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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Time and Free Will
Chapter II: The Multiplicity of Conscious States - The Idea of Duration
Topic 26: Two Kinds of Multiplicity
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,
or to beginning of its review via this set of links
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Topic 26...............Two Kinds of Multiplicity


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

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


"But another conclusion results from this analysis, namely, that the multiplicity of conscious states,
Two kinds of multiplicity: two senses of the word "distinguish," the one qualitative and the other quantitative. regarded in its original purity, is not at all like the discrete multiplicity which goes to form a number. In such a case there is, as we said, a qualitative multiplicity. In short, we must admit two kinds of multiplicity, two
possible senses of the word "distinguish," two conceptions, the one qualitative and the other quantitative, of the difference between same and other. Sometimes this multiplicity, this distinctness, this heterogeneity contains number only potentially, as Aristotle would have said. Consciousness, then, makes a qualitative discrimination without any farther thought of counting the qualities or even of distinguishing them as several."

(Our bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics. Symbol font required for comments on this page.)

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 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

In our view, a classical perspective (rather, perhaps we should say "a classical conspective,") is inappropriate for interpreting and understanding natural reality. We cann¤t distinguish two "conceptions" since neither is genuinely, physially, naturally a classical concept!

Bergson's classical lingo also suffers in his use of "states" as we have diligently marked in topics 1-25 so far. Similarly, "conscious" carries much classical baggage.

But we may excuse Bergson! Why? His 113 year-old (in 2002) language is original French and Pogson assiduously translated it into a most classical of all possible English interpretations. And Bergson instinctively intuited, yet did n¤t k-now of quantum aspects of physial reality.

We just want to warn our readers that, in our Quantonics belief system, our quantum stage minds have n¤ "classically conscious states."

Further, that interrelationships twixt both qualitative and quantitative multiplicities/heterogeneities/pluralities are n¤t dichons as Bergson describes them, rather they are (a) quanton(s):

  • dichon(qualitative_concept, quantitative_concept)
  • quanton(s)(qualitative_memes,quantitative_memes)

As dichonic 'interactions,' classical concepts' middles are singularly, dichotomously, in pairs, "excluded" as illustrated by our comma-space dichonic SOM wall, Pirsigean knife-cut separation. (For a real world example of classical thing-king's imposition of dichons on how we perceive reality, comsider Heisenberg's classical mathematical dichotomy of "concepts" in his own classical Quantum Uncertainty Principle: u m!—where u is classical objective uncertainty (only classically appellated "quantum uncertainty"), p is a classical objective 'particle's' position uncertainty, and m is a classical objective 'particle's' momentum uncertainty. Comsider how Heisenberg views u, p, and m as classically singular and objective! When we include Niels Bohr's version of complementarity as classically "exclusive," we may understand how Heisenberg may have viewed p and m as objectively (i.e., conspectively) "exclusive" from one another. For comparison, see our Quantonics' version of quantum c¤mplementary included-middle Ensemble Quantum Uncertainty.)

As quantonic interrelationships, quantum memes' middles are complementarily included as quantum uncertainty ensembles, which we illustrate using both plurals and our innovative comma-n¤space script notation.

Quantum memes, thus, physially/naturally/quantumly are n¤n lisrable! In quantum reality, we may n¤t conceptually sever quantum meme interrelationships as classicists commonly/consensually/regularly/habitually/culpably do.

Bergson, unfortunately (but as we said, forgivably), describes his "two kinds of multiplicity" as classically discrete and separable — lisrable. So we must beware some of Bergson's own retained classical legacy. His uses of "di-stinguish" and "di-fference" are tells, among several others.

See our coined omnifference. Also review our previous topic discussion of omnifferences twixt quantum qubits vis-à-vis classical digits. Doug - 24May2002.

122 "In such a case we have multiplicity without quantity. Sometimes, on the other hand, it is a question of a multiplicity of terms which are counted or which are conceived as capable of being counted; but we think then of the possibility of externalizing them in relation to one another, we set them out in space. Unfortunately, we are so accustomed to illustrate one of these two meanings of the same word by the other, and even to perceive the one in the other, that we find it extraordinarily difficult to distinguish between them or at least to express this distinction in words. Thus I said that several conscious states are organized into a whole, permeate one another, gradually gain a richer content, and might thus give any one ignorant of space the feeling of pure duration; but the very use of the word "several" shows that I had already [classically] isolated these states, [classically] externalized them in relation to one another, and, in a word, [classically, like Hesse's Glass Bead Game] set them side by side; thus, by the very language which I was compelled to use, I betrayed the deeply ingrained habit of setting out time in space. From this spatial setting out, already accomplished, we are compelled to borrow the terms which we use to describe the state of a mind which has not yet accomplished it: these terms are thus misleading from the very beginning, and the idea of a multiplicity without relation to number or space, although clear for pure reflective thought, cannot be translated into the language of common sense." [To us, "common sense" is lowest common denominator, communist, paradigmatic, totalitarian consense. It is socialist sense, social SPoV sense, which is of lower EEE and ESS Value than more highly evolved and evolving individual quantum I-cubed sense. Bergson, we think, however, intends "common sense" more as what we would call "quantum stage sense." If so, we concur with qualification. We favor "extraordinary sense" as superior to and subsuming "common sense." Doug.]

