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Title: Bergson and His Philosophy
Author: Gunn, John Alexander, 1896-1975
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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By J. Alexander Gunn, M. A.,

Fellow of The University Of Liverpool

With An Introduction By Alexander Mair, M. A.,

Professor of Philosophy in The University Of Liverpool



















The aim of this little work is practical, and it is put forth in the
hope that it may be useful to the general reader and to the student
of philosophy as an introduction and guide to the study of Bergson's
thought. The war has led many to an interest in philosophy and to
a study of its problems. Few modern thinkers will be found more
fascinating, more suggestive and stimulating than Bergson, and it is
hoped that perusal of the following pages will lead to a study of the
writings of the philosopher himself. This is a work whose primary aim is
the clear exposition of Bergson's ideas, and the arrangement of chapters
has been worked out strictly with that end in view. An account of his
life is prefixed. An up-to-date bibliography is given, mainly to meet
the needs of English readers; all the works of Bergson which have
appeared in England or America are given, and the comprehensive list
of articles is confined to English and American publications. The
concluding chapters endeavour to estimate the value of Bergson's thought
in relation to Politics (especially Syndicalism), Ethics, Religion, and
the development of thought generally.

My thanks are due to Professor Mair, Professor of Philosophy in the
University of Liverpool, for having read the MS. while in course of
preparation, for contributing an introduction, for giving some
helpful criticism and suggestions, and, what is more, for stimulus and
encouragement given over several years of student life.

Professor Bergson has himself expressed his approval of the general form
of treatment, and I am indebted to him for information on a number
of points. To Dr. Gillespie, Professor of Philosophy at Leeds, I am
indebted for a discussion of most of the MS. following the reading of
it. My thanks are also due to Miss Margaret Linn, whose energetic and
careful assistance in preparing the MS. for the press was invaluable.
I wish also to acknowledge kindness shown in supplying information
on certain points in connexion with the bibliography by Mr. F. C.
Nicholson, Librarian of the University of Edinburgh, by Mr. R. Rye,
Librarian to the University of London, and by the University of London
Press. I am grateful to Professor Bergson and to the Delegates of the
Oxford University Press for permission to quote from La Perception du
Changement, the lectures given at Oxford. Further I must acknowledge
permission accorded to me by the English publishers of Bergson's works
to quote passages directly from these authorized translations--To
Messrs. Geo. Allen & Unwin, Ltd. (Time and Free Will and Matter and
Memory), to Messrs. Macmillan & Co., Ltd. (Creative Evolution, Laughter,
Introduction to Metaphysics), and to T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd. (Dreams).
Through the kindness of M. Louis Michaud, the Paris publisher, I have
been enabled to reproduce (from his volume of selections, Henri
Bergson: Choix de textes et etude de systeme philosophique, Gillouin) a
photograph of Bergson hitherto unpublished in this country.




The stir caused in the civilized world by the writings of Bergson,
particularly during the past decade, is evidenced by the volume of the
stream of exposition and comment which has flowed and is still flowing.
If the French were to be tempted to set up, after the German manner, a
Bergson-Archiv they would be in no embarrassment for material, as the
Appendix to this book--limited though it wisely is--will show. Mr.
Gunn, undaunted by all this, makes a further, useful contribution in his
unassuming but workmanlike and well-documented account of the ideas
of the distinguished French thinker. It is designed to serve as an
introduction to Bergson's philosophy for those who are making their
first approach to it, and as such it can be commended.

The eager interest which has been manifested in the writings of
M. Bergson is one more indication, added to the many which history
provides, of the inextinguishable vitality of Philosophy. When the
man with some important thought which bears upon its problems is
forthcoming, the world is ready, indeed is anxious, to listen. Perhaps
there is no period in recorded time in which the thinker, with something
relevant to say on the fundamental questions, has had so large and so
prepared an audience as in our own day. The zest and expectancy with
which men welcome and listen to him is almost touching; it has its
dangerous as well as its admirable aspects. The fine enthusiasm for the
physical and biological sciences, which is so noble an attribute of the
modern mind, has far from exhausted itself, but the almost boundless
hope which for a time accompanied it has notably abated. The study of
the immediate problems centring round the concepts of matter, life, and
energy goes on with undiminished, nay, with intensified, zeal, but in
a more judicious perspective. It begins to be noticed that, far from
leading us to solutions which will bring us to the core of reality and
furnish us with a synthesis which can be taken as the key to experience,
it is carrying the scientific enquirer into places in which he feels the
pressing need of Philosophy rather than the old confidence that he is
on the verge of abolishing it as a superfluity. The former hearty and
self-assured empiricism of science is giving way before the outcome of
its own logic and a new and more promising spirit of reflection on its
own "categories" is abroad. Things are turning out to be very far from
what they seemed. The physicists have come to a point where, it may be
to their astonishment, they often find themselves talking in a way which
is suspiciously like that of the subjective idealist. They have made the
useful discovery that if you sink your shaft deep enough in your search
for reality you come upon Mind. Here they are in a somewhat unfamiliar
region, in which they may possibly find that other instruments and other
methods than those to which they have been accustomed are required. At
any rate, they and the large public which hangs upon their words show a
growing inclination to be respectful to the philosopher and an anxiety
(sometimes an uncritical anxiety) to hear what he has to say.

No one needs to be reminded of the ferment which is moving in the world
of social affairs, of the obscure but powerful tendencies which are
forcing society out of its grooves and leaving it, aspiring but dubious,
in new and uncharted regions. This may affect different minds in
different ways. Some regret it, others rejoice in it; but all are aware
of it. Time-honoured political and economic formulae are become "old
clothes" for an awakened and ardent generation, and before the new
garments are quite ready; the blessed word "reconstruction" is often
mentioned. Men are not satisfied that society has really developed so
successfully as it might have done; many believe that it finds itself in
a cul-de-sac. But what is to be done? The experienced can see that many
of the offered reforms are but the repetition of old mistakes which will
involve us in the unhappy cycle of disillusion and failure. It is not to
be wondered at, therefore, if men everywhere are seeking for a sign, a
glimpse of a scheme of life, a view of reality, a hint of human destiny
and the true outcome of human effort, to be an inspiration and a guide
to them in their pathetic struggle out of the morass in which they, too
obviously, are plunged. If Philosophy has anything to say which is to
the point, then let Philosophy by all means say it. They are ready to
attend. They may indeed expect too much from it, as those who best grasp
the measure of Philosophy's task would be the first to urge.

This is the opportunity of the charlatan. Puzzled and half-desperate, we
strongly feel the influence of the need to believe, are prone to
listen to any gospel. The greater its air of finality and assurance the
stronger is its appeal. But it is the opportunity also of the serious
and competent thinker, and it is fortunate for the world that one of
M. Bergson's quality is forthcoming. He is too wise a man, he knows the
history of human thought too well, he realizes too clearly the extent of
the problem to pretend that his is the last word or that he has in his
pocket the final solution of the puzzle of the universe and the one and
only panacea for human distresses. But he has one of the most subtle and
penetrating intellects acting in and upon the world at this moment,
and is more worthy of attention than all the charlatans. That he has
obtained for himself so great an audience is one of the most striking
and hopeful signs of the present time.

It is the more impressive inasmuch as Bergson cannot be said to be an
easy author. The originality and sweep of his conceptions, the fine and
delicate psychological analysis in which he is so adept and which is
necessary for the development of his ideas--e.g., in his exposition
of duree--make exacting demands upon those readers who wish to closely
follow his thought. An interesting fact is that this is realized most
of all by those who come to Bergson with a long process of philosophical
discipline behind them. It is not surprising when we remember what he
is trying to do, namely, to induce philosophical thought to run in
new channels. The general reader has here an advantage over the other,
inasmuch as he has less to unlearn. In the old words, unless we become
as little children we cannot enter into this kingdom; though it is true
that we do not remain as little children once entry is made. This is a
serious difficulty for the hard-bitten philosopher who at considerable
pains has formed conceptions, acquired a technique, and taken an
orientation towards life and the universe which he cannot dismiss in
a moment. It says much for the charitable spirit of Bergson's
fellow-philosophers that they have given so friendly and hospitable a
reception to his disturbing ideas, and so essentially humane a man as
he must have been touched by this. The Bahnbrecher has his troubles,
no doubt, but so also have those upon whose minds he is endeavouring to
operate. Reinhold, one of Kant's earliest disciples, ruefully stated,
according to Schopenhauer's story, that it was only after having gone
through the Critique of Pure Reason five times with the closest and
most scrupulous attention that he was able to get a grasp of Kant's real
meaning. Now, after the lapse of a century and a half, Kant to many is
child's play compared with Bergson, who differs more fundamentally from
Kant than the Scoto-German thinker did from Leibniz and Hume. But this
need not alarm the general reader who, innocent of any very articulate
philosophical preconceptions, may indeed find in the very "novelty" of
Bergson's teaching a powerful attraction, inasmuch as it gives effective
expression to thoughts and tendencies moving dimly and half-formed in
the consciousness of our own epoch, felt rather than thought. In this
sense Bergson may be said to have produced a "philosophy for the times."
In one respect Bergson has a marked advantage over Kant, and indeed over
most other philosophers, namely, in his recognized masterly control over
the instrument of language. There is a minimum of jargon, nothing
turgid or crabbed. He reminds us most, in the skill and charm of his
expression, of Plato and Berkeley among the philosophers. He does not
work with so fine and biting a point as his distinguished countryman and
fellow-philosopher, Anatole France, but he has, nevertheless, a burin
at command of remarkable quality. He is a master of the succinct and
memorable phrase in which an idea is etched out for us in a few strokes.
Already, in his lifetime, a number of terms stamped with the impress
of Bergson's thought have passed into international currency. In this
connexion, has it been remarked that while an Englishman gave to the
French the term "struggle for life," a Frenchman has given to us the
term elan vital? It is worthy of passing notice and gives rise to
reflections on the respective national temperaments, fanciful perhaps,
but interesting. It is not, however, under the figure of the etcher's
art or of the process of the mint that we can fully represent Bergson's
resources of style. These suggest staccato effects, hard outlines, and
that does not at all represent the prose of this writer. It is a fine,
delicately interwoven, tissue-like fabric, pliant and supple. If
one were in the secret of M. Bergson's private thoughts, it might be
discovered that he does not admire his style so much as others do, for
his whole manner of thought must, one suspects, have led him often to
attempt to express the inexpressible. The ocean of life, that fluide
bienfaisant in which we are immersed, has no doubt often proved too
fluid even for him. "Only the understanding has a language," he almost
ruefully declares in L'Evolution creatrice; and the understanding is,
for him, compared with intuition peu de chose. Yet we can say that in
what he has achieved his success is remarkable. The web of language
which he weaves seems to fit and follow the movements of his thought as
the skin ripples over the moving muscles of the thoroughbred. And this
is not an accidental or trivial fact. M. Bergson may possibly agree with
Seneca that "too much attention to style does not become a philosopher,"
but the quality of his thought and temperament does not allow him to
express himself otherwise than lucidly. Take this, almost at random, as
a characteristic example. It must be given, of course, in the original:

"L'intelligence humaine, telle que nous la representons, n'est point du
tout celle que nous montrait Platon dans l'allegorie de la caverne. Elle
n'a pas plus pour fonction de regarder passer des ombres vaines que de
contempler, en se retournant derriere elle, l'astre eblouissant. Elle
a autre chose a faire. Atteles comme des boeufs de labour, a une lourde
tache, nous sentons le jeu de nos muscles et de nos articulations, le
poids de la charrue et la resistance du sol: agir et se savoir agir,
entrer en contact avec la realite et meme la vivre, mais dans la measure
seulement ou elle interesse l'oeuvre qui s'accomplit et le sillon qui se
creuse, voila la fonction de l'intelligence humaine."

That is sufficiently clear; we may legitimately doubt whether it is
an adequate account of the function of the human intelligence, but we
cannot be in any doubt as to what the view is; and more than that, once
we have become acquainted with it, we are not likely to forget it.

For the student as yet unpractised in philosophical reflection,
Bergson's skill and clarity of statement, his fertility in illustration,
his frequent and picturesque use of analogy may be a pitfall. It all
sounds so convincing and right, as Bergson puts it, that the critical
faculty is put to sleep. There is peril in this, particularly here,
where we have to deal with so bold and even revolutionary a doctrine. If
we are able to retain our independence of judgment we are bound sooner
or later, in spite of Bergson's persuasiveness, to have our misgivings.
After all, we may begin to reflect, he has been too successful, he
has proved too much. In attempting to use, as he was bound to do, the
intelligence to discredit the intelligence he has been attempting the
impossible. He has only succeeded in demonstrating the authority, the
magisterial power, of the intelligence. No step in Philosophy can
be taken without it. What are Life, Consciousness, Evolution, even
Movement, as these terms are employed by Bergson, but the symbolization
of concepts which on his own showing are the peculiar products of the
human understanding or intelligence? It seems, indeed, on reflection,
the oddest thing that Philosophy should be employed in the service of
an anti-intellectual, or as it would be truer to call it a
supra-intellectual, attitude. Philosophy is a thinking view of things.
It represents the most persistent effort of the human intelligence to
satisfy its own needs, to attempt to solve the problems which it has
created: in the familiar phrase, to heal the wounds which it has itself
made. The intellect, therefore, telling itself that it is incompetent
for this purpose, is a strange, and not truly impressive, spectacle.

We are not enabled to recover from the sense of impotency thus created
by being referred to "intuition." Bergson is not the first to try this
way out. It would be misleading, no doubt, to identify him with the
members of the Scottish School of a hundred years ago or with Jacobi;
he reaches his conclusion in another way, and that conclusion is
differently framed; nevertheless, in essence there is a similarity, and
Hegel's comments [Footnote: Smaller Logic, Wallace's translation, c.
v.] on Bergson's forerunners will often be found to have point with
reference to Bergson himself.

It is hardly conceivable that any careful observer of human experience
would deny the presence and power of intuition in that experience. The
fact is too patent. Many who would not give the place to intuition which
is assigned to it by Bergson would be ready to say that there may be
more in the thrilling and passionate intuitive moments than Philosophy,
after an age-long and painful effort, has been able to express. All
knowledge, indeed, may be said to be rooted in intuition. Many a thinker
has been supported and inspired through weary years of inquiry and
reflection by a mother-idea which has come to him, if not unsought yet
uncompelled, in a flash of insight. But that is the beginning, not the
end, of his task. It is but the raw material of knowledge, knowledge in
potentia. To invert the order is to destroy Philosophy not to serve
it, is, indeed, a mere counsel of desperation. An intuitive Philosophy
so-called finds itself sooner or later, generally sooner, in a blind
alley. Practically, it gives rise to all kinds of crude and wasteful
effort. It is not an accident that Georges Sorel in his Reflexions sur
la Violence takes his "philosophy" from Bergson or, at least, leans on
him. There are intuitions and intuitions, as every wise man knows, as
William James once ruefully admitted after his adventures with nitrous
oxide, or as the eaters of hashish will confess. To follow all our
intuitions would lead us into the wildest dervish dance of thought and
action and leave us spent and disheartened at the end. "Agnosticism"
would be too mild a term for the result. Our intuitions have to be tried
and tested; there is a thorny and difficult path of criticism to be
traversed before we can philosophically endorse them and find peace of
mind. What Hoffding says is in a sense quite true: "When we pass into
intuition we pass into a state without problems." But that is, as
Hoffding intends us to understand, not because all problems are thereby
solved, but because they have not yet emerged. If we consent to remain
at that point, we refuse to make the acquaintance of Philosophy; if we
recognize the problems that are really latent there, we soon realize
that the business of Philosophy is yet to be transacted.

The fact is that in this part of his doctrine--and it is an important
part--the brilliant French writer, in his endeavours to make
philosophizing more concrete and practical, makes it too abstract.
Intuition is not a process over against and quite distinct from
conceptual thought. Both are moments in the total process of man's
attempt to come to terms with the universe, and too great emphasis on
either distorts and falsifies the situation in which we find ourselves
on this planet. The insistence on intuition is doubtless due, at bottom,
to Bergson's admiration for the activity in the creative artist. The
border-line between Art and Philosophy becomes almost an imaginary line
with him. In the one case as in the other we have, according to him,
to get inside the object by a sort of sympathy. True, there is this
difference, he says, that aesthetic intuition achieves only the
individual--which is doubtful--whereas the philosophic intuition is
to be conceived as a "recherche orientee dans la meme sens que l'art,
indeed, but qui prendrait pour objet la vie en general." He fails
to note, it may be observed, that the expression of the aesthetic
intuition, that is to say, Art, is always fixed and static. This in
view of other aspects of his doctrine is remarkable. But apart from
this attempt to practically identify Art and Philosophy--a hopeless
attempt--there is, of course, available as a means of explanation the
well-known and not entirely deplorable tendency of the protestant and
innovator to overstate his case, to bring out by strong emphasis the
aspect with which he is chiefly concerned and which he thinks has been
unduly neglected. This, as hinted, has its merits, and not only or
chiefly for Philosophy, but also, and perhaps primarily, for the conduct
of life. If he convinces men, should they need convincing, that they
cannot be saved by the discursive reason alone, he will have done a good
service to his generation, and to the philosophers among them who may
(though they ought not to) be tempted to ignore the intuitive element in

The same tendency to over-emphasis can be observed elsewhere. It is
noticeable, for instance, in his discussions of Change, which are so
marked and important a feature in his writings. His Philosophy has been
called, with his approval apparently, the Philosophy of Change, though
it might have been called, still more truly and suggestively, the
Philosophy of Creation. It is this latter phase of it which has so
enormously interested and stimulated the world. As to his treatment of
Change, it reveals Bergson in one of his happiest moods. It is difficult
to restrain one's praise in speaking of the subtle and resourceful
way in which he handles this tantalizing and elusive question. It is a
stroke of genius. The student of Philosophy, of course, at once thinks
of Heraclitus; but Bergson is not merely another Heraclitus any more
than he is just an echo of Jacobi. He places Change in a new light,
enables us to grasp its character with a success which, if he had no
other claim to remembrance, would ensure for him an honourable place
in the History of Philosophy. In the process he makes but a mouthful
of Zeno and his eternal puzzles. But, as Mr. Gunn also points
out,[Footnote: See p. 142.] Change cannot be the last word in our
characterization of Reality. Pure Change is not only unthinkable--that
perhaps Bergson would allow--but it is something which cannot be
experienced. There must be points of reference--a starting point and an
ending point at least. Pure Change, as is the way with "pure" anything,
turns into its contradictory. Paradoxical though it may seem, it ends
as static. It becomes the One and Indivisible. This, at least, was
recognized by Heraclitus and is expressed by him in his figure of the
Great Year.

It is not my purpose, however, to usurp the function of the author of
this useful handbook to Bergson. The extent of my introductory remarks
is an almost involuntary tribute to the material and provocative nature
of Bergson's discussions, just as the frequent use by the author of this
book of the actual words of Bergson are a tribute to the excellence
and essential rightness of his style. The Frenchman, himself a free and
candid spirit, would be the last to require unquestioning docility in
others. He knows that thereby is the philosophic breath choked out of
us. If we read him in the spirit in which he would wish to be read, we
shall find, however much we may diverge from him on particular issues,
that our labour has been far from wasted. He undoubtedly calls for
considerable effort from the student who takes him, as he ought to be
taken, seriously; but it is effort well worth while. He, perhaps, shines
even more as a psychologist than as a philosopher--at least in the
time-honoured sense. He has an almost uncanny introspective insight
and, as has been said, a power of rendering its result in language which
creates in the reader a sense of excitement and adventure not to be
excelled by the ablest romancer. Fadaises, which are to be met with in
philosophical works as elsewhere, are not to be frequently encountered
in his writings. There is always the fresh breeze of original thought
blowing here. He is by nature as well as by doctrine the sworn foe of
conventionality. Though he may not give us all we would wish, in our
haste to be all-wise, let us yet be grateful to him for this, that he
has the purpose and also the power to shake us out of complacency, to
compel us to recast our philosophical account. In this he is supremely
serviceable to his generation, and is deserving of the gratitude of all
who care for Philosophy. For, while Philosophy cannot die, it may be
allowed to fall into a comatose condition; and this is the unpardonable



This huge vision of time and motion, of a mighty world which is always
becoming, always changing, growing, striving, and wherein the word of
power is not law, but life, has captured the modern imagination no less
than the modern intellect. It lights with its splendour the patient
discoveries of science. It casts a new radiance on theology, ethics and
art. It gives meaning to some of our deepest instincts, our strangest
and least explicable tendencies. But above and beyond all this, it lifts
the awful weight which determinism had laid upon our spirits and fills
the future with hope; for beyond the struggle and suffering inseparable
from life's flux, as we know it, it reports to us, though we may not
hear them, "the thunder of new wings."

Evelyn Underhill



Birth and education--Teaches at Clermont-Ferrand--Les donnees immediates
de la conscience--Matiere et Memoire--Chair of Greek Philosophy,
then of Modern Philosophy, College de France--L'Evolution
creatrice--Relations with William James--Visits England and
America--Popularity--Neo-Catholics and Syndicalists--Election to
Academie francaise--War-work--

L'Energie spirituelle.

Bergson's life has been the quiet and uneventful one of a French
professor, the chief landmarks in it being the publication of his three
principal works, first, in 1889, the Essai sur les donnees immediates
de la conscience, then Matiere et Memoire in 1896, and L'Evolution
creatrice in 1907. On October 18th, 1859, Henri Louis Bergson was born
in Paris in the Rue Lamartine, not far from the Opera House.[Footnote:
He was not born in England as Albert Steenbergen erroneously states in
his work, Henri Bergsons Intuitive Philosophie, Jena, 1909, p. 2, nor
in 1852, the date given by Miss Stebbing in her Pragmatism and French
Voluntarism.] He is descended from a prominent Jewish family of Poland,
with a blend of Irish blood from his mother's side. His family lived
in London for a few years after his birth, and he obtained an early
familiarity with the English language from his mother. Before he was
nine years old his parents crossed the Channel and settled in France,
Henri becoming a naturalized citizen of the Republic.

In Paris from 1868 to 1878 he attended the Lycee Fontaine, now known as
the Lycee Condorcet. While there he obtained a prize for his scientific
work and also won a prize when he was eighteen for the solution of a
mathematical problem. This was in 1877, and his solution was published
the following year in Annales de Mathematiques. It is of interest as
being his first published work. After some hesitation over his career,
as to whether it should lie in the sphere of the sciences or that of
"the humanities," he decided in favour of the latter, and when nineteen
years of age, he entered the famous Ecole Normale Superieure. While
there he obtained the degree of Licencie-es-Lettres, and this was
followed by that of Agrege de philosophie in 1881.

The same year he received a teaching appointment at the Lycee in Angers,
the ancient capital of Anjou. Two years later he settled at the Lycee
Blaise-Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand, chief town of the Puy de Dome
department, whose name is more known to motorists than to philosophers.
The year after his arrival at Clermont-Ferrand he displayed his ability
in "the humanities" by the publication of an excellent edition of
extracts from Lucretius, with a critical study of the text and the
philosophy of the poet (1884), a work whose repeated editions are
sufficient evidence of its useful place in the promotion of classical
study among the youth of France. While teaching and lecturing in this
beautiful part of his country (the Auvergne region), Bergson found time
for private study and original work. He was engaged on his Essai sur les
donnees immediates de la conscience. This essay, which, in its English
translation, bears the more definite and descriptive title, Time and
Free Will, was submitted, along with a short Latin Thesis on Aristotle,
for the degree of Docteur-es-Lettres, to which he was admitted by the
University of Paris in 1889. The work was published in the same year
by Felix Alcan, the Paris publisher, in his series La Bibliotheque de
philosophie contemporaine.

It is interesting to note that Bergson dedicated this volume to Jules
Lachelier, then ministre de l'instruction publique, who was an ardent
disciple of Ravaisson and the author of a rather important philosophical
work Du fondement de l'Induction (1871), who in his view of things
endeavoured "to substitute everywhere force for inertia, life for
death, and liberty for fatalism." [Footnote: Lachelier was born in 1832,
Ravaisson in 1813. Bergson owed much to both of these teachers of the
Ecole Normale Superieure. Cf. his memorial address on Ravaisson, who
died in 1900. (See Bibliography under 1904.)]

Bergson now settled again in Paris, and after teaching for some months
at the Municipal College, known as the College Rollin, he received
an appointment at the Lycee Henri-Quatre, where he remained for eight
years. In 1896 he published his second large work, entitled Matiere et
Memoire. This rather difficult, but brilliant, work investigates the
function of the brain, undertakes an analysis of perception and memory,
leading up to a careful consideration of the problems of the relation
of body and mind. Bergson, we know, has spent years of research in
preparation for each of his three large works. This is especially
obvious in Matiere et Memoire, where he shows a very thorough
acquaintance with the extensive amount of pathological investigation
which has been carried out in recent years, and for which France is
justly entitled to very honourable mention.

In 1898 Bergson became Maitre de conferences at his Alma Mater, L'Ecole
Normale Superieure, and was later promoted to a Professorship. The year
1900 saw him installed as Professor at the College de France, where
he accepted the Chair of Greek Philosophy in succession to Charles
L'Eveque. The College de France, founded in 1530, by Francois I, is
less ancient, and until recent years has been less prominent in general
repute than the Sorbonne, which traces back its history to the middle
of the thirteenth century. Nevertheless, it is one of the intellectual
headquarters of France, indeed of the whole world. While the Sorbonne is
now the seat of the University of Paris, the College is an independent
institution under the control of the Ministre de l'Instruction
publique. The lectures given by the very eminent professors who fill
its forty-three chairs are free and open to the general public, and are
attended mainly by a large number of women students and by the senior
students from the University. The largest lecture room in the College
was given to Bergson, but this became quite inadequate to accommodate
his hearers.

At the First International Congress of Philosophy, which was held in
Paris, during the first five days of August, 1900, Bergson read a short,
but important, paper, Sur les origines psychologiques de notre croyance
a la loi de causalite. In 1901 Felix Alcan published in book form a work
which had just previously appeared in the Revue de Paris entitled Le
Rire, one of the most important of his minor productions. This essay on
the meaning of the Comic was based on a lecture which he had given
in his early days in the Auvergne. The study of it is essential to an
understanding of Bergson's views of life, and its passages dealing with
the place of the artistic in life are valuable. In 1901 he was elected
to the Academie des Sciences morales et politiques, and became a member
of the Institute. In 1903 he contributed to the Revue de metaphysique
et de morale a very important essay entitled Introduction a la
metaphysique, which is useful as a preface to the study of his three
large books.

On the death of Gabriel Tarde, the eminent sociologist, in 1904, Bergson
succeeded him in the Chair of Modern Philosophy. From the 4th to the
8th of September of that year he was at Geneva attending the Second
International Congress of Philosophy, when he lectured on Le Paralogisme
psycho-physiologique, or, to quote its new title, Le Cerveau et la
Pensee: une illusion philosophique. An illness prevented his visiting
Germany to attend the Third Congress held at Heidelberg.

His third large work--his greatest book--L'Evolution creatrice, appeared
in 1907, and is undoubtedly, of all his works, the one which is most
widely known and most discussed. It constitutes one of the most profound
and original contributions to the philosophical consideration of the
theory of Evolution. Un livre comme L'Evolution creatrice, remarks
Imbart de la Tour, n'est pas seulment une oeuvre, mais une date, celle
d'une direction nouvelle imprimee a la pensee. By 1918, Alcan, the
publisher, had issued twenty-one editions, making an average of two
editions per annum for ten years. Since the appearance of this book,
Bergson's popularity has increased enormously, not only in academic
circles, but among the general reading public.

He came to London in 1908 and visited William James, the American
philosopher of Harvard, who was Bergson's senior by seventeen years,
and who was instrumental in calling the attention of the Anglo-American
public to the work of the French professor. This was an interesting
meeting and we find James' impression of Bergson given in his Letters
under date of October 4, 1908. "So modest and unpretending a man but
such a genius intellectually! I have the strongest suspicions that the
tendency which he has brought to a focus, will end by prevailing, and
that the present epoch will be a sort of turning point in the history of

As in some quarters erroneous ideas prevail regarding both the
historical and intellectual relation between James and Bergson, it may
be useful to call attention to some of the facts here. As early as 1880
James contributed an article in French to the periodical La Critique
philosophique, of Renouvier and Pillon, entitled Le Sentiment de
l'Effort.[Footnote: Cf. his Principles of Psychology, Vol. II., chap
xxvi.] Four years later a couple of articles by him appeared in Mind:
What is an Emotion?[Footnote: Mind, 1884, pp. 188-205.] and On some
Omissions of Introspective Psychology.[Footnote: Mind, 1884, pp. 1-26.]
Of these articles the first two were quoted by Bergson in his work of
1889, Les donnees immediates de la conscience. In the following
years 1890-91 appeared the two volumes of James' monumental work,
The Principles of Psychology, in which he refers to a pathological
phenomenon observed by Bergson. Some writers taking merely these dates
into consideration, and overlooking the fact that James' investigations
had been proceeding since 1870, registered from time to time by various
articles which culminated in The Principles, have mistakenly assigned
to Bergson's ideas priority in time.[Footnote: For example A. Chaumeix:
William James (Revue des Deux Mondes, Oct, 1910), and J. Bourdeau:
Nouvelles modes en philosophie, Journal de Debats, Feb., 1907. Cf.
Flournoy: La philosophie de William James. (Eng. Trans. Holt and James,
pp. 198-206).] On the other hand insinuations have been made to the
effect that Bergson owes the germ-ideas of his first book to the 1884
article by James On Some Omissions of Introspective Psychology, which
he neither refers to nor quotes. This particular article deals with
the conception of thought as a stream of consciousness, which intellect
distorts by framing into concepts. We must not be misled by parallels.
Bergson has replied to this insinuation by denying that he had any
knowledge of the article by James when he wrote Les donnees immediates
de la conscience.[Footnote: Relation a William James et a James Ward.
Art. in Revue philosophique, Aug., 1905, lx., p. 229.] The two thinkers
appear to have developed independently until almost the close of the
century. In truth they are much further apart in their intellectual
position than is frequently supposed.[Footnote: The reader who desires
to follow the various views of the relation of Bergson and James will
find the following works useful. Kallen (a pupil of James): William
James and Henri Bergson: a study in contrasting theories of life.
Stebbing: Pragmatism and French Voluntarism. Caldwell: Pragmatism and
Idealism (last chap). Perry: Present Philosophical Tendencies. Boutroux:
William James (Eng. Tr.). Flournoy: La philosophie de James (Eng. Tr.).
And J. E. Turner: An Examination of William James' Philosophy.] Both
have succeeded in appealing to audiences far beyond the purely academic
sphere, but only in their mutual rejection of "intellectualism" as final
is there real harmony or unanimity between them. It will not do to press
too closely analogies between the Radical Empiricism of the American
and the Doctrine of Intuition of the Frenchman. Although James obtains a
certain priority in point of time in the development and enunciation
of his ideas, we must remember that he confessed that he was baffled by
many of Bergson's notions. James certainly neglected many of the deeper
metaphysical aspects of Bergson's thought, which did not harmonize
with his own, and are even in direct contradiction. In addition to this
Bergson is no pragmatist, for him "utility," so far from being a test of
truth, is rather the reverse, a synonym for error.

Nevertheless, William James hailed Bergson as an ally very
enthusiastically. Early in the century (1903) we find him remarking in
his correspondence: "I have been re-reading Bergson's books, and nothing
that I have read since years has so excited and stimulated my thoughts.
I am sure that that philosophy has a great future, it breaks through old
cadres and brings things into a solution from which new crystals can
be got." The most noteworthy tributes paid by him to Bergson were those
made in the Hibbert Lectures (A Pluralistic Universe), which James
gave at Manchester College, Oxford, shortly after he and Bergson met in
London. He there remarked upon the encouragement he had received from
Bergson's thought, and referred to the confidence he had in being "able
to lean on Bergson's authority." [Footnote: A Pluralistic Universe, pp.
214-15. Cf. the whole of Lecture V. The Compounding of Consciousness,
pp. 181-221, and Lecture VI. Bergson and His Critique of
Intellectualism, pp. 225-273.] "Open Bergson, and new horizons loom on
every page you read. It is like the breath of the morning and the song
of birds. It tells of reality itself, instead of merely reiterating
what dusty-minded professors have written about what other previous
professors have thought. Nothing in Bergson is shop-worn or at
second-hand." [Footnote: Lecture VI., p. 265.] The influence of Bergson
had led him "to renounce the intellectualist method and the current
notion that logic is an adequate measure of what can or cannot be."
[Footnote: A Pluralistic Universe, p. 212.] It had induced him, he
continued, "TO GIVE UP THE LOGIC, squarely and irrevocably" as a method,
for he found that "reality, life, experience, concreteness, immediacy,
use what word you will, exceeds our logic, overflows, and surrounds it."
[Footnote: A Pluralistic Universe, p. 212.]

Naturally, these remarks, which appeared in book form in 1909, directed
many English and American readers to an investigation of Bergson's
philosophy for themselves. A certain handicap existed in that his
greatest work had not then been translated into English. James, however,
encouraged and assisted Dr. Arthur Mitchell in his preparation of the
English translation of L'Evolution creatrice. In August of 1910 James
died. It was his intention, had he lived to see the completion of
the translation, to introduce it to the English reading public by a
prefatory note of appreciation. In the following year the translation
was completed and still greater interest in Bergson and his work was the
result. By a coincidence, in that same year (1911), Bergson penned
for the French translation of James' book, Pragmatism,[Footnote: Le
Pragmatisme: Translated by Le Brun. Paris, Flammarion.] a preface
of sixteen pages, entitled Verite et Realite. In it he expressed
sympathetic appreciation of James' work, coupled with certain important

In April (5th to 11th) Bergson attended the Fourth International
Congress of Philosophy held at Bologna, in Italy, where he gave
a brilliant address on L'Intuition philosophique. In response to
invitations received he came again to England in May of that year, and
has paid us several subsequent visits. These visits have always been
noteworthy events and have been marked by important deliverances. Many
of these contain important contributions to thought and shed new light
on many passages in his three large works, Time and Free Will,
Matter and Memory, and Creative Evolution. Although necessarily brief
statements, they are of more recent date than his books, and thus show
how this acute thinker can develop and enrich his thought and take
advantage of such an opportunity to make clear to an English audience
the fundamental principles of his philosophy.

He visited Oxford and delivered at the University, on the 26th and 27th
of May, two lectures entitled La Perception du Changement, which were
published in French in the same year by the Clarendon Press. As Bergson
has a delightful gift of lucid and brief exposition, when the occasion
demands such treatment, these lectures on Change form a most valuable
synopsis or brief survey of the fundamental principles of his
thought, and serve the student or general reader alike as an excellent
introduction to the study of the larger volumes. Oxford honoured its
distinguished visitor by conferring upon him the degree of Doctor of
Science. Two days later he delivered the Huxley Lecture at Birmingham
University, taking for his subject Life and Consciousness. This
subsequently appeared in The Hibbert Journal (Oct., 1911), and since
revised, forms the first essay in the collected volume L'Energie
spirituelle or Mind-Energy. In October he was again in England, where
he had an enthusiastic reception, and delivered at London University
(University College) four lectures on La Nature de l'Ame. In 1913 he
visited the United States of America, at the invitation of Columbia
University, New York, and lectured in several American cities, where
he was welcomed by very large audiences. In February, at Columbia
University, he lectured both in French and English, taking as his
subjects: Spiritualite et Liberte and The Method of Philosophy. Being
again in England in May of the same year, he accepted the Presidency of
the British Society for Psychical Research, and delivered to the Society
an impressive address: Fantomes des Vivants et Recherche psychique.

