Matière et mémoire (French Edition)

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  1. Bergson postcolonial
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  3. Matière et mémoire : essai sur la relation du corps a lésprit. (Book, ) []

Within that frame the analysis of memory serves the purpose of clarifying the problem. Ribot claimed that the findings of brain science proved that memory is lodged within a particular part of the nervous system; localized within the brain and thus being of a material nature. Bergson was opposed to this reduction of spirit to matter. Defending a clear anti-reductionist position, he considered memory to be of a deeply spiritual nature, the brain serving the need of orienting present action by inserting relevant memories.

The brain thus being of a practical nature, certain lesions tend to perturb this practical function, but without erasing memory as such.


Bergson postcolonial

The memories are, instead, simply not 'incarnated', and cannot serve their purpose. Bergson distinguishes two different forms of memory. On the one hand memories concerning habitude, replaying and repeating past action, not strictly recognized as representing the past, but utilizing it for the purpose of present action. This kind of memory is automatic, inscribed within the body, and serving a utilitarian purpose.

Bergson takes as an example the learning of a verse by rote: Recitation tending toward non-reflective and mechanical repetition. The duration of the habitual recitation tends toward the regular and one may compare this kind of memory to a practical knowledge or habit.

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It is of a contemplative and fundamentally spiritual kind, and it is free. This is true memory. Bergson takes as his example the remembrance of the lesson of learning the same verse, a dated fact that cannot be recreated. Pure memory or remembrance permits the acknowledgment that the lesson has been learned in the past, cannot be repeated, and is not internal to the body.

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Bergson accused classical metaphysics of misrepresenting its assumed problems, and being guilty of posing secondary problems as being principal. The problem posed by Bergson was thus well known, but he redefined the way of posing it.

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Each of his four main works follow the same principle — responding to a precisely posed problem; in Matter and Memory , Descartes's problem of spirit and body — stated as being two substances with different attributes. Descartes's fault lies in defining matter and memory as substances or res , thus not separating them distinctly. Bergson really does distinguish the spirit from the body, but as opposed to in Descartes's classical philosophy the distinction resides in the temporal domain, not in the spatial. The spirit is the abode of the past, the body of the present; the soul or spirit always anchored in the past, not residing in the present; lodged in the past and contemplating the present.

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To have or take consciousness of anything, means looking at it from the viewpoint of the past, in light of the past. Contenting oneself with reacting to an external stimulus means being unconscious of the act; an existence within the sheer presence of the body.

Published Paris : Alcan, Language French View all editions Prev Next edition 11 of Check copyright status Cite this Title Matiere et memoire : essai sur la relation du corps a l'esprit. Author Bergson, Henri, Edition 23e ed.

Matière et mémoire : essai sur la relation du corps a lésprit. (Book, ) []

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