Article mis en avant

Atelier Bergson : Séminaire en ligne 2022

Dans le cadre de du projet IRN du CNRS sur le Bergsonisme dans l’histoire globale de la philosophie, un séminaire Zoom organisé par Mathilde Tahar et Caterina Zanfi consacré aux recherches bergsoniennes internationales les plus actuelles aura lieu sur Zoom à partir de Janvier 2022. 

Lien Zoom récurrent pour joindre les différentes séances du séminaire :

Meeting ID: 950 9606 0568
Passcode: hqxn04

21 Janvier 2022, 14h-16h30 GMT+1 (Paris time) – Thinking Life

Tano Posteraro (Concordia University) – Wasp Epistemology: Bergson and Fabre on Instinctual Knowledge

This paper reconstructs the contentious view of biological sympathy that Bergson developed in Creative Evolution. It was this view that Bertrand Russell had in mind—in particular, that philosophical intuition is a species of sympathy, not intelligence—when he charged that intuition is at its best in bats, bees, and Bergson. Insults aside, I do not think that Bergson’s idea of sympathy has yet to receive the critical scholarly attention it deserves. This paper begins to address that lack.

Bergson’s case study for his idea of sympathy was the relationship between parasitizing wasps (Ammophilaand Sphex) and their prey (caterpillars and crickets). He claimed that the appearance of knowledge exhibited in the parasites concerning the bodies of their prey should be considered a form of internal access, i.e., of biological sympathy. Parasites do not know the anatomy of their prey the way entomologists do, from the outside, mediated by concepts. They know their prey directly, via sympathetic rapport. I begin the paper by returning to Bergson’s source material for this case, entomologist Henri J. Fabre’s Souvenirs entomologiques. I review Fabre’s insights into the Sphex wasp and the controversy in mechanistic studies of instinct surrounding the way Fabre described the wasp in terms of a sophisticated knowledge regarding its prey. Then I situate Bergson’s use of the case in the context of Fabre’s uptake in philosophy and criticism by, for instance, the Peckhams, for conflating so-called “blind instinct” with intelligent action. I show that Bergson is well aware of the criticisms of the case and is capable of responding to them by rigorously distinguishing two forms of knowledge, instinctual from intellectual. What is at work in parasitic relationships is a form of instinctual knowledge, which is what Bergson intends to capture with the concept of sympathy.

I conclude the paper by venturing some provisional claims regarding Bergson’s extension of the idea of sympathy across all centers of life, on the basis of the fact that they are all unified internally via their common heritage in the evolutionary process, whether they deploy that internal unity for parasitic purchase on each other’s anatomies or not. I suggest that Bergson’s theory of sympathy, appropriately generalized, can be recast in terms of the more recent study of symbiosis. Thus, far from the bizarre irrationalism that Russell ridiculed it for, this view of sympathy may be closer to the contemporary science than scholars have yet to appreciate.

Joel Dolbeault (Université de Lille 3) –  The Bergsonian Hypothesis of a Unity of Living Beings

In Creative Evolution, Bergson asserts that, despite its division into multiple lineages and individuals, life forms a single whole (Bergson, CE, Dover, 43, 54, 167, 250, 259). The aim of this presentation will be twofold: on the one hand, to explain this somewhat strange assertion; on the other hand, to explain why Bergson defends this idea. The main stakes will be as follows: to grasp the originality of the hypothesis of the élan vital (in relation to vitalism in particular) and to show that this metaphysical hypothesis aims to explain a set of biological facts.

1) As in classical vitalism, Bergson conceives of life as a special force. However, as opposed to classical vitalism, he thinks that this force is psychic in nature. Moreover, he makes the hypothesis that, despite the physical multiplicity of organisms, life forms a single psychic whole. This relation between physical multiplicity and psychic unity is understandable from the ideas developed by Bergson in Matter and Memory.

2) The hypothesis of the élan vital aims to explain biological facts. The idea that life forms a single psychic whole is part of this hypothesis. For Bergson, this idea can explain evolutionary convergences (CE, ch. I), the phenomenon of instinct (ch. II), or even the tendency of organisms to associate (ch. III).

Chair: Mathilde Tahar (Université de Toulouse II)

18 Mars 2022, 14h-16h30 GMT+1 (Paris time) – Machine and Organism

Bruno Rates (Universidade de São Paulo) – Bergson and the Birth of « machinisme »: The Law of Double Frenzy and the Debate with Edouard Dolléans, Gina Lombroso, Paul Mantoux et Louis Weber

Timothy Deane-Freeman (Deakin University) – Inside Out: Germinal Organization in Bergson and Simondon

Chair: Emanuele Clarizio (Université Catholique de Lille)

6 mai 2022 (14h-16h30 heure de Paris) : Bergson et la littérature

Bruno Clément (Paris VIII) – Pour une chorégraphie du discours philosophique – sur quelques propositions d’Henri Bergson

Clément Girardi (Sorbonne Université, CELLF) – Handke et Bergson : habiter, cohabiter 

Chair : Ioulia Podoroga (Institut de philosophie de l’Académie russe des sciences)

New Bergson Bibliography – Coordination Meeting, February 15, 2022 (online)

The project to establish a new bibliography on the thought of Henri Bergson is part of the broader international research project on “Global Bergsonism”. 

The second edition of the most recent complete Bergsonian bibliography, edited by Pete A. Y. Gunter, dates from 1986. It is urgent that a new bibliography be made available to researchers, updated in two directions: firstly to integrate certain linguistic and cultural areas that are only partially represented by Gunter’s bibliography; and also to present the last 36 years of research, which have been among the most productive for Bergsonian researchers around the world, as well as for the edition of Bergson’s manuscripts, correspondence and courses. The new Bergson Bibliography will be the most comprehensive and accessible directory of Bergson studies. It will be a widely distributed, multilingual bibliography, based on the open source software Zotero, available online without a license.