Meanwhile, his popularity increased, and translations of his works began
to appear in a number of languages, English, German, Italian, Danish,
Swedish, Magyar, Polish and Russian. In 1914 he was honoured by
his fellow-countrymen in being elected as a member of the Academie
francaise. He was also made President of the Academie des Sciences
morales et politiques, and in addition he became Officier de la Legion
d'Honneur, and Officier de l'Instruction publique. He found disciples
of many varied types, and in France movements such as Neo-Catholicism or
Modernism on the one hand and Syndicalism on the other, endeavoured to
absorb and to appropriate for their own immediate use and propaganda
some of the central ideas of his teaching. That important continental
organ of socialist and syndicalist theory, Le Mouvement socialiste,
suggested that the realism of Karl Marx and Prudhon is hostile to all
forms of intellectualism, and that, therefore, supporters of Marxian
socialism should welcome a philosophy such as that of Bergson. Other
writers, in their eagerness, asserted the collaboration of the Chair of
Philosophy at the College de France with the aims of the Confederation
Generale du Travail and the Industrial Workers of the World. It
was claimed that there is harmony between the flute of personal
philosophical meditation and the trumpet of social revolution. These
statements are considered in the chapter dealing with the political
implications of Bergson's thought.

While social revolutionaries were endeavouring to make the most out
of Bergson, many leaders of religious thought, particularly the more
liberal-minded theologians of all creeds, e.g., the Modernists and
Neo-Catholic Party in his own country, showed a keen interest in
his writings, and many of them endeavoured to find encouragement and
stimulus in his work. The Roman Catholic Church, however, which still
believes that finality was reached in philosophy with the work of
Thomas Aquinas, in the thirteenth century, and consequently makes that
mediaeval philosophy her official, orthodox, and dogmatic view, took
the step of banning Bergson's three books by placing them upon the Index
(Decree of June 1, 1914).

It was arranged by the Scottish Universities that Bergson should deliver
in 1914 the famous Gifford Lectures, and one course was planned for
the spring and another for the autumn. The first course, consisting
of eleven lectures, under the title of The Problem of Personality, was
delivered at Edinburgh University in the Spring of that year.

Then came the War. The course of lectures planned for the autumn months
had to be abandoned. Bergson has not, however, been silent during
the conflict, and he has given some inspiring addresses. As early as
November 4th, 1914, he wrote an article entitled La force qui s'use et
celle qui ne s'use pas, which appeared in that unique and interesting
periodical of the poilus, Le Bulletin des Armees de la Republique
Francaise. A presidential address delivered in December, 1914, to
the Academie des sciences morales et politiques, had for its title La
Significance de la Guerre. This, together with the preceding article,
has been translated and published in England as The Meaning of the
War. Bergson contributed also to the publication arranged by The Daily
Telegraph in honour of the King of the Belgians, King Albert's Book
(Christmas, 1914). In 1915 he was succeeded in the office of President
of the Academie des Sciences morales et politiques by M. Alexandre
Ribot, and then delivered a discourse on The Evolution of German
Imperialism. Meanwhile he found time to issue at the request of the
Minister of Public Instruction a delightful little summary of French
Philosophy. Bergson did a large amount of travelling and lecturing in
America during the war. He was there when the French Mission under M.
Viviani paid a visit in April and May of 1917, following upon America's
entry into the conflict. M. Viviani's book La Mission francaise en
Amerique, 1917, contains a preface by Bergson.

Early in 1918 he was officially received by the Academie francaise,
taking his seat among "The Select Forty" as successor to M. Emile
Ollivier, the author of the large and notable historical work L'Empire
liberal. A session was held in January in his honour at which he
delivered an address on Ollivier.

In the War, Bergson saw the conflict of Mind and Matter, or rather of
Life and Mechanism; and thus he shows us in action the central idea of
his own philosophy. To no other philosopher has it fallen, during
his lifetime, to have his philosophical principles so vividly and so
terribly tested. We are too close to the smoking crucible of war to be
aware of all that has been involved in it. Even those who have helped in
the making of history are too near to it to regard it historically, much
less philosophically. Yet one cannot help feeling that the defeat of
German militarism has been the proof in action of the validity of much
of Bergson's thought.

As many of Bergson's contributions to French periodicals are not readily
accessible, he agreed to the request of his friends that these should
be collected and published in two volumes. The first of these was being
planned when war broke out. The conclusion of strife has been marked
by the appearance of this delayed volume in 1919. It bears the title
L'Energie spirituelle: Essais et Conferences. The noted expounder
of Bergson's philosophy in England, Dr. Wildon Carr, has prepared an
English Translation under the title Mind-Energy. The volume opens
with the Huxley Memorial Lecture of 1911, Life and Consciousness, in a
revised and developed form under the title Consciousness and Life. Signs
of Bergson's growing interest in social ethics and in the idea of a
future life of personal survival are manifested. The lecture before the
Society for Psychical Research is included, as is also the one given
in France, L'Ame et le Corps, which contains the substance of the four
London lectures on the Soul. The seventh and last article is a reprint
of Bergson's famous lecture to the Congress of Philosophy at Geneva
in 1904, Le paralogisme psycho-physiologique, which now appears as Le
Cerveau et la Pensee: une illusion philosophique. Other articles are on
the False Recognition, on Dreams, and Intellectual Effort. The volume is
a most welcome production and serves to bring together what Bergson has
written on the concept of mental force, and on his view of "tension" and
"detension" as applied to the relation of matter and mind.

It is Bergson's intention to follow up this collection shortly by
another on the Method of Philosophy, dealing with the problems of
Intuition. For this he is preparing an important introduction, dealing
with recent developments in philosophy. This second volume will
include the Lectures on The Perception of Change given at Oxford, The
Introduction to Metaphysics, and the brilliant paper Philosophical
Intuition. In June, 1920, Cambridge honoured him with the degree of
Doctor of Letters. In order that he may be able to devote his full
time to the great new work he is preparing on ethics, religion, and
sociology, Bergson has been relieved of the duties attached to the
Chair of Modern Philosophy at the College de France. He still holds this
chair, but no longer delivers lectures, his place being taken by his
brilliant pupil Edouard Le Roy. Living with his wife and daughter in
a modest house in a quiet street near the Porte d'Auteuil in Paris,
Bergson is now working as keenly and vigorously as ever.



Fundamental in Bergson's philosophy. We are surrounded by changes--we
ourselves change--Belief in change--Simplicity of change--Immobility
is composite and relative--All movement is indivisible. The fallacy of
"states"--Intellect loves the static--Life is dynamic--Change, the very
stuff of life, constitutes reality.

Throughout the history of thought we find that the prevailing
philosophies have always reflected some of the characteristics of their
time. For instance, in those periods when, as historians tell us, the
tendency towards unity, conformity, system, order, and authority was
strong, we find philosophy reflecting these conditions by emphasizing
the unity of the universe; while in those periods in which established
order, system, and authority were disturbed, the philosophy of the
time emphasizes the idea of multiplicity as opposed to the unity of
the universe, laying stress on freedom, creative action, spontaneity of
effort, and the reality of change. There can be little doubt that this
is the chief reason why Bergson's philosophy has found such an amount of
acceptance in a comparatively short period. The response to his thought
may be explained very largely by this, that already his fundamental
ideas existed, although implicit, unexpressed, in the minds of a great
multitude of thoughtful people, to whom the static conceptions of the
universe were inadequate and false.

We must not, on the other hand, overlook the fact that Bergson's
statements have in their turn given an emphasis to all aspects of
thought which take account of the reality of change and which realize
its importance in all spheres. A writer on world politics very aptly
reminds us that "life is change, and a League of Peace that aimed at
preserving peace by forbidding change would be a tyranny as oppressive
as any Napoleonic dictatorship. These problems called for periodic
change. The peril of our future is that, while the need for change
is instinctively grasped by some peoples as the fundamental fact of
world-politics, to perceive it costs others a difficult effort of
thought." [Footnote: H. N. Brailsford on Peace and Change, Chap. 3 of
his Book A League of Nations.] However difficult it may be for some
individuals and for some nations to grasp it, the great fact is
there--the reality of change is undeniable.

Bergson himself would give to his philosophy the title, The Philosophy
of Change, and this for a very good reason, for the principle of
Change and an insistence on its reality lies at the root of his
thought.[Footnote: He suggested this as a sub-title to Dr. H. Wildon
Carr for his little work Henri Bergson (People's Books). Dr. Wildon
Carr's later and larger work bears this as its full title.] "We know
that everything changes," we find him saying in his London lectures,
"but it is mere words. From the earliest times recorded in the history
of philosophy, philosophers have never stopped saying that everything
changes; but, when the moment came for the practical application of this
proposition, they acted as if they believed that at the bottom of things
there is immobility and invariability. The greatest difficulties of
philosophy are due to not taking account of the fact that Change and
Movement are universal. It is not enough to say that everything changes
and moves--we must believe it." [Footnote: Second of the four lectures on
La Nature de l'Ame delivered at London University, Oct. 21, 1911. From
report in The Times for Oct. 23, 1911, p. 4.] In order to think Change
and to see it, a whole mass of prejudices must be swept aside--some
artificial, the products of speculative philosophy, and others the
natural product of common-sense. We tend to regard immobility as a
more simple affair than movement. But what we call immobility is really
composite and is merely relative, being a relation between movements.
If, for example, there are two trains running in the same direction on
parallel lines at exactly the same speed, opposite one another, then the
passengers in each train, when observing the other train, will regard
the trains as motionless. So, generally, immobility is only apparent,
Change is real. We tend to be misled by language; we speak, for
instance, of 'the state of things'; but what we call a state is the
appearance which a change assumes in the eyes of a being who, himself,
changes according to an identical or analogous rhythm. "Take, for
example," says Bergson, "a summer day. We are stretched on the grass, we
look around us--everything is at rest--there is absolute immobility--no
change. But the grass is growing, the leaves of the trees are developing
or decaying--we ourselves are growing older all the time. That which
seems rest, simplicity itself, is but a composite of our ageing with the
changes which takes place in the grass, in the leaves, in all that is
around us. Change, then, is simple, while 'the state of things' as
we call it, is composite. Every stable state is the result of the
co-existence between that change and the change of the person who
perceives it." [Footnote: La Nature de l'Ame, lecture 2.]

It is an axiom in the philosophy of Bergson that all change or
movement is indivisible. He asserts this expressly in Matter and
Memory,[Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 246 ff. (Fr. p. 207 ff).] and
again in the second lecture on The Perception of Change he deals with
the indivisibility of movement somewhat fully, submitting it to a
careful analysis, from which the following quotation is an extract--"My
hand is at the point A. I move it to the point B, traversing the
interval AB. I say that this movement from A to B is a simple
thing--each of us has the sensation of this, direct and immediate.
Doubtless, while we carry our hand over from A to B, we say to ourselves
that we could stop it at an intermediate point, but then that would no
longer be the same movement. There would then be two movements, with an
interval of rest. Neither from within, by the muscular sense, nor from
without, by sight, should we have the same perception. If we leave our
movement from A to B such as it is, we feel it undivided, and we must
declare it indivisible. It is true that when I look at my hand, going
from A to B, traversing the interval AB, I say to myself 'the interval
AB can be divided into as many parts as I wish, therefore the movement
from A to B can be divided into as many parts as I like, since this
movement covers this interval,' or, again, 'At each moment of its
passing, the moving object passes over a certain point, therefore we
can distinguish in the movement as many stopping-places as we
wish--therefore the movement is infinitely divisible.' But let us
reflect on this for a minute. How can the movement possibly coincide
with the space which it traverses? How can the moving coincide with the
motionless? How can the object which moves be said to 'be' at any point
in its path? It passes over, or, in other words, it could 'be' there. It
would 'be' there if it stopped there, but, if it stopped there, it is no
longer the same movement with which we are dealing. It is always at one
bound that a trajectory is traversed when, on its course, there is no
stoppage. The bound may last a few seconds, or it may last for weeks,
months, or years, but it is unique and cannot be decomposed. Only, when
once the passage has been made, as the path is in space, and space is
infinitely divisible, we picture to ourselves the movement itself as
infinitely divisible. We like to imagine it thus, because, in a movement
it is not the change of position which interests us, it is the positions
themselves which the moving object has left, which it will take up,
which it might assume if it were to stop in its course. We have need
of immobility, and the more we succeed in presenting to ourselves the
movement as coinciding with the space which it traverses, the better we
think we understand it. Really, there is no true immobility, if we
imply by that, an absence of movement." [Footnote: Translated from La
Perception du Changement, pp. 19-20.] This immobility of which we have
need for the purposes of action and of practical life, we erect into an
absolute reality. It is of course convenient to our sense of sight to
lay hold of objects in this way; as pioneer of the sense of touch,
it prepares our action on the external world. But, although for all
practical purposes we require the notion of immobility as part of our
mental equipment, it does not at all help us to grasp reality. Then we
habitually regard movement as something superadded to the motionless.
This is quite legitimate in the world of affairs; but when we bring this
habit into the world of speculation, we misconceive reality, we create
lightheartedly insoluble problems, and close our eyes to what is most
alive in the real world. For us movement is one position, then another
position, and so on indefinitely. It is true that we say there must
be something else, viz., the actual passing across the interval which
separates those positions. But such a conception of Change is quite
false. All true change or movement is indivisible. We, by constructing
fictitious states and trying to compose movement out of them, endeavour
to make a process coincide with a thing--a movement with an immobility.
This is the way to arrive at dilemmas, antinomies, and blind-alleys of
thought. The puzzles of Zeno about "Achilles and the Tortoise" and "The
Moving Arrow" are classical examples of the error involved in treating
movement as divisible.[Footnote: Bergson in Matter and Memory examines
Zeno's four puzzles: "The Dichotomy," "Achilles and the Tortoise," "The
Arrow" and "The Stadium."] If movement is not everything, it is nothing,
and if we postulate, to begin with, that the motionless is real, then
we shall be incapable of grasping reality. The philosophies of Plato, of
Aristotle, and of Plotinus were developed from the thesis that there
is more in the immutable than in the moving, and that it is by way of
diminution that we pass from the stable to the unstable.

The main reason why it is such a difficult matter for us to grasp
the reality of continuous change is owing to the limitations of our
intellectual nature. "We are made in order to act, as much as and more
than in order to think--or, rather, when we follow the bent of our
nature, it is in order to act that we think." [Footnote: Creative
Evolution, p. 313 (Fr. p. 321).] Intellect is always trying to carve out
for itself stable forms because it is primarily fitted for action, and
"is characterized by a natural inability to comprehend life" and
grasp Change.[Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 174 (Fr. p. 179).]
Our intellect loves the solid and the static, but life itself is not
static--it is dynamic. We might say that the intellect takes views
across the ever-moving scene, snapshots of reality. It acts like the
camera of the cinematograph operator, which is capable only of producing
photographs, successive and static, in a series upon a ribbon. To grasp
reality, we have to do what the cinematograph does with the film--that
is, introduce or rather, re-introduce movement.[Footnote: Creative
Evolution, pp. 320-324 (Fr. pp. 328-332).] The stiff photograph is an
abstraction bereft of movement, so, too, our intellectual views of the
world and of our own nature are static instead of being dynamic. Human
life is not made up of childhood, adolescence, manhood, and old age as
"states," although we tend to speak of it in this way. Life is not a
thing, nor the state of a thing--it is a continuous movement or change.
The soul itself is a movement, not an entity. In the physical world,
light, when examined, proves itself to be a movement. Even physical
science, bound, as it would seem, to assert the fixity and rigidity of
matter, is now of the opinion that matter is not the solid thing we are
apt to think it. The experiments of Kelvin and Lodge and the
discovery of radium, have brought forward a new theory of matter; the
old-fashioned base, the atom, is now regarded as being essentially
movement; matter is as wonderful and mysterious in its character
as spirit. Further we must note that the researches of Einstein,
culminating in the formulation of his general Theory of Relativity and
his special Theory of Gravitation, which are arousing such interest at
the present time, threaten very seriously the older static views of
the universe and seem to frustrate any efforts to find and denote any
stability therein.[Footnote: Consult on this Dr. Einstein's own work of
which the translation by R. W. Lawson is just published: Relativity: The
Special and the General Theory. Methuen, 1920.] In the light of
these discoveries, Bergson's views on the reality of Change seem less
paradoxical than they might formerly have appeared. The reality of
Change is, for Bergson, absolute, and on this, as a fundamental point,
he constructs his thought. In conjunction with his study of Memory, it
leads up to his discussions of Real Time (la duree), of Freedom, and
of Creative Evolution. We must then, at the outset of any study of
Bergson's philosophy, obtain a grasp of this universal 'becoming'--a
vision of the reality of Change. Then we shall realize that Change is
substantial, that it constitutes the very stuff of life. "There are
changes, but there are not things that change; change does not need a
support. There are movements, but there are not, necessarily, constant
objects which are moved; movement does not imply something that is
movable." [Footnote: Translated from La Perception du Changement, Lecture
2, p. 24.]

To emphasize and to illustrate this point, so fundamental in his
thought, Bergson turns to music. "Let us listen," he says, "to a melody,
letting ourselves be swayed by it; do we not have the clear perception
of a movement which is not attached to any mobility--of a change devoid
of anything which changes? The change is self-sufficient, it is the
thing itself. It avails nothing to say that it takes time, for it is
indivisible; if the melody were to stop sooner, it would not be any
longer the same volume of sound, but another, equally indivisible.
Doubtless we have a tendency to divide it and to represent it to
ourselves as a linking together of distinct notes instead of the
uninterrupted continuity of the melody. But why? Simply because our
auditive perception has assumed the habit of saturating itself with
visual images. We hear the melody across the vision which the conductor
of the orchestra can have of it in looking at his score. We represent
to ourselves notes linked on to notes on an imaginary sheet of paper.
We think of a keyboard on which one plays, of the bow of a violin which
comes and goes, of the musicians, each one of whom plays his part in
conjunction with the others. Let us abstract these spatial images; there
remains pure change, self-sufficing, in no way attached to a 'thing'
which changes." [Footnote: Translated from La Perception du Changement,
pp. 24-25.]

We must conceive reality as a continual flux, then immobility will
seem a superficial abstraction hypostatized into states, concepts, and
substances, and the old difficulties raised by the ancients, in regard
to the problem of Change, will vanish, along with the problems attached
to the notion of "substance" in modern thought, because there is nothing
substantial but Change. Apart from Change there is no reality. We shall
see that all is movement, that we ourselves are movement--part of an
elan, a poussee formidable, which carries with it all things and all
creatures, and that in this eternity--not of immutability but of
life and Change--"we live and move and have our being." [Footnote: La
Perception du Changement, concluding paragraph, p. 37.]



Images as data--Nerves, afferent and efferent, cannot beget images, nor
can the brain give rise to representations--All our perception relative
to action. Denial of this involves the fallacies of Idealism or
of Realism--Perception and knowledge--Physiological data--Zone of
indetermination--"Pure" perception--Memory and Perception.

From the study of Change we are led on to a consideration of the
problems connected with our perception of the external world, which
has its roots in change. These problems have given rise to some very
opposing views--the classic warfare between Realism and Idealism.
Bergson is of neither school, but holds that they each rest on
misconceptions, a wrong emphasis on certain facts. He invites us to
follow him closely while he investigates the problems of Perception in
his own way.

"We will assume for the moment that we know nothing of theories of
matter and theories of spirit, nothing of the discussions as to the
reality or ideality of the external world. Here I am in the presence
of images, in the vaguest sense of the word, images perceived when my
senses are opened to them, unperceived when they are closed. ... Now of
these images there is ONE which is distinct from all the others, in that
I do not know it only from without by perceptions, but from within by
affections; it is my body." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 1 (Fr.
p. 1).] Further examination shows me that these affections "always
interpose themselves between the excitations from without and the
movement which I am about to execute." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 1
(Fr. p. 1).] Indeed all seems to take place as if, in this aggregate of
images which I call the universe, nothing really new could happen except
through the medium of certain particular images, the type of which is
furnished me by my body." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 3 (Fr. p. 2).]
Reference to physiology shows in the structure of human bodies afferent
nerves which transmit a disturbance to nerve centres, and also efferent
nerves which conduct from other centres movement to the periphery, thus
setting in motion the body in whole or in part. When we make enquiries
from the physiologist or the psychologist with regard to the origin of
these images and representations, we are sometimes told that, as the
centrifugal movements of the nervous system can evoke movement of the
body, so the centripetal movements--at least some of them--give rise to
the representation, mental picture, or perception of the external world.
Yet we must remember that the brain, the nerves, and the disturbance of
the nerves are, after all, only images among others. So it is absurd to
state that one image, say the brain, begets the others, for "the brain
is part of the material world, but the material world is not part of the
brain." Eliminate the image which bears the name 'material world,' and
you destroy, at the same time, the brain and the cerebral disturbances
which are parts of it. Suppose, on the contrary, that these two images,
the brain and the cerebral disturbance, vanish; ex hypothesi you efface
only these, that is to say, very little--an insignificant detail from an
immense picture--the picture in its totality, that is to say, the whole
universe remains. To make of the brain the condition on which the
whole image depends is a contradiction in terms, since the brain is,
by hypothesis, a part of this image." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p.
4 (Fr. pp. 3-4).] The data of perception are external images, then my
body, and changes brought about by my body in the surrounding images.
The external images transmit movement to my body, it gives back movement
to them. My body or part of my body, i.e., my brain, could not beget a
whole or part of my representation of the external world. "You may
say that my body is matter or that it is an image--the word is of no
importance. If it is matter, it is a part of the material world, and the
material world consequently exists around it and without it. If it is an
image--that image can give but what has been put into it, and since
it is, by hypothesis, the image of my body only, it would be absurd to
expect to get from it that of the whole universe. My body, an object
destined to move other objects, is then a centre of action; it cannot
give birth to a representation." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 5 (Fr.
p. 4).] The body, however, is privileged, since it appears to choose
within certain limits certain reactions from possible ones. It exercises
a real influence on other images, deciding which step to take among
several which may be possible. It judges which course is advantageous
or dangerous to itself, by the nature of the images which reach it. The
objects which surround my body reflect its possible action upon
them. All our perception has reference, primarily, to action, not to
speculation.[Footnote: Cf. Creative Evolution, p. 313 (Fr. p. 321).]
The brain centres are concerned with motor reaction rather than with
conscious perception, "the brain is an instrument of action and not
of representation." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 83 (Fr. p.
69).] Therefore, in the study of the problems of perception, the
starting-point should be action and not sensation. All the confusions,
inconsistencies and absurdities of statement, made in regard to
our knowledge of the external world, have here their origin. Many
philosophers and psychologists "show us a brain, analogous in its
essence to the rest of the material universe, consequently an image, if
the universe is an image. Then, since they want the internal movements
of this brain to create or determine the representation of the whole
material world--an image infinitely greater than that of the cerebral
vibrations--they maintain that these molecular movements, and movement
in general, are not images like others, but something which is either
more or less than an image--in any case is of another nature than an
image--and from which representation will issue as by a miracle. Thus
matter is made into something radically different from representation,
something of which, consequently, we have no image; over against it they
place a consciousness empty of images, of which we are unable to form
any idea. Lastly, to fill consciousness, they invent an incomprehensible
action of this formless matter upon this matterless thought." [Footnote:
Matter and Memory, p. 9 (Fr. pp. 7-8).]

The problem at issue between Realists and Idealists turns on the fact
that there are two systems of images in existence. "Here is a system of
images which I term 'my perception of the universe,' and which may be
entirely altered by a very slight change in the privileged image--my
body. This image occupies the centre. By it all the others are
conditioned; at each of its movements everything changes as though by
a turn of a kaleidoscope. Here, on the other hand, are the same images,
but referred each one to itself, influencing each other no doubt, but in
such a manner that the effect is always in proportion to the cause; this
is what I term the 'universe.'" [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 12 (Fr.
p. 10).] The question is, "How is it that the same images can belong
at the same time to two different systems--the one in which each image
varies for itself and in the well-defined measure that it is patient of
the real action of surrounding images--the other in which all change for
a single image and in the varying measure that they reflect the eventual
action of this privileged image?" [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 13
(Fr. p. 11).] We may style one the system of science, the other the
system of consciousness. Now, Realism and Idealism are both incapable
of explaining why there are two such systems at all. Subjective
Idealism derives the system of science from that of consciousness, while
materialistic Realism derives the system of consciousness from that of
science. They have, however, this common meeting-place, that they both
regard Perception as speculative in character--for each of them "to
perceive" is to "know." Now this is just the postulate which Bergson
disputes. The office of perception, according to him, is to give us,
not knowledge, but the conditions necessary for action.[Footnote: Notre
croyance a la loi de causalite (Revue de metaphysique et de morale,
1900), p. 658.] A little examination shows us that distance stands for
the degree in which other bodies are protected, as it were, against the
action of my body against them, and equally too for the degree in which
my body is protected from them.[Footnote: Le Souvenir du present et
la fausse reconnaissance in L'Energie spirituelle, pp. 117-161
(Mind-Energy), or Revue philosophique, 1908, pp. 561-593.] Perception
is utilitarian in character and has reference to bodily action, and
we detach from all the images coming to us those which interest us

Bergson then examines the physiological aspects of the perceptual
process. Beginning with reflex actions and the development of the
nervous system, he goes on to discuss the functions of the spinal cord
and the brain. He finds in regard to these last two that "there is only
a difference of degree--there can be no difference in kind--between what
is called the perceptive faculty of the brain and the reflex functions
of the spinal cord. The cord transforms into movements the stimulation
received, the brain prolongs into reactions which are merely nascent,
but in the one case as in the other, the function of the nerve substance
is to conduct, to co-ordinate, or to inhibit movements.[Footnote: Matter
and Memory, pp. 10-11 (Fr. p. 9).] As we rise in the organic series
we find a division of physiological labour. Nerve cells appear, are
diversified and tend to group themselves into a system; at the same time
the animal reacts by more varied movements to external stimulation.
But even when the stimulation received is not at once prolonged
into movement, it appears merely to await its occasion; and the same
impression which makes the organism aware of changes in the environment,
determines it or prepares it to adapt itself to them. No doubt there is
in the higher vertebrates a radical distinction between pure automatism,
of which the seat is mainly in the spinal cord, and voluntary activity
which requires the intervention of the brain. It might be imagined
that the impression received, instead of expanding into more movements
spiritualizes itself into consciousness. But as soon as we compare the
structure of the spinal cord with that of the brain, we are bound to
infer that there is merely a difference of complication, and not a
difference in kind, between the functions of the brain and the reflex
activity of the medullary system." [Footnote: Matter and Memory,
pp. 17-18 (Fr. p. 15).] The brain is no more than a kind of central
telephone exchange, its office is to allow communication or to delay
it. It adds nothing to what it receives, it is simply a centre where
perceptions get into touch with motor mechanisms. Sometimes the function
of the brain is to conduct the movement received to a chosen organ of
reaction, while at other times it opens to the movement the totality
of the motor tracks. The brain appears as an instrument of analysis in
regard to movements received by it, but an instrument of selection in
regard to the movements executed. In either case, its office is limited
to the transmission and division of movements. In the lower organisms,
stimulation takes the form of immediate contact. For example, a
jelly-fish feels a danger when anything touches it, and reacts
immediately. The more immediate the reaction has to be, the more it
resembles simple contact. Higher up the scale, sight and hearing enable
the individual to enter into relation with a greater number of objects
and with objects at a distance. This gives rise to an amount of
uncertainty, "a zone of indetermination," where hesitation and choice
come into play. Hence, says Bergson: "Perception is master of space in
the exact measure in which action is master of time." [Footnote: Matter
and Memory, p. 23 (Fr. p. 19).]

In the paper read before the First International Congress of Philosophy
at Paris in 1900, on Our Belief in the Law of Causality,[Footnote: Notre
croyance a la loi de causalite (Revue de metaphysique et de morale,
Sept., 1900, pp. 655-660).] Bergson showed that it has its root in the
co-ordination of our tactile impressions with our visual impressions.
This co-ordination becomes a continuity which generates motor habits or
tendencies to action.

There now comes up for consideration the question as to why this
relation of the organism, to more or less distinct objects, takes
the particular form of conscious perception, and further, why does
everything happen as if this consciousness were born of the internal
movements of the cerebral substance? To answer this question, we must
turn to perceptual processes, as these occur in our everyday life. We
find at once that "there is no perception which is not full of memories.
With the immediate and present data of our senses, we mingle a thousand
details out of our past experience." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 24
(Fr. p. 20).] To such an extent is this true that the immediate data of
perception serve as a sign to bring much more to the mind. Psychological
experiments have conclusively proved that we never actually perceive all
that we imagine to be there. Hence arise illusions, examples of which
may be easily thought of--incorrect proof-reading is one, while another
common one is the mistake of taking one person for another because of
some similarity of dress. What is actually perceived is but a fraction
of what we are looking at and acts normally as a suggestion for the
whole. Now, although it is true that, in practice, Perception and Memory
are never found absolutely separate in their purity, yet it is necessary
to distinguish them from one another absolutely in any investigation
of a psychological nature. If, instead of a perception impregnated
with memory-images, nothing survived from the past, then we should have
"pure" perception, not coloured by anything in the individual's past
history, and so a kind of impersonal perception. However unreal it may
seem, such a perception is at the root of our knowledge of things and
individual accidents are merely grafted on to this impersonal or "pure"
perception. Just because philosophers have overlooked it, and because
they have failed to distinguish it from that which memory contributes to
it, they have regarded Perception as a kind of interior and subjective
vision, differing from Memory only by its greater intensity and not
differing in nature. In reality, however, Perception and Memory differ

Our conscious perception is just our power of choice, reflected from
things as though by a mirror, so that representation arises from the
omission of that in the totality of matter which has no bearing on our
needs and consequently no interest for us. "There is for images merely
a difference of degree and not of kind between 'being' and 'being
consciously perceived.'" [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 30 (Fr. p.
25).] Consciousness--in regard to external perception--is explained by
this indeterminateness and this choice. "But there is in this necessary
poverty of conscious perception, something that is positive, that
foretells spirit; it is, in the etymological sense of the word,
discernment.'" [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 31 (Fr. p. 26).] The
chief difficulty in dealing with the problems of Perception, is to
explain "not how Perception arises, but how it is limited, since it
should be the image of the whole and is in fact reduced to the image of
that which interests you." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 34 (Fr. p.
29).] We only make an insuperable difficulty if we imagine Perception
to be a kind of photographic view of things, taken from a fixed point
by that special apparatus which is called an organ of perception--a
photograph which would then be developed in the brain-matter by some
unknown chemical and psychical process. "Everything happens as though
your perception were a result of the internal motions of the brain and
issued in some sort from the cortical centres. It could not actually
come from them since the brain is an image like others, enveloped in the
mass of other images, and it would be absurd that the container should
issue from the content. But since the structure of the brain is like
the detailed plan of the movements among which you have the choice,
and since that part of the external images which appears to return upon
itself, in order to constitute perception, includes precisely all the
points of the universe which these movements could affect, conscious
perception and cerebral movement are in strict correspondence. The
reciprocal dependence of these two terms is therefore simply due to the
fact that both are functions of a third, which is the indetermination of
the Will." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 35 (Fr. p. 29).]

Moreover, we must recognize that the image is formed and perceived in
the object, not in the brain, even although it would seem that rays
of light coming from a point P are perceived along the path of the
sensori-motor processes in the brain and are afterwards projected into
P. There is not, however, an unextended image which forms itself in
consciousness and then projects itself into the position P. Really,
the point P, and the rays which it emits, together with the retina
and nervous elements affected in the process of perception, all form a
single whole. The point P is an indispensable factor in this whole and
it is really in P and not anywhere else that the image of P is formed
and perceived.[Footnote: Cf. Matter and Memory, p. 37 (Fr p. 31), also
paper entitled Notre croyance a la loi de causalite in the Revue de
metaphysique et de morale, 1900, p. 658.]

In the field of "pure" perception, that is to say, perception
unadulterated by the addition of memory-images, there can arise no image
without an object. "Sensation is essentially due to what is actually
present." [Footnote: Le Souvenir du present et la fausse reconnaissance,
p. 579 of Revue philosophique, Dec., 1908; also L'Energie spirituelle,
p. 141 (Mind-Energy).] Exactly how external stimuli, such as rays of
a certain speed and length, come to give us a certain image, e.g., the
sensation "red" or the sound of "middle C," we shall never understand.
"No trace of the movements themselves can be actually perceived in the
sensation which translates them." [Footnote: Time and Free Will, pp.
34-35 (Fr. p. 26).] We only make trouble by regarding sensations in an
isolated manner and attempting to construct Perception from them. "Our
sensations are to our perceptions, that which the real action of our
body is to its possible or virtual action." [Footnote: Matter and Memory,
p. 58 (Fr. p. 48).] Thus, everything happens as if the external images
were reflected by our body into surrounding space. This is why the
surface of the body, which forms the common limit of the external and
internal, is the only portion of space which is both perceived and
felt. Just as external objects are perceived by me where they are, in
themselves and not in me, so my affective states (e.g. pains--which are
local, unavailing efforts) are experienced where they occur, in my body.
Consider the system of images which we term the "external world." My
body is one of them and around it is grouped the representation, i.e.,
its eventual influence on others. Within it occurs affection, i.e., its
actual effort upon itself. It is because of this distinction between
images and sensations that we affirm that the totality of perceived
images subsists, even if our body disappears, whereas we cannot
annihilate our body without destroying our sensations. In practice,
our "pure" perception is adulterated with affection, as well as with
memories. To understand Perception, however, we must--as previously
insisted upon--study it with reference to action. It is false to suppose
"that perception and sensation exist for their own sake; the philosopher
ascribes to them an entirely speculative function," [Footnote: Matter
and Memory, p. 311 (Fr p. 261).] a proceeding which gives rise to the
fallacies of Realism and Idealism.

It has been said that the choice of perceptions from among images in
general is the effect of a "discernment" which foreshadows spirit. But
to touch the reality of spirit, we must place ourselves at the point
where an individual consciousness continues and retains the past in
a present, enriched by it.[Footnote: See Chapter VI on la duree.
Time--True and False.] Perception we never meet in its pure state; it
is always mingled with memories. The rose has a different scent for you
from that which it has for me, just because the scent of the rose bears
with it all the memories of all the roses we have ever experienced, each
of us individually.[Footnote: Time and Free Will, pp. 161-162 (Fr.
p. 124).] Memory, however mingled with Perception, is nevertheless
fundamentally different in character.[Footnote: Le Souvenir du present
et la fausse reconnaissance, Revue philosophique, Dec., 1908, p. 580;
also L'Effort intellectuel, Revue philosophique, Jan., 1902, p. 23;
L'Energie spirituelle, pp. 141 and 197 (Mind-Energy).] "When we pass
from 'pure' Perception to Memory, we definitely abandon matter for
spirit." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 313 (Fr. p. 263).]



Definition--Two forms--memorizing power related to habit; recalling
power or "pure" memory. Is memory a function of the brain?--Pathological
Phenomena. Memory something other than merely a function of the brain.
The "Box" theory--Memory records everything--Dreams--The well-balanced
mind--Memory a manifestation of spirit.

The importance of Memory is recognized by all persons--whether
psychologists or not. At the present time there is a growing interest
in systems of memory-training offered to the public, which aim at mental
efficiency as a means to success in life. Indeed, from the tone of some
advertisements seen in the press, one might be prompted to think that
Memory itself was the sole factor determining success in either a
professional or a business career. Yet, although we are likely to regard
this as a somewhat exaggerated statement, nevertheless we cannot deny
the very great importance of the power of Memory. How often, in everyday
life, we hear people excuse themselves by remarking "My memory failed
me" or "played me false" or, more bluntly, "I forgot all about that."
Without doubt, Memory is a most vital factor, though not the only one
in mental efficiency.[Footnote: The true ideal of mental efficiency must
include power of Will as well as of Memory.] It is an element in mental
life which puzzles both the specialist in psychology and the layman.
"What is this wonderfully subtle power of mind?" "How do we remember?"
Even the mind, untrained in psychological investigation, cannot help
asking such questions in moments of reflection; but for the psychologist
they are questions of very vital significance in his science. For
Bergson, as psychologist, Memory is naturally, a subject of great
importance. We must note, however, that for Bergson, as metaphysician,
it plays an even more important role, since his study of Memory and
conclusions as to its nature lead him on to a discussion of the relation
of soul and body, spirit and matter. His second large work, which
appeared in 1896, bears the title Matiere et Memoire. For him, Memory
is a pivot on which turns a whole scheme of relationships--material
and spiritual. He wrote in 1910 a new introduction for the English
Translation of this work. He there says that "among all the facts
capable of throwing light on the psycho-physiological relation, those
which concern Memory, whether in the normal or the pathological state,
hold a privileged position." [Footnote: Introduction to Matter and
Memory, p. xii.] Let us then, prior to passing on to the consideration
of the problem of the relation of soul and body, examine what Bergson
has to say on the subject of Memory.

