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Updating Bergson: A Philosophy of the Enduring Present (book review) Ádám Lovász

if you like this review, i now have website: www.michaelkamakana.com


240216: this is possibly new favourite on bergson. only possibly but very near. he is born Austrian working in Hungary writing in English on French philosopher, so maybe he is difficult to follow. this is mostly not problem. this is serious, advanced, academic exploration of bersonian themes, metaphysics, claims. this is not introductory or the first book to read on bergson. this is just challenging. this author is writing from 2021 so there is much over century of discussion, argument, dispute about what bergson said or how he said it...


one aspect greatly enjoyed of this book's how the author refers to various secondary text, various other philosophers also read. this makes me feel alert, aware, even intelligent. these texts include [book:Thinking in Time: An Introduction to Henri Bergson|379665], [book:Duration, Temporality, Self: Prospects for the Future of Bergsonism|16293463], [book:Bergson: Thinking Beyond the Human Condition|35750377] and of course [book:Bergsonism|203326] and other deleuzian explications of bergson- which has shaped my ideas of the 'virtual' for example, that he critiques and almost evaporates!


after an introduction that lays out what we shall find, this book does the reverse of that usual chronological progression of his thoughts, or even that atemporal exploration of his themes, but deliberately starts with his later work and moves backwards. this is interesting. causality comes unmoored, usual habits of thought, of logic, are revealed as deliberate choices that obscure real shape of time. not container, not ascending or descending stages, not entropic inevitability, not the possible before the actual.one insight indicative of his revolution in thought: there is no possible...


the possible only borrows its illusory force from the moment now. only now exists, only now of the enduring present, projecting imagination back in time as-if, in impotent virtual, what has-been naturally must lead to what-is. there is no possible. there is the actual. bergson will deny the reality of the infamous 'trolley prolem' though this, but this comes much later in this book. the point here is that we are thinking the possible precedes the actual when it is other way round. and this we mis-apply to all time, all evolution, which for bergson must be creative. we construct our past out of the present... bergson claims this 'finalism' is an error in evolution or creationism as it was then known...


after reversing our common, human, way of thought, this book addresses that controversy which damaged bergson's reputation as thinker for decades. only now have his concepts been again examined and found fruitful, though this is only case of physicists catching up with philosophers. this of course Bergson's dispute with physicists (champion being Einstein) about reality and effects of time dilation in relativity. if you pay attention to the title of this book, there is truly only one time. now. the past and future are physics imaginary times. now is all times. now is enduring...


physicists discovered no need, thus no reality, to the ether within which we as planets and stars moved. relativity is the answer. space and time are combined. space is no longer the absolute, but for bergson relativity just did not go far enough: with the universal ultimate speed limit of light in vacuum we created another absolute! now bergson certainly accepted physics concepts of his day, eg. Lorentz transformation... but he has made it possible to 'go beyond' current physics!


the next chapter is on how there is no static 'being' all is in becoming, and this has clear ethical effect.


insight: there is no 'way things are' that determine 'way things will be', both are indefinitely complex illusions always in change.


another aspect really enjoyed about bergson, and also this book, is that he uses Art for thought: much like Merleau-Ponty!


and though this is not longer review of bergson, such as [book:Henri Bergson: Key Writings|115736], [book:Bergson’s Philosophy of Self-Overcoming: Thinking without Negativity or Time as Striving|52736601], [book:Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual: Bergson and the Time of Life|115738], [book:Bergsonism|203326], [book:Bergson: Thinking Beyond the Human Condition|35750377], [book:Thinking in Time: An Introduction to Henri Bergson|379665]- this sums up, this critically examines, many ideas put forth- so it is helpful to have read these texts previously...


bergson:

[book:Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness|907548]

[book:Matter and Memory|865540]

[book:Creative Evolution|379659]

[book:Henri Bergson: Key Writings|115736]

[book:An Introduction to Metaphysics|734419]

[book:Laughter|7824219]

[book:Living in Time: The Philosophy of Henri Bergson|124947289]

[book:Bergson’s Philosophy of Self-Overcoming: Thinking without Negativity or Time as Striving|52736601]

[book:Philosophy and the Adventure of the Virtual: Bergson and the Time of Life|115738]

[book:Bergsonism|203326]

[book:Bergson: Thinking Beyond the Human Condition|35750377]

[book:Thinking in Time: An Introduction to Henri Bergson|379665]

[book:The Bergsonian Philosophy of Intelligence|42439211]

[book:Bergson and the Stream of Consciousness Novel|3553423]

[book:Morality in Evolution: The Moral Philosophy of Henri Bergson|22137889]

[book:The Crisis in Modernism: Bergson and the Vitalist Controversy|8583342]

[book:The Philosophy of Science Fiction: Henri Bergson and the Fabulations of Philip K. Dick|25990962]

merleau-ponty:

[book:Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Basic Writings|203362]

[book:Merleau-Ponty's Ontology|203385]

[book:Phenomenology of Perception|18279]

[book:The Merleau-Ponty Aesthetics Reader: Philosophy and Painting|203349]

[book:Merleau-Ponty's Existential Phenomenology and the Realization of Philosophy|18402707]

[book:Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology: The Problem of Ideal Objects|2574840]

[book:The Phenomenological Philosophy of Merleau-Ponty|13496658]

[book:The Being of the Phenomenon: Merleau-Ponty's Ontology|203380]

[book:The Visible and the Invisible|203348]

[book:Merleau-Ponty's Last Vision: A Proposal for the Completion of "The Visible and the Invisible"|203368]

bonus

[book:Ark of the Possible: The Animal World in Merleau-Ponty|6907797]

deleuze:

[book:Gilles Deleuze: An Introduction|1226878]

[book:Deleuze|342866]

[book:What Is Philosophy?|118319]

[book:Gilles Deleuze: Key Concepts|203340]

[book:Bergsonism|203326]

[book:Bergson-Deleuze Encounters: Transcendental Experience and the Thought of the Virtual|9631208]

[book:Gilles Deleuze: Cinema and Philosophy|3128135]

[book:Deleuze on Cinema|25207067]

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