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Henri Bergson


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Henri-Louis Bergson (18 October 1859 – 4 January 1941) was a major French philosopher, influential especially in the first half of the 20th century. Bergson convinced many thinkers that immediate experience and intuition are more significant than rationalism and science for understanding reality.

He was awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his rich and ... more »

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  • ''The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.''
    Henri Bergson (1859-1941), French philosopher. Creative Evolution, ch. 1, sct.1 (1907). Spinoza had earlier observed, in Ethics, pt. 1 (1677), "Th...
  • An absolute can only be given in an intuition, while all the rest has to do with analysis. We call intuition here the sympathy by which one is transported into the interior of an object in order to co...
    Henri Bergson (1859-1941), French philosopher. repr. In The Creative Mind (1946). "Introduction to Metaphysics," (1903).
  • A tragic poet will never think of grouping around the chief character in his play secondary characters to serve as simplified copies, so to speak, of the former. The hero of a tragedy represents an in...
    Henri Bergson (1859-1941), French philosopher. Laughter, ch. 3 (1900).
  • ''To perceive means to immobilize ... we seize, in the act of perception, something which outruns perception itself.''
    Henri Bergson (1859-1941), French philosopher. Matter and Memory, ch. 4, sct. 4 (1896, trans. 1911).
  • ''Spirit borrows from matter the perceptions on which it feeds and restores them to matter in the form of movements which it has stamped with its own freedom.''
    Henri Bergson (1859-1941), French philosopher. "Summary and Conclusion," sct. 9, Matter and Memory (1896, trans. 1988). Last sentence.
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