At the outset, we may define Memory as the return to consciousness of
some experience, accompanied by the awareness that it has been present
earlier at a definite time and place.[Footnote: The above is to be taken
as a definition of the normal memory. In a subtle psychological analysis
in the paper entitled Le Souvenir du present et la fausse reconnaissance
in L'Energie spirituelle, pp. 117-161 (Mind-Energy), Bergson considers
cases of an abnormal or fictitious memory, coinciding with perception in
rather a strange manner. This does not, however, affect the validity
of the above definition.] Bergson first of all draws attention to a
distinction between two different forms of Memory, the nature of which
will be best brought out by considering two examples. We are fond of
giving to children or young persons at school selections from the plays
of Shakespeare, "to be learned by heart," as we say. We praise the boy
or girl who can repeat a long passage perfectly, and we regard that
scholar as gifted with a good memory. To illustrate the second type of
case, suppose a question to be put to that boy asking him what he saw on
the last half-holiday when he took a ramble in the country. He may, or
may not, be able to tell us much of his adventures on that occasion,
for whatever he can recall is due to a mental operation of a different
character from that which enabled him to learn his lesson. There is
here no question of learning by rote, of memorizing, but of capacity to
recall to mind a past experience. The boy who is clever at memorizing a
passage from Shakespeare may not have a good memory at all for recalling
past events. To understand why this is so we must examine these two
forms of Memory more closely and refer to Bergson's own words: "I study
a lesson, and in order to learn it by heart I read it a first time,
accentuating every line; I then repeat it a certain number of times. At
each repetition there is progress; the words are more and more linked
together, and at last make a continuous whole. When that moment comes,
it is said that I know my lesson by heart, that it is imprinted on my
memory. I consider now how the lesson has been learnt and picture to
myself the successive phases of the process. Each several reading then
recurs to me with its own individuality. It is distinguished from those
which preceded or followed it, by the place which it occupied in time;
in short, each reading stands out before my mind as a definite event in
my history. Again it will be said that these images are recollections,
that they are imprinted on my Memory. The same words then are used in
both cases. Do they mean the same thing? The memory of the lesson which
is remembered, in the sense of learned by heart, has ALL the marks of
a habit. Like a habit, it is acquired by the repetition of the same
effort. Like every habitual bodily exercise, it is stored up in a
mechanism which is set in motion as a whole by an initial impulse, in
a closed system of automatic movements, which succeed each other in the
same order and together take the same length of time. The memory of each
several reading, on the contrary, has NONE of the marks of a habit, it
is like an event in my life; it is a case of spontaneous recollection as
distinct from mere learnt recollection. Now a learnt recollection passes
out of time in the measure that the lesson is better known; it
becomes more and more impersonal, more and more foreign to our past
life." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, pp. 89-90 (Fr. pp. 75-76).] This
quotation makes clear that of these two forms of Memory, it is the
power of spontaneous recollection which is Memory par excellence and
constitutes "real" Memory. The other, to which psychologists usually
have devoted most of their attention in discussing the problem of
Memory, is habit interpreted as Memory, rather than Memory itself.
Having thus made clear this valuable and fundamental distinction--"one
of the best things in Bergson" [Footnote: Bertrand Russell's remark in
his Philosophy of Bergson, p. 7.]--and having shown that in practical
life the automatic memory necessarily plays an important part, often
inhibiting "pure" Memory, Bergson proceeds to examine and criticize
certain views of Memory itself, and endeavours finally to demonstrate to
us what he himself considers it to be.

He takes up the cudgels to attack the view which aims at blending Memory
with Perception, as being of like kind. Memory, he argues, must be
distinguished from Perception, however much we admit (and rightly)
that memories enter into and colour all our perceptions. They are quite
different in their nature. A remembrance is the representation of an
absent object. We distinguish between hearing a faint tap at the door,
and the faint memory of a loud one. We cannot admit the validity of
the statement that there is only a difference of intensity between
Perception and Recollection. "As our perception of a present object
is something of that object itself, our representation of the absent
object, as in Memory, must be a phenomenon of quite other order than
Perception, since between presence and absence there are no degrees, no
intermediate stages." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 315 (Fr. p. 264).]
If we maintain that recollection is merely a weakened form of Perception
we must note the consequences of such a thesis. "If recollection is only
a weakened Perception, inversely, Perception must be something like an
intenser Memory. Now, the germ of English Idealism is to be found here.
This Idealism consists in finding only a difference of degree and not of
kind, between the reality of the object perceived, and the ideality
of the object conceived." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 318 (Fr.
p. 267).] The maintenance of such a doctrine involves the further
remarkable contention that "we construct matter from our own interior
states and that perception is only a true hallucination." [Footnote:
Matter and Memory, p 318 (Fr. p. 267).] Such a theory will not
harmonize with the experienced difference between Perceptions and
Memories.[Footnote: Le Souvenir du present et la fausse reconnaissance,
Revue philosophique, Dec., 1908, p. 568; also L'Energie spirituelle
(Mind-Energy).] We do not mistake the perception of a slight sound for
the recollection of a loud noise, as has already been remarked. The
consciousness of a recollection "never occurs as a weak state which we
try to relegate to the past so soon as we become aware of its weakness.
How indeed, unless we already possess the representation of a past,
previously lived, could we relegate to it the less intense psychical
states, when it would be so simple to set them alongside of strong
states as a present experience more confused, beside a present
experience more distinct?" [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 319 (Fr. p.
268).] The truth is that Memory does not consist in a regression from
the present into the past, but on the contrary, in a progress from the
past to the present. Memory is radically distinct from Perception, in
its character.

Bergson then passes on to discuss other views of Memory, and in
particular, those which deal with the nature of Memory and its relation
to the brain. It is stated dogmatically by some that Memory is a
function of the brain. Others claim, in opposition to this, that Memory
is something other than a function of the brain. Between two such
statements as these, compromise or reconciliation is obviously
impossible. It is then for experience to decide between these two
conflicting views. This empirical appeal Bergson does not shirk. He has
made a most comprehensive and intensive study of pathological phenomena
relating to the mental malady known as aphasia. This particular type of
disorder belongs to a whole class of mental diseases known as amnesia.
Now amnesia (in Greek, "forgetfulness") is literally any loss or defect
of the Memory. Aphasia (in Greek "absence of speech") is a total or
partial loss of the power of speech, either in its spoken or written
form. The term covers the loss of the power of expression by spoken
words, but is often extended to include both word-deafness, i.e., the
misunderstanding of what is said, and word-blindness--the inability to
read words. An inability to execute the movements necessary to express
oneself, either by gesture, writing, or speech, is styled "motor
aphasia," to distinguish it from the inability to understand
familiar gestures and written or spoken words, which is known as
"sensory-aphasia." The commonest causes of this disease are lesions,
affecting the special nerve centres, due to haemorrhage or the
development of tumours, being in the one case rapid, in the other a
gradual development. Of course any severe excitement, fright or illness,
involving a disturbance of the normal circulation in the cerebral
centres, may produce asphasia. During the war, it has been one of the
afflictions of a large number of the victims of "shell-shock." But,
whatever be the cause, the patient is reduced mentally to an elementary
state, resembling that of a child, and needs re-educating in the
elements of language.

Now, from his careful study of the pathological phenomena, manifested in
these cases, Bergson draws some very important conclusions in regard
to the nature of Memory and its relation to the brain. In 1896, when he
brought out his work Matiere et Memoire, in Paris, the general view
was against his conclusions and his opinions were ridiculed. By 1910, a
marked change had come about and he was able to refer to this in the
new introduction.[Footnote: See Bibliography, p. 158.] His view was
no longer considered paradoxical. The conception of aphasia, once
classical, universally admitted, believed to be unshakeable, had been
considerably shaken in that period of fourteen years. Localization,
and reference to centres would not, it was found, explain things
sufficiently.[Footnote: The work of Pierre Janet was largely influential
also in bringing about this change of view.] This involved a too rigid
and mechanical conception of the brain as a mere "box," and Bergson
attacks it very forcibly under the name of "the box theory." "All the
arguments," he says, "from fact which may be invoked in favour of a
probable accumulation of memories in the cortical substance, are
drawn from local disorders of memory. But if recollections were really
deposited in the brain, to definite gaps in memory characteristic
lesions of the brain would correspond. Now in those forms of amnesia in
which a whole period of our past existence, for example, is abruptly and
entirely obliterated from memory, we do not observe any precise cerebral
lesion; and on the contrary, in those disorders of memory where cerebral
localization is distinct and certain, that is to say, in the different
types of aphasia, and in the diseases of visual or auditory recognition,
we do not find that certain definite recollections are, as it were, torn
from their seat, but that it is the whole faculty of remembering that is
more or less diminished in vitality, as if the subject had more or less
difficulty in bringing his recollections into contact with the present
situation." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 315 (Fr. pp. 264-265).] But
as it is a fact that the past survives under two distinct forms, viz.,
"motor mechanisms" and "independent recollections," we find that this
explains why "in all cases where a lesion of the brain attacks a certain
category of recollections, the affected recollections do not resemble
each other by all belonging to the same period, or by any logical
relationship to one another, but simply in that they are all auditive or
all visual or all motor. That which is damaged appears to be the various
sensorial or motor areas, or more often still, those appendages which
permit of their being set going from within the cortex rather than the
recollections themselves." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 317 (Fr. p.
266).] Going even further than this, by the study of the recognition of
words, and of sensory-aphasia, Bergson shows that "recognition is in no
way affected by a mechanical awakening of memories that are asleep in
the brain. It implies, on the contrary, a more or less high degree of
tension in consciousness, which goes to fetch pure recollections in pure
memory, in order to materialize them progressively, by contact with the
present perception." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 317 (Fr. p. 266).]

In the face of all this mass of evidence and thoroughness of argument
which Bergson brings forward, we are led to conclude that Memory is
indeed something other than a function of the brain. Criticizing
Wundt's view,[Footnote: As expressed in his Grundzuge der physiologische
psychologie, vol. I., pp. 320-327. See Matter and Memory, p. 164 (Fr.
p. 137).]Bergson contends that no trace of an image can remain in the
substance of the brain and no centre of apperception can exist. "There
is not in the brain a region in which memories congeal and accumulate.
The alleged destruction of memories by an injury to the brain is but
a break in the continuous progress by which they actualize
themselves." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 160 (Fr. p. 134).] It is
then futile to ask in what spot past memories are stored. To look for
them in any place would be as meaningless as asking to see traces of the
telephonic message upon the telephone wire.

"Memory," it has been said, "is a faculty which loses nothing and
records everything." [Footnote: Ball, quoted by Rouillard, Les Amnesies,
Paris, 1885, p. 25; Matter and Memory, p. 201 (Fr. p. 168).] This is
only too true, although normally we do not recognize it. But we can
never be sure that we have absolutely forgotten anything. Illness,
producing delirium, may provoke us to speak of things we had thought
were gone beyond recall and which perhaps we even wish were beyond
recall. A somnambulistic state or even a dream may show us memory
extending far further back than we could ordinarily imagine. The facing
of death in battle, we know, recalls to many, with extreme vividness,
scenes of early childhood which they had deemed long since forgotten.
"There is nothing," says Bergson, "more instructive in this regard than
what happens in cases of sudden suffocation--in men drowned or hanged.
The man, when brought to life again, states that he saw in a very short
time all the forgotten events of his life, passing before him with great
rapidity, with their smallest circumstances, and in the very order in
which they occurred." [Footnote: La Perception du Changement, pp.
30-31, and Matter and Memory, p 200 (Fr p 168).] Hence we can never be
absolutely sure that we have forgotten anything although at any given
time we may be unable to recall it to mind. There is an unconscious
memory.[Footnote: Cf. Samuel Butler's Unconscious Memory.] Speaking
of the profound and yet undeniable reality of the unconscious, Bergson
says,[Footnote: Matter and Memory, pp 181-182 (Fr. pp. 152-153).
See also Le Souvenir du present et la fausse reconnaissance, Revue
philosophique, Dec., 1908, p. 592, and L'Energie spirituelle, pp.
159-161 (Mind-Energy).] "Our unwillingness to conceive unconscious
psychical states, is due, above all, to the fact that we hold
consciousness to be the essential property of psychical states, so
that a psychical state cannot, it seems, cease to be conscious without
ceasing to exist. But if consciousness is but the characteristic note
of the present, that is to say, of the actually lived, in short, of
the active, then that which does not act may cease to belong to
consciousness without therefore ceasing to exist in some manner. In
other words, in the psychological domain, consciousness may not be the
synonym of existence, but only of real action or of immediate efficacy;
limiting thus the meaning of the term, we shall have less difficulty in
representing to ourselves a psychical state which is unconscious, that
is to say, ineffective. Whatever idea we may frame of consciousness in
itself, such as it would be if it could work untrammelled, we cannot
deny that in a being which has bodily functions, the chief office
of consciousness is to preside over action and to enlighten choice.
Therefore it throws light on the immediate antecedents of the decision
and on those past recollections which can usefully combine with it; all
else remains in shadow." But we have no more right to say that the
past effaces itself as soon as perceived than to suppose that material
objects cease to exist when we cease to perceive them. Memory, to use
a geometrical illustration which Bergson himself employs, comes into
action like the point of a cone pressing against a plane. The plane
denotes the present need, particularly in relation to bodily action,
while the cone stands for all our total past. Much of this past, indeed
most of it, only endures as unconscious Memory, but it is always capable
of coming to the apex of the cone, i.e., coming into consciousness. So
we may say that there are different planes of Memory, conic sections, if
we keep up the original metaphor, and the largest of these contains all
our past. This may be well described as "the plane of dream." [Footnote:
See Matter and Memory, p. 222 (Fr. p. 186) and the paper L'Effort
intellectuel, Revue philosophique, Jan., 1902, pp. 2 and 25, L'Energie
spirituelle, pp. 165 and 199 (Mind-Energy).]

This connexion of Memory with dreams is more fully brought out by
Bergson in his lecture before the Institut psychologique international,
five years after the publication of Matiere et Memoire, entitled Le
Reve. [Footnote: Delivered March 26, 1901. See Bibliography, p. 153.]
The following is a brief summary of the view there set forth. Memories,
and only memories, weave the web of our dreams. They are "such stuff as
dreams are made on." Often we do not recognize them. They may be very
old memories, forgotten during waking hours, drawn from the most
obscure depths of our past, or memories of objects we have perceived
distractedly, almost unconsciously, while awake. They may be fragments
of broken memories, composing an incoherent and unrecognizable whole.
In a waking state our memories are closely connected with our present
situation (unless we be given to day-dreams!). In an animal memory
serves to recall to him the advantageous or injurious consequences
which have formerly arisen in a like situation, and so aids his present
action. In man, memory forms a solid whole, a pyramid whose point is
inserted precisely into our present action. But behind the memories
which are involved in our occupations, there are others, thousands of
others, stored below the scene illuminated by consciousness. "Yes,
I believe indeed," says Bergson, "that all our past life is there,
preserved even to the most infinitesimal details, and that we forget
nothing and that all that we have ever felt, perceived, thought, willed,
from the first awakening of our consciousness, survives indestructibly."
[Footnote: Dreams, p. 37. For this discussion in full, see pages 34-39,
or see L'Energie spirituelle, pp. 100-103 (Mind-Energy).] Of course, in
action I have something else to do than occupy myself with these.
But suppose I become disinterested in present action--that I fall
asleep--then the obstacle (my attention to action) removed, these
memories try to raise the trap-door--they all want to get through. From
the multitude which are called, which will be chosen? When I was awake,
only those were admitted which bore on the present situation. Now, in
sleep, more vague images occupy my vision, more indecisive sounds
reach my ear, more indistinct touches come to my body, and more vague
sensations come from my internal organs. Hence those memories which
can assimilate themselves to some element in this vague mass of
very indistinct sensations manage to get through. When such union is
effected, between memory and sensation, we have a dream.

In order that a recollection should be brought to mind, it is necessary
that it should descend from the height of pure memory to the precise
point where action is taking place. Such a power is the mark of the
well-balanced mind, pursuing a via media between impulsiveness on the
one hand, and dreaminess on the other. "The characteristic of the man of
action," says Bergson in this connexion, "is the promptitude with which
he summons to the help of a given situation all the memories which have
reference to it. To live only in the present, to respond to a stimulus
by the immediate reaction which prolongs it, is the mark of the lower
animals; the man who proceeds in this way is a man of impulse. But he
who lives in the past, for the mere pleasure of living there, and in
whom recollections emerge into the light of consciousness, without any
advantage for the present situation, is hardly better fitted for
action; here we have no man of impulse, but a dreamer. Between these two
extremes lies the happy disposition of a memory docile enough to follow
with precision all the outlines of the present situation, but energetic
enough to resist all other appeal. Good sense or practical sense, is
probably nothing but this." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 198 (Fr. pp.

In the paper L'Effort intellectuel, contributed in 1902 to the Revue
philosophique, and now reprinted in L'Energie spirituelle,[Footnote:
Pp. 163-202. See also Mind-Energy.]Bergson gives an analysis of what is
involved in intellectual effort. There is at first, he shows, something
conceived quite generally, an idea vague and abstract, a schema which
has to be completed by distinct images. In thought there is a movement
of the mind from the plane of the schema to the plane of the concrete
image. Various images endeavour to fit themselves into the schema, or
the schema may adapt itself to the reception of the images. These
double efforts to secure adaptation and cooperation may both encounter
resistance from the other, a situation which is known to us as
hesitation, accompanied by the awareness of obstacles, thus involving
intellectual effort.

Memory then, Bergson wishes us to realize, in response to his treatment
of it, is no mere function of the brain; it is something infinitely more
subtle, infinitely more elusive, and more wondrous. Our memories are not
stored in the brain like letters in a filing cabinet, and all our
past survives indestructibly as Memory, even though in the form of
unconscious memory. We must recognize Memory to be a spiritual fact
and so regard it as a pivot on which turn many discussions of vital
importance when we come to investigate the problem of the relation of
soul and body. For "Memory must be, in principle, a power absolutely
independent of matter. If then, spirit is a reality, it is here, in
the phenomenon of Memory that we may come into touch with it
experimentally." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 81 (Fr. p. 68).]
"Memory," he would remind us finally, "is just the intersection of mind
and matter." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, Introduction, p. xii.] "A
remembrance cannot be the result of a state of the brain. The state of
the brain continues the remembrance; it gives it a hold on the present
by the materiality which it confers upon it, but pure memory is a
spiritual manifestation. With Memory, we are, in very truth, in the
domain of spirit." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 320 (Fr. p. 268).]



The hypothesis of Psycho-physical Parallelism--Not to be accepted
uncritically--Bergson opposes it, and shows the hypothesis to rest on a
confusion of terms. Bergson against Epiphenomenalism--Soul-life unique
and wider than the brain--Telepathy, subconscious action and psychical
research--Souls and survival.

For philosophy in general, and for psychology in particular, the problem
of the relation of soul and body has prime significance, and moreover,
it is a problem with which each of us is acquainted intimately
and practically, even if we know little or nothing of the academic
discussions, or of the technical terms representing various views. It is
very frequently the terminology which turns the plain man away from the
consideration of philosophical problems; but he has some conception,
however crude it may be, of his soul or his mind and of his body.
These terms are familiar to him, but the sight of a phrase like
"psycho-physical parallelism" rather daunts him. Really, it stands for
quite a simple thing, and is just the official label used to designate
the theory commonly held by scientific men of all kinds, to describe the
relation of soul and body. Put more precisely, it is just the assertion
that brain and consciousness work on parallel lines.

Bergson does not accept the hypothesis of psycho-physical parallelism.
In the first of his four lectures on La Nature de l'Ame, given at
London University in 1911, we find him criticizing the notion that
consciousness has no independence of its own, that it merely expresses
certain states of the brain, that the content of a fact of consciousness
is to be found wholly in the corresponding cerebral state. It is true
that we should not find many physiologists or philosophers who would
tell us now that "the brain secretes thought as the liver secretes
bile." [Footnote: Cabanis (1757-1808). Rapports du physique et du morale
de l'homme, 1802. See quotation by William James in Human Immortality.
Note (4) in his Appendix.] But there was an idea that, if we could see
through the skull and observe what takes place in the brain, if we had
an enormously powerful microscope which would permit us to follow the
movements of the molecules, atoms, electrons, of the brain, and if we
had the key to the correspondence between these phenomena and the mind,
we should know all the thoughts and wishes of the person to whom
the brain belonged--we should see what took place in his soul, as a
telegraph operator could read by the oscillation of his needles the
meaning of a message which was sent through his instrument. The notion
of an equality or parallelism between conscious activity and cerebral
activity, was commonly adopted by modern physiology, and it was
adopted without discussion as a scientific notion by the majority of
philosophers. Yet the experimental basis of this theory is extremely
slight, indeed altogether insufficient, and in reality the theory is
a metaphysical conception, resulting from the views of the seventeenth
century thinkers who had hopes of "a universal mathematic." The idea had
been accepted that all was capable of determination in the psychical as
well as the physical world, inasmuch as the psychical was only a reflex
of the physical. Parallelism was adopted by science because of its
convenience.[Footnote: See The Times of Oct. 21, 1911.] Bergson,
however, pointed out that philosophy ought not to accept it without
criticism, and maintained, moreover, that it could not stand the
criticism that might be brought against it. Relation of soul and body
was undeniable, but that it was a parallel or equivalent relation he
denied most emphatically. That criticism he had launched himself
with great vigour in 1901 at a Meeting of the Societe francaise
de philosophie,[Footnote: See Bibliography, p. 153.] and on a more
memorable occasion, at the International Congress of Philosophy
at Geneva in 1904.[Footnote: See Bibliography, p. 154.] Before the
Philosophical Society he lectured on Le Parallelisme psycho-physique et
la Metaphysique positive, and propounded the following propositions:

1. If psycho-physical parallelism is neither rigorous nor complete,
if to every determined thought there does not correspond an absolutely
determined state (si a toute pensee determinee ne correspond pas un etat
cerebral determine absolument), it will be the business of experience
to mark with increasing accuracy the precise points at which parallelism
begins and ends.

2. If this empirical inquiry is possible, it will measure more and more
exactly the separation between the thought and the physical conditions
in which this thought is exercised. In other words, it will give us a
progressive knowledge of the relation of man as a thinking being to man
as a living being, and therefore of what may be termed "the meaning of

3. If this meaning of Life can be empirically determined more and more
exactly, and completely, a positive metaphysic is possible: that is to
say, a metaphysic which cannot be contested and which will admit of
a direct and indefinite progress; such a metaphysic would escape the
objections urged against a transcendental metaphysic, and would be
strictly scientific in form.

After having propounded these propositions, he defended them by
recalling much of the data considered in his work Matiere et Memoire
which he had published five years previously and which has been examined
in the previous chapter. The onus of proof lay, said Bergson, with
the upholders of parallelism. It is a purely metaphysical hypothesis
unwarrantable in his opinion as a dogma. He distinguishes between
correspondence--which he of course admits--and parallelism, to which
he is opposed. We never think without a certain substratum of cerebral
activity, but what the relation is precisely, between brain and
consciousness, is one for long and patient research: it cannot be
determined a priori and asserted dogmatically. Until such investigation
has been carried out, it behoves us to be undogmatic and not to allege
more than the facts absolutely warrant, that is to say, a relation of
correspondence. Parallelism is far too simple an explanation to be a
true one. Before the International Congress, Bergson launched another
attack on parallelism which caused quite a little sensation among those
present. Says M. E. Chartier, in his report: La lecture de ce memoire,
lecture qui commandait l'attention a provoque chez presque tous les
auditeurs un mouvement de surprise et d'inquietude. [Footnote: The paper
Le Paralogisme psycho-physiologique is given in Revue de metaphysique
et de morale, Nov., 1904, pp. 895-908. The Discussion in the Congress is
given on pp. 1027-1037. This was reissued under the title Le Cerveau et
la Pensee: une illusion philosophique in the collected volume of essays
and lectures, published in 1919, L'Energie spirituelle, pp. 203-223
(Mind-Energy).] He there set out to show that Parallelism cannot be
consistently stated from any point of view, for it rests on a fallacious
argument--on a fundamental contradiction. To grasp Bergson's points in
this argument, the reading of this paper in the original, as a whole,
is necessary. It is difficult to condense it and keep its clearness
of thought. Briefly, it amounts to this, that the formulation of the
doctrine of Parallelism rests on an ambiguity in the terms employed in
its statement, that it contains a subtle dialectical artifice by which
we pass surreptitiously from one system of notation to another ignoring
the substitution: logically, we ought to keep to one system of notation
throughout. The two systems are: Idealism and Realism. Bergson attempts
to show that neither of these separately can admit Parallelism, and that
Parallelism cannot be formulated except by a confusion of the two--by
a process of mental see-sawing as it were, which of course we are
not entitled to perform, Idealism and Realism being two opposed and
contradictory views of reality. For the Idealist, things external to the
mind are images, and of these the brain is one. Yet the images are in
the brain. This amounts to saying that the whole is contained in the
part. We tend, however, to avoid this by passing to a pseudo-realistic
position by saying that the brain is a thing and not an image. This is
passing over to the other system of notation. For the Realist it is
the essence of reality to suppose that there are things behind
representations. Some Realists maintain that the brain actually creates
the representation, which is the doctrine of Epiphenomenalism: while
others hold the view of the Occasionalists, and others posit one reality
underlying both. All however agree in upholding Parallelism. In the
hands of the Realist, the theory is equivalent to asserting that a
relation between two terms is equal to one of them. This involves
contradiction and Realism then crosses over to the other system of
notation. It cannot do without Idealism: science itself oscillates from
the one system to the other. We cannot admit Parallelism as a dogma--as
a metaphysical truth--however useful it may be as a working hypothesis.

Bergson then proceeds to state and to criticize some of the mischievous
ideas which arise from Parallelism. There is the idea of a brain-soul,
of a spot where the soul lives or where the brain thinks--which we have
not quite abandoned since Descartes named the pineal gland as the
seat of the soul. Then there is the false idea that all causality is
mechanistic and that there is nothing in the universe which is not
mathematically calculable. There is the confusion of representations
and of things. There is the false notion that we may argue that if two
wholes are bound together there must be an equivalent relation of the
parts. Bergson points out in this connexion that the absence or the
presence of a screw can stop a machine or keep it going, but the parts
of the screw do not correspond to the parts of the machine. In his new
introduction to Matiere et Memoire, he said, "There is a close connexion
between a state of consciousness and the brain: this we do not dispute.
But there is also a close connexion between a coat and the nail on which
it hangs, for if the nail is pulled out the coat falls to the ground.
Shall we say then that the shape of the nail gives us the shape of
the coat or in any way corresponds to it? No more are we entitled to
conclude because the psychical fact is hung on to a cerebral state
that there is any parallelism between the two series psychical and
physiological." [Footnote: There must be an awkward misprint "physical"
for "psychical" in the English translation, p. xi.] Our observation and
experience, and science itself, strictly speaking, do not allow us to
assert more than that there exists a certain CORRESPONDENCE
between brain and consciousness. The psychical and the physical are
inter-dependent but not parallel.

Bergson however has more to assert than merely the inadequacy and
falsity of Parallelism or Epiphenomenalism. This last theory merely
adds consciousness to physical facts as a kind of phosphorescent
gleam, resembling, in Bergson's words, a "streak of light following the
movement of a match rubbed along a wall in the dark." [Footnote: L'Ame
et le Corps, pp. 12-13, in Le Materialisme actuel, or pp. 35-36 of
L'Energie spirituelle (Mind-Energy).] He maintains, as against all
this, the irreducibility of the mental, our utter inability to interpret
consciousness in terms of anything else, the life of the soul being
unique. He further claims that this psychical life is wider and richer
than we commonly suppose. The brain is the organ of attention to life.
What was said in regard to memory and the brain is applicable to all
our mental life. The mind or soul is wider than the brain in every
direction, and the brain's activity corresponds to no more than an
infinitesimal part of the activity of the mind. [Footnote: L'Ame et le
Corps, Le Materialisme actuel, p. 45, L'Energie spirituelle, p. 61.]
This is expressed more clearly in his Presidential Address to the
British Society for Psychical Research at the Aeolian Hall, London,
1913, where he remarked, "The cerebral life is to the mental life
what the movements of the baton of a conductor are to the symphony."
[Footnote: The Times, May 29, 1913.] Such a remark contains fruitful
suggestions to all engaged in Psychical Research, and to all persons
interested in the fascinating study of telepathy. Bergson is of the
opinion that we are far less definitely cut off from each other, soul
from soul, than we are body from body. "It is space," he says, "which
creates multiplicity and distinction. It is by their bodies that the
different human personalities are radically distinct. But if it is
demonstrated that human consciousness is partially independent of the
human brain, since the cerebral life represents only a small part of the
mental life, it is very possible that the separation between the various
human consciousnesses or souls, may not be so radical as it seems to
be." [Footnote: The Times, May 29, 1913.] There may be, he suggests,
in the psychical world, a process analogous to what is known in the
physical world as "endosmosis." Pleading for an impartial and frank
investigation of telepathy, he pointed out that it was probable, or
at least possible, that it was taking place constantly as a subtle and
sub-conscious influence of soul on soul, but too feebly to be noticed
by active consciousness, or it was neutralized by certain obstacles.
We have no right to deny its possibility on the plea of its being
supernatural, or against natural law, for our ignorance does not entitle
us to say what may be natural or not. If telepathy does not square at
all well with our preconceived notions, it may be more true that our
preconceived notions are false than that telepathy is fictitious;
especially will this be so if our notion of the relation of soul and
body be based on Parallelism. We must overcome this prejudice and seek
to make others set it aside. Telepathy and the sub-conscious mental life
combine to make us realize the wonder of the soul. It is not spatial,
it is spiritual. Bergson insists strongly on the unity of our conscious
life. Merely associationist theories are vicious in this respect: they
try to resolve the whole into parts, and then neglect the whole in their
concentration on the parts. All psychological investigation incurs this
risk of dealing with abstractions. "Psychology, in fact, proceeds like
all the other sciences by analysis. It resolves the self which has been
given to it at first in a simple intuition, into sensations, feelings,
ideas, etc., which it studies separately. It substitutes then for the
self a series of elements which form the facts of psychology. But are
these elements really parts? That is the whole question, and it is
because it has been evaded that the problem of human personality has
so often been stated in insoluble terms." [Footnote: Introduction to
Metaphysics, p. 21.] "Personality cannot be composed of psychical states
even if there be added to them a kind of thread for the purpose of
joining the states together." [Footnote: Introduction to Metaphysics,
p. 25.] We shall never make the soul fit into a category or succeed in
applying concepts to our inner life. The life of the soul is wider than
the brain and wider than all intellectual constructions or moulds we may
attempt to form. It is a creative force capable of producing novelty in
the world: it creates actions and can, in addition, create itself.

Philosophy shows us "the life of the body just where it really is, on
the road that leads to the life of the spirit"; our powers of sense
impression and of intelligence are both instruments in the service of
the will. With a little will one can do much if one places the will in
the right direction. For this force of will which is the essence of
the soul or personality has these exceptional characteristics, that its
intensity depends on its direction, and that its quality may become the
creator of quantity. [Footnote: See the lectures La Nature de l'Ame.]
The brain and the body in general are instruments of the soul. The brain
orients the mind toward action, it is the point of attachment between
the spirit and its material environment. It is like the point of a knife
to the blade--it enables it to penetrate into the realm of action or,
to give another of Bergson's metaphors, it is like the prow of the ship,
enabling the soul to penetrate the billows of reality. Yet, for all
that, it limits and confines the life of the spirit; it narrows vision
as do the blinkers which we put on horses. We must, however, abandon the
notion of any rigid and determined parallelism between soul and body and
accustom ourselves to the fact that the life of the mind is wider
than the limits of cerebral activity. And further, there is this to
consider--"The more we become accustomed to this idea of a consciousness
which overflows the organ we call the brain, then the more natural and
probable we find the hypothesis that the soul survives the body. For
were the mental exactly modelled on the cerebral, we might have to admit
that consciousness must share the fate of the body and die with
it." [Footnote: New York Times, Sept. 27, 1914.] "But the destiny of
consciousness is not bound up with the destiny of cerebral matter."
[Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 285 (Fr. p. 293).] "Although the
data is not yet sufficient to warrant more than an affirmation of high
probability," [Footnote: Louis Levine's interview with Bergson, New York
Times, Feb. 22, 1914. Quoted by Miller, Bergson and Religion, p. 268.]
yet it leaves the way open for a belief in a future life and creates a
presumption in favour of a faith in immortality. "Humanity," as Bergson
remarks, "may, in its evolution, overcome the most formidable of its
obstacles, perhaps even death." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 286
(Fr. p. 294). In Life and Consciousness he says we may admit that in man
at any rate "Consciousness pursues its path beyond this earthly life"
Cf. also conclusion to La Conscience el la Vie in L'Energie spirituelle,
p. 29, and to L'Ame et le Corps, in the same vol., p. 63.]

The great error of the spiritual philosophers has been the idea that
by isolating the spiritual life from all the rest, by suspending it in
space, as high as possible above the earth, they were placing it beyond
attack; as if they were not, thereby, simply exposing it to be taken as
an effect of mirage! Certainly they are right to believe in the absolute
reality of the person and in his independence of matter: but science is
there which shows the inter-dependence of conscious life and cerebral
activity. When a strong instinct assures the probability of personal
survival, they are right not to close their ears to its voice; but if
there exist "souls" capable of an independent life, whence do they come?
When, how, and why do they enter into this body which we see arise quite
naturally from a mixed cell derived from the bodies of its two parents?
[Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 283 (Fr. p. 291).] At the close of
the Lectures on La Nature de l'Ame, Bergson suggests, by referring to
an allegory of Plotinus, in regard to the origin of souls, that in
the beginning there was a general interpenetration of souls which was
equivalent to the very principle of life, and that the history of the
evolution of life on this planet shows this principle striving until
man's consciousness has been developed, and thus personalities have
been able to constitute themselves. "Souls are being created which, in
a sense, pre-existed. They are nothing else but the little rills into
which the great river of life divides itself, flowing through the great
body of humanity." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 284 (Fr. p. 292).]



Our ordinary conception of Time false because it is spatial and
homogeneous--Real Time (la duree) not spatial or homogeneous--Flow of
consciousness a qualitative multiplicity--The real self and the external
self. La duree and the life of the self--No repetition--Personality and
the accumulation of experience-Change and la duree as vital elements in
the universe.

For any proper understanding of Bergson's thought, it is necessary to
grasp his views regarding Time, for they are fundamental factors in his
philosophy and serve to distinguish it specially from that of previous
thinkers. It is interesting to note however, in passing, that Dr. Ward,
in his Realm of Ends, claims to have anticipated Bergson's view of
Concrete Time. In discussing the relation of such Time to the conception
of God, he says, "I think I may fairly claim to have anticipated him
(Bergson) to some extent. In 1886 I had written a long paragraph on this
topic." [Footnote: See The Realm of Ends' foot-note on pp. 306-7. Ward
is referring to his famous article in the Encyclopaedia Britannica,
eleventh edition, Psychology, p. 577 (now revised and issued in book
form as Psychological Principles).] Be this as it may, no philosopher
has made so much of this view of Time as Bergson. One might say it is
the corner-stone of his philosophy, for practically the whole of it is
built upon his conception of Time. His first large work, Essai sur les
donnees immediates de la conscience, or, to give it its better title, in
English, Time and Free Will, appeared in 1889.

