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Bergsonism Paperback – November 8, 1990
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For example, the first chapter of this book deals with Bergson's method of intuition. Interestingly enough, Deleuze applies this method to Bergson's own philosophy. In very basic terms, this method involves distinguishing "differences in kind" between elements (this is important, since Bergson believes that we usually go by false generalizations) and then bring together these elements once again but such that we understand them as they truly are and not as what Deleuze calls a "badly analyzed composite". In analyzing Bergson's philosophy, Deleuze distinguishes elan vital, duration, and memomory as the basic concepts. Furthermore, each of these concepts can only be understood in terms of intuition for various reasons; for example, that only intuition can grasp pure movement (duration). Throughout this book, Deleuze usually (although not always) gives an account of Bergson's concepts without assuming complete knowledge on the part of the reader, which is helpful. However, on the other hand, Deleuze doesn't always tell us what is "his" philosophy and what is Bergson's. Because of this, "Bergsonism" should not be utilized as a summary of Bergson's work. That is, even though Deleuze is clear enough for someone with little background in Bergson to understand much of this book, this does not mean that this person would then "know Bergson" but rather a Bergson-Deleuzian hybrid. This isn't a flaw to the book; rather, it merely suggests how it ought to be read.Read more ›
The book is meant to be an analysis of Henri Bergson's ontology, and Deleuze analyzes the most important concepts in Bergson's philosophy in great detail (duration, memory, élan vital, time, space, multiplicity, the virtual, intuition, etc.). The book is full of brilliant insights on Bergson's philosophy which it would not be possible to adequately summarize in this review. I have decided to simply try to summarize two of Deleuze's insights, however inadequate my short summaries must be. I have chosen them almost at random.
First, Deleuze presents a brilliant account of Bergson's method of intuition in the first chapter of this book. Deleuze argues against treating Bergson's method of intuition as a simple intuition of the immediate, bordering on the mystical, and lacking in rigor. Deleuze believes the method of intuition is a rigorous method of distinguishing between true and false problems by analyzing composites into their tendencies.Read more ›