CREATIVE EVOLUTION

CREATIVE EVOLUTION

by Henri Bergson, Arthur Mitchell

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Overview

INTRODUCTION ix


CHAPTER I

THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE--MECHANISM AND TELEOLOGY

Of duration in general--Unorganized bodies and abstract
time--Organized bodies and real duration--Individuality and
the process of growing old 1

Of transformism and the different ways of interpreting it--Radical
mechanism and real duration: the relation of biology to
physics and chemistry--Radical finalism and real duration:
the relation of biology to philosophy 23

The quest of a criterion--Examination of the various theories
with regard to a particular example--Darwin and insensible
variation--De Vries and sudden variation--Eimer and
orthogenesis--Neo-Lamarckism and the hereditability of
acquired characters 59

Result of the inquiry--The _vital impetus_ 87


CHAPTER II

THE DIVERGENT DIRECTIONS OF THE EVOLUTION OF
LIFE--TORPOR, INTELLIGENCE, INSTINCT

General idea of the evolutionary process--Growth--Divergent
and complementary tendencies--The meaning of progress and of
adaptation 98

The relation of the animal to the plant--General tendency of
animal life--The development of animal life 105

The main directions of the evolution of life: torpor, intelligence,
instinct 135

The nature of the intellect 151

The nature of instinct 165

Life and consciousness--The apparent place of man in nature 176


CHAPTER III

ON THE MEANING OF LIFE--THE ORDER OF NATURE
AND THE FORM OF INTELLIGENCE

Relation of the problem of life to the problem of knowledge--The
method of philosophy--Apparent vicious circle of the method
proposed--Real vicious circle of the opposite method 186

Simultaneous genesis of matter and intelligence--Geometry
inherent in matter--Geometrical tendency of the intellect--Geometry
and deduction--Geometry and induction--Physical laws 199

Sketch of a theory of knowledge based on the analysis of the
idea of Disorder--Two opposed forms of order: the problem
of _genera_ and the problem of _laws_--The idea of
"disorder" an oscillation of the intellect between the two
kinds of order 220

Creation and evolution--Ideal genesis of matter--The origin
and function of life--The essential and the accidental in the
vital process and in the evolutionary movement--Mankind--The
life of the body and the life of the spirit 236


CHAPTER IV

THE CINEMATOGRAPHICAL MECHANISM OF THOUGHT AND THE
MECHANISTIC ILLUSION--A GLANCE AT THE HISTORY OF
SYSTEMS--REAL BECOMING AND FALSE EVOLUTIONISM

Sketch of a criticism of philosophical systems, based on the
analysis of the idea of Immutability and of the idea of
"Nothing"--Relation of metaphysical problems to the idea
of "Nothing"--Real meaning of this idea 272

Form and Becoming 298

The philosophy of Forms and its conception of Becoming--Plato
and Aristotle--The natural trend of the intellect 304

Becoming in modern science: two views of Time 329

The metaphysical interpretation of modern science: Descartes,
Spinoza, Leibniz 345

The Criticism of Kant 356

The evolutionism of Spencer 363

INDEX 371




INTRODUCTION


The history of the evolution of life, incomplete as it yet is, already
reveals to us how the intellect has been formed, by an uninterrupted
progress, along a line which ascends through the vertebrate series up to
man. It shows us in the faculty of understanding an appendage of the
faculty of acting, a more and more precise, more and more complex and
supple adaptation of the consciousness of living beings to the
conditions of existence that are made for them.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013037373
Publisher: SAP
Publication date: 08/22/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 347 KB

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