Our ordinary conception of Time, that which comes to us from the
physical sciences, is, Bergson maintains, a false one. It is false
because so far from being temporal in character, it is spatial. We look
upon space as a homogeneous medium without boundaries; yet we look on
Time too, as just such another medium, homogeneous and unlimited. Now
here is an obvious difficulty, for since homogeneity consists in being
without qualities, it is difficult to see how one homogeneity can be
distinguished from another. This difficulty is usually avoided by the
assertion that homogeneity takes two forms, one in which its contents
co-exist, and another in which they follow one another. Space, then,
we say, is that homogeneous medium in which we are aware of
side-by-sideness, Time--that homogeneous medium in which we are aware
of an element of succession. But this surely we are not entitled to
maintain, for we are then distinguishing two supposed homogeneities
by asserting a difference of quality in them. To do so is to take away
homogeneity. We must think again and seek a way out of this difficulty.
Let us admit space to be a homogeneous medium without bounds. Then every
homogeneous medium without bounds must be space. What, then, becomes of
Time?--for on this showing, Time becomes space. Yes, says Bergson, that
is so, for our common view of Time is a false one, being really a hybrid
conception, a spurious concept due to the illicit introduction of the
idea of space, and to our application of the notion of space, which is
applicable to physical objects, to states of consciousness, to which
it is really inapplicable. Objects occupying space are marked out as
external to one another, but this cannot be said of conscious states.
Yet, in our ordinary speech and conventional view of things, we think
of conscious states as separated from one another and as spread out like
"things," in a fictitious, homogeneous medium to which we give the name
Time. Bergson says, "At any rate, we cannot finally admit two forms of
the homogeneous, Time and Space, without first seeking whether one
of them cannot be reduced to the other. Now, externality is the
distinguishing mark of things which occupy space, while states of
consciousness are not essentially external to one another and become so
only by being spread out in Time regarded as a homogeneous medium. If,
then, one of these two supposed forms of the homogeneous, viz., Time and
Space, is derived from the other, we can surmise a priori that the idea
of space is the fundamental datum. Time, conceived under the form of
an unbounded and homogeneous medium, is nothing but the ghost of space,
haunting the reflective consciousness." [Footnote: Time and Free Will,
p. 98 (Fr. p. 75).] Bergson remarks that Kant's great mistake was to
take Time as a homogeneous medium. [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 232
(Fr. p. 178).]

Having asserted the falsity of the view of Time ordinarily held,
Bergson proceeds to make clear to us his view of what Real Time is--an
undertaking by no means easy for him, endeavouring to lay before us the
subtleties of this problem, nor for us who endeavour to interpret his
language and grasp his meaning. We are indeed here face to face with
what is one of the most difficult sections of his philosophy. An initial
difficulty meets us in giving a definite name to the Time which Bergson
regards as so real, as opposed to the spatial falsity, masquerading as
Time, whose true colours he has revealed. In the original French text
Bergson employs the term duree to convey his meaning. But for the
translation of this into English there is no term which will suffice and
which will adequately convey to the reader, without further exposition,
the wealth of meaning intended to be conveyed. "Duration" is usually
employed by translators as the nearest approach possible in English. The
inadequacy of language is never more keenly felt than in dealing
with fundamental problems of thought. Its chief mischief is its
all-too-frequent ambiguity. In the following remarks the original French
term la duree will be used in preference to the English word "Duration."

The distinction between the false Time and true Time may be regarded
as a distinction between mathematical Time and living Time, or between
abstract and concrete Time. This living, concrete Time is that true Time
of which Bergson endeavours to give us a conception as la duree. He has
criticized the abstract mathematical Time, his attack having been made
to open up the way for a treatment of what he really considers Time to
be. Now, from the arguments previously mentioned, it follows that
Time, Real Time, which is radically different from space, cannot be any
homogeneous medium. It is heterogeneous in character. We are aware of it
in relation to ourselves, for it has reference not to the existence of
a multiplicity of material objects in space, but to a multiplicity of
a quite different nature, entirely non-spatial, viz., that of conscious
states. Being non-spatial, such a multiplicity cannot be composed of
elements which are external to one another as are the objects existing
in space. States of consciousness are not in any way external to one
another. Indeed, they interpenetrate to such a degree that even the use
of the word "state" is apt to be misleading. As we saw in the chapter on
The Reality of Change, there can be strictly no states of consciousness,
for consciousness is not static but dynamic. Language and conventional
figures of speech, of which the word "state" itself is a good example,
serve to cut up consciousness artificially, but, in reality, it is,
as William James termed it, "a stream" and herein lies the essence of
Bergson's duree--the Real as opposed to the False Time. "Pure Duration"
(la duree pure), he says, "is the form which the succession of our
conscious states assumes when our Ego lets itself live, when it refrains
from separating its present state from its former states. For this
purpose, it need not be entirely absorbed in the passing sensation or
idea, for then, on the contrary, it would no longer 'endure.' Nor
need it forget its former states; it is enough that in recalling these
states, it does not set them alongside its actual state as one point
alongside another, but forms both the past and the present states
into an organic whole, as happens when we recall the notes of a tune,
melting, so to speak, into one another. Might it not be said that
even if these notes succeed one another, yet, we perceive them in one
another, and that their totality may be compared to a living being whose
parts, although distinct, permeate one another just because they are so
closely connected?" [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 100 (Fr. p. 76).]
Such a duration is Real Time. Unfortunately, we, obsessed by the idea of
space, introduce it unwittingly and set our states of consciousness side
by side in such a way as to perceive them alongside one another; in
a word, we project them into space and we express duree in terms of
extensity and succession thus takes the form of a continuous line or a
chain--the parts of which touch without interpenetrating one another.
[Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 100 (Fr. p. 76).] Thus is brought to
birth that mongrel form, that hybrid conception of False Time criticized
above. Real Time, la duree, is not, however, susceptible like False
Time to measurement, for it is, strictly speaking, not quantitative in
character, but is rather a qualitative multiplicity. "Real Duration (la
duree reele) is just what has always been called Time, but it is Time
perceived as indivisible." [Footnote: La Perception du Changement, p.
26. Cf. the whole of the Second Lecture.] Certainly pure consciousness
does not perceive Time as a sum of units of duration, for, left to
itself, it has no means and even no reason to measure Time, but a
feeling which lasted only half the number of days, for example, would
no longer be the same feeling for it. It is true that when we give this
feeling a certain name, when we treat it as a thing, we believe that
we can diminish its duration by half, for example, and also halve the
duration of all the rest of our history. It seems that it would still
be the same life only on a reduced scale. But we forget that states
of consciousness are processes and not things; that they are alive
and therefore constantly changing, and that, in consequence, it is
impossible to cut off a moment from them without making them poorer by
the loss of some impression and thus altering their quality. [Footnote:
Time and Free Will, p. 196 (Fr. p. 150).] La duree appears as a "wholly
qualitative multiplicity, an absolute heterogeneity of elements which
pass over into one another." [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 229 (Fr.
p. 176).] Such a time cannot be measured by clocks or dials but only
by conscious beings, for "it is the very stuff of which life and
consciousness are made." Intellect does not grasp Real Time--we can
only have an intuition of it. "We do not think Real Time--but we live it
because life transcends intellect."

In order to bring out the distinctly qualitative character of such a
conception of Time, Bergson says, "When we hear a series of blows of a
hammer, the sounds form an indivisible melody in so far as they are pure
sensations, and here again give rise to a dynamic progress; but, knowing
that the same objective cause is at work, we cut up this progress into
phases which we then regard as identical; and this multiplicity
of elements no longer being conceivable except by being set out in
space--since they have now become identical--we are, necessarily, led
to the idea of a homogeneous Time, the symbolical image of la duree."
[Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 125 (Fr. pp. 94-95).] "Whilst I am
writing these lines," he continues, "the hour strikes on a neighbouring
clock, but my inattentive ear does not perceive it until several strokes
have made themselves heard. Hence, I have not counted them and yet I
only have to turn my attention backwards, to count up the four strokes
which have already sounded, and add them to those which I hear. If,
then, I question myself carefully on what has just taken place, I
perceive that the first four sounds had struck my ear and even affected
my consciousness, but that the sensations produced by each one of them,
instead of being set side by side, had melted into one another in such
a way as to give the whole a peculiar quality, to make a kind of musical
phrase out of it. In order, then, to estimate retrospectively, the
number of strokes sounded, I tried to reconstruct this phrase in
thought; my imagination made one stroke, then two, then three, and
as long as it did not reach the exact number, four, my feeling, when
consulted, was qualitatively different. It had thus ascertained, in its
own way, the succession of four strokes, but quite otherwise than by a
process of addition and without bringing in the image of a juxtaposition
of distinct terms. In a word, the number of strokes was perceived as a
quality and not as a quantity; it is thus that la duree is presented to
immediate consciousness and it retains this form so long as it does
not give place to a symbolical representation, derived from extensity."
[Footnote: Time and Free Will, pp. 127-8 (Fr. pp. 96-97).] In these
words Bergson endeavours to drive home his contention that la duree is
essentially qualitative. He is well aware of the results of "the breach
between quality and quantity," between true duration and pure extensity.
He sees its implications in regard to vital problems of the self,
of causality and of freedom. Its specific bearing on the problems of
freedom and causality we shall discuss in the following chapter. As
regards the self, Bergson recognizes that we have much to gain by
keeping up the illusion through which we make our conscious states share
in the reciprocal externality of outer things, because this distinctness
and solidification enables us to give them fixed names in spite of their
instability, and distinct names in spite of their interpenetration.
Above all it enables us to objectify them, to throw them out into the
current of social life. But just for this very reason we are in danger
of living our lives superficially and of covering up our real self.
We are generally content with what is but a shadow of the real self,
projected into space. Consciousness, goaded on by an insatiable desire
to separate, substitutes the symbol for the reality or perceives the
reality only through the symbol. As the self thus refracted and thereby
broken in pieces, is much better adapted to the requirements of social
life in general, and of language in particular, consciousness prefers it
and gradually loses sight of the fundamental self which is a qualitative
multiplicity of conscious states flowing, interpenetrating, melting
into one another, and forming an organic whole, a living unity or
personality. It is through a consideration of la duree and what it
implies that Bergson is led on to the distinction of two selves in each
of us.

Towards the close of his essay on Time and Free Will, he points out that
there are finally two different selves, a fundamental self and a social
self. We reach the former by deep introspection which leads us to grasp
our inner states as living things, constantly becoming, never amenable
to measure, which permeate one another and of which the succession in
la duree has nothing in common with side-by-sideness. But the moments at
which we thus grasp ourselves are rare; the greater part of our time we
live outside ourselves, hardly perceiving anything of ourselves but our
own ghost--a colourless shadow which is but the social representation
of the real and largely concealed Ego. Hence our life unfolds in space
rather than in time. We live for the external world rather than for
ourselves, we speak rather than think, we are "acted" rather than "act"
ourselves. To act freely, however, is to recover possession of one's
real self and to get back into la duree reele. [Footnote: Time and Free
Will, p. 232 (Fr. p. 178).]

Real Time, then, is a living reality, not discrete, not spatial in
character--an utter contrast to that fictitious Time with which so many
thinkers have busied themselves, setting up "as concrete reality the
distinct moments of a Time which they have reduced to powder, while the
unity which enables us to call the grains 'powder' they hold to be much
more artificial. Others place themselves in the eternal. But as their
eternity remains, notwithstanding, abstract since it is empty, being
the eternity of a concept which by hypothesis excludes from itself the
opposing concept, one does not see how this eternity would permit of an
indefinite number of moments co-existing in it, an eternity of death,
since it is nothing else than the movement emptied of the mobility which
made its life." [Footnote: An Introduction to Metaphysics, pp. 51-54.]
The true view of Time, as la duree, would make us see it as a duration
which expands, contracts, and intensifies itself more and more; at the
limit would be eternity, no longer conceptual eternity, which is an
eternity of death, but an eternity of life and change--a living, and
therefore still moving, eternity in which our own particular duree
would be included as the vibrations are in light, [Footnote: Speaking in
Matter and Memory on the Tension of la duree, Bergson calls attention
to the "trillions of vibrations" which give rise to our sensation of
red light, p. 272 (Fr. p. 229) Cf. La Conscience et la Vie in L'Energie
spirituelle, p. 16.] an eternity which would be the concentration of
all duree. Altering the old classical phrase sub specie aeternitatis,
to suit his special view of Time, Bergson urges us to strive to
perceive all things sub specie durationis. [Footnote: La Perception du
Changement, p. 36.]

Finally, Bergson reminds us that if our existence were composed of
separate states, with an impassive Ego to unite them, for us there would
be no duration, for an Ego which does not change, does not endure. La
duree, however, is the foundation of our being and is, as we feel, the
very substance of the world in which we live. Associating his view of
Real Time with the reality of change, he points out that nothing is more
resistant or more substantial than la duree, for our duree is not merely
one instant replacing another--if it were there would never be anything
but the present, no prolonging of the past into the actual, no growth
of personality, and no evolution of the universe. La duree is the
continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future and which
swells as it advances, leaving on all things its bite, or the mark of
its tooth. This being so, consciousness cannot go through the same state
twice; history does never really repeat itself. Our personality is being
built up each instant with its accumulated experience; it shoots, grows,
and ripens without ceasing. We are reminded of George Eliot's lines:

     "Our past still travels with us from afar
      And what we have been makes us what we are."

For our consciousness this is what we mean by the term "exist." "For a
conscious being, to exist is to change, to change is to mature, and to
go on creating oneself endlessly." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p.
8 (Fr. p. 8).] Real Time has, then, a very vital meaning for us as
conscious beings, indeed for all that lives, for the organism which
lives is a thing that "endures." "Wherever anything lives," says
Bergson, "there is a register in which Time is being inscribed. This, it
will be said, is only a metaphor. It is of the very essence of mechanism
in fact, to consider as metaphorical every expression which attributes
to Time an effective action and a reality of its own. In vain does
immediate experience show us that the very basis of our conscious
existence is Memory--that is to say, the prolongation of the past into
the present, or in a word, duree, acting and irreversible." [Footnote:
Creative Evolution, p. 17 (Fr. pp. 17-18).] Time is falsely assumed to
have just as much reality for a living being as for an hour-glass. But
if Time does nothing, it is nothing. It is, however, in Bergson's view,
vital to the whole of the universe. He expressly denies that la duree is
merely subjective; the universe "endures" as a whole. In Time and Free
Will it did not seem to matter whether we regarded our inner life as
having duree or as actually being duree. In the first instance, if we
have duree it is then only an aspect of reality, but if our personality
itself is duree, then Time is reality itself. He develops this last
point of view more explicitly in his later works, and la duree is
identified not only with the reality of change, but with memory and with
spirit. [Footnote: La Perception du Changement, Lecture 2.] In it he
finds the substance of a universe whose reality is change. "God," said
Plato, "being unable to make the world eternal, gave it Time--a moving
image of reality." Bergson himself quotes this remark of Plato, and
seems to have a vision like that of Rosetti's "Blessed Damozel," who        ...... "saw
      Time like a pulse shake fierce
      Through all the worlds."

The more we study Time, the more we may grasp this vision ourselves, and
then we shall comprehend that la duree implies invention, the creation
of new forms, the continual elaboration of the absolutely new--in short,
an evolution which is creative.



Spirit of man revolts from physical and psychological
determinism--Former examined and rejected--The latter more subtle--Vice
of "associationism"--Psychology without a self. Condemnation
of psychological determinism--Room for freedom--The self in
action--Astronomical forecasts--Foreseeableness of any human action
impossible--Human wills centres of indetermination--Not all our acts
free--True freedom, self-determination.

Before passing on to an examination of Bergson's treatment of Evolution,
we must consider his discussion of the problem of Freedom of the Will.
Few problems which have occupied the attention of philosophers have
been more discussed or have given rise to more controversy than that of
Freedom. This is, of course, natural as the question at issue is one of
very great importance, not merely as speculative, but also in the realm
of action. We ask ourselves: "Are we really free?" Can we will either
of two or more possibilities which are put before us, or, on the other
hand, is everything fixed, predestined in such a way that an all-knowing
consciousness could foretell from our past what course our future action
would take?

The study of the physical sciences has led to a general acceptance of a
principle of causality which is of such a kind that there seems no
place in the universe for human freedom. Further, there is a type of
psychology which gives rise to the belief that even mental occurrences
are as determined as those of the physical world, thus leaving no room
for autonomy of the Will. But even when presented with the arguments
which make up the case for physical or psychological determinism,
the spirit of man revolts from it, refuses to accept it as final,
and believes that, in some way or other, the case for Freedom may be
maintained. It is at this point that Bergson offers us some help in the
solution of the problem, by his Essai sur les donnees immediates de la
conscience, better described by its English title Time and Free Will.

The arguments for physical determinism are based on the view that
Freedom is incompatible with the fundamental properties of matter, and
in particular, with the principle of the conservation of energy. This
principle "has been assumed to admit of no exception; there is not an
atom either in the nervous system or in the whole of the universe whose
position is not determined by the sum of the mechanical actions which
the other atoms exert upon it. And the mathematician who knew the
position of the molecules or atoms of a human organism at a given
moment, as well as the position and motion of all the atoms in the
universe, capable of influencing it, could calculate with unfailing
certainty the past, present, and future actions of the person to
whom this organism belonged, just as one predicts an astronomical
phenomenon." [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 144 (Fr. p. 110).] Now,
it follows that if we admit the universal applicability of such a theory
as that of the conservation of energy, we are maintaining that the whole
universe is capable of explanation on purely mechanical principles,
inherent in the units of which the universe is composed. Hence, the
relative position of all units at a given moment, whatever be their
nature, strictly determines what their position will be in the
succeeding moments, and this mechanistic succession goes on like a
Juggernaut car with crushing unrelentlessness, giving rise to a rigid

     "The moving finger writes; and having writ
      Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
      Nor all thy tears wash out a Word of it."

Is there no way out of this cramping circle? We feel vaguely,
intuitively, that there is. Bergson points out to us a way. Even if we
admit, he says, that the direction and the velocity of every atom of
matter in the universe (including cerebral matter, i.e., the brain,
which is a material thing) are strictly determined, it would not at
all follow from the acceptance of this theorem that our mental life is
subject to the same necessity. For that to be the case, we should
have to show absolutely that a strictly determined psychical state
corresponds to a definite cerebral state. This, as we have seen, has not
been proved. It is admitted that to some psychical states of a limited
kind certain cerebral states do correspond, but we have no warrant
whatever for concluding that, because the physiological and the
psychological series exhibit some corresponding terms, the two series
are absolutely parallel. "To extend this parallelism to the series
themselves, in their totality, is to settle a priori the problem of
freedom." [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 147 (Fr. pp. 112-113).]
How far the two series do run parallel is a question--as we saw in the
chapter on the relation of Soul and Body--for experience, observation,
and experiment to decide. The cases which are parallel are limited, and
involve facts which are independent of the power of the Will.

Bergson then proceeds to an examination of the more subtle and plausible
case for psychological determinism. A very large number of our actions
are due to some motive. There you have it, says the psychological
determinist. Your so-called Freedom of the Will is a fiction; in reality
it is merely the strongest motive which prevails and you imagine that
you "freely willed it." But then we must ask him to define "strongest,"
and here is the fallacy of his argument, for there is no other test
of which is the strongest motive, than that it has prevailed. Such
statements do not help to solve the difficulty at all, for they avoid it
and attempt to conceal it; they are due to a conception of mind which is
both false and mischievous, viz., Associationism. This view regards
the self as a collection of psychical states. The existing state of
consciousness is regarded as necessitated by the preceding states. As,
however, even the associationist is aware that these states differ from
one another in quality, he cannot attempt to deduce any one of them a
priori from its predecessors. He therefore endeavours to find a link
connecting the two states. That there is such a link as the simple
"association of ideas" Bergson would not think of denying. What he does
deny however, very emphatically, is the associationist statement that
this relation which explains the transition is the cause of it. Even
when admitting a certain truth in the associationist view, it is
difficult to maintain that an act is absolutely determined by its
motive, and our conscious states by one another. The real mischief of
this view lies, however, in the fact, that it misrepresents the self
by making it merely a collection of psychical states. John Stuart Mill
says, in his Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy: "I could
have abstained from murder if my aversion to the crime and my dread of
its consequences had been weaker than the temptation which impelled me
to commit it." [Footnote: Quoted by Bergson, Time and Free Will, p. 159
(Fr. p. 122).] Here desire, aversion, fear, and temptation are regarded
as clear cut phenomena, external to the self which experiences them,
and this leads to a curious balancing of pain and pleasure on purely
utilitarian lines, turning the mind into a calculating machine such as
one might find in a shop or counting-house, and taking no account of the
character of the self that "wills." There is, really, in such a system
of psychology, no room for self-expression, indeed, no meaning left
for the term "self." It is only an inaccurate psychology, misled by
language, which tries to show us the soul determined by sympathy,
aversion, or hate, as though by so many forces pressing upon it from
without. These feelings, provided that they go deep enough, make up the
whole soul; in them the character of the individual expresses itself,
since the whole content of the personality or soul is reflected in each
of them. Then my character is "me." "To say that the soul is determined
under the influence of any one of these feelings, is thus to recognize
that it is self-determined. The associationist reduces the self to an
aggregate of conscious states, sensations, feelings, and ideas. But if
he sees in these various states no more than is expressed in their name,
if he retains only their impersonal aspect, he may set them side by side
for ever without getting anything but a phantom self, the shadow of the
Ego, projecting itself into space. If, on the contrary, he takes these
psychical states with the particular colouring which they assume in the
case of a definite person, and which comes to each of them by reflection
from all the others, then there is no need to associate a number
of conscious states in order to rebuild the person, for the whole
personality is in a single one of them, provided that we know how to
choose it. And the outward manifestation of this inner state will be
just what is called a free act, since the self alone will have been
the author of it and since it will express the whole of the self."
[Footnote: Time and Free Will, pp. 165-166 (Fr. pp. 126-127).] There is
then room in the universe for a Freedom of the human Will, a definite
creative activity, delivering us from the bonds of grim necessity and
fate in which the physical sciences and the associationist psychology
alike would bind us. Freedom, then, is a fact, and among the facts which
we observe, asserts Bergson, there is none clearer. [Footnote: Time and
Free Will, p. 221 (Fr. p. 169).] There are, however, one or two things
which bear vitally upon the question of Freedom and which tend to
obscure the issue. Of these, the foremost is that once we have acted
in a particular manner we look back upon our actions and try to explain
them with particular reference to their immediate antecedents. Here is
where the mischief which gives rise to the whole controversy has its
origin. We make static what is essentially dynamic in character. We call
a process a thing. There is no such "thing" as Freedom; it is a relation
between the self and its action. Indeed, it is only characteristic of a
self IN ACTION, and so is really indefinable. Viewed after the action,
it presents a different aspect; it has then become historical, an event
in the past, and so we try to explain it as being caused by former
events or conditions. This casting of it on to a fixed, rigid plan,
gives action the appearance of having characteristics related to space
rather than to time, in the real sense. As already shown in the previous
chapter, this is due entirely to our intellectual habit of thinking in
terms of space, by mathematical time, rather than in terms of living
time or la duree.

Another point which causes serious confusion in the controversy is the
notion that because, when an act has been performed, its antecedents
may be reckoned up and their value and relative importance or influence
assigned, this is equivalent to saying the actor could not have acted in
any other way than he did, and, further, that his final act could have
been foretold from the events which led up to it. It is a fact that in
the realm of physical science we can foretell the future with accuracy.
The astronomer predicts the precise moment and place in which Halley's
comet will become visible from our earth. It is also a fact that we say
of men and women who are our intimate friends: "I knew he (or she) would
do such and such a thing" or "It's just like him." We base our judgment
on our intimate acquaintance with the character of our friend, but this,
as Bergson points out, "is not so much to predict the future conduct of
our friend as to pass a judgment on his present character--that is to
say, on his past." [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 184 (Fr. p. 140).]
For, although our feelings and our ideas are constantly changing, yet
we feel warranted in regarding our friend's character as stable, as
reliable. But, as Mill remarked in his Logic: "There can be no science
of human nature," because, although we trust in the reliability of our
friend, although we have faith in his future actions, we do not, and can
not, know them. "Tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner." To say that, if
we knew all the conditions, motives, fears, and temptations which led up
to the actions of another, we could foretell what he would do, amounts
to saying that, to do so, we should have actually to become that other
person, and so arrive at the point where we act as he did because we are
him. For Paul to foretell Peter's act, Paul would simply have to become
Peter. [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 187 (Fr. p. 144).] The very
reasons which render it possible to foretell an astronomical phenomenon
are the very ones which prevent us from determining in advance an act
which springs from our free activity. For the future of the material
universe, although contemporaneous with the future of a conscious being,
has no analogy to it. The astronomer regards time from the point of
view of mathematics. He is concerned with points placed in a homogeneous
time, points which mark the beginning or end of certain intervals. He
does not concern himself with the interval in its actual duration. This
is proved by the fact that, could all velocities in the universe be
doubled, the astronomical formulae would remain unaffected, for the
coincidences with which that science deals would still take place, but
at intervals half as long. To the astronomer as such, this would make no
difference, but we, in ourselves, would find that our day did not
give us the full experience. Situations which arose as a result of the
introduction of "summer time" serve to make this point clear. As then
we find that time means two different things for the astronomer and the
psychologist, the one being concerned with the points at the extremities
of intervals, and the other with the enduring reality of the intervals
themselves, we can see why astronomical phenomena are capable of
prediction and see too that, for the same reason, events in the realm
of human action cannot be so predicted and therefore the future is not
predetermined but is being made.

Upon exactly parallel lines lie the references to causality in the
controversy. In the physical realm events may recur, but in the mental
realm the same thing can never happen again because we are living in
real, flowing time, or la duree, and our conscious states are
changing. Admitting that there is that in experience which warrants the
application of the principle of causality, taking that principle as the
statement that physical phenomena once perceived can recur, and that a
given phenomenon, happening only after certain conditions, will recur
when those precise conditions are repeated, [Footnote: See the brief
paper Notre croyance a la loi de causalite, Revue de metaphysique et
de morale, 1900.] still it remains open whether such a regularity of
succession is ever possible in the human consciousness, and so the
assertion of the principle of causality proves nothing against Freedom.
We may admit that the principle is based on experience--but what kind of
experience? Consideration of this question leads us to assert that the
principle of causality only tends to accentuate the difference between
objects in a realm wherein regular succession may be observed and
predicted and a realm where it may not be observed or predicted, the
realm of the self. Just because I endure and change I do not necessarily
act to-day as I acted yesterday, when under like conditions. We do
expect, however, that this will not be the case in the physical realm;
for example, we expect that a flame applied to dry paper will always
set it alight. Indeed, the more we realize the causal relation as one of
necessary determination, we come to see that things do not exist as
we do ourselves, and distinction between physical and psychical events
becomes clear. We perceive that we, in ourselves, are centres of
indetermination enjoying Freedom, and capable of creative activity.

We must, however, be careful to observe that such Freedom as we have is
not absolute at all and that it admits of degrees. All our acts are by
no means free. Indeed, Free Will is exceptional, and many live and die
without having known true Freedom. Our everyday life consists in the
performance of actions which are largely habitual or, indeed, automatic,
being determined not by Free Will, but by custom and convention. Our
Freedom is the exception and not the rule. Through sluggishness or
indolence, we jog on in the even tenor of a way towards which habit has
directed us. Even at times when our whole personality ought to vibrate,
finding itself at the cross-roads, it fails to rise to the occasion.
But, says Bergson, "it is at the great and solemn crises, decisive of
our reputation with others, and yet more with ourselves, that we choose
in defiance of what is conventionally called a motive, and this absence
of any tangible reason, is the more striking the deeper our Freedom
goes." [Footnote: Time and Free Will, p. 170 (Fr. p. 130).] At such
times the self feels itself free and says so, for it feels itself to be
creative. "All determinism will thus be refuted by experience, but every
attempt to define Freedom will open the way to determinism." [Footnote:
Time and Free Will, p. 330 (Fr. p. 177).]

It has been urged that, although Bergson is a stanch upholder of
Freedom, it is Freedom of such a kind that it must be distinguished from
Free Will, that is, from the liberty of choice which indeterminists have
asserted and which determinists have denied; and that the Freedom for
which he holds the brief is not the feeling of liberty that we have when
confronted with alternative courses of action, or the feeling we have
when we look back upon a choice made and an action accomplished, that we
need not have acted as we did, and that we could have acted differently.
Such Freedom it has been further maintained, is of little importance to
us, for it is merely a free, creative activity which is the essence of
life, which we share with all that lives and so cannot be styled "human"
Freedom. Now, although many of Bergson's expressions, in regard to
free, creative activity in general, lead to a connexion of this with
the problem of "human" Freedom, such an identification would seem to be
unfair. This seems specially so when we read over carefully his remarks
about the coup d'etat of the fundamental self in times of grave crisis.
We cannot equate this with a purely biological freedom or vitality, or
spontaneity. But in the light of the criticism which has been made, it
will be well to consider, in concluding this chapter, the statements
made by Bergson in his article on Liberty in the work in connexion with
the Vocabulaire philosophique for the Societe francaise de philosophie:
[Footnote: Quoted by Le Roy in his Une nouvelle philosophie: Henri
Bergson, English Translation (Benson), Williams and Norgate, p. 192.]
"The word Liberty has for me a sense intermediate between those which
we assign, as a rule, to the two terms 'Liberty' and 'Free Will.' On
one hand I believe that 'Liberty' consists in being entirely oneself,
in acting in conformity with oneself; it is then to a certain degree
the 'moral liberty' of philosophers, the independence of the person
with regard to everything other than itself. But that is not quite this
Liberty, since the independence I am describing has not always a moral
character. Further, it does not consist in depending on oneself as an
effect depends on the cause which, of necessity, determines it. In this,
I should come back to the sense of 'Free Will.'" And yet, he continues,
"I do not accept this sense either, since Free Will, in the usual
meaning of the term, implies the equal possibility of two contraries,
and, on my theory, we cannot formulate or even conceive, in this case,
the thesis of the equal possibility of the two contraries, without
falling into grave error about the nature of Time. The object of my
thesis has been precisely to find a position intermediate between 'moral
Liberty' and 'Free Will.' Liberty, such as I understand it, is situated
between these two terms, but not at equal distances from both; if I were
obliged to blend it with one of the two, I should select 'Free-Will.'"
Nor is Liberty to be reduced to spontaneity. "At most, this would be
the case in the animal world where the psychological life is principally
that of the affections. But in the case of a man, a thinking being,
the free act can be called a synthesis of feelings and ideas, and the
evolution which leads to it, a reasonable evolution." [Footnote: Matter
and Memory, p. 243 (Fr. p. 205).] "In a word, if it is agreed to call
every act free, which springs from the self, and from the self alone,
the act which bears the mark of our personality is truly free, for our
self alone will lay claim to its paternity." [Footnote: Time and Free
Will, p. 172 (Fr. p. 132). It is interesting to compare with this
the remark by Nietzsche in Also sprach Zarathustra, Thus Spake
Zarathustra,--"Let your Ego be in relation to your acts that which the
mother is in relation to the child."] The secret of the solution lies
surely here, and in the words given above: "Liberty consists in being
entirely oneself." If we act rightly we shall act freely, and yet be
determined. Yet here there will be no contradiction, for we shall be
self-determined. It is only the man who is self-determined that can
in any sense be said to know the meaning of "human" Freedom. "We call
free," said Spinoza, "that which exists in virtue of the necessities of
its own nature, and which is determined by itself alone." Liberty is not
absolute, for then we ourselves would be at the beck and call of every
external excitation, desire, passion, or temptation. Our salvation
consists in self-determination, so we shall avoid licence but preserve
Freedom. We can only repeat the Socratic maxim--"Know thyself"--and
resolve to take to heart the appeal of our own Shakespeare:

    "To thine own self be true!"



Work of Darwin and Spencer--Bergson's L'Evolution
creatrice--Life--L'elan vital--Evolution not progress in a straight
line--Adaptation an insufficient explanation--Falsity of mechanistic
view--Finalist conception of reality as fulfilling a plan false--Success
along certain lines only--Torpor, Instinct, and Intelligence--Genesis
of matter--Humanity the crown of evolution--Contingency and Freedom--The
Future is being created.

Since the publication of Darwin's famous work on The Origin of Species
in 1859, the conception of Evolution has become familiar and has won
general acceptance in all thinking minds. Evolution is now a household
word, but the actual study of evolutionary process has been the work of
comparatively few. Science nowadays has become such a highly specialized
affair, that few men cover a large enough field of study to enable them
to deal effectively with this tremendous subject. What is more, those
who shouted so loudly about Evolution as explaining all things have
come to see that, in a sense, Evolution explains nothing by itself. Mere
description of facts undoubtedly does serve a very useful purpose and
may help to demolish some of the stanchly conservative theories still
held in some quarters by those who prefer to take Hebrew conceptions as
a basis of their cosmology however irreconcilable with fact these may
prove to be. Mere description, however, is not ultimate, some philosophy
of Evolution must be forthcoming. "Nowadays," remarks Hoffding, "every
philosopher has to take up a position with respect to the concept
of Evolution. It has now achieved its place among the categories or
essential forms of thought by the fact of its providing indications
whence new problems proceed. We must ask regarding every event, and
every phenomenon, by what stages it has passed into its actual state.
It is a special form of the general concept of cause. A philosophy
is essentially characterized by the position which it accords to
this concept and by the way in which it applies it." [Footnote: The
Philosophy of Evolution--lecture IV, of Lectures on Bergson, in Modern
Philosophers, Translated by Mason (MacMillan), p. 270.]

No one has done more to make familiar to English minds the notion of
Evolution than Herbert Spencer. His Synthetic Philosophy had a grand
aim, but it was manifestly unsatisfactory. The high hopes it had raised
were followed by mingled disappointment and distrust. The secret of the
unsatisfactoriness of Spencer is to be found in his method, which is an
elaborate and plausible attempt to explain the evolution of the universe
by referring the complex to the simple, the more highly organized to
the less organized. His principle of Evolution never freed itself from
bondage to mechanical conceptions.

Bergson's Creative Evolution, his largest and best known work, appeared
in 1907. It has been regarded not only as a magnificent book, but as
a date in the history of thought. Two of the leading students of
evolutionary process in England, Professors Geddes and Thomson, refer to
the book as "one of the most profound and original contributions to the
philosophical consideration of the theory of Evolution." [Footnote: In
the Bibliography in their volume Evolution.]

For some time there had been growing a need for an expression of
evolutionary theory in terms other than those of Spencer, or of
Haeckel--the German monistic philosopher. The advance in the study of
biology and the rise of Neo-Vitalism, occasioned by an appreciation of
the inadequacy of any explanation of life in terms purely physical and
chemical, made the demand for a new statement, in greater harmony with
these views, imperative. To satisfy this demand is the task to which
Bergson has applied himself. He sounds the note of departure from
the older conceptions right at the commencement by his very title,
'Creative' Evolution. For this, his views on Change, on Time, and on
Freedom, have in some degree prepared us. We have seen set forth
the fact of Freedom, the recognition of human beings as centres of
indetermination, not mere units in a machine, "a block universe" where
all is "given," but creatures capable of creative activity. Then by
a consideration of Time, as la duree, we found that the history of an
individual can never repeat itself; "For a conscious being, to exist
is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating
oneself endlessly. Should the same be said," Bergson asks, "of existence
in general?" [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 8 (Fr. p. 8).]