(Our brackets, bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics.)

Do we ever have multiplicity with quantity? Only in SOMland and CRland and their philosophical analogies! Discrete quantity, like spatially extensible number, is an invalid classical concept in quantum reality.




Here, Bergson shows us how keenly aware he is of his own language problematics. He tells us that we should probably have marked all his uses of "several." Trouble is, there are so many language problematics, and classical objectivism is so embedded in most Western cultural languages, we would have to bold, violet italicize almost all words! 'Word' itself is classically objective! And each character in word is classically objective! And spaces form Aristotelian excluded-middles twixt all words except for punctuation which, too, is usually associated with 'space.' As Bohr said, "We are immersed in language," well at least until Quantonics came along. In Quantonics, we want to remediate first, then replace Western language with quantum animate, heterogeneous, included-middle, c¤mplementary, everywhere associative semiotics which are viable with Millennium III quantum 'computers.' Doug - 24May2002.

123 "And yet we cannot even form the idea of discrete multiplicity without considering at the same time a qualitative multiplicity. When we explicitly count units by stringing them along a spatial line, is it not the case that, alongside this addition of identical terms standing out from a homogeneous background, an organization of these units is going on in the depths of the soul, a wholly dynamic process, not unlike the purely qualitative [progress] way in which an anvil, if it could feel, would realize a series of blows from a hammer? In this sense we might almost say that the numbers in daily use have each their emotional equivalent. Tradesmen are well aware of it, and instead of indicating the price of an object by a round number of shillings, they will mark the next smaller number, leaving themselves to insert afterwards a sufficient number of pence and farthings. In a word, the process by which we count units and make them into a discrete multiplicity has two sides; on the one hand [1:] we assume that they are identical, which is conceivable only on condition that these units are ranged alongside each other in a homogeneous medium; but on the other hand the third unit, for example, when added to the other two, alters the nature, the appearance and, as it were, the rhythm of the whole; without this [and 2:] interpenetration and this, so to speak, qualitative progress, no addition would be possible. Hence it is through the [meme] quality of quantity that we form [demerq] the idea of quantity without quality."

(Our link, brackets, bold, color, and violet bold italic problematics.)



YES! We are quantons. We are n¤t dichons!

We must learn to perceive and use numbers as quantons.

We call this our "simplest Bergsonian duration quanton." Please visualize this graphic as animated, pulsating whole cowithin Bergson's vital impetus, his élan vital.

You have seen these three distinct shapes represented elsewhere as Bergson's instinct (larger blue dotted circle), intuition (smaller, paired blue dotted circles), and intellect (solid black/green circle, or 'O' for classical 'object'). Classicism's "church of reason" is blind to quantum reality's blue dotted quantum c¤mplements. Classicists only see our black circle, i.e., quantity without quality, which represents analytic, quantitative intellect. Classicists call any classical 'concepts' related to our blue dotted quantum c¤mplements, "qualitative and subjective," and dismiss those real quantum intuemes as classically "unreal."

Bergson's discrete multiplicity (In Quantonics, we call this "classical heterogeneity." See our comparisons of quantum and classical philosophies.) depicted by him as having two sides, i.e.:

  1. identical, and (i.e., classical identity; quantum reality offers meme of quantum identity)
  2. interpenetration, (usually classical 'interaction;' interpenetration is a quantum real meme)

describes a verbal heuristic for our quanton semiotic above. As you may choose to intuit, Bergson's quantum intuition interpenetrates intellect transforming intellect into a quantum version of intellect. Doing this, Bergson also depicts what we call our minds: quantum stages. Bottom line, classicists miss his point that one side of discrete multiplicity is interpenetration because they dismiss his verbal heuristic "quality of quantity" and see politically incorrectly "quantity without quality" which our simplest Bergsonian duration quanton remediates. Doug.

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To contact Quantonics write to or call:

Doug Renselle
Quantonics, Inc.
Suite 18 #368 1950 East Greyhound Pass
Carmel, INdiana 46033-7730

©Quantonics, Inc., 2001-2011 Rev. 24Feb2009  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(23Jul2002 rev - Change QELR links to A-Z pages.)
(7Aug2002 rev - Assure all colons are emboldened.)
(25Aug2002 rev - Add 'consensus' link to common sense above.)
(28Oct2002 rev - Repair p. 121 comment typo in first sentence: missing right parenthesis.)
(7Jul2003 rev - Change some symbol and Wingding fonts to GIFs for compatibility.)
(29Jan2008 rev - Reformat slightly.)
(11Dec2008 rev - Replace some fonts with gifs.)
(24Feb2009 rev - Add link to recent QELR of 'aware.')

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