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A Review
Henri Louis Bergson's Book
Time and Free Will
Chapter III: The Organization of Conscious States - Free Will
Topic 29: Dynamism And Mechanism
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
says, "You are here!")

Topic 29...............Dynamism and Mechanism


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

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


"IT is easy to see why the question of free will brings into conflict these two rival systems of nature, mechanism and dynamism. Dynamism


...Mechanism, dynamism and free will....

starts from the idea of voluntary activity [view "voluntary activity" as a simile of quantum flux, i.e., "flux is crux;" Doug - 1Mar2008.], given by consciousness, and comes to
represent inertia by gradually emptying this idea: it has thus no difficulty in conceiving free force on the one hand and matter governed by laws on the other. Mechanism follows the opposite course. It assumes that the materials which it synthesizes are governed by necessary laws, and although it reaches richer and richer combinations, which are more and more difficult to foresee, and to all appearance more and more contingent, yet it never gets out of the narrow circle of necessity within which it at first shut itself up.

"A thorough examination of these two conceptions
For dynamism facts more real than laws: mechanism reverses this attitude. The idea of spontaneity simpler than that of inertia. of nature will show that they involve two very different hypotheses as to the relations between laws and the facts which they govern. As he looks higher and higher, the believer in dynamism thinks that he perceives facts which more and more elude the grasp of laws: he thus sets up the fact as the absolute reality, and
the law as the more or less symbolical expression of this reality."

(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 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

Both of these rival systems miss an even more fundamental, more highly evolved and more recently perceived quantum 'fact:' quantum reality is intrinsically co- and self-aware! For one perspective on this meme, see Kafatos' and Nadeau's 1990 The Conscious Universe.

141 "Mechanism, on the contrary, discovers within the particular fact a certain number of laws of which the fact is thus made to be the meeting point, and nothing else: on this hypothesis it is the law which becomes the genuine reality. Now, if it is asked why the one party assigns a higher reality to the fact and the other to the law, it will be found that mechanism and dynamism take the word simplicity in two very different senses. For the first, any principle is simple of which the effects can be foreseen [AKA classical certainty; classical predictability; classical cause-effect] and even calculated: thus, by the very definition, the notion of inertia [here, Bergson uses inertia as a metaphor of classical 'state' - Doug - 7Oct2005] becomes simpler than that of freedom [AKA flux as unrestricted changeability and mutability, AKA quantum uncertainty, quantum ensemble (in)determinism, quantum affectings-Valuings-outcomings, quantum flux], the homogeneous [classical] simpler than the heterogeneous [quantum waves as ensemble quantum likelihood omnistributionings], the abstract simpler than concrete [readers should note that Bergson's use of 'concrete' here is a classical notion; Quantonically, flux is absolute and flux is non~quantumly concrete, rather sorso, REIMAR, animately syncrete - Doug - 7Oct2005]. But dynamism is not anxious so much to arrange the notions in the most convenient order as to find out their real relationship: often, in fact, the so-called simple notion—that which the believer in mechanism regards as primitive—has been obtained by the blending together of several richer notions [e.g., m, l, and t as f(flux)] which seem to be derived from it [i.e., flux as f(t)], and which have more or less neutralized one another in this very process of blending, just as darkness may be produced by the interference of two lights. Regarded from this new point of view, [dynamism regards] the idea of spontaneity is indisputably simpler than that of inertia, since the second can be understood and defined only by means of the first, while [dynamism regards] the first is self-sufficient."

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

Let's paraphrase, here, Bergson's " will be found that mechanism and dynamism take the word simplicity in two very different senses."

  • "...mechanism and dynamism take the word genericity in two very different senses."

    Mechanism turns genericity into specificity (e.g., 'law').

  • "...mechanism and dynamism take the word specificity in two very different senses."

    Dynamism takes specificity as uncommon change agency. Dynamic specificity, like truth, is an agent of its own change! (In Quantonics dynamism issi DQ issi quantum semper fluxio.)

Doug - 14Nov2004. (Try this on other "-icities, and -ilities.")

To show how much [classically] simpler 'abstract' is than concrete reality, see our comments on human-assisted sensory bandwidth. Then consider how we 'abstract' those very, very limited experiential inputs.

Quantum simplicity issi Bergsonian: i.e., dynamic!

Bergson shows he intuits classicism's Aristotelian inversion of Truth over Quality. Classical 'truth' 'simplifies' via analytic blending: state-ic synthesis. Classical 'truth' is synthetic!

Quantum Quality simplifies via spontaneous coobsfective awareness of bountiful qualitative animacies. Fathom quantum~h¤l¤graphic~sihmplihcihty. Doug - 21Jan2007. (Please omnistinguish classical vis-à-vis quantum 'spontaneity.' See judgment.)