So he proceeds to portray with a wealth of analogy and brilliance of
style, more akin to the language of a poet than a philosopher, the
stupendous drama of Evolution, the mystery of being, the wonders of
life. He makes the great fact of life his starting point. Is life
susceptible to definition? We feel that, by the very nature of the case,
it is not. A definition is an intellectual operation, while life is
wider, richer, more fundamental than intellect. Indeed Bergson shows us
that intellect is only one of the manifestations or adaptations of life
in its progress. To define life, being strictly impossible, Bergson
attempts to describe it. He would have us picture it as a great current
emerging from some central point, radiating in all directions, but
diverted into eddies and backwaters. Life is an original impetus, une
poussee formidable, not the mere heading affixed to a class of objects
which live. We must not speak any longer of life in general as an
abstraction or a category in which we may place all living beings. Life,
or the vital impulse, consists in a demand for creation, we might almost
say "a will to create." It appears to be a current passing from one germ
to another through the medium of a developed organism, "an internal
push that has carried life by more and more complex forms, to higher
and higher destinies." It is a dynamic continuity, a continuity of
qualitative progress, a duration which leaves its bite on things.
[Footnote: For these descriptions of life, see Creative Evolution,
pp. 27-29 and 93-94 (Fr. pp. 28-30 and 95-96).] We shall be absolutely
wrong, however, if we attempt to view the evolutionary process as
progressive in a straight line. The facts contradict such a facile
and shallow view. Some of the stock phrases of the earlier writers
on Evolution were: "adaptation to environment," "selection" and
"variation," and a grave problem was presented by this last. How are
we to account for the variations of living beings, together with the
persistence of their type? Herein lies the problem of the origin of
species. Three different solutions have been put forward. There is
the "Neo-Darwinian" view which attributes variation to the differences
inherent in the germ borne by the individual, and not to the experience
or behaviour of the individual in the course of his existence. Then
there is the theory known as "Orthogenesis" which maintains that there
is a continual changing in a definite direction from generation
to generation. Thirdly, there is the "Neo-Lamarckian" theory which
attributes the cause of variation to the conscious effort of the
individual, an effort passed on to descendants. [Footnote: Concerning
Lamarck (1744-1829) Bergson remarks in La Philosophie (1915) that
without diminishing Darwin's merit Lamarck is to be regarded as the
founder of evolutionary biology.] Now each one of these theories
explains a certain group of facts, of a limited kind, but two
difficulties confront them. We find that on quite distinct and
widely separated lines of Evolution, exactly similar organs have been
developed. Bergson points out to us, in this connexion, the Pecten genus
of molluscs, which have an eye identical in structure with that of
the eye of vertebrates. [Footnote: The common edible scallop (Pecten
maximus) has several eyes of brilliant blue and of very complex
structure.] It is obvious, however, that the eye of this mollusc and
the eye of the vertebrate must have developed quite independently, ages
after each had been separated from the parent stock. Again, we find that
in all organic evolution, infinite complexity of structure accompanies
the utmost simplicity of function. The variation of an organ so highly
complex as the eye must involve the simultaneous occurrence of an
infinite number of variations all co-ordinated to the simple end of
vision. Such facts as these are incapable of explanation by reference to
any or all of the three theories of adaptation and variation mentioned.
Indeed they seem capable of explanation only by reference to a single
original impetus retaining its direction in courses far removed from
the common origin. "That adaptation to environment is the necessary
condition of Evolution we do not question for a moment. It is quite
evident that a species would disappear, should it fail to bend to the
conditions of existence which are imposed on it. But it is one thing
to recognize that outer circumstances are forces Evolution must reckon
with, another to claim that they are the directing causes of Evolution."
[Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 107 (Fr. p. 111).]

"The truth is that adaptation explains the sinuosities of the movement
of Evolution, but not the general directions of the movement, still
less the movement itself. The road which leads to the town is obliged to
follow the ups and downs of the hills; it adapts itself to the accidents
of the ground, but the accidents of the ground are not the cause of
the road nor have they given it its direction." [Footnote: Creative
Evolution, p. 108 (Fr. p. 112).] The evolution of life cannot be
explained as merely a series of adaptations to accidental circumstances.
Moreover, the mechanistic view, where all is "given," is quite
inadequate to explain the facts. The finalist or teleological conception
is not any more tenable, for Evolution is not simply the realization
of a plan. "A plan is given in advance. It is represented or at least
representable, before its realization. The complete execution of it may
be put off to a distant future or even indefinitely, but the idea is
none the less formulable at the present time, in terms actually given.
If, on the contrary, Evolution is a creation unceasingly renewed, it
creates as it goes on, not only the forms of life but the ideas that
enable the intellect to understand it. Its future overflows its present
and cannot be sketched out therein, in an idea. There is the first error
of finalism. It involves another yet more serious. If life realizes a
plan it ought to manifest a greater harmony the further it advances,
just as the house shows better and better the idea of the architect as
stone is set upon stone." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 108 (Fr. p.
112).] Such finalism is really reversed mechanism. If, on the contrary,
the unity of life is to be found solely in the impetus (poussee
formidable) that pushes it along the road of Time, the harmony is not in
front but behind. The unity is derived from a vis a tergo: it is given
at the start as an impulsion, not placed at the end as an attraction, as
a kind of

     "... far-off divine event
      To which the whole creation moves."

"In communicating itself the impetus splits up more and more. Life,
in proportion to its progress, is scattered in manifestations
which undoubtedly owe to their common origin the fact that they are
complementary to each other in certain aspects, but which are none the
less mutually incompatible and antagonistic. So that the discord between
species will go on increasing." "There are species which are arrested,
there are some that retrogress. Evolution is not only a movement
forward; in many cases we observe a marking-time, and still more often
a deviation or turning back. Thence results an increasing disorder. No
doubt there is progress, if progress means a continual advance in the
general direction determined by a first impulsion; but this progress is
accomplished only on the two or three great lines of Evolution on which
forms ever more and more complex, ever more and more high, appear;
between these lines run a crowd of minor paths in which deviations,
arrests, and set-backs are multiplied." [Footnote: Creative Evolution,
pp. 107-110 (Fr. pp. 111-114).] Evolution would be a very simple and
easy process to understand if it followed one straight path. To describe
it, Bergson uses, in one place, this metaphor: "We are here dealing
with a shell which has immediately burst into fragments, which, being
themselves species of shells, have again burst into fragments, destined
to burst again, and so on." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 103 (Fr.
p. 107).]

A study of the facts shows us three very marked tendencies which may
be denoted by the terms "Torpor," "Instinct," and "Intelligence." These
are, in a sense "terminal points" in the evolutionary process. Hence
arises the distinction of plant and animal, one showing a tendency to
unconscious torpor, the other manifesting a tendency towards movement
and consciousness. Then again arises another divergence which gives rise
to two paths or tendencies, one along the line of the arthropods, at the
end of which come the ants and the bees with their instincts, and the
other along the line of the vertebrates, at the end of which is man with
his intelligence. These three, Torpor, Instinct, and Intelligence, must
not, however, be looked upon as three successive stages in the linear
development of one tendency, but as three diverging directions of a
common activity, which split up as it went on its way. Instinct and
Intelligence are the two important terminal points in Evolution. They
are not two stages of which one is higher than the other, they are
at the end of two different roads. The wonders of Instinct are a
commonplace to students of animal and insect life. [Footnote: See the
interesting books by the French writer, Henri Fabre.] Men, with their
intellect, make tools, while Instinct is tied to its tool. There is
a wondrous immediacy, however, about Instinct, in the way it achieves
ends, and its operations are often quite unconsciously performed. The
insect or animal could not possibly "know" all that was involved in its
action. Instinct, then, is one form of adaptation, while Intellect is
quite another. In man--the grown man--Intellect is seen at its best. Yet
we are not without Instincts; by them we are bound to the race and to
the whole animal creation. But in ants and bees and such like creatures,
Instinct is the sole guide of life, and it is often a highly organized
life. The following example clearly shows the contrast between Instinct
and Intelligence. A cat knows how to manage her new-born kittens, how to
bring them up and teach them; a human mother does not know how to manage
her baby unless she is trained either directly or by her own quick
observation of other mothers. A cat performs her simple duties by
Instinct, a human mother has to make use of her Intelligence in order to
fulfil her very complex duties. We must observe, however, the relative
value of Instinct and Intelligence. Each is a psychical activity, but
while Instinct is far more perfect, far more complete in its insight, it
is confined within narrow limits. Intelligence, while far less perfect
in accomplishing its work, less complete in insight, is not limited
in such a way. But while Intellect is external, looking on reality as
different from life, Instinct is an inner sympathy with reality; it is
deeper than any intellectual bond which binds the conscious creature to
reality, for it is a vital bond.

Bergson now turns to a consideration of Life and Matter in the
evolutionary process, and their precise relation to one another. Life is
free, spontaneous, incalculable, not out of relation to Matter, but
its direction is not entirely determined by Matter nor has its initial
impulse Matter as its source. Although Bergson denies that Will and
Consciousness, as we know them, are mere functions of the material
organism, yet they do depend upon it as a workman depends upon his tool.
We are fond of insinuating that a bad workman always blames his tools.
A good workman, however, cannot be expected to do the best work with bad
tools. The tool, although he uses it, at the same time limits him. So
it is with the material organism at our disposal, our body, and so,
too, with spirit and matter in general. Spirit and Matter are not to
be regarded as independent or as ranged against one another from all
eternity. Matter is a product of Spirit or Consciousness, the underlying
psychic force. "For want of a better word," says Bergson, "we have
called it Consciousness. But we do not mean the narrowed consciousness
that functions in each of us." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 250
(Fr. p. 258).] It is rather super-Consciousness than a consciousness
like ours. Matter is a flux rather than a thing, but its flow is in the
opposite direction to that of Spirit. The flow of Spirit shows itself
in the creativeness of the evolutionary process; Matter is the inverse
movement towards stability. Bergson adheres to the view of Spirit as
fundamental, while Matter, he says, is due to a lessening of the tension
of the spiritual force which is the initial elan. Now, of course, Matter
and Spirit have come to be two opposing forces, for one is determined
and the other free. Yet Bergson has to make out that there must have
been some indetermination in Matter, however small, to give Spirit an
opening to "insinuate itself" into Matter and thus use it for its own
ends. It always seems, however, as if Spirit were trying to free itself
from material limitations. It evolved the Intellect to cope with Matter.
This is why Reason is at home, not in life and freedom, but in solid
Matter, in mechanical and spatial distinctions. There is thus an eternal
conflict in progress between Spirit and Matter. The latter is always
tending to automatism, to the sacrifice of the Spirit with its creative
power. In his little book on The Meaning of the War Bergson claims
that here we have an instance of Life and Matter in conflict--Germany
representing a mechanical and materialistic force. In quite another way
he illustrates the same truth, in his book on Laughter, where he shows
us that "rigidity, automatism, absent-mindedness, and unsociability, are
all inextricably entwined, and all serve as ingredients to the making up
of the comic in character," [Footnote: Laughter, p. 147 (Fr. p. 151).]
for "the comic is that side of a person which reveals his likeness to
a thing, that aspect of human events which, through its peculiar
inelasticity, conveys the impression of pure mechanism, of automatism,
of movement without life." [Footnote: Laughter, p. 87 (Fr. p. 89).]

Finally, in reviewing the evolutionary process as a whole, Bergson
asserts that it manifests a radical contingency. The forms of life
created, also the proportion of Intuition to Intelligence, in man, and
the physique and morality of man, are all of them contingent. Life
might have stored up energy in a different way through plants selecting
different chemical elements. The whole of organic chemistry would then
have been different. Then, too, it is probable that Life manifests
itself in other planets, in other solar systems also, in forms of which
we have no idea. He points out that between the perfect humanity and
ours one may conceive many possible intermediaries, corresponding to all
the degrees imaginable of Intelligence and Intuition. Another solution
might have issued in a humanity either more intelligent or more
intuitive. Man has warred like the other species, he has warred
against the other species. If the evolution of life had been opposed by
different accidents en route, if the current of life had been divided
otherwise, we should have been, in physique and in morality, very
different from what we are. [Footnote: Creative Evolution, pp. 280-282
(Fr. p. 288-290).] We cannot regard humanity as prefigured in the
evolutionary process, nor look on man as the ultimate outcome of the
whole of Evolution. The rest of Nature does not exist simply for
the sake of man. Certainly man stands highest, for only in man has
consciousness succeeded, but man has, as it were, lost much in coming
to this position. The whole process of Evolution "IS AS IF A VAGUE AND
HIMSELF ON THE WAY." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 281 (Fr. p. 289).
(Italics are Bergson's.)]

In the lectures on The Nature of the Soul, Bergson referred to the
"Pathway of the evolutionary process" as being a "Way to Personality."
For on the line which leads to man liberation has been accomplished and
thus personalities have been able to constitute themselves. If we could
view this line of evolution it would appear to resemble a telegraph
wire on which has travelled a dispatch sent off as long ago as the first
beginnings of life, a message which was then confused, of which a part
has been lost on the way, but which has at last found in the human race
the appropriate instrument.

Humanity is one; we are members one of another. Bergson insists on
this solidarity of man, and, indeed, of all living creatures. "As the
smallest grain of dust is bound up with our entire solar system, drawn
along with it in that undivided movement of descent which is materiality
itself, so all organized beings, from the humblest to the highest, from
the first origins of life to the time in which we are, and in all places
as in all times, do but evidence a single impulsion, the inverse of
the movement of matter, and in itself indivisible. All the living hold
together and all yield to the same tremendous push. The animal takes its
stand on the plant, man bestrides animality, and the whole of humanity,
in space and in time, is one immense army galloping beside and before
and behind each of us, in an overwhelming charge, able to beat down
every resistance and clear the most formidable obstacles, perhaps even
death." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, pp. 285-286 (Fr. pp. 293-294).]



Intelligence and Intuition not opposed--Intellectual sympathy--Synthesis
and analysis. "Understanding as one loves"--Concepts--Intellect not
final--Man's spirit and intuitions--Joy, creative power and art--Value
of Intuitive Philosophy.

We now approach the grand climax of Bergson's philosophy, his doctrine
of Intuition, which he preaches with all the vigour of an evangelist.
Our study of his treatment of Change, of Perception, of la duree, and
of Instinct, has prepared us for an investigation of what he means by
Intuition, for in dealing with these subjects he has been laying the
foundations of his doctrine of Intuition. He pointed out to us that Life
is Change, but that our intellect does not really grasp the reality of
Change, for it is adapted to solids and to concepts, it resembles the
cinematograph film. Then he has tried to show us that in Perception
there is really much more than we think, for our intellect carves out
what is of practical interest, while the penumbra or vague fringes
of perceptions which have no bearing on action are neglected. By his
advocacy of a real psychological Time, in opposition to the physical
abstraction which bears the name, he again brought out the inadequacy of
intellect to grasp Life in its flow and has put before us the soul's own
appreciation of Time, which is a valuation rather than a magnitude,
an intuition of our consciousness. Then, in examining the Evolution
of Instinct and Intelligence, we found that Instinct, however blind
intellectually, contained a wonderful and unique element of immediacy or
direct insight. These are just preparatory indications of the direction
of Bergson's thought all the time.

It is admittedly difficult to determine with very great definiteness
what Bergson's view of Intuition really is, for he has made many
statements regarding it which appear at first sight irreconcilable and,
in his earlier writings, has not been sufficiently careful when speaking
of the distinction between Intelligence and Intuition. Some of his early
statements are reactionary and crude and give the impression of a purely
anti-intellectualist position involving the condemnation of Intellect
and all its work. [Footnote: E.g., the statement "To philosophize is to
invert the habitual direction of the work of thought"--Introduction to
Metaphysics p. 59.] In his later work, however, Bergson has made it more
clear that he does not mean to throw Intellect overboard; it has its
place, but is not final, nor is it the supreme human faculty which most
philosophers have thought it to be. It must be lamented, however, that
Bergson's language was ever so ill defined as to encourage the many
varied and conflicting views which are held regarding his doctrine of
Intuition. Around this the greatest controversy has raged. Little is to
be gained by heeding the shouts of either those who acclaim Bergson as
a revolutionary against all use of the Intellect, or of those who regard
him as no purely anti-intellectualist at all. We must turn to Bergson
himself and study carefully what he has said and written, reserving our
judgment until we have examined his own statements.

What is this "Intuition"? In what is now a locus classicus [Footnote:
Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 7.] he says, "By Intuition is meant
the kind of INTELLECTUAL SYMPATHY by which one places oneself within an
object in order to coincide with what is unique in it and consequently
inexpressible. Analysis is the operation which reduces the object to
elements already known, that is, to elements common to it and other
objects. To analyse, therefore, is to express a thing as a function
of something other than itself. All analysis is thus a translation, a
development into symbols, a representation taken from successive points
of view from which we note as many resemblances as possible between the
new object which we are studying and others which we believe we know
already. In its eternally unsatisfied desire to embrace the object
around which it is compelled to turn, analysis multiplies without
end the number of its points of view in order to complete its always
incomplete representation, and ceaselessly varies its symbols that it
may perfect the always imperfect translation. It goes on therefore to
infinity. But Intuition, if Intuition be possible, is a simple act. It
is an act directly opposed to analysis, for it is a viewing in totality,
as an absolute; it is a synthesis, not an analysis, not an intellectual
act, for it is an immediate, emotional synthesis."

Two illustrations, taken from the same essay, may serve to make this
point clearer. A visitor in Paris, of an artistic temperament, makes
some sketches of the city, writing underneath them, by way of memento,
the word "Paris." As he has actually seen Paris he is able, with the
help of the original Intuition he has had of that unique whole which is
Paris itself, to place his sketches therein, and synthesize them. But
there is no way of performing the inverse operation. It is impossible,
even with thousands of sketches, to achieve the Intuition, to give
oneself the impression of what Paris is like, if one has never been
there. Or again, as a second illustration, "Consider a character whose
adventures are related to me in a novel. The author may multiply the
traits of his hero's character, may make him speak and act as much as
he pleases, but all this can never be equivalent to the simple and
indivisible feeling which I should experience if I were able, for an
instant, to identify myself with the person of the hero himself. Out of
that indivisible feeling, as from a spring, all the words, gestures, and
actions of the man would appear to me to flow naturally. They would no
longer be accidents which, added to the idea I had already formed of the
character, continually enriched that idea without ever completing it.
The character would be given to me all at once, in its entirety, and the
thousand incidents which manifest it, instead of adding themselves to
the idea and so enriching it, would seem to me, on the contrary,
to detach themselves from it, without, however, exhausting it or
impoverishing its essence. All the things I am told about the man
provide me with so many points of view from which I can observe him. All
the traits which describe him and which can make him known to me, only
by so many comparisons with persons or things I know already, are signs
by which he is expressed more or less symbolically. Symbols and points
of view, therefore, place me outside him; they give me only what he has
in common with others, and not what belongs to him, and to him alone.
But that which is properly 'himself,' that which constitutes his
essence, cannot be perceived from without, being internal by definition,
nor be expressed by symbols, being incommensurable with everything
else. Description, history, and analysis leave me here in the relative.
Coincidence with the person himself would alone give me the absolute."
[Footnote: An Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 3.] This, as Gaston Rageot
puts it, is "to understand in the fashion in which one loves." This
statement is of suggestive interest in considering the practical problem
of how we may be said to "know" other people, and has vital bearing on
the revelation of one personality to another, urging, as it does, the
value and necessity of some degree of sympathy and indeed of love, for
the full understanding and knowledge of any personality.

In another place Bergson says: "When a poet reads me his verses, I can
interest myself enough in him to enter into his thought, put myself
into his feelings, live over again the simple state he has broken into
phrases and words. I sympathize then with his inspiration, I follow it
with a continuous movement which is, like the inspiration itself, an
undivided act." If this sympathy could extend its object and so reflect
upon itself, it would give us the key to vital operations in the same
way as Intelligence, developed and corrected, introduces us into Matter.
Intelligence, by the intermediary of science, which is its work, tells
more and more completely the secret of physical operations; of Life it
gives and pretends only to give an expression in terms of inertia. We
should be led into the very interior of Life by Intuition, that is,
by Instinct become disinterested, conscious of itself, capable of
reflecting on its object and enlarging it indefinitely.

In proclaiming the gospel of Intuition, Bergson's main point is to show
that man is capable of an experience and a knowledge deeper than that
which the Intellect can possibly give. "At intervals a soul arises which
seems to triumph... by dint of simplicity--the soul of an artist or
a poet, which, remaining near its source, reconciles, in a harmony
appreciable by the heart, terms irreconcilable by the intelligence"
[Footnote: From the address on Ravaisson, delivered before the Academie
des Sciences morales et politiques 1904.] His point of view is here akin
to that of an earlier French thinker, Pascal, who said: "The heart hath
reasons that the reason cannot know." The Intellect is, by its nature,
the fabricator of concepts, and concepts are, in Bergson's view,
mischievous. They are static, they leave out the flux of things, they
omit too much of experience, they are framed at an expensive cost, the
expense of vital contact with Life itself. Of course he admits a certain
value in concepts, but he refuses to admit that they help us at all to
grasp reality in its flux. "Metaphysics must transcend concepts in order
to reach Intuition. Certainly concepts are necessary to it, for all the
other sciences work, as a rule, with concepts, and Metaphysics cannot
dispense with the other sciences. But it is only truly itself when it
goes beyond the concept, or at least when it frees itself from rigid and
ready-made concepts, in order to create a kind very different from
those which we habitually use; I mean supple, mobile, and almost fluid
representations, always ready to mould themselves on the fleeting forms
of Intuition." [Footnote: An Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 18.]

The true instrument of Metaphysics is intuition. We can only grasp
ourselves, Bergson points out, by a metaphysical Intuition, for the
soul eludes thought; we cannot place it among concepts or in a category.
Intuition, however, reveals to us Real Time (la duree) and our real
selves, changing and living as free personalities in a Time which, as it
advances, creates.

Intuition is in no way mysterious, Bergson claims. Every one of us
has had opportunities to exercise it in some degree, and anyone, for
example, who has been engaged in literary work, knows perfectly well
that after long study has been given to the subject, when all documents
have been collected and necessary drafts worked out, one thing more is
needful--an effort, a travail of soul, a setting of oneself in the
heart of the subject; in short, the getting of inspiration. Metaphysical
Intuition seems to be of this nature, and its relation to the empirical
data contributed by the Intellect is parallel to the relation between
the literary man's inspiration and his collected material. Of course "it
is impossible to have an Intuition of reality, that is, an intellectual
sympathy, with its innermost nature, unless its confidence has been won
by a long comradeship with its external manifestation." In his study of
Lucretius [Footnote: Extraits de Lucrece avec etude sur la poesie,
la philosophie, la physique le texte et la langue de Lucrece (1884).
Preface, p. xx.] he remarks that the chief value of the Latin
poet-philosopher lay in his power of vision, in his insight into the
beauty of nature, in his synthetic view, while at the same time he was
able to exercise his keenly analytic intellect in discovering all he
could about the facts of nature in their scientific aspect. At the
same time, metaphysical Intuition, although only to be obtained through
acquaintance with empirical data, is quite other than the mere summary
of such knowledge. [Footnote: See protest: L'Intuition philosophique in
Revue de metaphysique et de morale, 1911, p. 821.] It is distinct from
these data, as the motor impulse is distinct from the path traversed
by the moving body, as the tension of the spring is distinct from the
visible movements of the pendulum. In this sense Metaphysics has nothing
in common with a generalization of facts. It might, however, be defined
as "integral experience." Nevertheless Intuition, once attained, must
find a mode of expression in well-defined concepts, for in itself it is
incommunicable. Dialectic is necessary to put Intuition to the proof,
necessary also in order that Intuition should break itself up into
concepts and so be propagated to others. But when we use language and
concepts to communicate it, we tend to make these in themselves mean
something, whereas they are but counters or symbols used to express what
is their inspiration--Intuition. Hence we often forget the metaphysical
Intuitions from which science itself has sprung. What is relative in
science is the symbolic knowledge, reached by pre-existing concepts
which proceed from the fixed to the moving. A truly intuitive philosophy
would bring science and metaphysics together. Modern science dates from
the day when mobility was set up as an independent reality and studied
as such by Galileo. But men of science have mainly fixed their attention
on the concepts, the residual products of Intuition, the symbols which
have lent a symbolic character to every kind of science. Metaphysicians,
too, have done the same thing. Hence it was easy for Kant to show that
our science is wholly relative and our metaphysics entirely artificial.
For Kant, science was a universal mathematic and metaphysics a
practically unaltered Platonism. The synthetic Intuition was hidden
by the analysis to which it had given rise. For Kant, Intuition was
infra-intellectual, but for Bergson it is supra-intellectual. Kant's
great error was in concluding that it is necessary for us, in order
to attain Intuition, to leave the domain of the senses and of
consciousness. This was because of his views of Time and Change. If Time
and Change really were what he took them to be, then Metaphysics and
Intuition alike are impossible. For Bergson, however, Time and Change
lead up to Intuition; indeed it is by Intuition that we come to see all
things, as he expresses it, sub specie durationis. This is the primary
vision which an intuitive philosophy supplies. Such a philosophy will
not be merely a unification of the sciences.

In an article contributed to the Revue de metaphysique et de morale
in January of 1908, under the title L'Evolution de l'intelligence
geometrique, we find Bergson remarking: "Nowhere have I claimed that we
should replace intelligence by something else, or prefer instinct to it.
I have tried to show merely that when we leave the region of physical
and mathematical objects for the realm of life and consciousness, we
have to depend on a certain sense of living, which has its origin in
the same vital impulse that is the basis of instinct, although instinct,
strictly speaking, is something quite different."

Intellect and Intuition, Bergson says very emphatically, at the close
of his Huxley Lecture on Life and Consciousness, are not opposed to one
another. "How could there be a disharmony between our Intuitions and
our Science, how, especially, could our Science make us renounce our
Intuition, if these Intuitions are something like Instinct--an Instinct
conscious, refined, spiritualized--and if Instinct is still nearer Life
than Intellect and Science? Intuition and Intellect do not oppose each
other, save where Intuition refuses to become more precise by coming
into touch with facts, scientifically studied, and where Intellect,
instead of confining itself to Science proper (that is, to what can
be inferred from facts, or proved by reasoning), combines with this
an unconscious and inconsistent metaphysic which in vain lays claim to
scientific pretensions. The future seems to belong to a philosophy which
will take into account the whole of what is given." [Footnote: Life and
Consciousness, as reported in The Hibbert Journal, Vol. X, Oct., 1911,
pp. 24-44.] Intuition, to be fruitful, must interact with Intellect.
It has the direct insight of Instinct, but its range is widened in
proportion as it blends with Intellect. To imagine that the acceptance
of the gospel of Intuition means the setting aside of all valuation in
regard to the Intellect and its work would be preposterous. Bergson,
however unguarded his language at times has been, does not mean this.
He does not mean that we must return to the standpoint of the animal
or that we must assume that the animal view, which is instinctive, is
higher than the view which, through Intellect, gives it a meaning and
value to the percipient. That would involve the rejection of all that
our culture has accumulated, all our social heritage from the past, the
overthrow of our civilization, the undoing of all that has developed
in our world, since man's Intelligence came into it. We cannot obtain
Intuition without intellectual labour, for it must have an intellectual
or scientific basis. Yet, however valuable Intellect is, it is not
final. "It is reality itself, in the profoundest meaning of the word,
that we reach by the combined and progressive development of science
and philosophy." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 210 (Fr. p. 217).] We
need, therefore, if we are to get into touch with the deeper aspects
of reality, something more than bare science. We cannot live on its dry
bread alone; we need philosophy--an intuitional philosophy.

In his brilliant paper L'Intuition philosophique Bergson shows us, by
a splendid study of Berkeley and Spinoza, that the great Intuition
underlying the thought of a philosopher is of more worth to the world
than the logic and dialectic through the aid of which it is made
manifest, and elaborated. [Footnote: He makes this clear in a letter to
Dr. Mitchell in the latter's Studies in Bergson's Philosophy, p. 31.]
Then in the Lectures La Perception du Changement and in his little work
on Laughter he sets forth the meaning of Intuition in relation to Art.
From time to time Nature raises up souls more or less detached from
practical life, seers of visions and dreamers of dreams, men of
Intuition, with powers of great poetry, great music, or great painting.
The clearest evidence of Intuition comes to us from the works of these
great artists. What is it that we call the "genius" of great painters,
great musicians, and great poets? It is simply the power they have of
seeing more than we see and of enabling us, by their expressions, to
penetrate further into reality ourselves. What makes the picture is the
artist's vision, his entry into the subject by sympathy or Intuition,
and however imperfectly he expresses this, yet he reveals to us more
than we could otherwise have perceived.

The original form of consciousness, Bergson asserts, was nearer to
Intuition than to Intelligence. But man has found Intellect the more
valuable faculty for practical use and so has used it for the solution
of questions it was never intended to solve, by reason of its nature
and origin. Yet "Intuition is there, but vague and, above all,
discontinuous. It is a lamp almost extinguished which only glimmers now
and then for a few moments at most. But it glimmers whenever a vital
interest is at stake. On our personality, on our liberty, on the place
we occupy in the whole of Nature, on our origin, and perhaps also on our
destiny, it throws a light, feeble and vacillating, but which, none the
less, pierces the darkness of the night in which the Intellect leaves
us." [Footnote: Creative Evolution, p. 282 (Fr. p. 290).]

Science promises us well-being, or, at the most, pleasure, but
philosophy, through the Intuition to which it leads us, is capable
of bestowing upon us Joy. The future belongs to such an intuitive
philosophy, Bergson holds, for he considers that the whole progress of
Evolution is towards the creation of a type of being whose Intuition
will be equal to his Intelligence. Finally, by Intuition we shall find
ourselves in--to invent a word--"intunation" with the elan vital,
with the Evolution of the whole universe, and this absolute feeling of
"at-one-ment" with the universe will result in that emotional synthesis
which is deep Joy, which Wordsworth describes as:

                                   "that blessed mood
      In which the burthen of the mystery,
      In which the heavy and the weary weight
      Of all this unintelligible world,
      Is lightened:--that serene and blessed mood,
      In which the affections gently lead us on,--
      Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
      And even the motion of our human blood
      Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
      In body, and become a living soul:
      While with an eye made quiet by the power
      Of harmony and the deep power of joy
      We see into the life of things."



Anti-intellectualism and the State--Syndicalism--Class war,
"direct action." Sorel advocates General Strike--Bergson cited in
support--Unfair use of Bergson's view of reality--His ethic--Value
of Will and Creativeness; not a supporter of impulse. Development of
personality. Intuitive mind of woman. Change and the moral life.

Bergson has not written explicitly upon Ethics. In some quarters,
however, so much has been made of Bergson as a supporter of certain
ethical tendencies and certain social movements, that we must examine
this question of ethical and political implications and try to ascertain
how far this use of Bergson is justified.

Both ethical and political thought to-day are deriving fresh stimulation
from the revision of many formulae, the modification of many conceptions
which the War has inevitably caused. At the same time the keen interest
taken in studies like social psychology and political philosophy
combines with a growing interest in movements such as Guild Socialism
and Syndicalism. The current which in philosophy sets against
intellectualism, in the political realm sets against the State. This
political anti-intellectualism shows a definite tendency to belittle
the State in comparison with economic or social groups. "If social
psychology tends to base the State as it is, on other than intellectual
grounds, Syndicalism is prone to expect that non-intellectual forces
will suffice to achieve the State as it should be." [Footnote: Ernest
Barker in his Political Thought in England from Herbert Spencer to the
Present Day, p. 248.] Other tendencies of the same type are noticeable.
For example, Mr. Bertrand Russell's work on The Principles of Social
Reconstruction is based on the view that impulse is a larger factor in
our social life than conscious purpose.

The Syndicalists have been citing the philosophy of Bergson in support
of their views, and it is most interesting to see how skilfully at times
sayings of Bergson are quoted by them as authoritative, as justification
for their actions, in a spirit akin to that of the devout man who quotes
scripture texts as a guide to conduct.

In this country, Syndicalism has not been popular, and when it did show
its head the government promptly prosecuted the editor and printers
of its organ, The Syndicalist, and suppressed the paper owing to its
aggressive anti-militarism. [Footnote: Imprisonment of Mr. Tom Mann]
English Syndicalism has few supporters and it is a rather diluted form
of French Syndicalism. To understand the movement, we must turn to its
history in France or in America. Its history in Russia will be an
object of research in the future, when more material and more news are
available from that "distressful country." In France local unions or
syndicats were legalized as early as 1884 but 1895 is the important
landmark, being the date of the foundation with which Syndicalism is
associated to-day, the Confederation Generale du Travail, popularly
known as the "C.G.T.," the central trade-union organization in France.
In the main, Syndicalism is an urban product, and has not many adherents
among the agricultural population. In America a "Federation of Labour"
was formed in 1886, but the Syndicalist organization there is the body
known as "The Industrial Workers of the World." In its declaration
of policy, it looks forward to a union which is to embrace the whole
working class and to adopt towards the capitalist class an unending
warfare, until the latter is expropriated. "The working class and the
employing class," says the declaration, "have nothing in common. Between
these two classes a struggle must go on until all the toilers come
together on the industrial field and take and hold that which they
produce by their labour." Among the leaders of Syndicalist thought on
the Continent may be mentioned the names of three prominent Frenchmen,
Berth, Lagardelle, and Sorel, together with that of the young Italian
professor Labriola, who is leading the increasingly active party in his
own country.

