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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Time and Free Will

Author's Preface
by Doug Renselle
Doug's Pre-review Commentary
Start of Review




Bibliography Author's
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17


18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 Conclusion Index

Move to any Topic of Henri Louis Bergson's Time and Free Will,
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Author's Preface


(Most quotes verbatim Henri Louis Bergson, some paraphrased.)

(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)


"WE necessarily express ourselves by means of words and we usually think in terms of space. That is to say, language requires us to establish between our ideas the same sharp and precise distinctions, the same discontinuity, as between material objects. This assimilation of thought to things is useful in practical life and necessary in most of the sciences. But it may be asked whether the insurmountable difficulties presented by certain philosophical problems do not arise from our placing side by side in space phenomena which do not occupy space, and whether, by merely getting rid of the clumsy symbols round which we are fighting, we might not bring the fight to an end. When an illegitimate translation of the unextended into the extended, of quality into quantity, has introduced contradiction into the very heart of the question, contradiction must, of course, recur in the answer.

"The problem which I have chosen is one which is common to metaphysics and psychology, the problem of free will."

(Our bold and color.)

Bergson restarts his footnote counts on each page. So to refer a footnote, one must state page number and footnote number.

Our bold and color highlights follow a code:

  • black-bold - important to read if you are just scanning our review
  • orange-bold - text ref'd by index pages
  • green-bold - we see Bergson suggesting axiomatic, perhaps quantum and even gnostic memes
  • violet-bold - an apparent classical problematic
  • blue-bold - we disagree with this text segment while disregarding context of Bergson's overall text
  • gray-bold - quotable text
  • red-bold - our direct commentary

Having previously read and digested both Bergson's Creative Evolution and his An Introduction to Metaphysics, we must agree: contradiction recurs as classicism's scientific means for answering all questions — including philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific.

Too, we know that quantum reality's philosophy, metaphysics, and science — in agreement with Bergson's prescient views — deny any possibility of classical contradiction. Concurring with quantum reality Bergson tells us in his Creative Evolution that negation is subjective!


"What I attempt to prove is that all discussion between the determinists and their opponents implies a previous confusion of duration with extensity, of succession with simultaneity, of quality with quantity: this confusion once dispelled, we may perhaps witness the disappearance of the objections raised against free will, of the definitions given of it, and, in a certain sense, of the problem of free will itself. To prove this is the object of the third part of the present volume: the first two chapters, which treat of the conceptions of intensity and duration, have been written as an introduction to the third."


February, 1888.

(Our bold.)

See Bergson's Index on Duration.

Return to Chapter Index

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©Quantonics, Inc., 2001-2010 Rev. 10Sep2008  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(17Jun2003 rev - Add p. xx Comments link to Pogson's TaFW Index.)
(26May2006 rev - Release page constraints. Adjust colors.)
(2Jun2006 rev - Repair title.)
(10Sep2008 rev - Reformat.)