Creative Evolution

Author(s): Henri Bergson

Critical Thinking

The fullest expression of the distinguished French philosopher's ideas about the meaning of life. In propounding his distinctive theory of evolution, Bergson considers nature and intelligence, examines mechanisms of thought and illusion, and presents a criticism of philosophical systems from those of the ancients to those of his 19th-century contemporaries.


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INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I THE EVOLUTION OFLIFE-MECHANISM AND TELEOLOGY Of duration in general Unorganized bodies and abstract time Organized bodies and real duration Individuality and the process of growing old Of transformism and the different ways of interpreting it Radical mechanism and real duration: the relation of biology to physics and chemistry Radical finalism and real duration: the relation of biology to philosophy The quest of a criterion Examination of the various theories with regard to a particular example Darwin and insensible variation De Vries and sudden variation Eimer and orthogenesis Neo Lamarckism and the hereditability of acquired characters Result of the inquiry The vital impetus "CHAPTER II THE DIVERGENT DIRECTIONS OF THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE--TORPOR, INTELLIGENCE, INSTINCT" General idea of the evolutionary process Growth Divergent and complementary tendencies The meaning of progress and of adaptation The relation of the animal to the plant General tendency of animal life The development of animal life "The main directions of the evolution of life: torpor, intelligence, instinct" The nature of the intellect the nature of instinct Life and consciousness The apparent place of man in nature CHAPTER III ON THE MEANING OF LIFE--THE ORDER OF NATURE AND THE FORM OF INTELLIGENCE Relation of the problem of life to the problem of knowledge The method of philosophy Apparent vicious circle of the method proposed Real vicious circle of the opposite method Simultaneous genesis of matter and intelligence Geometry inherent in matter Geometrical tendency of the intellect Geometry and deduction Geometry and induction Physical laws Sketch of a theory of knowledge based on the analysis of the idea of Disorder Two oposed forms of order: the problem of genera and the problem of laws "The idea of "disorder" an oscillation of the intellect between the two kinds of order" Creation and evolution Ideal genesis of matter The origin and function of life The essential and the accidental in the vital process and in the evolutionary movement Mankind The life of the body and the life of the spirit CHAPTER IV THE CINEMATOGRAPHICAL MECHANISM OF THOUGHT AND THE MECHANISTIC ILLUSION--A GLANCE AT THE HISTORY OF SYSTEMS--REAL BECOMING AND FALSE EVOLUTIONISM "Sketch of a criticism of philosophical systems, based on the anaysis of the idea of Immutability and of the idea of "Nothing" "Relation of metaphysical problems to the idea of "Nothing" Real meaning of this idea Form and Becoming The philosophy of Forms and its conception of Becoming Plato and Aristotle The natural trend of the intellect Becoming in modern science: two views of Time "The metaphysical interpretation of modern science: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz" The Criticism of Kant The evolution of Spencer INDEX

General Fields

  • : 9780486400365
  • : Dover Publications Inc.
  • : Dover Publications Inc.
  • : May 1998
  • : 216mm X 133mm X 20mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Henri Bergson
  • : Paperback
  • : New edition
  • : 576.8
  • : 432