Henri Bergson

Henri Louis Bergson (* 18. October 1859 in Paris; † 4. January 1941) was a French philosopher and Nobelpreisträger for literature 1927. It is considered as important representatives of the philosophy and Vordenker of the Existenzialismus.

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Bergson was born in Paris in the Rue Lamartine, not far by that Paris opera. On the paternal side it originated from a famous Jewish family from Poland; mütterlicherseits it had also Irish ancestors. Some years after itsBirth lived the family for some years in London, so that it knew already early the English language. Before it completed the ninth Lebensjahr, its parents moved to France.

In Paris it visited the Lycée Fontaine from 1868 to 1878, todayadmits as Lycée Condorcet. Here it booked 1877 its first scientific successes with the solution of mathematical problems. Its results were published in the technical periodical Annales de Mathématiques. This affected also its choice of study. First undetermined, whether he should study natural sciences or Geisteswissenschaften, it decidedfor the Geisteswissenschaften and the École visited normal Supérieure. There it received the conclusion of the Licencié ès Lettres and 1881 to the Agrégé de philosophy.

Still 1881 it was asked to inform at a Lycée in meadow, the old capital of Anjou. Two yearslater it changed to the still provinziellerem Lycée Blaise Pascal in Clermont Ferrand, in the préfecture (capital) département of the Puy de Dôme.

1884 it published an edition of excerpts from the works of the Lucretius, to which it attached a critical text study and remarks over the philosophy of the poet.Apart from the training activity in the Auvergne, Bergson found time for private work. It wrote on first of its three Hauptwerke: Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (time and liberty). This essay led it apart from some latin theses to Aristoteles to the Docteur ès Lettres, thatone lent to it 1889 of the University of Paris. The work was published still in the same year by Felix Alcan, a French journalist, in its series of La Bibliothèque de philosophy contemporaine.

Its first edition dedicated Bergson Jules Lachelier, ministre de l'instruction publique at that time (educating Minister),some former pupil Felix Ravaissons was and an author of important philosophical works at the same time like you hair dryer dementia de l'Induction (on the basis of the induction, 1871). Lachelier had striven in its eyes, “everywhere Kraft against inertia to exchange lives against death and liberty against fatalism”. (NB: Lachelierbecame 1832, Ravaisson 1813. Bergson was obligated to its teachers to the Ecole normal Supérieure. See. its ring-back signal on Ravaisson, the 1900 deceased.)

to Bergson moved finally to Paris. For some months it informed at the college Rollin. It became then to that Lycée Henri Quatre appoint, where it remained for eight years. 1896 it published its second large work with the title Matière et Mémoire (subject and memory). A complicated, but brilliant work, those the function of the brain examined and at the same time an analysis of perception and memorypresented. Bergson pointed on the connection between bodies and consciousness . He dedicated himself some years to the research and preparation for each of his three works. This at Matière et Mémoire particularly clearly: It shows a very deep knowledge of the pathological research of its time.

1898 became Bergson Maître de conférences at its Alma mould, the École normal Supérieure; it kept then the professor title later. The year 1900 brought it a Professur at the Collège de France, where it the chair for Greek philosophy in the follow-up of Charles L'Evèque assumed.

On the first international philosophical congress in Paris in August 1900, Bergson read out a short important paper with the title Sur les origines psychologiques de notre croyance à la loi de causalité (psychological origins of the faith in the law of causality). 1901 published Felix Alcan a work, which had appeared to Le Rire (the laughter) in the revue de Paris under the title before. This essay, which dedicated itself to the meaning of the Komik, was based on a lecture, which it in its early period in that Auvergne had held. The study reflects Bergsons view of the life again. 1901 Bergson selected to the Académie of the Sciences of morales et politiques and became member of the institute. it wrote de metaphysique to 1903 in the revue et de a morale important essay with the title Introduction A la metaphysique (introduction to the Metaphysik), which could have served also as preface for its three large books.

After death Gabriel Tardes, the outstanding sociologist 1904, followed it Bergson after the chair for modern philosophy. In the sameYear visited it in Geneva the second international philosophical congress, where it et its writing Le Paralogisme psycho physiologique under the new title Le Cerveau la Pensée: une illusion philosophique (consciousness and the thoughts: a philosophical illusion) spoke. Illness prevented the attendance of the third congressin Heidelberg.

