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Matter and Memory (Philosophical Classics) Paperback – May 7, 2004

3.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Matter and Memory was the diagnosis of a crisis in psychology. Movement, as physical reality in the external world, and the image, as psychic reality in consciousness, could no longer be opposed. The Bergsonian discovery of a movement-image, and more profoundly, of a time-image, still retains such richness today that it is not certain that all its consequences have been drawn." Gilles Deleuze



"Since the end of the Last century, philosophy has made a series of attempts to lay hold of the 'true' experience as opposed to the kind that manifests itself in the standardized, denatured life of the civilized masses. It is customary to classify these efforts under the heading of a philosophy of life. Towering above this literature is Bergson's early monumental work, Matter and Memory." Walter Benjamin

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Matter and Memory was the diagnosis of a crisis in psychology. Movement, as physical reality in the external world, and the image, as psychic reality in consciousness, could no longer be opposed. The Bergsonian discovery of a movement-image, and more profoundly, of a time-image, still retains such richness today that it is not certain that all its consequences have been drawn." Gilles Deleuze "Since the end of the Last century, philosophy has made a series of attempts to lay hold of the 'true' experience as opposed to the kind that manifests itself in the standardized, denatured life of the civilized masses. It is customary to classify these efforts under the heading of a philosophy of life. Towering above this literature is Bergson's early monumental work, Matter and Memory." Walter Benjamin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (May 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048643415X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486434155
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,226,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Frank Bierbrauer on October 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Athough some of the reviewers pick up some very important points such as the lack of clarity in "Matter and Memory", which is very evident, this is contrasted with "Creative Evolution" (CE) which was far clearer, but then different translators were involved in each case. I do believe some of the translations suffer as a result of this. However I have also found that Bergson must be read at least twice in order to grasp the, at times, convoluted concepts. I found this book to be far less whole as a complete text in comparison with CE but nonetheless there were some fascinating ideas. Some of these ideas were developed but others I felt were left to lie idle. There is much depth in Bergson and one feels maybe that ordinary language is not very good at expressing his ideas which are dynamic, process based rather than, as European languages are, on nouns, a static concept.
I disagree with one of the reviewers saying how his science has been surpasssed, since almost all of his psychology is still valid as are the most important points related to a human beings own perception, I see no reason or any information which makes one state categorically that the brain must be the centre of the mind, a tool perhaps or a way of allowing the mind to come into expression but nothing like as solid which is needed for a proof of a mechanistic paradigm.
I also feel that Bergson coud be easily updated and made less convoluted by someone willing to take on his mode of thought and take into account the new science since Bergson's day, it has been 80 years or so. I believe that most of Bergson's work will in fact still be relevant, maybe even more so.
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Format: Paperback
Read Elizabeth Grosz's new book, In the Nick of Time, for a lucid account of Matter and Memory that could serve as a guidebook for the uninitiated who might find Deleuze equally tricky.
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Format: Paperback
many philosophical thoughts amaze readers but often we found ourselves "lost" in following the philosopher's thought. Bergson, on the contrary, constantly calls the reader's attention to our own existence, better yet, "being" in the material world that many other idealist thinkers have tended to ignore. he gives us an answer to the question of body and soul (mind) with his key concept of "duration," with which we can locate ourselves both in space and "time." his idea is greatly immersed in many other thinkers, such as Deleuze, Merleau-Ponty, and even Foucault. the most important connection with the contemporary application of visual representation theory would be the idea of "time-image" which Deleuze did a good job to articulate. were it not for the understanding of "time-image," a great part of epistemological pursuit in cinema studies couldn't be possible. the 20th century's usurpage of subjectivity and abstract reason and restoration to body previously deprived its physicality under the psychological violence are surely debted to Bergson to a great extent. the more amazing is, that we could do that, still on and in the axes of time and memory, so that history can go on.
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This review is about the edition of the book. It seems like a bootleg! It is an awfully scanned and enlarged version of an older edition.
I would really recommend buying a used version over this crappy edition. In fact I might try to return this!
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This book is not an edited text and I would not recommend it to anyone! The formatting is all off and it's practically impossible to read.
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Whatever you think of Bergson, you shouldn't read this edition of Matter and Memory.
As the publisher notes in the book (though I don't recall seeing it on Amazon's page), this is a scanned reproduction-- all typing, proofreading, and design were automated. The text is filled with typos, footnotes appear to be run into the body of the text, and it is barely readable.
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At first Bergon's ideas may seem elusive but this book is without doubt one of the most important works ever written about the subject of mind and consciousness. Bergon's basic view is that the brain is not where memory or mind is stored. Instead he argues that the brain essentially performs motor functions which give shape to our mental experience. More specifically he argues that perception is the contraction of memory into the present moment by our action on the world and memory experience is induced by our relaxation of action upon the world. Bergson's work is primarily an examination of how we make sense of time in the context of our experience. He does this examination by positing that time or duration is the way in which experience is partitioned. There is no single moment or moments at which events unfold in time, instead events unfold over many different durations. His ideas are now coming back into popularity with recent contemporary views of consciousness that contend that consciousness requires embodied interaction with the world. I have personally found that Bergson's analysis/conception of consciousness makes a lot more sense than more popular theories of consciousness that suggest that consciousness is somehow generated by the brain. I suggest that anyone interested in consciousness read (and re-read) this book.
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