Bergson (book review) Keith Ansell Pearson

Thinking Beyond the Human Condition


180519: why of all philosophy reviews have i received my most ‘likes’ (51) on this text...? i do not know, but maybe it means as the author maintains, there is a renaissance of interest in bergson... i hope!


080318: another five star on Bergson, who has by now very good claim to being a 2nd favourite philosopher (after Merleau-Ponty), including this text i have read 39 invoking or on or by Bergson, which seems to be almost all the books from the u library that i can access (just discovered much more in high-density-library! so 54 now but more very old) and several bought new like this one. so i love his thoughts. on the other, though, is how much are just his thoughts and how much are the interpreters and authors of secondary literature... such as gilles deleuze or here, keith ansell-pearson...


i read this in a couple of sittings in one day. i found the ideas fluid, familiar, fascinating (and that is just the 'f's...) but how much is all the previous reading i am not sure. the ideas are not new to me and i am more pleased at confirmation at understanding, pleased my reading has been useful, has been correct... but this is once again an elaboration of everything that threads through his work, the concepts of qualitative time, quantitative space, the mind as practically useful, the brain as not simply residence of the mind, the impetus of living, the virtual and the actual, the difference of matter and living, the newness of creative evolution and emotion, underlying all his thought the 'images' of 'heterogeneous multiplicity' and the 'durree'...


and so, to 'think beyond the human condition' is to use the mind not for immediate or eventual practical action but to philosophize, to think somehow with possibilities the mind can create... this is the 'beyond...' and even when he searches for usefulness of religion, where i do not follow, he does not hesitate to apply our human minds to think not the usual mistaken 'perennial questions' (why is there something rather than nothing...) but to focus on dispersion, development, diffusion (now the 'd's) of evolving being and life... the future unbound and uncertain to which we are impelled not as 'telos' but as fulfillment...


so, a great text, a loved philosopher, another way to understand the real beyond dogmatic materialism, geometric science, a way not dismissing methods of superior empiricism, of natural science- the offered technique of 'intuition' to the core rather than 'intellect' to the surface... this is all great stuff for me. because this book is on him, i do not engage all the arguments of how his thought might be seen mistaken, going through his major works, [book:Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness|907548], [book:Matter and Memory|865540], [book:Creative Evolution|379659], even two sources of morality and religion, i feel very pleased to understand him... i read it quickly, already primed by previous reading, and enthused to reread his work as much as read critiques of others, and must again offer a strong five...


note: i must again insist that reading nonfiction is easier to read than fiction, if the topic interests, for in nonfiction the author is most concerned to offer ideas etc. in clear, readable, concise manner- in fiction the author is using all artistic techniques to offer some emotional effects, including characters, plot, language play, format, whether the reader starts already interested or not... there are so many books to read and so little time...

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