In France, Italy, and America alike, Syndicalism stands for the
class-war. Its central feature is the idea of a General Strike. It
manifests a hatred of the State, which makes it bitterly opposed to
State Socialism, which it regards as centralized and tyrannical, or to a
Labour-party of any kind in Parliament. [Footnote: Attempts at carrying
out a General Strike, in France, Sweden, Italy, and Spain have failed.
The greatest Strikes have been: Railwaymen in Italy, in 1907; Postal
Workers in France, in 1909. Miners in New South Wales, in 1909, and
in Sweden, 1909; Miners and Railwaymen in England; Textile Workers in
Massachusetts, 1912; Railwaymen in England, 1919, in France, 1920.] It
regards the State as fixed, rigid, and intellectual, and adopts all
the Bergsonian anathemas it can find which condemn intellectual
constructions, concepts, and thought in general. Its war-cry is not only
"Down with Capitalism" but also, in a great number of cases, "Down
with Intellectualism"! Instinct and impulse alone are to be guides.
Syndicalism, unlike Socialism, has no programme--it does not believe in
a prearranged plan. Reality, it says, quoting Bersgon, has no plan. It
says, "Let us act, act instinctively and impulsively against what we
feel to be wrong, and the future will grow out of our acting." We find
Georges Sorel, the philosopher of Syndicalism, talking about what he
terms the INTUITION of Socialism, and he talks emphatically about the
tremendous moral value of strikes, apart from any material gain achieved
by them. He believes religiously in a General Strike as the great ideal,
but considers it a myth capable of rousing enthusiasm in the workers,
an ideal to which they must strive, a myth as inspiring as the belief
of the early Christians in the Second Coming of Christ, which, although
quite a false belief, contributed largely to the success of the early
Church. "Strikes," says Sorel, "have engendered in the proletariat the
most noble, the most profound, the most moving sentiments they possess.
The General Strike groups these in a composite picture, and by bringing
together, gives to each its maximum intensity; appealing to the most
acute memories of particular conflicts, it colours with an intense life
all the details of the composition presented to the mind. We obtain thus
an intuition of Socialism which language cannot clearly express and we
obtain it in a symbol instantly perceived, such as is maintained in
the Bergsonian philosophy." [Footnote: Quoted by C. Bougle, in an
interesting article Syndicalistes et Bergsoniens, Revue du mois, April
10, 1909. And by Rev. Rhondda Williams in Syndicalism in France and its
Relation to the Philosophy of Bergson, Hibbert Journal, 1914. Also by
J. W. Scott in his book Syndicalism and Philosophical Realism, 1919, pp.
39-40, and by Harley in Syndicalism.] In England, although the idea
of the General Strike has not been so prominent, yet in recent years
Strikes have assumed an aspect different from those of former years.
Workers who had "struck" before for definite objects, for wages or
hours, or reformed workshop conditions, now seem to be seeking after
something vaster--a fundamental alteration in industrial conditions or
the total abolition of the present system. The spirit of unrest is on
the increase; no doubt War conditions have, in many cases, intensified
it, but there is in the whole industrial world an instinctive impulse
showing itself, which is issuing in Syndicalist and Bolshevist
[Footnote: "Bolshevik"--simply the Russian word for majority party as
distinct from Mensheviks or minority.] activities of various kinds.
Syndicalism is undoubtedly revolutionary. There are Les Syndicats
rouges and Les Syndicats jaunes, of which the "Reds" are by far the
most revolutionary. [Footnote: See article Des Ouvriers syndiques et le
Syndicalisme jaune, Revue de metaphysique et morale, 1912] The C.G.T.
and the Industrial Workers of the World are out for what they call
"direct action." Their anarchy is really an organization directed
against organization, at least against that organization we know as the
modern State. They have no hope of salvation for themselves coming about
through the State in any way. It has become somewhat natural for us
to think of the social reformer as a Member of Parliament and of the
revolutionary socialist as a "strike-agitator." The cries of "Don't
vote!" "Don't enlist!" are heard, and care is taken to keep the workman
from ceasing to quarrel with his employer. Any discussion of the
rights or wrongs of any Strike is condemned at once. [Footnote: Ramsay
MacDonald was condemned by the Syndicalists for claiming that a strike
MIGHT be wrong.] All Strikes are regarded as right and as an approach
to the ideal of the General Strike. Sorel cites Bergson as calling us
to turn from traditional thought, to seek reality in the dynamic, rather
than the static. He claims that the Professor of Philosophy at the
College de France really co-operates with the C.G.T. An unexpected
harmony arises "between the flute of personal meditation, and the
trumpet of social revolution, and the workman is inspired by being made
to feel that the elan ouvrier est frere de l'elan vital." [Footnote:
Quoted by C. Bougie in the article previously mentioned.] As Bergson
speaks of all movement as unique and indivisible, so the triumphant
movement of the General Strike is to be regarded as a whole, no analysis
is to be made of its parts. As the portals of the future stand wide
open, as the future is being made, so Bergson tells us, that is deemed
an excuse by the Syndicalists for having no prearranged plan of the
conduct of the General Strike, and no conception of what is to be done
afterwards. It is unforeseen and unforeseeable. All industries, however,
are to be in the hands of those who work them, the present industrial
system is to be swept away. The new order which is to follow will have
entirely new moral codes. Sorel justifies violence to be used against
the existing order, but says he wishes to avoid unnecessary blood-shed
or brutality. [Footnote: Reflections on Violence. It is interesting to
note that Bergson refers briefly to Sorel as an original thinker whom it
is impossible to place in any category or class, in La Philosophie, p.
13.] He remarks however, in this connexion, that ancient society, with
all its brutality, compares favourably with modern society which has
replaced ferocity by cunning. The ancient peoples had less hypocrisy
than we have; this, in his opinion, justifies violence in the overthrow
of the modern system and the creation of a nobler ethic than that on
which the modern State is based. For this reason, he disagrees with most
of his Syndicalist colleagues, and condemns sabotage and also the ca
canny policy, both of which are a kind of revenge upon the employer,
based on the principle of "bad work for bad pay." He would have the
workers produce well now, and urges that moral progress is to be aimed
at no less than material progress.

It certainly seems, however, that the Syndicalists are making an unfair
use of Bergson. They have got hold of three or four points rather out of
relation to their context, and are making the most of them. These points
are, chiefly, his remarks against the Intellect, his appreciation
of Instinct and Intuition, his insistence on Freedom and on the
Indeterminateness of the Future. In the hands of the Syndicalists these
become in effect: "Never mind what you think, rouse up your feeling
intensely; act as you feel and then see what you think." Briefly
this amounts to saying: "Act on impulse, behave instinctively and not
rationally." In too many cases, as we know, this is equivalent to a
merely selfish "Down tools if you feel like it." Now so far from Bergson
really giving any countenance to capricious behaviour, or mere impulse,
he expressly condemns such action. Although the future is being made, he
does not admit that it will be merely CAPRICIOUSLY made, and he condemns
the man of mere impulse along with the dreamer, in a fine passage
where he speaks of the value of an intelligent memory in practical
life.[Footnote: See p. 48 of the present work.] When the Syndicalists
assert that elan, instinct, impulse, or intuition are a better guide
than intelligence and reasoned principles, and cite Bergson as their
authority, they omit an important qualification which upsets their
theory entirely, for Bergson's anti-intellectualism is not at all of the
type which they advocate. He does not intend to rule Intellect out of
practical affairs. Indeed it is just the opposite that he asserts, for,
in his view, the Intellect is pre-eminently fitted for practical life,
for action, and it is for this very reason that he maintains it does not
give us insight into reality itself, which Intuition alone can do. He
does not wish, however, to decrease the small element of rationality
manifested in ethical and political life, least of all to make men
less rational, in the sense that they are to become mere creatures of

Nevertheless, Bergson's great emphasis on Will and Creativeness condemns
any laissez-faire type of political theory. It would be wrong for us to
accept the social order which is felt to be imperfect and unjust in so
many ways, simply because we find ourselves in it and fear we cannot
is good that men generally should be made to see this. But it is of very
vital importance that we should will the right thing. This we are not
likely to do impulsively and without reflection. Even if we admit
Mr. Russell's contention that "impulse has more effect than conscious
purpose in moulding men's lives" [Footnote: Principles of Social
Reconstruction, Preface, p. 5.] and agree that "it is not the weakening
of impulse that is to be desired, but the direction of impulse toward
life and growth," [Footnote: p. 18. Cf. the whole of the first chapter
on The Principle of Growth.] yet, we none the less assert that instinct
is an insufficient guide in the determination of social behaviour, and
ask how the direction of impulse, of which Mr. Russell himself speaks,
is to be arrived at? Surely our only hope lies in striving to make
men not less, but more rational in order that they may grasp--however
dimly--something of what is implied in ethical and political ideals,
that they may recognize in society some embodiment of will and purpose
and come to look upon Thought and Reason as the unifying and organizing
principles of human society.

We cannot help wishing that Bergson had given us some contribution
to the study of Ethics. In one of his letters to Father de Tonquedec
regarding the relation of his philosophy to Theology, we find him
remarking that "Before these conclusions [theological statements] can be
set out with greater precision, or considered at greater length, certain
problems of quite another kind would have to be attacked--the problems
of Ethics. I am not sure that I shall ever publish anything on this
subject. I shall do so only if I attain the results that appear to me
as demonstrable or as clearly to be shown as those of my other books."
[Footnote: In Etudes (Revue des Peres de Jesus), Vol. CXXX, pp. 514,
515, 1912.] Prior to the War, however, we know that Bergson was taking
up the problem of working out the implications of his philosophy in the
sphere of social ethics, with particular reference to the meaning
of "Duty" and the significance of "Personality." Although his
investigations of these supremely important problems have not yet been
completed or made public, nevertheless certain ethical implications
which have an important bearing on personal and social life seem to be
contained in what he has already written.

In its application to social life, Bergson's philosophy would involve
the laying of greater stress upon the need for all members of society
having larger opportunities of being more fully themselves, of being
self-creative and having fuller powers of self-expression as free
creative agents. It would lay emphasis upon the value of the personality
of the worker and would combat the systematic converting of him into
a mere "hand." Thus would be set in clearer light the claims of human
personality to create and to enjoy a good life in the widest sense, to
enter into fuller sympathy and fellowship with other personalities, and
so develop a fuller and richer form of existence than is possible under
present social and industrial conditions. It would mean a transvaluation
of all social values, an esteeming of personality before property, a
recognition of material goods as means to a good life, when employed in
the social service of the spirit of man. It would involve a denunciation
of the enslavement of man's spirit to the production of material wealth.
Each man would be a member of a community of personalities, each of
unique value, treating each other, not as means to their own particular
selfish ends, but as ends in themselves. At the same time it would
involve the putting of the personality of the citizen in the foremost
place in our social and political life, instead of a development of a
purely class consciousness with its mischievous distinctions.

Articles have been written dealing with Bergson's message to Feminism.
This point is not without its importance in our modern life. It must
be admitted that the present system of civilization with its scientific
campaign of conquest of the material environment has been the work of
man's intellect. In the ruder stages of existence women's subordination
to men may have been necessary and justifiable. But in the development
of society it has become increasingly less necessary, and humanity
is now at a stage where the contributions of women to society are
absolutely vital to its welfare and progress. Woman is proverbially and
rightly regarded as more intuitive than man. This need not be taken to
mean that, given the opportunity of intellectual development (until now
practically denied to her), woman would not show as great ability in
this direction as man. But it is an undeniable fact that woman has kept
more closely to the forces of the great life-principle, both by the fact
that in her rests the creative power for the continuation of the human
family and also by the fact that the development of the personalities of
children has been her function. The subjection in which women have been
largely kept until now has not only hindered them from taking part in
the work of society as a whole and from expressing their point of view,
but has meant that many of them have little or no knowledge of their
capacities and abilities in wider directions. However, with their
increasing realization of their own powers, with the granting of
increased opportunities to them, and an adequate recognition of their
personality side by side with that of men, achievements of supreme value
for humanity as a whole may be expected from them. In certain spheres
they may be found much better adapted than are men to achieve a vision
which will raise human life to a higher plane and give it greater worth.
More especially in the realms of ethical development, of social science,
problems of sex, of war and peace, of child welfare, health, and
education, of religion and philosophy we may hope to have valuable
contributions from the more intuitive mind of woman. "It is not in the
fighting male of the race: it is in Woman that we have the future centre
of Power in civilization." [Footnote: Benjamin Kidd in The Science
of Power, p. 195. This is more fully shown in his chapters, Woman the
Psychic Centre of Power in the Social Integration, and The Mind of
Woman, pp. 192-257.] The wandering Dante required for his guidance
not only the intellectual faculties of a Vergil but in addition the
intuitive woman-soul of a Beatrice to lead him upward and on.

In La Conscience et la Vie [Footnote: L'Energie spirituelle, p.
27 (Mind-Energy).] Bergson indicates slightly his views on SOCIAL
evolution--c'est a la vie sociale que l'evolution aboutit, comme si le
besoin s'en etait fait sentir des le debut, ou plutot comme si quelque
aspiration originelle et essentielle de la vie ne pouvait trouver que
dans la societe sa pleine satisfaction. He seems inclined to turn his
attention to the unity of life, not simply as due to an identity of
original impulse but to a common aspiration. There is involved a process
of subordination and initiative on the part of the individual. The
existence of society necessitates a certain subordination, while
its progress depends on the free initiative of the individual. It is
extremely dangerous for any society, whether it be an International
League, a State, either Communistic or Capitalistic, a Trade Union, or
a Church, to suppress individual liberty in the interests of greater
social efficiency or of increased production or rigid uniformity of
doctrine. With the sacrifice of individual initiative will go the loss
of all "soul," and the result will be degeneration to a mechanical type
of existence, a merely stagnant institution expressing nothing of man's
spirit. This personal power of initiative Bergson appeals to each one
to maintain. In an important passage of his little work on Laughter he
makes a personal moral appeal.

"What life and society require of each of us is a constantly alert
attention, that discerns the outlines of the present situation, together
with a certain elasticity of mind and body to enable us to adapt
ourselves in consequence." [Footnote: Laughter, p. 18 (Fr. p. 18).] The
lack of tension and elasticity gives rise to mental deficiency and to
grave inadaptability which produces misery and crime. Society demands
not only that we live but that we live well. This means that we must be
truly alive; for Bergson, the moral ideal is to keep spiritually alert.
We must be our real, living selves, and not hide behind the social self
of hypocrisy and habit. We must avoid being the victims of mechanism or
automatism. We must avoid at all costs "getting into a rut" morally or
spiritually. Change and vision are both necessary to our welfare. Where
there is no vision, no undying fire of idealism, the people perish.

Resistance to change is the sin against the Holy Spirit. Bergson is
opposed to the conventional view of morality as equivalent to rigidity,
and grasps the important truth that if morality is to be of worth at all
it must lie not in a fixed set of rules, habits, or conventions, but in
a spirit of living. This is of very great ethical importance indeed,
as it means that we must revise many of our standards of character. For
example, how often do we hear of one who, holding an obviously false
view long and obstinately, is praised as consistent, whereas a mind
which moves and develops with the times, attempting always to
adjust itself to changing conditions in its intellectual or material
environment, is contemptuously dubbed as "changeable" by the moralists
of rigidity. We must, however, learn that consistency of character
does not mean lack of change. Stanchness of character is too often
mere obstinate resistance to change. We must therefore be on our guard
against those who would run ethics into rigid moulds, and so raise up
static concepts and infallible dogmas for beliefs or action. Change
must be accepted as a principle which it is both futile and immoral to
ignore, even in the moral life. This does not mean setting up caprice
or impulsiveness, for in so far as our change of character expresses
the development of the single movement of our own inner life it will be
quite other than capricious, but it will be change, and a change which
is quite consistent, a creative evolution of our personality.

No merely materialistic ethic can breathe in the atmosphere of Bergson's
thought, which sets human consciousness in a high place and insists upon
the fact of Freedom. He maintains a point of view far removed from the
old naturalistic ethic; he does take some account of "values," freedom,
creativeness, and joy (as distinct from pleasure). He points out that
Matter, although to a degree the tool of Spirit, is nevertheless the
enemy who threatens us with a lapse into mere automatism which is only
the parody of true life. The eternal conflict of Matter and Spirit
in Evolution demands that we place ourselves on the side of spiritual
rather than merely material values. We must not be like "the man with
the muck rake." Our conceptions of goodness must be not merely static
but dynamic, for the moral life is essentially an evolution--"a growth
in grace." It means a constant "putting on of the new man," never
"counting oneself to have attained," for spirituality is a progress to
ever new creations, the spiritual life is an unending adventure, and is,
moreover, one which is hampered and crushed by all refusals to recognize
that Change is the fundamental feature of the universe. Nothing can
be more mischievous, more detrimental to moral progress--which is
ultimately the only progress of value and significance to humanity--than
the deification of the status quo either in the individual or in society
as a whole.



Avoidance of theological terms--Intuition and faith--God and
Change--Deity not omnipotent but creative and immanent--God as "Creator
of creators"--Problem of teleology--Stimulus to theology--The need for
restatements of the nature of God--Men as products and instruments of
divine activity--Immortality.

We have seen that Bergson holds no special brief for science, for,
as has been shown, he opposes many of the hypotheses to which science
clings. Consequently, some persons possessing only a superficial
acquaintance with Bergson, and having minds which still think in the
exclusive and opposing terms of the conflict of science and religion of
a generation past, have enthusiastically hailed him as an ally of their
religion. We must examine carefully how far this is justifiable. It is
perfectly natural and just that many people, unable to devote time or
energy to the study of his works, want to know, in regard to Bergson, as
about every other great thinker, what is the bearing of his thought on
their practical theory of life, upon their ideals of existence, upon
the courage, faith, and hope which enable them to work and live, feeling
that life is worth while. We must, however, guard against misuse of
Bergson, particularly such misuse of him as that made in another sphere,
by the Syndicalists. We find that in France he has been welcomed by the
Modernists of the Roman Catholic Church as an ally, and by not a few
liberal and progressive Christian theologians in this country.

At the outset, we must note that Bergson avoids theological forms
of expression, because he is well aware that these--especially in a
philosophical treatise--may give rise to misconceptions. He does not,
like Kant, attack any specific or traditional argument for Theism; he
does not enter into theological controversy. He has not formulated, with
any strictness, his conception of God; for he has recognized that an
examination of Theism would be of little or no value, which was not
prefaced by a refutation of mechanism and materialism, and by the
assertion of some spiritual value in the universe. It is to such a
labour that Bergson has applied himself; it is only incidentally that
we find him making remarks on religious or theological conceptions.
His whole philosophy, however, involves some very important religious
conceptions and theological standpoints. In France, Bergson has had a
considerable amount of discussion on the theological implications of his
philosophy with the Jesuit Fathers, notably Father de Tonquedec. These
arise particularly from his views concerning Change, Time, Freedom,
Evolution and Intuition.

Bergson has been cited as a "Mystic" because he preaches a doctrine
of Intuition. But his metaphysical Intuition bears no relation to the
mysticism of the saint or of the fervid religious mind. He expressly
says, "The doctrine I hold is a protest against mysticism since
it professes to reconstruct the bridge (broken since Kant) between
metaphysics and science." Yet, if by mysticism one means a certain
appeal to the inner and profound life, then his philosophy is
mystical--but so is all philosophy. We must beware of any attempts to
run Bergson's thought into moulds for which it was never intended,
and guard against its being strained and falsely interpreted in the
interests of some special form of religious belief. Intuition is not
what the religious mind means by Faith, in the accepted sense of belief
in a doctrine or a deity, which is to be neither criticized nor reasoned
about. Religion demands "what passeth knowledge." Furthermore, it seeks
a reality that abides above the world of Change, "The same yesterday,
to-day, and for ever," to which it appeals. The religious consciousness
finds itself most reluctant to admit the reality of Change, and this, we
must remember, is the fundamental principle of Bergson's thought. Faber,
one of the noblest hymn writers, well expresses this attitude:

     "O, Lord, my heart is sick,
         Sick of this everlasting change,
      And Life runs tediously quick
         Through its unresting race and varied range.
      Change finds no likeness of itself in Thee,
      And makes no echo in Thy mute eternity."

For Bergson, God reveals Himself in the world of Time, in the very
principle of Change. He is not "a Father of lights in Whom is no
variableness nor shadow of turning."

It has been said that the Idea of God is one of the objects of
philosophy, and this is true, if, by God, we agree to mean the principle
of the universe, or the Absolute. Unity is essential to the Idea of
God. For the religious consciousness, of course, God's existence is
a necessary one, not merely contingent. It views Him as eternal and
unchangeable. But if we accept the Bergsonian philosophy, God cannot be
regarded as "timeless," or as "perfect" in the sense of being "eternal"
and "complete." He is, so to speak, realizing Himself in the universe,
and is not merely a unity which sums up the multiplicity of time
existence. Further, He must be a God who acts freely and creatively
and who is in time. Trouble has arisen in the past over the relation of
"temporal" and "eternal"--the former being regarded as appearance. For
Bergson, this difficulty does not arise; there is, for him, no such
dualism. His God is not exempt from Change, He is not to be conceived as
existing apart from and independent of the world. Indeed, for him,
God would seem to be merely a focus imaginarius of Life and Spirit,
a "hypostatization" of la duree. He cannot be regarded as the loving
Father of the human race whom He has begotten or created in order that
intelligent beings "may glorify Him and enjoy Him for ever." Bergson
does not offer us a God, personal, loving, and redemptive, as the
Christian religious consciousness demands or imagines. He does not, and
can not, affirm Christian Theism, for he considers that the facts do not
warrant the positing of a self-conscious and personal Individual in the
only sense in which we, from our experience, can understand these words.
God is pure, creative activity, a flowing rather than a fountain head;
a continuity of emanation, not a centre from which things emanate.
For Bergson, God is anthropomorphic--as He must necessarily be for us
all--but Bergson's is anthropomorphism of a subtle kind. His God is the
duree of our own conscious life, raised to a higher power. Dieu se fait
in the evolutionary process. He is absolutely unfinished, not complete
or perfect. He is incessant life, action, freedom, and creativeness,
and in so far as we ourselves manifest these (seen, above all, in the
creative joy of the inventor, poet, artist, and mother) each of us has
the "divine" at work within. For Bergson, God is a Being immanent in
the universe, but He is ignorant of the direction in which Evolution
is progressing. This is not the God of the ordinary religious
consciousness, nor is it a conception of God which satisfies the limited
notion which our own imagination both creates and craves to find real.
God, it would seem, must be greater than His works, and He must know
what He is doing. It has been objected that a force, even if a divine
force (one can hardly call it "God" in the ordinary meaning of that
vague word) which urges on Matter without knowing in what direction or
to what end, is no God at all, for it is merely personified chance.
This is due to what Hegel calls "the error of viewing God as free."
[Footnote: Logic, Wallace's translation, first edition, p. 213.]

In reply to certain criticisms of his book L'Evolution creatrice made
by Father de Tonquedec, Bergson wrote in 1912: "I speak of God as the
source whence issue successively, by an effort of his freedom, the
currents or impulses each of which will make a world; he therefore
remains distinct from them, and it is not of him that we can say that
'most often it turns aside' or is 'at the mercy of the materiality that
it has been bound to adopt.' Finally, the reasoning whereby I establish
the impossibility of 'nothing' is in no way directed against the
existence of a transcendent cause of the world; I have, on the contrary,
explained that this reasoning has in view the Spinozist conception of
Being. It issues in what is merely a demonstration that 'something' has
always existed. As to the nature of this 'something' it is true that
nothing in the way of a positive conclusion is conveyed. But neither
is it stated in any fashion that what has always existed is the world
itself, and the rest of the book explicitly affirms the contrary."
[Footnote: Tonquedec: Dieu dans l'Evolution creatrice (Beauchesne), and
Annales de philosophie chretienne, 1912.] "Now the considerations set
forth in my Essai sur les donnees immediates result in bringing to light
the fact of freedom, those of Matiere et Memoire point directly, I
hope, to the reality of Spirit, those of L'Evolution creatrice exhibit
creation as a fact. From all this emerges clearly the idea of a God,
creator and free, the generator of both Matter and Life, whose work of
creation is continued on the side of Life by the evolution of species
and the building up of human personalities. From all this emerges a
refutation of monism and of pantheism." [Footnote: Tonquedec: Dieu dans
l'Evolution creatrice (Beauchesne), and also Etudes des Peres de Jesus,
Vol. CXXX, 1912.] To this it was replied that, for Catholic theology,
God is not merely the source from which the river springs, God does
not develop Himself to a world but He causes it to appear by a kind of
creation quite different from that of Bergson. Bergson's God is not the
God of pantheism, because, for him, the Deity is immanent in nature,
not identifiable with it. A true account of the Absolute would, for him,
take the form of history. Human history has a vital meaning for him.
God is not omnipotent; He is a fighter who takes sides. He is not a
"potter-God" with a clay world. The world involves a limiting of God,
and theology has always found this its most difficult problem, for the
evils or defects against which the Creator is waging war are evils
and defects in a world of His own creating. Speaking in 1914, at the
Edinburgh Philosophical Society, Bergson remarked that God might be
looked upon as "a Creator of creators." Such a view, more explicitly
worked out, might bring him into line with the religious attempt to
reconcile the divine action with our own work and freedom. Our wills are
ours, but in some mystic way religion believes they may become His also,
and that we may be "fellow-labourers together with God." The religious
view of the perfection of the Divine, its omniscience and omnipotence,
has always been hard to reconcile with free will. Christian theology,
when based on the perfection of the Divine nature, has always tended
to be determinist. Indeed, free will has been advocated rather as an
explanation of the presence of evil (our waywardness as in opposition
to the will of God) than as the privilege and necessary endowment of
a spiritual being, and so the really orthodox religious mind has been
forced to seek salvation in self-surrender and has found consolation
in reliance on the "grace" or "active good will" of God. Thus many
theologians in an attempt to reconcile this with human freedom speak
mystically, nevertheless confidently, of "the interaction of Grace and

The acceptance of Creative Evolution involves the acceptance of a
God who expresses Himself in creative action called forth by changing
situations. It cannot regard Evolution as merely the unrolling in time
of the eternally complete, as in the view of monistic idealism. We find
in Bergson, however, two hints which suggest that some vague idealistic
conception has been present to his mind. For instance, in speaking
of Time in relation to God, we find him suggesting that "the whole of
history might be contained in a very short time for a consciousness at
a higher degree of tension than our own, which should watch the
development of humanity while contracting it, so to speak, into the
great phases of its evolution." [Footnote: Matter and Memory, p. 275
(Fr. p. 231).] This remark seems an echo of the words of the old Hebrew

     "For a thousand years in Thy sight
      Are but as yesterday when it is past,
      And as a watch in the night."

Again, in L'Evolution creatrice we find him suggesting that in maternity
and love may lie the secret of the universe.

The important point however, in considering Bergson in relation to
Religion and Theology, is his marked objection to teleology. It is this
which has led many to style his philosophy pessimistic. Religion does
not live readily in a pessimistic atmosphere. Then religion regards
Life and the Universe as valuable, not because they yield to some single
impulsion, but because, at every step, they manifest a meaning and
significance interpreted by our conceptions of value. Bergson's view
only favours religion as ordinarily comprehended, in so far as it breaks
away from a materialistic mechanism, and asserts freedom and gives
Spirit some superiority over Matter. At first sight, the term "creative"
seemed very promising, but can we stop where Bergson has left us? Why
should he banish teleology? His super-consciousness is so indeterminate
that it is not allowed to hamper itself with any purpose more definite
than that of self-augmentation. The course and goal of Evolution are to
it unknown and unknowable. Creation, freedom, and will are great things,
as Mr. Balfour remarks, but we cannot lastingly admire them unless we
know their drift. It is too haphazard a universe which Bergson displays.
Joy does not seem to fit in with what is so aimless. It would be better
to invoke God with a purpose than a supra-consciousness with none.
[Footnote: Creative Evolution and Philosophic Doubt, Hibbert Journal,
Oct., 1911, pp. 1-23.]

In response to an international inquiry, conducted by Frederic Charpin,
for the Mercure de France, formulated in the question, Assistons-nous a
une dissolution ou a une evolution de l'idee religieuse et du sentiment
religieux? Bergson wrote: "I feel quite unable to foretell what the
external manifestation of the religious sense may be in time to come.
I can only say that it does not seem to me likely to be disintegrated.
Only that which is made up of parts can be disintegrated. Now, I am
willing to admit that the religious sense has been gradually enriched
and complicated by very diverse elements; none the less it is in essence
a simple thing, sui generis; and resembles no other emotion of the soul.
It may, perhaps be urged that a simple element, although it cannot
be decomposed, may yet disappear, and that the religious sense will
inevitably vanish when it has no object to which it can attach itself.
But this would be to forget that the object of the religious sense is,
in part at least, prior to that sense itself; that this object is felt
even more than it is thought and that the idea is, in this case, the
effect of the feeling quite as much as its cause. The progressive
deepening of the idea may therefore make the religious sense clearer and
ever clearer; it cannot modify that which is essential in it, still less
effect its disappearance." [Footnote: Charpin: La Question religieuse,
1908, Paris.]

We find Bergson reported as believing that the individual cannot be
guided solely by considerations of a purely moral character. Morality,
even social ethics, is not enough in view of the longing for religious
experience, the yearning for at least a feeling of definite relationship
between the individual human personality and the great spiritual source
of life. This is a feeling which he believes will grow. [Footnote: New
York Times, Feb. 22, 1914.]

Bergson's philosophy has aroused a new interest in many theological
questions. The dogmas of theology, philosophy holds itself free to
criticize; they are for it problems. The teleological arguments of the
older theologians have had to be left behind. "We are fearfully and
wonderfully made," no doubt, but not perfectly, and the arguments in
favour of an intelligent contriver (cf. The Bridgewater Treatises) which
showed the greatest plausibility, were made meaningless by Darwin's
work. Further, Evoluton knows no break. We cannot believe in the
doctrines of the "fall" or in "original sin," for Evolution means a
progress from lower to higher forms. Thus we see that many of the older
forms of theological statement call for revision. Bergson has done much
to stimulate a keener and fresher theological spirit which will express
God in a less static and less isolated form, so that we shall not have
the question asked, either by children or older folks, "What does God

It should be noted before closing this section that the religious
consciousness is tempted to take Bergson's views on Soul and Body to
imply more than they really do. The belief in Immortality which Western
religion upholds is not a mere swooning into the being of God, but a
perfect realization of our own personalities. It is only this that is
an immortality worthy of the name. To regard souls as Bergson does, as
merely "rivulets" into which the great stream of Life has divided, does
not do sufficient justice to human individuality. A "Nirvana," after
death, is not immortality in the sense of personal survival and in the
sense demanded by the religious consciousness.

The influence of Bergson's thought upon religion and theology may be put
finally as follows: We must reject the notion of a God for whom all is
already made, to whom all is given, and uphold the conception of a
God who acts freely in an open universe. The acceptance of Bergson's
philosophy involves the recognition of a God who is the enduring
creative impulse of all Life, more akin perhaps to a Mother-Deity than
a Father-Deity. This divine vital impetus manifests itself in continual
new creation. We are each part of this great Divine Life, and are both
the products and the instruments of its activity. We may thus come to
view the Divine Life as self-given to humanity, emptying itself into
mankind as a veritable incarnation, not, however, restricted to one time
and place, but manifest throughout the whole progress of humanity. Our
conception will be that of a Deity, not external and far-off, but one
whose own future is bound up in humanity, rejoicing in its joy, but
suffering, by a kind of perpetual crucifixion, through man's errors and
his failures to be loyal to the higher things of the spirit. Thus we
shall see that, in a sense, men's noble actions promote God's fuller
being. A Norwegian novelist has recently emphasized this point by his
story of the man who went out and sowed corn in his late enemy's field
THAT GOD MIGHT EXIST! [Footnote: The Great Hunger, by Johan Bojer.]
But it is important to remember that in so far as we allow ourselves to
become victims of habit, living only a materialistic and static type of
existence, we retard the divine operations. On the other hand, in so far
as our spirit finds joy in creative activity and in the furtherance of
spiritual values, to this extent we may be regarded as fellow-labourers
together with God. We cannot, by intellectual searching find out
God, yet we may realize and express quite consistently with Bergson's
philosophy the truth that "in Him we live, and move, and have our



Bergson not systematic--His style--Difficult to classify--Empirical
and spiritual--Value of his ideas on Change, the nature of Mind, of
Freedom--Difficulties in his evolutionary theory--Ethical lack--Need
for supplement-Emphasis on Will, Creativeness, Human Progress and

In concluding this study of Bergson's philosophy, it remains to sum up
and to review its general merits and deficiencies. We must remember, in
fairness to Bergson, that he does not profess to offer us A SYSTEM of
philosophy. In fact, if he were to do so, he would involve himself in a
grave inconsistency, for his thought is not of the systematic type. He
is opposed to the work of those individual thinkers who have offered
"systems" to the world, rounded and professedly complete constructions,
labelled, one might almost say, "the last word in Philosophy." Bergson
does not claim that his thought is final. His ideal, of which he speaks
in his lectures on La Perception du Changement--that excellent summary
of his thought--is a progressive philosophy to which each thinker shall
contribute. If we feel disappointed that Bergson has not gone further or
done more by attempting a solution of some of the fundamental problems
of our human experience, upon which he has not touched, then we must
recollect his own view of the philosophy he is seeking to expound. All
thinking minds must contribute their quota. A philosophy such as he
wishes to promote by establishing a method by his own works will not
be made in a day. "Unlike the philosophical systems properly so called,
each of which was the individual work of a man of genius, and sprang
up as a whole to be taken or left, it will only be built up by the
collective and progressive effort of many thinkers, of many observers
also, completing, correcting, and improving one another." [Footnote:
Introduction to Creative Evolution, p. xiv. (Fr. p. vii).] Both science
and the older kind of metaphysics have kept aloof from the vital
problems of our lives. In one of his curious but brilliant metaphors
Bergson likens Life to a river over which the scientists have
constructed an elaborate bridge, while the laborious metaphysicians
have toiled to build a tunnel underneath. Neither group of workers has
attempted to plunge into the flowing tide itself. In the most brilliant
of his short papers: L'Intuition philosophique, he makes an energetic
appeal that philosophy should approach more closely to practical life.
His thought aims at setting forth, not any system of knowledge, but
rather a method of philosophizing; in a phrase, this method amounts to
the assertion that Life is more than Logic, or, as Byron put it, "The
tree of Knowledge is not the tree of Life."

It is because Bergson has much to say that is novel and opposed to older
conceptions that a certain lack of proportion occasionally mars his
thought; for he--naturally enough--frequently lays little emphasis on
important points which he considers are sufficiently familiar, in order
to give prominent place and emphasis to some more novel point. Herein
lies, it would now appear, the explanation of the seeming disharmony
between Intuition and Intellect which was gravely distressing to many in
his earlier writing on the subject. Later works, however, make a point
of restoring this harmony, but, as William James has remarked: "We
are so subject to the philosophical tradition which treats logos, or
discursive thought generally, as the sole avenue to truth, that to fall
back on raw, unverbalized life, as more of a revealer, and to think of
concepts as the merely practical things which Bergson calls them, comes
very hard. It is putting off our proud maturity of mind and becoming
again as foolish little children in the eyes of reason. But, difficult
as such a revolution is, there is no other way, I believe, to
the possession of reality." [Footnote: Lecture on Bergson and his
anti-intellectualism, in A Pluralistic Universe. It may be remarked
here that, although James hailed Bergson as an ally, Bergson cannot
be classed as a pragmatist. His great assertion is that just because
intellect is pragmatic it does not help us to get a vision of reality.
Cf. the interesting work on William James and Henri Bergson, by W. H.

Bergson's style of writing merits high praise. He is no "dry"
philosopher; he is highly imaginative and picturesque; many of his
passages might be styled, like those of Macaulay, "purple," for at times
he rises to a high pitch of feeling and oratory. Yet this has been urged
against him by some critics. The ironic remark has been repeated, in
regard to Bergson, which was originally made of William James, by Dr.
Schiller, that his work was "so lacking in the familiar philosophic
catch-words, that it may be doubted whether any professor has
quite understood it." There is in his works a beauty of style and a
comparative absence of technical terms which have contributed much to
his popularity. The criticism directed against his poetic style, accuses
him of hypnotizing us by his fine language, of employing metaphors where
we expect facts, and of substituting illustrations for proof. Sir Ray
Lankester says: "He has exceeded the limits of fantastic speculation
which it is customary to tolerate on the stage of metaphysics, and has
carried his methods into the arena of sober science." [Footnote: In the
preface to Elliot's volume, Modern Science and the Illusions of Bergson,
p. xvii.] Another critic remarks that "as far as Creative Evolution is
concerned, his writing is neither philosophy nor science." [Footnote:
McCabe: Principles of Evolution, p. 254.] Certainly his language
is charming; it called forth from William James the remark that it
resembled fine silk underwear, clinging to the shape of the body, so
well did it fit his thought. But it does not seem a fair criticism
to allege that he substitutes metaphor for proof, for we find, on
examination of his numerous and striking metaphors, that they are
employed in order to give relief from continuous abstract statements. He
does not submit analogies as proof, but in illustration of his points.
For example, when he likens the elan vital to a stream, he does not
suggest that because the stream manifests certain characteristics,
therefore the life force does so too. Certainly that would be a highly
illegitimate proceeding. But he simply puts forward this to help us to
grasp by our imaginative faculty what he is striving to make clear. Some
critics are apt to forget the tense striving which must be involved in
any highly philosophical mind dealing with deep problems, to achieve
expression, to obtain a suitable vehicle for the thought--what wrestling
of soul may be involved in attempting to make intuitions communicable.
Metaphor is undoubtedly a help and those of Bergson are always striking
and unconventional. Had Kant, in his Critique of Pure Reason, given more
illustrations, many of his readers would have been more enlightened.

Bergson's thought, although in many respects it is strikingly original
and novel, is, nevertheless, the continuation, if not the culmination,
of a movement in French philosophy which we can trace back through
Boutroux, Guyau, Lachelier and Ravaisson to Maine de Biran, who died in
1824. Qui sait, wrote this last thinker, [Footnote: In his Pensees, p.
213.] tout ce que peut la reflection concentree et s'il n'y a pas un
nouveau monde interieur qui pourra etre decouvert un jour par quelque
Colomb metaphysicien.

