties.

intelligence. GLASGOW : PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS &Y ROBERT MACLEHOSE AND CO. . . but the attempted interpretation of life by means of reflective for a rational mind . LTD.ESTIMATE OF of its degrees. become is ITS VALUE 295 not and cannot without self-extinction identical with being it is being reflected in and and philosophy is not life.



Ph. T have in these latter days Bergson is. LTD." THE WESTMINSTER GAZETTE. THE ATHENs£D M. by reason of must perforce abstain from the is organically one with the thought it enshrines.. Mitchell has their insularity. the first magnitude is accorded by almost universal was time that an English translation of his master- only one whereto the Hence consent. and Dr. however. with the impossible task of reproducing a synthesis of outward form and inward meaning as individual as that which unites body with soul. all the wide full justice. has done it charm of style and manner. delight of appreciating a diction which nevertheless contrived a version which in its own way is both alive and satisfying.—" We are indebted translation so to Dr. should be available for the benefit of those who. HENRI BERGSON TRANSLATED BY ARTHUR MITCHELL. net CREATIVE EVOLUTION BY PROF. it piece. i os. which makes M. A. Mitchell for a good that we often forget we are not reading the original. For all these reasons this book is a remarkable achievement. Bergson's books a delight to the reader. . It has also a poetical and imaginative background which no formal criticism can do justice to. Mr." LONDON: MACMILLAN AND CO.8vo." THE GUARDIAN.— "This book has all the knowledge on the scientific as well as on the philosophical side. Mitchell. Though faced.D. Evolution Criatrice. the translator.—"M. and which eludes us when we begin to criticise. of all the stars that appeared in the philosophic firmament.

nef 35. has been fortunate in his translators.Extra Crown 8vo. The them transla- and happy throughout the essay..A. es L. Bergson Brereton and Rothwell's version. HENRI BERGSON TRANSLATED BY CLOUDESLEY BRERETON. an exercise both profitable and charming. 6d." LONDON . which has been wonderfully M. THE TIMES. — " M. LAUGHTER An Essay on the Meaning of the Comie BY PROF. It has the familiar qualities of his genius. B. tion appears accurate . a grace. LTD. MACMILLAN AND CO. the most suggestive contribution to a study of the comic spirit that has appeared in English since Meredith's famous covering exactly the same together is field. (Paris). reproduced in Messrs. we may add. Bergson's brilliant and delightful essay on the comic has proved the most widely popular of all two. . . invite essay. though not to read .. and his works. L. The comparison ." THE SPECTATOR. such as superfine analysis and grace of style.A. — "This translation of Le Rire forms M. and FRED ROTHWELL. as in other works. here.

E. and should therefore receive a warm welcome as a very distinct want. THE GLOBE." THE CONTEMPORARY REVIEW. Bergson's metaphysics. The work well deserves translation. . since it is CO. A essay. Bergson's celebrated an indispensable preliminary understanding of M. 2 s. .— "Its the starting-point of what he means by value lies in lucid exposition oi its M. and. AN INTRODUCTION TO METAPHYSICS BY PROF. net. . to Mr." LONDON: MACMILLAN AND V translation LTD. admirable introduction to M.Crown 8vo. Bergson's position. HENRI BERGSON TRANSLATED BY T. an ." THE CAMBRIDGE REVIEW. incidentally.— "The lent.. — " A wonderfully lucid English translation." filling THE ATHENJEUM.. — "A word translation . any attempt Hulme HULME of special praise here offers us careful study of the essay at a proper this authorised translation of is is due for the excellent M.. of' intuition. excel- affords Bergson's metaphysics.


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