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Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 28. März 2003

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Taschenbuch, 28. März 2003
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Synopsis

Bergson argues for free will by showing that the arguments against it come from a confusion of different conceptions of time. As opposed to physicists' idea of measurable time, in human experience life is perceived as a continuous and unmeasurable flow rather than as a succession of marked-off stat

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Fils d un immigre juif polonais, Henri Bergson fut normalien, agrege de philosophie en 1881, et mena une brillante carriere d enseignant (lycees Louis-le-Grand et Henri-IV a Paris; maitre de conference a l'ENS en 1897). En 1900, il obtint la chaiL ensemble de son uvre, qui comporte notamment L Evolution creatrice (1907), et Les Deux Sources de la morale et de la religion (1932), s inscrivait contre le formalisme kantien et les differentes formes de positivisme et de scientisme. Il s'appuyait sur les connaissances modernes en psychologie pour definir des voies philosophiques nouvelles. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

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Von FrizzText HALL OF FAME REZENSENT am 25. August 2005
Format: Taschenbuch
Aged 80, already ill, Henri Bergson (1859-1941) went downstairs to the street (in his slippers and a sleep skirt) to underwrite a Nazi-registration-form, that he was one of the so called unworthy living creatures, a Jew, having no rights, being discharged, honourless, defenseless, unprotected. When in the "Etat Francais" also a Jew statute had been announced, the French government had offered an exception treatment to Bergson, that famous citizen of Jewish birth. However professor Bergson refused receiving such a gift from such hand. 1920, on the occasion of the establishment of the United Nations, Henri Bergson had been a first president of the commission for mental co-operation (when times were to be called still worthy to human beings). 1927 he had received the Nobelprize of literature regarding to his main-publication "Creative Evolution". At the end of his life the public ethic level had been fallen down immeasurably deep. Commissions for "mental co-operation" (1920) evidently had disappeared and instead had been replaced by tanks, execution committees, gasification camps and other genocide methods. The esteem of an human being you cannot measure exactly via empiric sciences (i.e. Nazi biological race sciences). An anthropology of such a bedeviled horizon of course fails his subject. The risk of every empiric, specialized science (i.e. psychology, social and political sciences) is to underestimate human beings via shortened views, operating with the handicap of false subtle ideologies, conceptions, definitions - and the practice to analyze only a small section of time. To seize the "life melody" of a human being, it is not sufficient to emerge ridiculously only one or two notes.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.9 von 5 Sternen 13 Rezensionen
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Get the Dover edition... 17. März 2012
Von Brian C. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
There are a lot of reviews here complaining about the edition. Unfortunately amazon tends to lump all editions together so I would just like to say that the negative reviews do not apply to the Dover edition (the edition with the blue cover and the profile picture of Bergson on it). I would highly recommend buying the Dover edition. I have read it twice and I did not encounter a single error either time through. It is also quite cheap.

The book itself is really excellent. Bergson was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth-century but he does not seem to have the stature today that he once had. I think there are probably a few reasons for that (the dominance of phenomenology in the Continental tradition and language analysis and symbolic logic in the analytic tradition, as well as the fact that Bergson tied some of his ideas to biological theories of his own time which have not held up well). There has been a resurgence of interest in Bergson to some degree which I think is at least partly due to Bergson's undoubted influence on Gilles Deleuze whose star is currently rising. Bergson had a tremendous influence on a whole host of important Continental philosophers (Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Deleuze, etc.) so, if for no other reason, he is worth reading as necessary background to those thinkers.

I happen to think that Bergson is worth studying in his own right and not just in terms of the influence he had on later philosophers. Bergson's primary preoccupation was with the nature of time and no one (including, I think, Husserl and Heidegger) spent as much time thinking about time as Bergson did. The nature of time is one of the most interesting, but also one of the most difficult, topics within metaphysics and Bergson had some very important things to say about it.

In Time and Free Will Bergson attempts to defend the notion of free will by arguing that the standard critiques of free will (as well as the standard defense) rely on an inadequate notion of time. It is impossible to summarize Bergson's subtle argument in an amazon review but, basically, the critics (and defenders) of free will have tended to understand time as a homogenous medium like space. Bergson believes that space is the only homogenous medium and that time is pure heterogeneity. The reason for that is that each moment includes the previous moment as a part of its past so that each new moment is totally new. Since no two moments can ever be exactly alike it is impossible to predict the future (the predictions of science, for example, rely on an identity between initial conditions which Bergson, due to his understanding of time, believes is impossible in the life of consciousness).

