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An Introduction to Metaphysics
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An Introduction to Metaphysics

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  18 reviews
There is currently a major renaissance of interest in Henri Bergson's unduly neglected texts and ideas amongst philosophers, literary theorists, and social theorists. Introduction to Metaphysics (1903) contains Bergson's classic statement that to philosophize is to reverse the habitual directions of our thinking, as well as his claim that a true empiricism amounts to a tru...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published September 15th 2007 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published 1903)
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Ron Henderson
A difficult book. I'm glad I read it, but much of it was forced reading. His ideas about time and the value of immediate experience are worthwhile, though. It is a useful counterpoint to a scientific skepticism that sees truth only in what can be measured and quantified. He sees intuition as a type of seeing from within that can lead one to a kind of truth that cannot be had by mere external observation.

Bergson gives us a creative universe that is not predetermined as a result of merely mechani...more
Christopher
This is an unfortunate collection. Everything in it is essentially a restatement of the premises of the first introduction. In fact, it is nothing more than a compilation of various introductory essays written by Bergson. But, by providing a thorough overhead view of his thought and his concept of duration, it has made me feel as though I no longer have to bother with reading anything else by him. Taken by themselves (and only one!) the first introduction or the centerpiece of the book, "An Intr...more
Niels
finally I did it! after years of reading about it, i actually read my first Bergson. Immediately, I want to reread some other stuff.
MashailGhammas
"With its signal distinction between 'intuition' and 'analysis' and its exploration of the different levels of Duration (Bergson's term for Heraclitean flux), An Introduction to Metaphysics has had a significant impact on subsequent twentieth century thought. The arts, from post-impressionist painting to the stream of consciousness novel, and philosophies as diverse as pragmatism, process philosophy, and existentialism bear its imprint. Consigned for a while to the margins of philosophy, Bergson...more
Bertrand
Bergson's understanding of philosophy is quite unique, or at least make for a landmark in the development of modern(ist) thought in the Western world - arguing, in this book in particular, for an irrational understanding of the human mind, but from the standpoint of a rationalist, scientific tradition, a lot of his life endeavor seems concerned with reducing - and transcending - the chasm between rationalism and empiricism. Indeed what grabs my attention in his thought, and is exemplified in thi...more
Marius
Îmi plac filosofii care sunt clari şi expliciţi. Aşadar îl aşez pe Bergson alături de Schopenhauer sau Kierkegaard, Camus ori Sartre - foarte departe de obscuri ca Hegel sau Fichte.

Bergson este ideologul din spatele 'monstruozităţii' de ”În căutarea timpului pierdut” a lui Proust; am înţeles chiar că Bergson s-a căsătorit cu o verişoară a lui Proust.

Cele două introduceri la cartea de faţă rezumează ele singure aproape întreaga filosofie a lui Bergson. Am găsit în carte nişte idei atât de interes...more
Tony Perry
Perfect for laying the groundwork form metaphysical study.
thegift
there is some beautiful, evocative, thoughtful writing in here, hence 4. but this is more a collection of essays or lectures rather than an argued work, though it is not hard to find bergsonian themes. this is probably not the best work to start. it helped to read guerlac before. interesting on pragmatism, i have never heard of ravaisson, but the continuing emphasis on intuition certainly bergson.
May
Nice introduction. Here he attempts to sum up in a nutshell what we are after when we consider knowledge and what is known versus what is relative. This builds on Kant, I think, and others at the time who weren't quite sure what it all meant and realized that much of knowledge was built on axiomatic "truths" versus truth in the absolute sense. I dig.
Matthew
Short and easy to read. Bergson's got a kind of European Taoism going here, although it's a little frustrating when he tell you that he can't talk about reality and then spends 60 pages talking about it.
David Russell Mosley
I give this book four stars not because I agree, necessarily with its conclusions, but because it is a thought provoking essay on what metaphysics is for Bergson.
Víctor Sampayo
Una muy buena introducción a su concepción de la metafísica, indispensable para antes de adentrarse al monumental " Materia y memoria".
Marts  (Thinker)
Explores the theme of metaphysics and seeks to establish true philosophical understanding via thought reconstruction
Chris
For a twentieth-century metaphysician, Bergson is incredibly lucid.
Ahtchie
Boring. Too academic and/or philosophical.
Jacob Israel Chilton
great intro to a brilliant philosopher.
Christopher
fun, important, good for ya.
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  • Bergsonism
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  • The Visible and the Invisible
  • Cartesian Meditations: An Introduction to Phenomenology
  • Untimely Meditations
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  • The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays
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  • The Philosophers Toolkit: A Compendium of Philosophical Concepts and Methods
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  • Parmenides (Philosophical Library)
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Henri Bergson (1859–1941) was one of the most famous and influential French philosophers of the late 19th century-early 20th century. Although his international fame reached cult-like heights during his lifetime, his influence decreased notably after the second World War. While such French thinkers as Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Lévinas explicitly acknowledged his influence on their thought, it is...more
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“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend” 10 likes
“But, then, I cannot escape the objection that there is no state of mind, however simple, which does not change every moment, since there is no consciousness without memory, and no continuation of a state without the addition, to the present feeling, of the memory of past moments. It is this which constitutes duration. Inner duration is the continuous life of a memory which prolongs the past into the present, the present either containing within it in a distinct form the ceaselessly growing image of the past, or, more profoundly, showing by its continual change of quality the heavier and still heavier load we drag behind us as we grow older. Without this survival of the past into the present there would be no duration, but only instantaneity.” 8 likes
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