Reader, consider how quantization of Planck rate flux becomes an enabler for stochastic spontaneity. Planck rate flux is self-sufficient! Comsider, though, we call it "quantum awareness" which makes animate ensemble choosings among ensemble preconditionings which emerse ensemble outcomings. You may see how we deny dynamism's spontaneity (assuming 'spontaneity' is classical; if it is quantum then we agree...) just as we deny mechanism's causation.

Is it easy, now, for you to intuit that spontaneity demands nonclassical memeotics? Here are a few for you to ponder:

Begin A 12Jan2011 Doug Aside on Classical vav Quantum Spontaneity:

Our bullet list shows some symptoms, some abductive (i.e., Jamesian-Peircean pragmatic) affectations of quantum~spontaneity. But what key feature of quantum~reality actually enables quantum~spontaneity?

Quantization itself!

And what feature of quantum~reality enables quantization?

Perpetual ticking of Planck's clock which generates quantized quantum~flux. Quantized flux quantizes all of quantum~reality absolutely. Absolute quantization is heterogeneity's (pluralism's) and spontaneity's (evolution's) source and agency.

Doug shows this perpetual quantum~absolute quantization like this:

  • Consistency: always changes (this is absolute and ubiquitous spontaneity, source of uncertainty itself), and
  • Completeness: changes all.

Here's a graphic which illustrates what Doug intends by absolute heterogeneous pluralism's quantization as compared to classical thing-king's absolute 'state' AKA dialectical monism's 'inertia:'

End A 12Jan2011 Doug Aside on Classical vav Quantum Spontaneity.


"For each of us has the immediate knowledge (be it thought true or fallacious) of his free spontaneity, without the notion of inertia having anything to do with this knowledge. But, if we wish to define the inertia of matter, we must say that it cannot move or stop of its own accord, that every body perseveres in the state of rest or motion so long as it is not acted upon by any force: and in both cases we are unavoidably carried back to the idea of activity. It is therefore natural that, a priori, we should reach two opposite conceptions of human activity, according to the way in which we understand the relation between the concrete and the abstract, the simple and the complex, facts and laws.

"A posteriori, however, definite facts are appealed to against freedom, some physical, others


(1) physical
(2) psychological.
Former reducible to latter, which itself rests on inaccurate conception of multiplicity of conscious states or duration.

psychological. Sometimes it is asserted that our actions are necessitated by our feelings, our ideas, and the whole preceding series of our conscious states; sometimes freedom is denounced as being incompatible with the fundamental [classical] properties of matter, and in
particular with the principle of the [classical] conservation of energy. Hence two kinds of determinism, two apparently different empirical proofs of universal necessity. We shall show that the second of these two forms is reducible to the first, and that all determinism, even physical determinism, involves a psychological hypothesis: we shall then prove that psychological determinism itself, and the refutations which are given of it, rest on an inaccurate conception of the multiplicity of conscious states, or rather of duration. Thus, in the light of the principles worked out in the foregoing chapter, we shall see a self emerge whose activity cannot be compared to that of any other force."

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



Bergson apparently assumes as modern classicists do, that classical zero momentum may 'exist' in reality.





In quantum reality, what appeals against freedom is all choice (choosings) is a quantum ensemble meme. A good example is how a virus' free will can sometimes tentatively outrank a human's choice in a human's system ensemble. Said virus, among many other quantons in a human's system has voting power in said system's ensemble choosings. And votes are seldom democratic (due individuals' quantum autonomies), only apparently so (due systemic quantum cohesion.).
Doug - 25May2002; added links 4Jan2006 - Doug.

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

©Quantonics, Inc., 2001-2017 Rev. 12Jan2011  PDR Created: 23Feb2001  PDR
(26Feb2004 rev - Add p. 141 red text comments re: classical spontaneity vis-à-vis quantum sp¤ntanæihty.)
(24Apr2004 rev - Extend p. 141 comments with red text and a link to our recent QELR of 'simplicity.')
(13Jul2004 rev - Extend p. 141 comments.)
(14Nov2004 rev - Extend p. 141 comments.)

(1Mar2005 rev - Reset red text. Extend p. 141 comments.)
(7Oct2005 rev - Add bracketed comments to p. 141 text. Remove page table constraints.)
(4Jan2006 rev - Add beau coup links to p. 142 comments.)
(21Jan2007 rev - Adjust colors. Reset legacy red text markups.)
(21Dec2008 rev - Reformat. Add 'Quantum Awareness' anchor. Reset legacy markups.)
(12Jan2011 rev - Update p. 141 commentary re: classical vav quantum spontaneity's essential memeo.)

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