This is not only an inadequate summary of Bergson's central argument in this book it also fails utterly to get at the true value of this book. What makes this book so valuable and exciting is not necessarily its central thesis but the brilliant analysis of time and the life of consciousness that Bergson provides. I believe that philosophy is inherently a method for making distinctions that ordinary consciousness tends to pass over. Bergson's brilliance lies in the way in which he dissects our ordinary experience of ourselves and reveals the ways in which our standard understanding of ourselves is in fact a misunderstanding. Bergson reveals the life of consciousness operating beneath the distortions of language and conceptual understanding. There is a reason why modernist writers like Marcel Proust, who were attempting to describe the life of consciousness or experience in their works, found Bergson to be such an inspiration.

While Bergson's central argument is certainly interesting and important what is most important are the ways in which Bergson's analysis will completely change the way the reader understands themselves. What more could you possibly ask from a philosophy book?
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Completely defective optically scanned edition - do not buy! 16. November 2009
Von Lisa - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Please note this is a review of *this edition*, not of the work itself. This edition is an unedited optical scan of the original. It is completely defective and unusable. The following is a representative passage:

"In truth, psychophysics merely formulates with precision and pushes to its extreme consequences a conception familiar to common sense.
Lies merely . , , .
Pushes to iti As speech dominates over thought,
extreme conse- , 1 1 . ,
nuenoes the as external objects, which are common
fundamental , , . ,
bnt natural to us all, are more important to us
mistake ol n , ,, .... , ,
garding sensa- than the subjective states through
tions as mag- , . , , , ` ,
which to each of us passes, we have every
thing to gain by objectifying these states, by introducing into them, to the largest possible extent, the representation of their external cause."

Even had this edition been edited, which it clearly has not, I'm not sure how much that could have improved it, given that the creators of the edition clearly speak only rudimentary English. From the copyright section:

"You may not reproduce this book, stored [sic] it in a retrieval system, or transmitted [sic] in any form ..."

Read the other one star reviews and do not buy this edition. Find a copy online or get one from a library. My copy is going back to Amazon tomorrow.
58 von 60 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen A Horrible Edition 6. Oktober 2009
Von Stefan P. Georgi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I was seriously so excited to receive my copy of Time and Free Will. This edition disappoints on all levels. I can't help but imagine that all of the reviewers of this book just happened to like Bergson, read his essay a long time ago, and decided to try to influence others to do the same. Not a bad goal, except I looked at the good reviews, bought this copy, and ended up wasting my money. This book is a scanned copy of the online version of the original text. The translation is horrible, and there are textual errors, strange spacings, and phrases of complete gibberish throughout. For example: "Therefore time is? joilndi ord Constructed as..." Tons of errors like this. Find another copy, but do not buy this edition. It sucks.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen OCR ruins everything 24. Februar 2012
Von Dname - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
The original text of this work may be extremely good, but do not buy this version because it is literally impossible to read. The book has been OCRed, so the markings that were on the book (underlining, circling, hi-lighting, etc) have become illegible characters inside words and sentences in the text. Furthermore, footnotes were not seperately recognized by the bad OCR software, so there are points where the text abruptly starts talking about something else. There are maybe one or two pages that i have found that have not been ruined in these ways, but on the whole the book is illegible.
I am keeping my copy only because i think it is funny, but i do not suggest that you do that unless you are mildly masochistic.

This could have all been avoided by merely using the scan and directly printing it, like what was dont for Matter and Memory, instead of copying and pasting to a word document.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen Unreadable format filled with typos 10. Dezember 2009
Von Jose O y G - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Bergson is a philosopher worth reading and it's wonderful that his work is available in English BUT... this edition is inexcusably faulty with strange page breaks, unitelligible characters dispersed throughout and an overall poor format making the text unreadable. The publisher makes a disclaimer about the possibility of inaccuracies but this in itself is inexcusable. When publishing any kind of work - and especially one that is generally used in the academic setting, it seems to me that the publisher would want to be certain to be accurate and spend adequate time and resources to edit the work properly. Hire an editor and stop charging people for inept work!!
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