Its third large work, L'Evolution créatrice (creative development) appeared 1907. and attained the largest admitting heating degree. It makes a weighty contribution to the evolution theory. “Un livre comme L'Evolution créatrice,” notices Imbart de la route, “n'est pas seulement une œuvre, corn uneDATE, celle d'une direction nouvelle imprimée à la pensée. “ (A book like “creative development” is not only a work, but a milestone, that thinking a new direction gives.) 1918 had the journalist Alcan within ten years altogether 21 editions, on the average two editions perYear, given change. With the appearance of this book Bergsons popularity rose enormously, not only in university graduate circles, but also in the other well read social layers.

Bergson visited 1908 William James, the American philosopher to the Harvard University, in bad clay/tone. James was of thatThought Bergsons impresses. Around 1880 James had l'Effort written an article in the magazine La Critique philosophique, given change from Renouvier and Pillon, with the title Le Sentiment de. Four years later appeared “Mind: What is at emotion? “and “on some Omissions OF Introspective Psychology.”Both writings received attention in the works Bergsons, in particular in Les données immédiates de la conscience.

It is assumed that Bergson some the quintessential points of its first book 1889 from the article of James, “on Some Omissions OF Introspective Psychology”, which it however neither inPurchase sets still quoted, inferred. The article acts of the perception of thoughts after the concepts of the consciousness stream, which place the intellect into small parts of a larger connection. Bergson contradicted the plagiarism reproach. It would not have known the article of James, as it Les données immédiates de la conscience wrote. Possibly both concepts were independently developed.

In April 1910 Bergson visited the fourth international philosophical congress in Bologna, Italy, where he gave a speech to the L'Intuition philosophique. On invitation it visited England in May of theYearly. Several of these attendance affected its thinking and its further publications.

1913 became Henri Bergson president of the Society for Psychical Research.

1927 became it “in acknowledgment of the wealth and the fertility of its ideas and the shining form, in which they are spoken,” the Nobelpreisfor literature lent.

Its works have writers such as Marcel Proust, André Gide, Paul Claudel and T.S. Eliot affects.

Bergson sat down apart again and again in the course of its research with the interfaces between nature and Geisteswissenschaften. It can as one of the few (approximately)Universal scholar of the modern trend to be designated. For it there were constructional creative and destructive destroying elements, which were integrativ understood not binaryistic, but in each human existence.

Concerning the realization it wrote: “The eye sees only, what the spirit is ready to understand. ”


during Kant space and time still as equal forms of our opinion sees, is it nature different for Bergson. Bergson accepts therefore a duality (twoness) all being ends:

The area is homogeneous in itself, an epitome of homogeneous points. The natural science regards only the area: If itgives to measure time it measures movement in truth only, thus the sequence of the spatial situation of the bodies.

The time is not homogeneous, it is unreversible, each point („time “) is something new, unique, Unwiederholbares. It is only one indivisible flowing and.

These two its spheresdifferent forms are assigned to the realization: The area is seized by the analyzing and synthesizing understanding, the time by direct intuition. Thus the range of the time experience (durée) is extracted from the requirement for validity of the mechanistical natural sciences. This range is however the more important for Bergson, because lives andConsciousness only by introspektive intuition to be recognized know.

Bergson availed itself the term élan vitally, vitality, in order the development of the alive one, contrary to the subject stands to characterize. It represented the view that in the cosmos life exists. It leaned the Darwinismus as mechanicalExplanation off. Its thoughts about the Icherleben form a substantial component of its philosophy.

According to estimate of his pupil Jean Guitton Bergson contributed substantially to open modern thinking again for phenomena of the religion.


  • Bergson, Henri: Matière et Mémoire. Essai surla relation you corps à l'esprit (1896, German 1908 as „subject and memory. A paper over the relationship between bodies and spirit “), current expenditure:Subject and. Memory, my publishing house for philosophy, Hamburg 1991, ISBN 3787310274
  • Bergson, Henri and Katorowicz, Gertrud: Creative development. Cocon publishing house,Hanau, 1977
  • Bergson, Henri:The two sources of the moral. Fischer, Frankfurt/M. 2000, ISBN 3596113008
  • Bergson, Henri:Think and creative. EH TB, Frankfurt/M. 1993, ISBN 3434460500

secondary literature

  • G. Hunter, the relationship Bergsons to Schelling. A contribution for the discussion of the principles of oneorganistic view of world; 1917
  • Gilles Deleuze: Henri Bergson for introduction, Hamburg: Junius, 2001, 3.Auflage, ISBN 3885063360
  • Vladimir Jankelevitsch and Francoise Schwab: Bergson read., Turia and. Kant - publishing house, Vienna, 2004, ISBN 3851323831

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