Prospects for the Future of Bergsonism
Chapter 3 Body, Soul and the World in Matter and Memory
1 Duration as Being Next Bergson presents duration as being in general, with the distinctive nature of concrete phenomena defined by the specific rhythm of their tem- poral existence, as a process, and where rhythm could be understood as a rate at which events unroll. The relation between time, consciousness and movement becomes clearer: everything is duration and exists in motion; con- sciousness is a case of being, understood as duration; what makes conscious- ness dif ferent from other types of being is its specific, very intense rhythm. In Time and Free Will Bergson argued that we misunderstand and immobilize psychological events and movement, which are f lowing and indivisible in reality. In Matter and Memory, he asserts that this misunder- standing concerns physical reality as well, because everything real is, in fact, in the state of becoming and, consequently, in the state of motion, whereas we always regard the reality as a compilation of solid things (MM, p. 191). Bergson refuses to regard motion as relative, as merely a change of place. Real movement is absolute, he maintains, because ‘it emanates from a force’ (MM, p. 195). One could even interpret Bergson’s idea of real movement as an action close to the creation of something new, or as a process close to the act of willing, which could indicate a certain link with consciousness. ‘I am assured of the reality of the movement when I produce it, after having willed to produce it, and my muscular sense brings me...
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