Many of the ideas contained in Bergson's work find parallels in the
philosophy of Schopenhauer, as given in his work The World as Will and
Idea (Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung), particularly his Voluntarism
and his Intuitionism. The German thinker regarded all great scientific
discoveries as an immediate intuition, a flash of insight, not simply
the result of a process of abstract reasoning. Schelling also maintained
a doctrine of intuition as supra-rational.

Ravaisson, [Footnote: Ravaisson (1813-1900) wrote De l'habitude, 1832;
La metaphysique d'Aristote, 1837; and his Rapport sur la philosophie en
France au xix siecle, 1867. See Bergson's Memoir, 1904.] to whom Bergson
is indebted for much inspiration, attended the lectures of Schelling
at Munich in 1835. This French thinker, Ravaisson, has had an important
influence on the general development of thought in France during the
latter half of the last century, and much of his work foreshadows
Bergson's thought. He upheld a spiritual activity, manifesting itself
most clearly in love and art, while he allowed to matter, to mathematics
and logic only an imperfect reality. He extolled synthetic views of
reality rather than analytic ones. We are prevented, he said, from
realizing our true selves because of our slavery to habit. To the
ultimate reality, or God, we can attain because of our kinship with that
reality, and by an effort of loving sympathy enter into union with it
by an intuition which lies beyond and above the power of intellectual
searching. As Maine de Biran foretold the coming of a metaphysical
Columbus, so Ravaisson, in his famous Rapport sur la philosophic en
France au xix siecle, published in 1867, prophesied as follows: "Many
signs permit us to foresee in the near future a philosophical epoch
of which the general character will be the predominance of what may
be called spiritualistic realism or positivism, having as generating
principle the consciousness which the mind has of itself of an existence
recognized as being the source and support of every other existence,
being none other than its action."

Lachelier, a disciple of Ravaisson, brought out--as has been already
remarked [Footnote: Page 3.]--the significance of the operations of
vital forces and of liberty. Guyau, whose brief life ended in 1888
and whose posthumous work La Genese de I'Idee de Temps was reviewed by
Bergson two years after the publication of his own Time and Free
Will, laid great stress on the intensification and expansion of life.
Boutroux, in his work, has insisted upon the fact of contingency.

These forecasts of Bergson's thought made by men to whom he owes much
and for whom he personally has the greatest admiration are interesting,
but we are not yet able to look upon his work through the medium of
historical perspective. We can however see it as the culmination of
various tendencies in modern French philosophy; first, the effort to
bring philosophy into the open air of human nature, into immediate
contact with life and with problems vital to humanity; secondly, the
upholding of contingency in all things, thus ensuring human freedom;
thirdly, a disparagement of purely intellectual constructions as
true interpretations of human life and all existence, coupled with an
insistence on an insight that transcends logical formulation.

As a thinker, Bergson is very difficult to classify. "All classification
of philosophies is effected, as a rule, either by their methods or
by their results, 'empirical' and 'a priori' is a classification by
methods; 'realist' and 'idealist' is a classification by results. An
attempt to classify Bergson's philosophy, in either of these ways, is
hardly likely to be successful, since it cuts across all the recognized
divisions." [Footnote: Mr. Bertrand Russell's remark at the opening of
his Lecture on The Philosophy of Bergson, before The Heretics, Trinity
College, Cambridge, March 11, 1912.] We find that Bergson cannot be
put in any of the old classes or schools, or identified with any of the
innumerable isms. He brings together, without being eclectic, action and
reflection, free will and determinism, motion and rest, intellect and
intuition, subjectivity and externality, idealism and realism, in a
most unconventional way. His whole philosophy is destructive of a large
amount of the "vested interests" of philosophy. "We are watching the
rise of a new agnosticism," remarked Dr. Bosanquet. A similar remark
came from one of Bergson's own countrymen, Alfred Fouillee, who, in his
work Le Mouvement idealist et la reaction contre la science positive,
expressed the opinion that Bergson's philosophy could but issue in le
scepticisme et le nihilisme (p. 206). Bergson runs counter to so many
established views that his thought has raised very wide and animated
discussions. The list of English and American articles in the
Bibliography appended to the present work shows this at a glance. In his
preface to the volume on Gabriel Tarde, his predecessor in the chair
of Modern Philosophy at the College de France, written in 1909, we find
Bergson remarking: On mesure la portee d'une doctrine philosophique a la
variete des idees ou elle s'epanouit et a la symplicite du principe ou
elle se ramasse. This remark may serve us as a criterion in surveying
his own work. The preceding exposition of his thought is a sufficient
indication of the wealth of ideas expressed. Bergson is most suggestive.
Moreover, no philosopher has been so steeped in the knowledge of both
Mind and Matter, no thinker has been at once so "empirical" and so
"spiritual." His thought ranges from subtle psychological analyses and
minute biological facts to the work of artists and poets, all-embracing
in its attempt to portray Life and make manifest to us the reality of
Time and of Change. His insistence on Change is directed to showing that
it is the supreme reality, and on Time to demonstrating that it is
the stuff of which things are made. He is right in attacking the false
conception of Time, and putting before us la duree as more real; right,
too, in attacking the notion of empty eternity. But although Change and
Development may be the fundamental feature of reality, Bergson does not
convincingly show that it is literally THE Reality, nor do we think
that this can be shown. He does not admit that there is any THING that
changes or endures; he is the modern Heraclitus; all teaching which
savours of the Parmenidean "one" he opposes. Yet it would seem that
these two old conceptions may be capable of a reconciliation and that
if all reality is change, there is a complementary principle that Change
implies something permanent.

Then, again, we feel Bergson is right in exposing the errors which the
"idea of the line," the trespassing of space, causes; but he comes very
near to denying, in his statements regarding duree pure, any knowledge
of the past as past; he overlooks the decisive difference between the
"no more" and the "not yet" feeling of the child's consciousness, which
is the germ of our clear knowledge of the past as past, and distinct
from the future.

To take another of his "pure" distinctions, we cannot see any necessity
for his formulation of what he terms "Pure Perception." Not only does
it obscure the relation of Sensation to Perception, but it seems to be
quite unknown and unknowable and unnecessary as an hypothesis. As to his
"Pure" Memory, there is more to be said. It stands on a different plane
and seems to be the statement of a very profound truth which sheds light
on many difficult problems attaching to personality and consciousness,
for it is the conservation of memories which is the central point in
individuality. His distinction between the habit of repeating and the
"pure" memory is a very good and very necessary one. In his study of
the relation of Soul and Body, we find some of his most meritorious
work--his insistence on the uniqueness of Mind and the futility of
attempts to reduce it to material terms. His treatment of this question
is parallel to that of William James in the first part of his Ingersoll
Lecture at Harvard in 1898, when he called attention to "permissive"
or "transmissive" function of the brain. Bergson's criticisms of
Parallelism are very valuable.

No less so are his refutations of both physical and psychological
Determinism. Men were growing impatient of a science claiming so
much and yet admittedly unable to explain the really vital factors of
existence, of which the free action of men is one of the most important.
The value placed on human freedom, on the creative power of human beings
to mould the future, links Bergson again with James, and it is this
humanism which is the supremely valuable factor in the philosophies of
both thinkers. This has been pointed out in the consideration of
the ethical and political implications of Bergson's Philosophy.
Nevertheless, although his insistence on Freedom and Creative Evolution
implies that we are to realize that by our choices and our free acts we
may make or mar the issue, and that through us and by us that issue may
be turned to good, the good of ourselves and of our fellows, there is
an ethical lack in Bergson's philosophy which is disappointing. Then,
as has been remarked in the chapter on Religion, there is the lack of
teleology in his conception of the Universe; his denial of ANY purpose
hardly seems to be in harmony with his use of the phrase "the meaning of

Much in Bergson would point to the need for the addition of a philosophy
of Values. This, however, he does not give us. He shirks the deeper
problems of the moral and spiritual life of man. He undervalues,
indeed ignores, the influence of transcendent ideas or ideals on the
life-history of mankind. The study of these might have led him to admit
a teleology of some kind; for "in the thinking consciousness the order
of growth is largely determined by choice; and choice is guided by
valuation. We are, in general, only partially aware of the ends that we
pursue. But we are more and more seeking to attain what is good, true
and beautiful, and the order of human life becomes more and more guided
by the consciousness of these ends." [Footnote: Professor Mackenzie:
Elements of Constructive Philosophy, p. 111.] Bergson, however, will not
ultimately be able to evade the work of attempting some reconciliation
of moral ideas and ideals with their crude and animal origins and
environment, to which they are so opposed and to which they are actually
offering a very strong opposition. That he himself has seen this is
proved by the attention he is now giving to the problems of social

There are four problems which confront every evolutionary theory. These
concern the origin of: Matter, Life, Consciousness, and Conscience.
Bergson finds it very difficult to account for the origin of Matter, and
it is not clear from what he says why the original consciousness should
have made Matter and then be obliged to fight against it in order to
be free. Then, in speaking of the law of Thermodynamics, he says: "Any
material system which should store energy by arresting its degradation
to some lower level, and produce effects by its sudden liberation, would
exhibit something in the nature of Life." This, however, is not
very precise, for this would hold true of thunder-clouds and of many
machines. In regard to Instinct, it has been pointed out by several
experts that Instinct is not so infallible as Bergson makes out. Of the
mistakes of Instinct he says little. Dr. McDougall in his great work
Body and Mind says, when speaking of Bergson's doctrine of Evolution:
"Its recognition of the continuity of all Life is the great merit of
Professor Bergson's theory of Creative Evolution; its failure to give
any intelligible account of individuality is its greatest defect.
I venture to think," he continues, "that the most urgent problem
confronting the philosophic biologist is the construction of a theory of
life which will harmonize the facts of individuality with the appearance
of the continuity of all life, with the theory of progressive evolution,
and with the facts of heredity and biparental reproduction." [Footnote:
McDougall, Body and Mind, Footnote to p. 377.]

In the light of such criticism it is important to note that Bergson is
now giving attention to the problem of personality which he made the
subject of his Gifford Lectures. It is a highly important problem for
humanity, and concentration on it seems the demand of the times upon
those who feel the urgent need of reflection and who have the ability
to philosophize. Can philosophy offer any adequate explanation of human
personality, its place and purpose in the cosmos? Why should individual
systems of energy, little worlds within the world, appear inside the
unity of the whole, depending on their environment, physical and mental,
for much, but yet capable of freedom and unforeseen actions, and
of creative and progressive development? Further, why should ideals
concentrate themselves as it were round such unique centres of
indeterminateness as these are? On these problems of our origin and
destiny, in short, on an investigation of human personality, thinkers
must concentrate. Humanity will not be satisfied with systems which
leave no room for the human soul. Human personality and its experience
must have ample place and recognition in any philosophy put forward in
these days.

Bergson's work is a magnificent attempt to show us how, in the words
of George Meredith: "Men have come out of brutishness." His theory
of evolution is separated from Naturalism by his insistence on human
freedom and on the supra-consciousness which is the origin of things;
on the other hand, he is separated from the Idealists by his insistence
upon the reality of la duree. He contrasts profoundly with Absolute
Idealism. While in Hegel, Mind is the only truth of Nature, in Bergson,
Life is the only truth of Matter, or we may express it--whereas for
Hegel the truth of Reality is its ideality, for Bergson the truth of
Reality is its vitality.

The need for philosophical thought, as Bergson himself points out,
[Footnote: See the closing remarks in his little work on French
philosophy, La Philosophie.] is world-wide. Philosophy aims at bringing
all discussion, even that of business affairs, on to the plane of ideas
and principles. By looking at things from a truly "general" standpoint
we are frequently helped to approach them in a really "generous" frame
of mind, for there is an intimate connexion between the large mind and
the large heart.

Bergson has rendered valuable service in calling attention to the need
for man to examine carefully his own inner nature, and the deepest worth
and significance of his own experiences. For the practical purposes of
life, man is obliged to deal with objects in space, and to learn their
relations to one another. But this does not exhaust the possibilities
of his nature. He has himself the reality of his own self-consciousness,
his own spiritual existence to consider. Consequently, he can never rest
satisfied with any purely naturalistic interpretation of himself. The
step of realizing the importance of mental constructions to interpret
the impressions of the external world, and the applying them to
practical needs, was a great advance. Much greater progress, however, is
there in man's realization of qualities within himself which transcend
the ordinary dead level of experience, the recognition of the spiritual
value of his own nature, of himself as a personality, capable even amid
the fluctuations of the world about him, and the illusions of sense
impressions, of obtaining a foretaste of eternity by a life that has the
infinite and the eternal as its inheritance; "He hath set eternity
in the heart of man." Man craves other values in life than the purely
scientific. "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt
of" in the philosophies of the materialist or the naturalist. Bergson
assures us that the future belongs to a philosophy which will take into
account THE WHOLE of what is given. Transcending Body and Intellect is
the life of the Spirit, with needs beyond either bodily satisfaction
or intellectual needs craving its development, satisfaction and fuller
realization. The man who seeks merely bodily satisfaction lives the life
of the animal; even the man who poses as an intellectual finds himself
entangled ultimately in relativity, missing the uniqueness of all
things--his own life included. An intuitive philosophy introduces us
to the spiritual life and makes us conscious, individually and
collectively, of our capacities for development. Humanity may say: "It
doth not yet appear what we shall be," for man has yet "something to
cast off and something to become."



Note on Bibliographies.


Bergson's own writings chronologically arranged.


Section 1. Books directly on Bergson:
     (a) French.
     (b) English and American.
     (c) Others.

Section 2. Books indirectly on Bergson:
     (a) French.
     (b) English and American.

Section 3. Articles: English and American.
     (a) Signed, under author.
     (b) Unsigned, under date.

Section 4. English Translations of Bergson.



The books and articles which have appeared,
dealing with Bergson's thought, are truly
legion. Three bibliographies have already
been compiled, one in each of the countries: England,
America and Germany, which are of value and merit

In 1910, Mr. F. L. Pogson, M.A., prefixed to Time
and Free Will (the English translation of the Essai sur
les donnees immediates de la conscience) a comprehensive
bibliography, giving a list of Bergson's own
published works, and numerous articles contributed
to various periodicals, and in addition, lists of articles
in English, American, French, German and other
foreign reviews upon Bergson's philosophy. This
bibliography was partly reprinted in France two years
later as an appendix to the little work on Bergson by
M. Joseph Desaymard, La Pensee de Henri Bergson
(Paris, Mercure de France, pp. 82, 1912).

Then in 1913, when Bergson paid his visit to America,
Mr. W. Dawson Johnston, the Librarian of the
Columbia University, New York, presented him with
a copy of a little work of fifty-six pages entitled A
Contribution to a Bibliography of Henri Bergson. This
exhaustive work was prepared under the direction of
Miss Isadore G. Mudge, the Reference Librarian, and
includes all books published and all periodical literature
of value by or on Bergson, complete up to 1913.
"The bibliography includes" (to quote the Preface)
"90 books and articles by Professor Bergson (including
translations of his works), and 417 books and articles
about him. These 417 items represent 11 different
languages divided as follows: French, 170; English,
159; German, 40; Italian, 19; Polish, 5; Dutch, 3;
Spanish, 3; Roumanian, 2; Swedish, 2; Russian, 2;
Hungarian, 1." For this work Professor John Dewey
wrote an introduction. It was published by the
Columbia University Press in 1913, and is the best
evidence of the world-wide popularity of Bergson and
the international interest aroused by his writings.

A more recent compilation, however, which contains
later books and articles, is a German one,
which appeared during the war. It is the work of
Walter Meckauer and forms a valuable part of his book
Der Intuitionismus und seine Elemente bei Henri Bergson,
published in Leipsig in 1917 (Verlag Felix Meiner).

The bibliography which follows gives more up-to-date
lists of works than those mentioned, bringing the
list of Bergson's writings up to 1919, and it includes
books and articles on Bergson which have appeared
in the current year (1920). All the important books in
French, English, or German on Bergson are given.
As the present work is designed mainly to meet the
needs of English readers, lists of foreign articles are
not given, but in order to show the wide interest
aroused by Bergson's thought in the English speaking
world, and for purposes of reference, a comprehensive
list of articles which have appeared in English and
American periodicals is appended. Finally, a list of
the English Translations of Bergson's works is given
in full under their publishers' names.



   This, his first published work, appeared when he was
     nineteen years of age in Annales de Mathematiques.
     (Brisse et Gerono.) It is of interest, as it shows us an
     early ability in the study of this science.

   Discours au Lycee d'Angers--a publication of sixteen
     pages; address given at the prize-giving in August
     of that year. Angers: Imprimerie Lacheze et Dolbeau.

1884 EXTRAITS DE LUCRECE avec un commentaire, des
     notes et une étude sur la poésie, la philosophie, la
     physique, le texte et la langue de Lucrèce.
     Published Delagrave, Paris, 1884. By 1914 ten editions
     had appeared. This work is of interest in showing
     his ability in classical scholarship. Pp. xlvii l59.

   Another address. This one was given at Clermont-
     Ferrand, and was published on August 5, 1885, in the
     local paper Moniteur du Puy de Dome. It is of interest
     because in it is to be found his original view of "Grace"
     which he developed later in the Essai sur les donnees
     immidiates de la conscience (1889).

   His first contribution to the Revue philosophique (Vol.
     XXII, pp. 525-31). It is interesting to note that correspondence
     following the appearance of this article led
     to the inclusion in Myers' Human Personality and its
     Survival of Bodily Death of a case cited by Bergson
     (see Vol. I, p. 447), 1901.

   A Latin thesis, presented along with the following French
     thesis, for the degree of Docteur-es-Lettres. Published
     Alcan, Paris, pp. 82.

   French thesis, presented along with the above Latin
     thesis, for the degree of Docteur-es-Lettres. Published
     by Alcan, Paris, same year, in La Bibliotheque de philosophie
     contemporaine (pp viii-185) Eighteen editions
     called for by 1920.

   English Translation: Time and Free Will, by F. L. Pogson,
     M.A. Published in 1910 by Swan & Sonnenschein
     (now George Allen & Unwin) in Library of Philosophy.

   A review, published in the Revue philosophique (Vol. for
     1891, pp 185-190), of the book by Jean Mane Guyau,
     La Genese de l'Idee de Temps, with an introduction by
     Alfred Fouillee which appeared posthumously in 1890,
     two years after Guyau's death.

   Discours au concours general des lycees et colleges, 1895--
     another prize-giving address. Published in Revue
     scientifique, 4th Ser., No. 15, pp. 705-713, June, 1901,
     and by Delalain, Paris, 1895.

     Essai sur la relation du corps avec l'esprit.
   Bergson's second notable work Published by Alcan,
     Paris, in Bibliotheque de philosophie contemporaine,
     pp iii-280. Thirteen editions by 1919.
   English Translation: Matter and Memory, by Nancy
     Margaret Paul and W. S. Palmer. Published 1911,
     Swan & Sonnenschein (now George Allen & Unwin), in
     the Library of Philosophy.

   A critical review in Revue philosophique (Vol. XLIV,
     Nov., 1897, pp. 525-551).

1900 LE RIRE.
   Essai sur la signification du comique.
   First published as two articles in Revue de Paris, 1900
     (Vol. I, pp. 512-545 and pp. 759-791). Book form,
     Paris (Alcan), 1901, Bibliotheque de philosophie contemporaine,
     pp. vii-205. By 1919, seventeen editions.
   English Translation: Laughter--An Essay on the Meaning
     of the Comic, by Brereton and Rothwell. Published
     1911, Macmillan.
   This essay is based on a lecture given by Bergson while
     at Clermont-Ferrand, on Feb 18, 1884, a report of which
     appeared in the local paper Moniteur du Puy de Dome,
     Feb. 21, 1884.

   Short paper of fifteen pages, read at the First International
     Congress of Philosophy, held in Paris, August 1 to 5,
     1900 Published in Bibhotheque du Congres International
     de Philosophie, being special numbers of the
     Revue de metaphysique et de morale. Paris (Armand
     Colin). Discussion reported in the Revue, Sept, 1900,
     Vol VIII, pp 655-660.

1901 LE REVE.
   Conférence a l'Institut psychologique international.
     March 26, 1901 Published, Pans, Bulletin de l'Institut,
     May, 1901; Revue scientifique, June 8, 1901, and
     abridged, Revue de philosophie, 1901. As Book, Alcan,
   Reprinted in the volume of collected papers L'Energie
     spiriuelle, 1919, pp 91-116.
   English Translation: Dreams, by Dr Edwin E Slosson.
     Published first as articles in the Independent of Oct 23
     and 30, 1913 Book form 1914 Fisher Unwin.
   Reissued in 1920 in Mind-Energy, English Translation of
     L'Energie spirituelle.

   Bergson's first contribution to the Bulletin de la Societe
     française de philosophie, June, 1901. The important
     lecture in which he defended the propositions set forth
     on pages 53-54 of this present work.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Société française de philosophie.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Société française de philosophie.

   Article in the Revue philosophique, Jan, 1902, Vol XLIII,
     pp 1-27. This article supplements parts of the larger
     work Matière et Mémoire.
   Reprinted in 1919 in the volume of collected essays,
     L'Energie spintuelle, pp 163-202 English Translation
     in 1920 in volume Mind-Energy (Macmillan).

   Discours au Lycée Voltaire, July, 1902 Published
     Imprimerie Quelquejeu

   Collaboration Bulletin de la Societé française de philosophie,
     July, 1902.

   Published in Jan, 1903, in Seances et travaux de l'Academie
     des sciences morales et pohtiques. Also Memoires de
     l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques, 1904.

   Article in Revue de métaphysique et de morale. Paris,
     Jan, 1903.
   English Translation: An Introduction to Metaphysics, by
     T. E. Hulme Published in 1913, Macmillan.
   Valuable as an independent statement of his doctrine of
     Intuition. Not to be regarded as a mere epitome of the
     larger works, although it makes a good preface to them.
   To be included in forthcoming volume of collected essays
     and lectures.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Societé française de philosophie,
     Feb., 1903, p. 44. An address delivered before the
     Societé in Dec., 1902.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Societé française de philosophie,
     April, 1903, p. 101.

   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques,
     July, 1903. Also Memoir es de l'Academie des sciences
     morales et politiques, 1904.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Societé française de philosophie,
     Aug, 1903, p. 229.

   Traduction francaise de M. Proust, Seances de l'Acadimie
     des sciences morales et politiques, 1904.

     FELIX RAVAISSON-MOLLIEN, Lue dans les seances
     du 20 et 27 fevrier, 1904, de l'Academie des sciences
     morales et politiques.

   Published in Seances et travaux de l'Academie des sciences
     morales et politiques, Paris, 1904, and in Memoires de
     l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques, in 1907.

   Lecture given at the Second International Congress of
     Philosophy held at Geneva from Sept. 4 to 8, 1904.
     Published in Revue de metaphysique et de morale,
     numero exceptionel (Nov, 1904).
   Reprinted in 1919 in the volume of collected essays
     L'Energie spirituelle, pp. 203-223, under new title
     Le Cerveau et la pensee: une illusion philosophique.
     English Translation, 1920 in volume: Mind-Energy.

   Article contributed to the Bulletin de l'Institut general

1904 PREFACE de la Psychologie Rationelle, d'Emile Lubac.
   Published at Paris, Alcan. Four pages on Intuition.

   "Notes sur le texte des 'Institutiones' de Cassiodore."
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Bulletin de l'Institut general psychologique, Jan., 1904.

   Bulletin de l'Institut general psychologiques, Jan., 1904.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Societe francaise de philosophie.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Societe francaise de philosophie,
     March, 1905, pp. 94-95. An address given in Dec.,

   Article in Revue philosophique, Vol LX, p 229. Criticism
     by Monsieur Rageot appears on p. 84. See Ward on
     this point. Realm of Ends, p. 307.

     (now Professeur a l'Universite nouvelle de Bruxelles).
   Le Bonheur et l'intelligence, published by Alcan in 1904.
     Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   A Letter on la duree in the Revue philosophique, Aug.,
     1905. Vol. LX, pp. 229-230

     "BORDIN" (1905).
   Ayant pour sujet "Maine de Biran." Seances de l'Academie
     des sciences morales et politiques, 1906: also Memoires
     de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques, 1907.

   Essai d'une psychology de l'Angleterre contemporaine
     (premiere partie).
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Idees generales de psychologie.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Le Sens de l'art, avec une preface de M. Emile Boutroux.
   Séances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Published by Alcan, Paris, in La Bibliothèque de philosophie
     contemporaine, 1907 (pp viii   4O3). By 1918 the work
     was in its twenty-first edition.
   English Translation: Creative Evolution, by Arthur
     Mitchell, Ph.D. Published in 1911, Macmillan.
   This is Bergson's third large work, and his most important,
     being one of the most profound and original contributions
     to the philosophieal consideration of the theory
     of Evolution.
     "Un livre comme L'Evolution créatrice n'est pas seulement
     une oeuvre mais une date celle d'une direction
     nouvelle imprimée a la pensée." Pierre Imbart de la
     Tour--in Le Pangermanisme et la philosophie de l'histoire.

   Revue du Mois, Sept., 1907, pp. 351-354. Bergson's reply
     to a critic, M. Le Dantec.

   Collaboration. Bulletin de la Societé française de philosophie,
     Aug., 1907.

   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques,
     1907. PP. 91-102. Also in Memoires de l'Academie des
     sciences morales et politiques, 1909.

   Psychologie de l'Angleterre contemporaine (Deuxieme
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Arranged by the Mercure de France, and published in Paris
     in the book La Question Religieuse, by Frederic Charpin.
     Bergson's answer is less than a page.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Societe francaise de philosophie,
     Jan., 1908 Address delivered before the Societé in
     the previous Nov.

   Appended to Binet's L'Evolution de l'ensignement philosophique,
     in L'Année psychologique, 1908, pp. 230-231.

   Article in the Revue philosophique, Dec, 1908, pp 561-
   Reprited in 1919 in the volume of collected essays
     L'Energie spirituelle, pp 117-161 English Translation
     in volume: Mind-Energy. Macmillan, 1920.

   Article in the Revue de metaphysique et de morale, Jan,
     1908, pp. 28-33. Another reply to a critic, Monsieur

   Collaboration. Bulletin de la Societe francaise de philosophie,
     Aug, 1908. On the words "immediat" and

     ayant pour sujet "Senancour"
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Musique et inconscience.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   La psychologie inconnue.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   La Fontaine.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   A volume of the collection Les Grands Philosophes, published
     by Louis Michaud, Paris.
   This book was written by Tarde's sons. It is interesting
     to note that Tarde was Bergson's predecessor in the
     Chair of Modern Philosophy at the College de France.
   The Preface (pp. 5 and 6) treats of Causality
   A volume of this same series devoted to Bergson himself
     appeared in 1910, by Rene Gillouin.

   Identiti et realite.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Etudes d'histoire et de psychologie du mysticisme.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Article in the Bulletin de la Societe francaise de philosophie,
     Jan., 1909.

   Collaboration Bulletin de la Societe francaise de philosophie,
     Aug., 1909.

   La France d'aujourd hui.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politques.

   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Remarques a propos d'un article de Mr. W. B. Pitkin,
     intitule James and Bergson, or, Who is against Intellect?
   Mr. Pitkin's article appeared in the Journal of Philosophy,
     Psychology, and Scientific Methods on April 28, 1910.
     Bergson's reply appeared in the same journal on July
     7th of the same year.

   This new introduction was subsequently translated
     into French and prefaced to the next French edition of
     Matiere et Memoire which appeared. This was the
     seventh edition. The English translation by Nancy
     Margaret Paul and W. Scott Palmer was published in
     1911 (see note under date 1896).
   The new introduction called attention mainly to the
     change in orthodox opinion regarding aphasia which
     had come about since the original publication of the
     work in French in 1896--a change of view which only
     served to make Bergson's opinions appear less novel and
     more probable.

   Le musicien-poete Wagner: etude de psychologie musicale.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Le Fondement psychologique de la morale.
   Seances de l'Academie des sciences morales et politiques.

   Remarques a propos d'une these soutenue par M.
     Dwelshauvers (Now Belgian Professor.) An address
     delivered to the Societe in the previous November.
     Published in the Bulletin de la Societe francaise de
     philosophie, Feb., 1910. Here Bergson has another encounter
     with a critic. As far back as 1901 Bergson contributed to
     this same periodical an article bearing this title. M.
     Georges Dwelshauvers criticized Bergson's views in his articles--

   "Raison et Intuition," étude sur la philosophie de M. Bergson,
     in La Belgique artistique et litteraire, Nov.-Dec., 1905,
     and April, 1906.

   "Bergson et la methode intuitive," in the Revue des Mois,
     Sept., 1907.

   "De l'intuition dans l'acte de l'esprit," in the Revue de
     métaphysique et de morale, Jan., 1908.

   Paper read at the Fourth International Congress of Philosophy,
     held at Bologna, April 5 to 11, 1911. Published in Nov. in
     Revue de métaphysique et de morale (Numero exceptionel),
     pp. 809-827. To reappear in forthcoming second volume of
     collected papers.

   Deux conférences faites a l'Université d'Oxford, les 26 et
     27 Mai, 1911.
     Published in original French by the Clarendon Press,
     Oxford, in 1911. (Out of print now.) To reappear in
     forthcoming second volume of collected essays and lectures.

   The Huxley Lecture delivered at University of Birmingham,
     May 29, 1911. Published in The Hibbert Journal
     for Oct., 1911, Vol X, pp. 24-44, and also in the volume
     Huxley Memorial Lectures in 1914.
   In a revised and somewhat developed form this appeared
     in 1919 in the volume of collected essays and lectures
     L'Energie spirituelle, pp. 1-29 (Mind-Energy, 1920).

   Introduction of sixteen pages written for the French
     Translation of William James' Pragmatism. Translated
     by Le Brun. Published Flammarion, Paris.

   Article in Foi et Vie (French Protestant Review).

   Four lectures delivered at the University of London, Oct.,
     1911. Up to the time of writing, these lectures have
     not been published Reports are to be found, however,
     in The Times, Oct 21, 23, 28 and 30, 1911 (For definite
     information regarding these lectures, I am indebted
     to Mr. Reginald Rye, Librarian of the University of
     London, to the University of London Press, and to
     Professor Bergson himself.)

   Conférence faite pour la Societé Foi et Vie. Published
     in Le Matérialisme actuel, Paris, 1913, Flammarion.
   During the year 1912, the Paris Review Foi et Vie arranged
     a series of lectures on Materialism. These were given
     in Paris, alternating with a series on Pascal, likewise
     arranged by Foi et Vie, under the direction of in Paul
     Doumergue, chief editor This was the sixth year in
     which such courses of lectures had been arranged by
     this Review. The most of these lectures were subsequently
     published in the Review itself, but the 1912
     lectures on Materialism were issued separately in a
     volume entitled Le Materialisme actuel, published in
     the Bibliotheque de philosophie scientifique, with a preface
     by in Paul Doumergue. Two illustrious names headed
     the list of lecturers--those of Henri Bergson and the
     late Henri Poincare. Bergson's lecture bears the title
     L'Ame et le Corps, pp. 7-48. (I am told by Prof.
     Bergson that it is a Summary of the four unpublished
     London lectures.)
   This was reprinted in 1919 in L'Energie spirituelle, pp.
     31-63 (Mind-Energy, 1920).

1912 PREFACE written for the French Translation of Eucken's
     Der Sinn und der Wert des Lebens
   Le sens et la valeur de la vie--translated by M. A.
     Hullet and A. Leicht. Published, Paris, Alcan.

   Written to Father de Tonquedec, S J, in the Jesuit periodical
     Les Etudes of Feb 20, 1912,Vol CXXX, pp 514-515.
     Father de Tonquedec had criticized Bergson's philosophy
     from the point of view of Roman Catholic Theology.
     The following are amongst his criticisms:
   La Notion de la veritt dans la philosophie nouvelle, Paris,
   Comment interpreter l'ordre du monde a-propos du dernier
     ouvrage de in Bergson, Paris, Beauchesne, 1908.
   Bergson est-il moniste? Article in Les Annales de
     philosophie chretienne, March, 1912.
   Dieu dans l'Evolution créatrice, Beauchesne, 1912, which
     gives two letters from Bergson

   Presidential address to the British Society for Psychical
     Research. Delivered at the Aeolian Hall, London,
     May 28, 1913. Published report in the Times, May 29,
     1913; and of the New York Times, Sept 27,1914,
     Proceedings of the Society, Vol 1914-15, pp 157-175.
     This address was reprinted in 1919 in L'Energie
     spirituelle, pp 65-89. English Translation: Mind-
     Energy, 1920.

   Letter on his Philosophy generally, March 7, 1914.

   The Gifford Lectures at Edinburgh University One
     course of eleven lectures, given in the Spring. The
     Autumn course was abandoned owing to the War.
     These lectures have not yet been published. (For information
     regarding them I am indebted to Mr. F. C.
     Nicholbon, Librarian of the University of Edinburgh,
     and to Prof. Bergson himself.)

   Article written for the famous organ of the poilus. Bulletin
     des Armees de la Republique francaise, Nov. 4, 1914.

   Contribution to King Albert's Book, issued by the
     Daily Telegraph.

   Collection of War speeches and writings in the series
     Pages actuelles, 1914-15. Published by Bloud et Gay,
     Paris, 1915. Small volume of 47 pages Contains:
   1. Discours prononce a l'Academie des Sciences morales
     et politiques le 12 dec, 1914, pp 7-29. This was a
     Presidential address La Signification de la Guerre.
   2. Allocution prononcee a l'Academie le 16 Jan, 1915,
     a l'occasion de l'installation de M. Alexandre Ribot
     au fauteuil de la presidence (in succession to Bergson).
     Reported only in part, pp 33-35.
   3. La force qui s'use et celle qui ne s'use pas, pp 39-42.
     Reprinted from the pages of the Bulletin des Armees
     de la, Republique francaise, Nov. 4, 1914.
   4. Hommage au Roi Albert et au Peuple Belge, pp 45-46.
     Reprinted from King Albert's Book, War publication of
     Daily Telegraph.
   Items Nos 1 and 3 have been translated into English
     as The Meaning of the War, with preface by Dr. H.
     Wildon Carr. Published 1915, Fisher Unwin. No. 1
     appeared in The Hibbert Journal in English, as "Life
     and Matter at War," April, 1915, pp. 465-475; and in the
     American paper The Living Age on July 31, 1915, pp. 259-264

   A discourse on the Evolution of German Imperialism,
     delivered before the Academie des Sciences morales et
     politiques. Published in La Revue, Feb.-March, 1915,
     pp. 369-377.

   Ouvrage publié sous les auspices du ministre de
     l'Instruction publique. A delightful little work of 27 pages.
     Reprinted from La Sciencé française, Tome I.
   Published in the series of that name by Larousse, Pans,
     and costing fifty centimes. It is a review of French
     Philosophy, and contains a bibliography, and portraits
     of the philosophers, Descartes, Malebranche, Pascal,
     and Renouvier.

   Published in the original French in the French edition
     of the Danish Professor's Lectures on Bergson; La
     Philosophie de Bergson expose et critique par H.
     Hoffding, Professeur a l'Université de Copenhague.
     Traduit d'après l'édition danoise avec un avant-
     propos par Jacques de Coussange et suivi d'une lettre
     de M. Bergson à l'auteur. Alcan, Paris. The letter, pp.

   AMERIQUE 24 AVRIL-13 MAI, 1917."
   Compiled by M. R. Viviani, published, Flammarion,
     Paris, 1917, pp 264. Bergson's Preface is seven pages.

   Bergson's address on being received by the Academy.
     On M. Ollivier. Published by Perrin, Paris. Seance de
     l'Academie francaise, Jan. 24, 1918, pp. 44. (The work
     also contains the reply to Bergson by the Director of
     the Academy, M. Rene Doumic, pp. 45-75.)

