Metaphysics

Bergson, Complexity and Creative Emergence by David Kreps

By David Kreps

This can be a publication approximately evolution from a post-Darwinian point of view. It recounts the middle rules of French thinker Henri Bergson and his rediscovery and legacy within the poststructuralist severe philosophies of the Sixties, and explores the confluences of those rules with these of complexity conception in environmental biology.

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Extra resources for Bergson, Complexity and Creative Emergence

Sample text

We hear the sounds, and imagine the movement of the bell, toing and froing, that they represent. Yet – and here is the crucial point – because, here, we are dealing with time, we either simply grasp the sounds as a group – church bells – in which case we do not count them, or we explicitly count them, and then, although they are alike, we must separate Bergson’s Core Ideas 33 them, and hold them in our thoughts even as they disappear. But, ‘a moment in time ... cannot persist in order to be added to others ...

On the contrary, the richness of the ‘inner life’ we all experience, and the variety of choice, desire, and agency expressed by it in the ways in which we engage the ‘outer’ world make such a ‘realist’ position untenable. Equally, however, to suggest, as Berkeley and other idealists have done, that the only reality is within the mind, is just as reductive and distorting. This requires us to reimagine reality in terms other than those of the realist and the idealist. ’63 Bergson’s Core Ideas 37 Bergson takes issue with the Idealist’s conception that representations of the outside world exist within our minds.

The implication that one can ‘know’ anything somehow by instinct, or gut feeling, or some kind of mysterious inner perception, is clearly anathema for the rationalist, for whom only the intellectual faculty of reason can bring knowledge. ’19 Clearly, however, he is not. On the contrary, Bergson’s understanding of the nature of his intuition philosophique is very different. It is more what one might call ‘apprehension,’ even a ‘gestalt’ presence in the moment and in the world, that in fact implies or presupposes one of Bergson’s most famous core ideas: the durée réelle.

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