Bergson, history and ontology



Publication Details

Lundy, C. A. (2013). Bergson, history and ontology. In J. Mullarkey and C. De Mille (Eds.), The Art of Immanence: Painting, Photography, Film (pp. 17-31). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Additional Publication Information

ISBN: 9780748670222


Since th revival of Bergson studies, a key aspect of his work has remained largely dormant amongst scholars: his philosophy of history. In this chapter, I will address this under-explored area of investigation by making some suggestions as to what Bergsonian philosophy might have to offer our understanding of history. This task will be guided throughout by a concern for the ontological nature of history. Although Bergson's thoughts on history are often considered to be restricted to his Two Sources of Morality and Religion, I will demonstrate how Bergson develops and deploys an ontology of history and an historical ontology in his earlier texts that arguably play a significant role within his broader thinking. In so doing, Bergsonian philosophy will be shown to advance strategies for escaping the traditional and dominant concerptions of history as representational, casual-linear and telcological - strategies that are subsequently expanded upon and modified by Bergsonian thinkers such as Charles Peguy, Arnold Toynbee and Gilles Deleuze.

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