1919 L'ENERGIE SPIRITUELLE (Essais et Conferences).
   Felix Alcan's Bibliotheque de philosophie contemporaire,
     pp. 227.
   This is a volume of collected essays and lectures of which
     three editions appeared in 1919. It deals with the
     concept of mental force, with problems of the interaction
     of mind and body, and with Bergson's view of "tension"
     and "detension" in relation to matter and mind.
   With a brief foreword, explaining that this is the first of a
     couple of volumes of collected essays, there are seven
       1. "La Conscience et la Vie," pp. 1-29. A revised and
         developed version of "Life and Consciousness," the
         Huxley Lecture of 1911.
       2. "L'Ame et le Corps," pp. 31-63. Reprinted from
         Le Materialisme actuel. Lecture given in 1912.
       3. "Fantomes de Vivants et Recherche Psychique,"
         pp. 65-89. Presidential address of 1913.
       4. "Le Reve," pp. 91-116. The lecture of 1901.
       5. "Le Souvenir du present et la fausse reconnaissance,"
         pp. 117-161. Reprint from Revue philosophique of
         article of 1908.
       6. "L'Effort intellectuel," pp. 163-202. Reprint from
         Revue philosophique of article of 1902.
       7. "Le Cerveau et la Pensee: une illusion philosophique,"
         pp. 203-223. The Lecture given at the International
         Congress at Geneva, formerly printed in the Revue de
         metaphysique et de morale as "Le Paralogisme psycho-
       English Translation: MIND-ENERGY, by Dr. Wildon Carr.
         Macmillan, 1920.

   The forthcoming second volume of collected essays on The
     Method of Intuitional Philosophy will contain inter alia:
     Introduction on "Method."
   Reprint of "L'Intuition philosophique." Introduction a la
     metaphysique, "La Perception du Changement."

Three articles, bearing the titles "Memoire et reconaissance,"
"Perception et matiere" and "L'Idee de neant," which appeared
respectively in Revue philosophique (1896), Revue de metaphysique
et de morale (1896) and Revue philosophique (1906) have been
omitted from their places in the above list because they were
subsequently incorporated into the larger works Matiere et
Memoire and L'Evolution creatrice.




Section I. Books directly on Bergson

(a) French Publications.

BENDA, Julien.
 Le Bergsonisme ou une Philosophie de la Mobilité. Paris, Mercure
   de France. 1912.

 Une Philosophie pathétique. Cahiers de la Quinzaine. Paris,
   1913, Ser. 15, Cah 2.

 Sur le succes du Bergsonisme. 1914. Incorporates Une
   Philosophie pathétique.

 Un Romantisme Utilitaire. Paris, 1911. Vol. 2, Le Pragramatisme
   chez Bergson.

 Le pragmatisme de Bergson. Paris, Alcan, 1913.

COIGNET, Clarisse.
 De Kant a Bergson. Reconciliation de la religion et de la science
   dans un spiritualisme nouveau. Paris, 1911 (Alcan).
   Concluding 60 pages deal with Bergson.

 La Pensee d'Henri Bergson. In series Les Hommes et les Idees.
   Paris, 1912. Mercure de France. Pp. 82. With portrait
   and bibliography (reprint of Mr. Pogson's list).

 Raison et intuition. Etudes sur la philosophie de Bergson, 1906.

 Theorie fondamentale de l'Acte et de la Puissance avec la critique
   de la philosophie nouvelle de MM. Bergson et Le Roy. Paris,
   1909. (Etudes philosophiques, No. 1.)

 La philosophie de M. Bergson. Expose et critique. Paris, 1912.

 La Pensee et les nouvelles ecoles anti-intellectuelles. Paris, 1910.

 La philosophie de l'intuition. 1912. Saint Blaise, 'Foyer
   Solidariste. Pp. 240. Mainly on Le Roy, Bergson's disciple, but a
   third of the book deals with the master.

 Bergson: Choix de textes, etudes sur l'OEuvre, notices biographiques
   et bibliographiques. Paris, 1910, Michaud. Series Les
   Grands Philosophes. Illustrated. Pp. 220.

 Essay of 30 pages on Bergson's philosophy. Extracts from
   Bergson's works. Pp. 39-220.

 La Philosophie de M. Bergson. Paris, 1911, Grasset. Pp. 187.

 Une revolution dans la philosophie, La Doctrine de Bergson.
   Atar, Geneva, 2nd ed., 1916.

LE ROY, Edouard.
 Une Philosophie nouvelle: Henri Bergson. Paris, 1912.
   English Translation: A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson, by
   Vincent Benson. 1913. Williams and Norgate. Pp. 235.
   The author of this work is Bergson's famous pupil, who now
   lectures in his place at the College de France.

 La philosophie bergsonienne. Paris, Riviere, 1914. Pp. 477.

 Lecon de Bergson. 1914.

PEGUY, Charles.
 Note Sur M. Bergson et la philosophie bergsonienne. Paris.
   (Bourgeois). Cahiers de la Quinzaine. Pp. 101.

PENIDO, Dr. M. T. L.
 La methode intuitive de Bergson. Essai critique. Atar, Geneva,
   and Alcan, Paris, 1918, pp. 220.

 L'Intuition bergsonienne. Alcan, Paris, 1912 and 1913. Pp. 157.

(b) English and American Publications

 An Examination of Professor Bergson's Philosophy. 1912. Williams
   and Norgate. Pp. 228.

CARR, Dr. H. Wildon.
 Henri Bergson: The Philosophy of Change, 1912. Jack,
   "The People's Books." Pp. 91. Good brief sketch. 1919.
   Jack and Nelson. Second revised edition. Pp. 126.

 The Philosophy of Change: A study of the Fundamental Principle
   of the Philosophy of Bergson. 1914. Macmillan. Pp. 216.

 Time and History in Contemporary Philosophy, with special
   reference to Bergson and Croce. Proceedings of British
   Academy, 1918. Pp. 20. Separately, Oxford University Press.

CUNNINGHAM, Gustave W., Dr.
 Study in the Philosophy of Bergson. 1916. Longman. New
   York. Pp. 212.

DODSON, G. R., Dr.
 Bergson and the Modern Spirit. An Essay in Constructive
   Thought. 1914. Lindsey Press. Pp. 295.

ELLIOT, Hugh S. R.
 Modern Science and the Illusions of Professor Bergson. 1912.
   Preface by Sir Ray Lankester. Longman, New York, and
   1913, Longman, London. Pp. 257. Very hostile to Bergson,
   indeed contemptuously or bitterly so.

GERRARD, Father Thomas.
 Bergson: an Exposition and Criticism from the point of view of
   Saint Thomas Aquinas. 1913. Sands & Co. Pp. 208.

 Bergson and Eucken. Their significance for Christian Thought.
   1912. James Clark & Co. Pp. 224.

HOFFDING, Prof Harald.
 Six Lectures on Bergson. Delivered 1913. Published in the
   volume Modern Philosophers, Macmillan, 1915. Pp. 227-302.
   Translated by Alfred C. Mason.

HOUGH, Dr. Lynn H.
 The Quest of Wonder. Studies in Bergson and Theology.

 A Contribution to a Bibliography of Henri Bergson. 1913.
   Columbia University Press, New York. Pp. 56. For this
   pamphlet, Professor John Dewey has written an introduction.

 William James and Henri Bergson: A Study of Contrasting
   Theories of Life. 1914. Chicago University Press. Pp. 248.

 Bergson for Beginners: A Summary of his Philosophy. 1913.
   Geo. Allen and Unwin. Pp. 309.

LE ROY, Edouard.
 A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson. 1913. Williams and Norgate.
   English Translation by V. Benson of Une Nouvelle
   philosophie. Pp. 235.

 The Continuity of Bergson's Thought. 1912. University of
   Colorado Studies, Vol. 9, No. 4. Pp. 147-202.

 The Philosophy of Bergson. 1911. Dent. Pp. 247.

 Bergson and Romantic Evolutionism. 1914. University of
   California Press, Berkeley. Pp. 61.

MILLER, Lucius Hopkins.
 Bergson and Religion. 1916. Holt & Co., New York. (Out of

MITCHELL, Dr. Arthur.
 Studies in Bergson's Philosophy. 1914. Kansas University
   Humanistic Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2. Pp. 115.

 The Logic of Bergson's Philosophy. (Time and Free Will
   compared with Matter and Memory.) 1917. Archives of Philosophy,
   Columbia University Press, New York, No. 8. Pp. 68.

 Henri Bergson: An Account of his Life and Philosophy. 1914.
   Macmillan. Pp. 245 (With portrait.)

RUSSELL, Hon. Bertrand.
 The Philosophy of Bergson. 1914. London, Macmillan for Bowes,
   Cambridge. Pp. 36. Lecture to The Heretics, Cambridge,
   March 11, 1912. Contains reply by Dr. Wildon Carr, and
   rejoinder by Mr. Russell.

SAIT, Bernard Una.
 The Ethical Implications of Bergson's Philosophy. 1914. Columbia
   University Contributions to Philosophy and Psychology. New
   York Science Press. Pp. 183.

SEWELL, Frank, Dr.
 Is the Universe Self-Centred or God-Centred? 1913. Examination
   of the systems of Eucken and Bergson.
   Presidential Address to Swedenborg Scientific Association,
   Philadelphia, USA. Published by the Association. Pp. 13.

SHASTRI, Prabhu Datta.
 The Conception of Freedom in Hegel, Bergson, and Indian
   Philosophy. 1914. Address before the Calcutta Philosophical
   Society, March 14, 1913. Published Albion Press, Calcutta.
   Pp. 26.

SOLOMON, Joseph.
 Bergson. 1911. Constable, in Series Philosophies Ancient and
   Modern. Pp. 128.

STEWART, Dr. J. M'Kellar.
 A Critical Exposition of Bergson's Philosophy. 1911. Macmillan
   Pp. 295.

WILM, Emil C.
 Henri Bergson: A Study in Radical Evolution. (1914.) Sturgis

 De Niewe Wysbegeerte: Een studie over H. Bergson. 1911.

 Henri Bergson's Intuitionsfilosofi.

 La filosofia della contingenza. Firenze, Seeber, 1905. In
   L'indeterminismo nella filosofita francese contemporanea.

LARSSON, Prof. Hans.

 La Filosofia di Enrico Bergson, 1914.

PAPINI, Giovanni.
 Stroncature. Firenze, 1918. Libreria della voce. Section on
   Bergson and Croce (in French), written in 1914. Pp. 51-56.

RUHE, Algot.
 Henri Bergson: Tankesattet. 1914. Swedish volume (similar to
   his English work in conjunction with Miss Paul). Stockholm.

Section II. Books dealing Indirectly with Bergson

(a) French Publications

 Pragmatisme et Modernisme. Paris, Alcan, 1909

 La Synthèse mentale. Alcan, Paris, 1908.

 Le Mouvement idéaliste et la Réaction centre la Science positive,
   1896. Paris, Alcan.

 Le Pangermanisme et la Philosophie de L'Histoire. Letter to
   Bergson, published in book form, 1916. Reprinted from Pour
   la verite, 1914-15. Perrin. Pp. 75. This letter was occasioned
   by Bergson's writings on the War.

 Transformation et Créationisme. 1914. Paris, Alcan.

PIAT, Clodius.
 Insuffisance des Philosophies de L'Intuition. 1908. Paris,
   Plon-Nourrit. Pp. 319.

SOREL, Georges.
 Reflexions sur la Violence. This has been translated into English
   by T.E. Hulme, and published by Geo. Allen and Unwin,
   Reflections on Violence.
   Les Illusions du Progres.
   Le Mouvement socialists. Collected volumes of the periodical.

 Devoir et Durée. 1912. Paris, Alcan. Pp. 408.

(b) English and American Publications

 The Idealistic Reaction against Science 1914. Macmillan.
   English translation from Italian by W. Agnes McCaskill.

 The Ethical Aspects of Evolution Regarded as the Parallel Growth
   of Opposite Tendencies. 1908. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

 Voices of Tomorrow. Critical studies of the New Spirit in
   Literature. London, Grant Richards. See Section The New
   Mysticism, Part 3, Its Philosopher, Henri Bergson, pp. 205-223.

 The Principle of Individuality and Value. 1912. Macmillan.
   The Gifford Lectures for 1911. The Value and Destiny of
   the Individual. Gifford Lectures, 1912.

BURNS, Delisle.
 Political Ideals. Clarendon Press, Oxford Discusses in
   concluding pages the rational element in politics.

 Pragmatism and Idealism 1913. Macmillan, New York, and
   A. and C. Black, London. Chap. (9) is entitled "Pragmatism
   and Idealism in the Philosophy of Bergson," pp. 234-261.

CARR, H. Wildon.
 The Problem of Truth. Jack. "People's Books."

DREVER, Dr James.
 Instinct in Man. 1917. Cambridge University Press.

 Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious. Fisher Unwin.
   Remarks on Bergson's Le Rire, pp. 301 and 360.

 The Religion of Experience. Chapter IV. Bergson and Intuition.

 Syndicalism. "People's Books."

HARPER, Dr. J. Wilson.
 Christian Ethics and Social Progress. 1912. Contains chapter
   on Bergson.

 Meaning of God in Human Experience. Yale University Press. 1912.

HUGEL, Baron Frednch von.
 Eternal Life: its Implications and Applications. T. and T.
   Clark. 1912. Deals with Bergson's view of duree and of
   Liberty, pp. 288-302.

HUNT, Harriet E.
 The Psychology of Auto-Education. Based on the interpretation
   of Intellect, given by Bergson in his Creative Evolution
   Illustrated in the work of Maria Montessori. 1912. Bardeen,
   Syracuse, New York.

INGE, Very Rev Dr W.R.
 The Philosophy of Plotmus. Gifford Lectures, published 1919.
   These lectures on the great Neo-platonist to whom Bergson
   owes not a little, contain important discussions of Bergson's
   views on Time, Consciousness and Change.

 Alchemy of Thought. Holt & Co, New York. 1911.

JAMES, William
 A Pluralistic Universe (Hibbert Lectures) 1909. Lectures 5
   and 6, pp 181-273.

 Personality. Methuen, 1913. Especially Chap. 3 on Bergson,
   pp 78-124.

 God in Evolution. A Pragmatic Study of Theology.. Longman. 1911.

 The Philosophy of Biology. 1914. Cambridge University Press.

JONES, Prof. Tudor.
 The Spiritual Ascent of Man. 1916. University of London Press,
   Chapter (4) Intellect and Intuition.

 Problems of the Self. Shaw Lectures at Edinburgh for 1914.
   1917. Macmillan.

LODGE, Sir Oliver.
 Modern Problems. Methuen, 1912. Balfour and Bergson, pp.
   189-210 (Chap. 18). Reprint of Article in Hibbert Journal

 Elements of Constructive Philosophy. 1918. Geo Allen & Unwin.

 Consciousness. On Revival and Memory. P. 436.

MELLOR, Dr Stanley A.
 Religion as Affected by Modern Science and Philosophy. 1914.
   Lindsey Press. Devotes a section to the consideration of
   Bergson and Religion, pp 147-166.

McCABE, Joseph.
 Principles of Evolution. Collins--Nation's Library. Very
   hostile to Bergson, pp 247-253.

McDOUGALL, William.
 Body and Mind 1911. Methuen & Co.

MORGAN, C. Lloyd.
 Instinct and Experience. Methuen. 1912.

 Present Philosophical Tendencies. 1912. Longmans. U.S.A.

 The Idea of God. Gifford Lectures, 1912-13. Lecture (19) on
   Bergson, pp. 366-385.

RUSSELL, Bertrand
 Our Knowledge of the External World. 1914. Open Court Publishing
   Co. Chapter (8) on Cause and Free Will, criticizes Bergson,
   pp. 229-242.
 The Principles of Social Reconstruction. Geo. Allen & Co. 1917.
   Shows Impulse to be greater than conscious purpose in
   our social life.
 Mysticism and Logic. 1918. Longman.
 Roads to Freedom. On Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism.
   Geo. Allen & Co. 1918.

SANTAYANA, Prof. George.
 Winds of Doctrine.. Scribner, U.S.A.

SAROLEA, Prof. Charles.
 The French Renascence. 1916. Allen and Unwin. Chapter on
    Bergson, pp. 271-284, with portrait.

 Syndicalism and Philosophical Realism. 1919. A.& C. Black.
   For Bergson, pp. 70-160.

 Major Prophets of To-day. 1914. Little, Boston, U.S.A.
   Pp. 44-103. (Portrait.)

SMITH, Norman Kemp, D. Phil.
 Commentary to Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. 1918. Macmillan.

 Moral Values and the Idea of God. Cambridge University
   Press, 1918. Gifford Lectures, 1914-15. Discusses Intuition
   and Vital Impulse.

STEBBING, L. Susan, M.A.
 Pragmatism and French Voluntarism with Special Reference to
   the Notion of Truth in the Development of Philosophy from Maine
   de Biran to Bergson. M.A. (London.) Thesis, 1912. Cambridge
   University Press, 1914. Girton College Studies, No 6.

 Mysticism. A Study in the Nature and development of man's
   spiritual consciousness. Dutton, U.S.A. 1912.

WALLAS, Graham.
 The Great Society. Error on p. 236, where he has 1912 for 1911,
   as date of Bergson's Lectures at London University.

WARD, Prof. James.
 The Realm of Ends. (Pluralism and Theism.) Cambridge
   University Press. Cf. pp. 306-7.

 Contemporary Philosophy. Contains careless blunders. The
   date of the publication of L'Evolution creatrice in Paris is
   given as 1901 instead of 1907. This is on page 74. Then on
   page 95, Lectures given at London University are referred
   to as having been given at Oxford. The whole section of 28
   pages, devoted to Bergson, tends to be somewhat misleading.

 God and Personality. Gifford Lectures, 1918-19. Geo. Allen
   and Unwin.

 The Purpose of History. Reflections on Bergson, Dewey and
   Santayana. 1916. Columbia University Press.

Section III. English and American Articles

(a) Signed Articles

"Philosophy of Progress." Outlook, Feb, 1913.

"Bergson and Science." Philosophical Review, May, 1915.

"Socratic Bergson." Mid-West Quarterly, Oct., 1913.

"Matière et Mémoire." Mind, Oct, 1897.

"Bergson, Berkeley and Intuition." Philosophical Review, 1914.

"Bergson and Rousseau." Nation, Nov., 1912.

"Intuition." American Year Book, 1911.

"Creative Evolution and Philosophic Doubt." Hibbert Journal,
Oct, 1911; and Living Age, Dec. 2, 1911.

"Bergson on Time and Free Will." Mind, 1911.

"The Dualism of Bergson." Philosophical Review, 1914.

"Creative Evolution and the Woman's Question." Educational
Review, Jan, 1914.

"The Philosopher of Actuality." Forum, Sept, 1911.
"Is there Anything New?" Forum.
"Bergson: Philosopher or Prophet?" Review of Reviews,
Aug, 1911.

"Bergson's Creative Evolution." Westminster Review, Mar., 1912.

"L'Evolution creatrice." Philosophical Review, 1908.
"Creative Evolution." American Journal of Psychology, April, 1912.

Prediction of Human Conduct." International Journal of
Ethics, Oct, 1910.

"L'Evolution créatrice." Review of Theology and Philosophy, Oct, 1907.

"Philosophy of Bergson." Church Quarterly Revtew, April, 1912.

"Criticism of Bergson's Philosophy." North American Review, March, 1913.

"The Prophet of the Soul." Atlantic Monthly, Jan., 1914.

"Bergson's Lectures." Columbia University Quarterly, 1913.

"Bergson: Personalist." Philosophieal Review, 1912-13. No. (6).

"Philosophy of Bergson" Hibbert Journal, July, 1910.
"Creative Evolution" Proc. Aristotelian Soc, Vol. 9 and 10.
"Bergson's Theory of Instinct" Proc. Aristotelian Soc, Vol 10.
"Bergson's Theory of Knowledge." Proc. Aristotelian Soc, Vol 9
"Psycho-physical Parallelism as a working hypothesis in Psychology."
  Proc. Aristotelian Soc, Vol. 1910-11.
"The Philosophy of Bergson." Mind, Oct, 1911.
"Science and Bergson" Mind, Oct, 1912.
"On Mr Russell's Reasons for supposing that Bergson's Philosophy
  is not true" Cambridge Magazine, April, 1913.
"The Concept of Mind-Energy." Mind, Jan., 1920.

"The Anti-intellectual movement of to-day." Monist, July, 1912.

"The New Voice in Philosophy." Dial, Oct., 1911.

"Ethics and New Intuitionists." Mind, 1913.

"Bergson and the Idea of God." Hibbert Journal, Feb, 1914.

"Bergson's Intellect and Matter." Philosophical Review, May, 1914.
"Answer to Mr. Bertrand Russell's Philosophy of Bergson."
  Monist, Jan, 1914.

"What Bergson means by Inter-penetration" Proc. Aristotelian
  Soc, Vol. 1913-14.
"Complexity and Synthesis: Data and Methods of Russell and
  Bergson. Proc. Aristotelian Soc., 1914-15.

"Bergson's Message to Feminism." Forum, May, 1913.

"Bergson's Conception of Duration." Philosophical Review, 1914-15.
"Bergson's Conception of Finality." Philosophical Review, 1914-15.

"Meaning of Bergson's Success." Saturday Review, 1914.

"Philosophy of Bergson." I. Philosophical Review, Nov., 1910.
"Philosophy of Bergson." II. Philosophical Review, Jan., 1911.

"Christ and Bergson." North American Review, April, 1913.

"Philosophy of Bergson." Bulletin of Catholic University of
  Washington, April, 1914.

"Philosophy of Bergson. Homiletic Review, Jan., 1912.

"Philosophy in Germany in 1911." Trans. from German by
  Hammond. Philosophieal Review, Sept., 1912.

"Matter and Memory." Mind, April, 1912.

"L'Evolution créatrice." Commonwealth, Dec., 1909.

"Henri Bergson." Overland, April, 1918.

"Memoire et Reconnaissance." Psychological Review, 1896.

"Bergson's Philosophy of Change." Catholic World, Jan, 1913.
"Bergson, Newman and Aquinas." Catholic World, Mar., 1913.
"Bergson and Freedom." Catholic World, May, 1913.
"Bergson and Finahsm." Catholic World, June, 1913.
"Bergson and Divine Fecundity." Catholic World, Aug., 1913.

"The Intuitiomsm of Bergson." The Quest, Jan., 1911,

"Bergson," A poem. Open Court, Sept., 1912.

"Balfour and Bergson." Literary Guide and Rationalist Review,
  Nov., 1911.

"Bergson, Pragmatism and Schopenhauer." Monist, Vol. 22.

"Recent Bergson Literature." Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1911.
   "      "         "           "        "     "    1912.

"Significance of Bergson" Yale Review, 1914.

"Bergson as Critic of Darwin." National Review, Mar, 1912.
"Further Notes on Bergson." National Review, April, 1912.

"The New Philosophy." New Age, July, 1909.

"The Playboy of Western Philosophy." Forum, March,

"L'Evolution creatrice." International Journal of Ethics, July, 1912.

"Philosophy of Bergson." Hibbert Journal, April, 1909.
"Bradley or Bergson?" Journal of Philosophy, Psychology,
  and Scientific Methods, Jan, 1910.
"A Great French Philosopher at Harvard." Nation (U. S), March, 1910.

"Where Bergson Stands." Harper's Weekly, March, 1913.

"Bergson's Philosophy of the Organism." Proc. of Liverpool
  Biological Society, 1913.

"Kant and Bergson." Monist, 1913.

"Logic, Bergson and H. G. Wells." Hibbert Journal, Vol. 10.

"James, Bergson and Mr Pitkin." Journal of Philosophy,
  Psychology and Scientific Methods, June, 1910.
"James, Bergson and Traditional Metaphysics" Mind, 1914.
"Laughter" Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific
  Methods, May, 1912.

"Bergson's Critical Philosophy." Irish Theological Studies, April, 1913.

"Bergson's Philosophy from a Physician's Point of View."
  Russkaya Misl., Feb, 1915.

"Philosophy in France in 1905." Philosophieal Rev., May, 1906.
"Philosophy in France in 1907." Philosophieal Rev., May, 1908.
"Philosophy in France in 1912." Philosophieal Rev., April, 1914.

"On Continuity and Discreteness." Journal of Philosophy,
  Psychology and Scientific Methods, April, 1910.

"Bergson and Contemporary Thought." University of California
  Chronicle, 1914.

"Bergson's Creative Evolution and the Nervous System
  in Organic Evolution" Lancet, Vol. 182.

"The most Dangerous Man in the World." Everybody's Magazine,
  July, 1912.
"Bergson's Philosophy" New York Times Book Review, Nov, 1912.

"Bergson's Intuitional Philosophy Justified." Current Literature,
  April, 1912.
"Balfour and Bergson" Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1912.

"L'Evolution creatrice" Mind, 1908.

"The Metaphysician of the Life Force" Nation, Sept, 1909
"The Problem of Time in Recent French Philosophy, (III).
  Bergson s Temporalism and Anti-intellectualism" Philosophical
  Review, May, 1912
"Practical Tendencies of Bergsonism" International Journal of
  Ethics, 1913
"Some Antecedents of Bergson's Philosophy" Mind, 1913.
"Bergson and Romantic Evolutionism." University of California
  Chronicle, 1914.

"Mr Balfour in the Study." Edinburgh Review, Oct, 1912.

"Bergson's Creative Evolution" Pnnceton Theological Review, Jan., 1912.

"Bergson's Principle" Nation, July, 1911.
"Bergson's Method Confirmed" North American Review, Jan, 1913.

"The Anti rationalism of Bergson." Literary Guide and
  Rationalist Review, Oct 4-1911.

"Intellect and Intuition" Footnote to "Bergson and Bradley."
  Contemporary Review, July, 1915.

"L'Effort itellectuel" Philosophical Review, July, 1902.

"Philosophy of Bergson" Philosophical Review, Sept, 1912.

"Bergson and Religion" Biblical World, Jan, 1913

"Critical Side of Bergson's Philosophy." Westminster Review,
  Feb, 1912.

"Bergson and Religion." Biblical World, Nov., 1915.

"L'Evolution creatrice" Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and
  Scientific Methods, Oct, 1908.
"Studies on Bergson." Bulletin of University of Kansas, 1915.

"Bergson and Pragmatism." Philosophical Review, 1912.

"Return of the Gods." The Dial, Nov, 1912.

"Bergson and Mysticism" Westminster Review, June, 1912.

"The Treatment of History by Philosophers."
  Proc Aristotelian Soc, Vol. 1913-14.

"Creative Evolution" Hibbert Journal, 1911.
"Matter and Memory" Hibbert Journal, 1911.
"Time and Free Will." Hibbert Journal, 1911.

"What is Intuition ?" Monist, Vol. 26, 1916.

"Mind and Body." Psychological Bulletin, Jan., 1912.

"Thought and Instinct" Nation, June, 1909
"Life and the Brain" Contemporary Review, Oct, 1909.
"Presence and Omni-presence." Contemporary Review, June, 1908

"Contemporary Philosophy in France." Philosophical Review, Jan, 1900.

"Philosophy of Bergson." Journal of Philosophy, Psychology and
  Scientific Methods, 1911.

"James and Bergson, or, Who is against Intellect ?" Journal
  of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Methods, April, 1910

"Darwin and Bergson on Evolution." Bedrock, April, 1912.

"Creative Evolution and the Individual." Mind, 1913.

"Bergson's Idea of God" Quest, Oct, 1916.
"Bergson and Absolute Idealism 1." Mind, Jan, 1919.
"Bergson and Absolute Idealism 2." Mind, July, 1919.

"The Philosophy of Bergson." Churchman, March, 1912.

"A New Theory of Laughter" Nation, Nov, 1908.
"The Philosophy of Vitalism" Nation, March, 1909.

"The Search for Truth in a Reverent Spirit." Outlook, Dec, 1911.

"The Reality of the Temporal" International Journal of Ethics,
  April, 1910.

"Philosophy of Bergson." Monist, July, 1912.
"Mr Carr's Defence of Bergson." Cambridge Magazine, April, 1913.

"Bergson's Anti-Intellectualism." Journal of Philosophy,
  Psychology and Scientific Methods, 1912.

"Bergson: His Personality, Philosophy and Influence."
  Century Review, Dec, 1912.
"Bergson; Creator of a New Philosophy." Outlook, Feb, 1913.

"The New Philosophy in France" Catholic University Bulletin,
  Washington, April, 1906, and March, 1908.

"Pessimism of Bergson" Hibbert Journal, Oct, 1912;
  International Journal of Ethics, Jan, 1914; Mind, July, 1913.

"Le Souvenir du present et la fausse reconnaissance."
  Psychological Bulletin, Sept., 1910.

"Bergson's View of Organic Evolution." Popular Science
  Monthly Feb., 1913.

"Bergson's Philosophy." Political Science Quarterly, March, 1913.

"Vision of Bergson." Forum, Dec., 1914.

"Major Prophets of To-day" Independent, June, 1911.
"Recent Developments of Bergson's Philosophy." Independent, June, 1913.

"Subjectivism and Realism in Modern Philosophy."
  Philosophical Review, April, 1908.

"Bergson's Philosophy." Mind, Jan, 1911, also Fortnightly
  Review, Dec, 1911
"Creative Evolution." Mind, July, 1911.

"Notion of Truth in Bergson's Theory of Knowledge." Proc.
  Aristotelian Soc, Vol 1912-13.

"Bergson and his Philosophy." Lutheran Quarterly, 1913.

"Free Will and Determinism." Speaker, May, 1890.

"Bergson's Theory of Intuition." Monist, 1915.

"Bergson's Theory of Intellect and Reality." Scientific
  American Supplement, Dec, 1916.

"Henri Bergson." Quest, 1912.

"Matter and Memory." International Journal of Ethics, Oct., 1911.
"Creative Evolution." International Journal of Ethics, July, 1912.

"Biological Philosophy of Bergson." Nature, Oct., 1911.

"Laughter." American Journal of Psychology, Jan., 1912.

"Bergson and Religion." Monist, July, 1912.

"Humor." Psychological Review, 1901.

"Bergson on Life and Consciousness." Philosophical Review, Jan., 1912.

"Creative Evolution." Hibbert Journal, Jan., 1908.

"Bergson." A Poem. Art World, Sept., 1917.

"Bergson and the Mystics." Living Age, March, 1912, and
  English Review, Feb., 1912.

"Philosophy of Bergson." Quarterly Review, Jan., 1912.

"Bergson and Education." Educational Review, May, 1914.

"Bergson: First Aid to Common-sense." Forum, March, 1914.

"Les donnees immediates de la conscience." Mind, April, 1890.

"Impressions of M. Bergson." Harper's Weekly, March, 1913.
"Implications of Bergson's Philosophy." North American
  Review, March, 1914.

"Syndicalism in France and Its Relation to the Philosophy of
  Bergson." Hibbert Journal, Feb., 1914.

"Bergson and Philosophy of Religion" Biblical World, Nov., 1913.

"Natural Realism and Present Tendencies in Philosophy"
  Proc Aristotelian Soc, Vol, 1908-9.
"Philosophy of Bergson." Jewish Review, Sept, 1911.

"Balfour on Teleology and Bergson's Creative Evolution."
  Hibbert Journal, Jan, 1912.

"Bergson and His Philosophy." Bookman, March, 1915.

(b) Unsigned Articles

1909 Sept. "Creative Evolution." Nation.
1909 Dec.  "Creative Evolution." Current Literature.
1909 Dec.  "Bergson's New Idea" Current Literature.

1910 Sept. "Bergson on Free Will" Spectator.
1910 Oct.  "Time and Free Will." Athenaeum.
1910 Oct.  "Time and Free Will." Saturday Review.
1910 Nov.  "Time and Free Will." Nation (USA)

1911 April "Creative Evolution" Athenaeum
1911 May   "Bergson's Wonder-working Philosophy." Current Literature.
           "Bergson and Others" Spectator.
1911 June  "Creative Evolution" Saturday Review.
1911 June  "Bergson in English" Nation.
1911 Aug.  "Latest of Philosophers" New York Times.
1911 Aug.  "New Conception of God as Creative Evolution."
            Current Literature
1911 Oct.  "Creative Evolution" Bookman.
1911 Oct.  "Creative Evolution" Dial.
1911 Oct.  "Creative Evolution" Nature.
1911 Oct.  "Matter and Memory." International Journal of Ethics.
1911 Dec.  "Balfour's Objections to Bergson's Philosophy."
            Current Literature.

1912 Jan.  "Bergson and Balfour discuss Philosophy." Review
            of Reviews.
1912 Jan.  "The Soul" Educational Review
1912 Feb.  "Is the Philosophy of Bergson that of a Charlatan?"
            Current Literature
1912 Feb.  "Bergson on Comedy" Living Age
1912 Apríl "Bergson's Intuitional Philosophy justified by Sir
            Oliver Lodge." Current Literature.
1912 Apríl "Laughter" Edinburgh Review
1912 Apríl "Bergson Criticized." London Quarterly Review
1912 June  "Laughter." North American Review.
           "Modern Science and Bergson." Contemporary Review.
     July  "Creative Evolution." International Journal of Ethics.
           "Pressing Forward into Space." Nation.
           "Balfour and Bergson." Westminster Review.
     Sept. "Prof. Henri Bergson." Open Court.
           "Laughter." Dublin Review.

1913 Feb.  "Eucken and Bergson." Independent.
           "Bergson's Lectures." Outlook.
     March "Bergson's New Idea of Evolution." Literary Digest.
           "Bergson's Reception in America." Current Opinion.
           "Visiting the French Philosopher." Literary Digest.
           "The Jewishness of Bergson." Literary Digest.
           "Bergson at the City College." Outlook.
1913 March "The Spiritual Philosopher." Review of Reviews.
     April "Introduction to Metaphysics." Contemporary Review.
           "Bergson and Eucken under Fire." Current Opinion.
     Oct.  "Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On." Independent.
           "The Birth of a Dream." Independent.
           "Bergson on Psychical Research." Educational Review.

1914 March "Portrait of Bergson." American Magazine.
     May   "Threatened Collapse of Bergson boom in France."
            Current Opinion.
     July  "The Banning of Bergson." Independent.
     Dec.  "Bergson Looking Backward." Literary Digest.
           "Bergson on Germany's Moral Force." Literary Digest.

1915 Jan.  "Mr. Kallen on Bergson." North American Review.
     April     "  "  "                  Nation.
           "Mr. Wildon Carr and Philosophy of Change." Quest.
1917 May   "Bergson and the Art World." Art World.
     Sept. "Are Americans Money Worshippers? Bergson's Opinion."
     Dec.  "Bergson thanks America." New Republic.

1919 Dec.  "French Ideals in Education and the American Student."
            Living Age.

Section IV. The English Translations of Bergson's Works

As, in the foregoing lists, the English Translations of Bergson's
Works are given separately under the heading of the date and title
of the original work, they are here set forth together under the title
of the publishers with translators' names and the published prices
for convenience of reference for English readers or students.

  Time and Free Will. Translator--F. L. Pogson, M.A. Pp.
    xxiii+252 (12/6).

  Matter and Memory. Translators--Nancy Margaret Paul and
    W. Scott Palmer. Pp. xx+339 (12/6).

  Both of these are in "The Library of Philosophy."

  Creative Evolution. Translator--Arthur Mitchell, Ph.D. Pp.
    xv+407 (12/6).

  Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, Translators--
    Cloudesley Brereton L.-es-L., M.A., and Fred Rothwell, B.A.
    Pp. vi+200 (4/6).

  An Introduction to Metaphysics. Translator--T. E. Hulme.
    Pp. vi+79 (3/e).

  Mind-Energy. Translator. Dr. Wildon Carr. (Announced.)

  Dreams. Translator--Dr. Slosson. Pp. 62 (2/6).

  The Meaning of the War. Editor, Dr. Carr. Pp. 47 (1/6).

The above are all the English Translations which have appeared
up to now. The Oxford University Press published in the original
French the lectures given at Oxford, La Perception du Changement.
These are now out of print, but will be included in the
forthcoming volume of Essays.

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