Prospects for the Future of Bergsonism
Chapter 6 Time
1 Time as a Quality and as a Relation In this chapter we shall consider specifically time and its role in duration. Bergson’s major achievement in the understanding of the nature of time, as we see it, consists of maintaining and proving that time belongs to tem- poral reality as its integral part rather than something that exists separately from phenomena.1 He successfully internalized time into the reality of things but in order to fortify his position, Bergson opposed time as part of things to time as a framework for everything that exists, dismissing the latter as a false, spatialized view on time.2 Whilst declaring time to be a qualitative, essential element of things, Bergson makes it impossible to consider temporal relations between things, because it can be said that they are nothing but spatial features where ele- ments, for the sake of comparison, have been taken out of the genuine tem- poral sequence and presented simultaneously. As it is clear from Bergson’s equating the reality of time with its ef ficacy,3 from his refutation of the possibility of measuring time since measuring would involve comparison of 1 Kolakowski sums up Bergson’s philosophy in one sentence: ‘Time is real’ (Kolakowski, Bergson, 2). An opposite claim that time is unreal is represented by McTaggart: see John McTaggart Ellis McTaggart, The Nature of Existence, Vol. 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), Chapter 33 ‘Time’, 9–31. For refutations of McTaggart see D. F. Pears, ‘Time, Truth and Inference’, in Anthony Flew,...
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