From 2020 to 2021, the project was coordinated by Matyas Moravec, who achieved extraordinary results in bringing the bibliography to more than 1700 entries and to whom we extend our warmest thanks, as well as to all other contributors.

As of the end of 2021, the project will be coordinated by Alessandro Taverniti (Università degli studi di Torino) and Caterina Zanfi (ENS/CNRS).

This collective project is crowdsourced. Every contribution is important. If you wish to participate in this project and share your bibliography on Bergson studies, you are warmly welcome in our coordination meeting on February 15, 2022 at 12:00 Paris time, via Zoom. No previous knowledge of Zotero is required. 

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 942 3888 0874
Passcode: 71EJEN

Book Review: Einstein vs. Bergson. An Enduring Quarrel On Time. Alessandra Campo and Simone Gozzano (eds), 2022

Alfonso Lanzieri

Clock time, time of consciousness. Lived time, time of nature. If the issue of time has always been one of the most difficult in the history of Western philosophical and scientific thought, one of the most discussed points is the relationship between an objective time, quantitative, and a subjective time, qualitative, and their our own natures. A decisive date in the history of this debate is 6 April 1922: on that day, in fact, took place in Paris the meeting between Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson, the clash between the ‘greatest physicist of the 20th century’ and the ‘philosopher of France’. Topic of the debate: the Einsteinian theory of relativity.

Continuer la lecture

Book Review: Cosmogenesi dell’esperienza. Il campo trascendentale impersonale da Bergson a Deleuze, Giulio Piatti, 2021

Francesco Pugliaro, KU Leuven, Belgium / FWO

Cosmogenesi dell’esperienza. Il campo trascendentale impersonale da Bergson a Deleuze (“Cosmogenesis of Experience. The Impersonal Transcendental Field from Bergson to Deleuze”), written by Giulio Piatti, is the fifth book published by Mimesis as part of the Canone minore series, directed by Rocco Ronchi, for which Piatti had already edited the first Italian translation of Jean Wahl’s seminal work, Vers le concret [1]. In the book Piatti stages a complex scene, by moving multiple authors and concepts in and out of the frame in order to map the migrations of an idea, and to measure its effects on 20th century philosophy, from Bergson to Deleuze (via Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Hyppolite, Ruyer, Simondon). It is the idea of an impersonal transcendental field, which – as Ronchi brightly suggests in the Preface – “does not belong to the history but to the chemistry of philosophical thought” (p. 9), as a recurring factor in the processes of composition of modern philosophies. In the strictest sense, the idea refers to the effort to understand experience beyond any exclusively anthropological framework, by regressing to a field of existence in which the subject (and its relation to the world) emerges as an internal effect, as “one of the many vicissitudes of the world” (p. 145). Piatti’s book reconstructs a vast conceptual environment – at the intersection of an investigation of experience, a redefinition of the transcendental gesture, and a meditation on nature – and this is exactly where its strength lies. It does not treat the notion of impersonal transcendental field as a unitary (and hyper-technical) concept, to be examined in a comparative study of different authors, but rather as a shared insistence: to seize experience at its root, along the lines of development of a plural universe.

Continuer la lecture

Programme: The revival of Bergson in the Twenty-First Century 26 November 2021 – Ateneum The Finnish National Gallery

Organised by the project ‘Science, Literature and Research’, funded by the Kone Foundation, at the University of Helsinki

What explains the renewed interest in Henri Bergson’s philosophy of time, memory and creative evolution at the start of the twenty-first century? Having been dismissed as a “serious philosopher” in the post-Second World war period – in no small part as a consequence of the celebrity status of this philosopher, who is said to have caused the first traffic jam on Broadway with his 1913 lecture at Columbia – the revival of Bergson in the anglophone world owed much to the English translation of Gilles Deleuze’ 1966 essay on Bergsonism in 1988. This event was soon accompanied by a resurgence of anti-Bergsonism in the context of science wars in the following decade, prompted by the alleged mistreatment of natural science by postmodern philosophers. The ‘Sokal affair’ and the book Intellectual Impostures (1998) by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont amounted to a warning that philosophers should not meddle in scientific affairs out of their reach – Bergson’s conversation with Einstein in 1922 was invoked as a warning example – or concern themselves too much with the implications of contemporary science for our worldview.

Continuer la lecture

Assemblée générale (en ligne) 23 octobre 2021

L’Assemblée Générale de la Société des amis de Bergson se tiendra le samedi 23 octobre 2020 de 14 heures à 15 heures 30 CEST (heure de Paris), en ligne. Les membres de la SAB auront accès au lien de la réunion via la newsletter Bergson News. Vous pouvez adhérer ici

Ordre du jour:

1. Rapport moral 
– Rapport des activités de l’année 2020/2021
– Publications : nouvelle revue Bergsoniana, recensions, bibliographie et autres outils en ligne (site)
– Global Bergsonism : état d’avancement du projet ; colloque en ligne de Fukuoka ; Atelier Bergson à partir de janvier

2. Rapport financier
– Cotisation en ligne via HelloAsso
– Entrées et dépenses

3. Communication (carnet, facebook, twitter, newsletter)

4. Bibliographie Zotero et autres outils

5. Prochaines activités 
– Webinaire sru Bergson en Asie de l’Est, Université de Fukuoka (en ligne) : 12, 18 et 19 novembre 2021
– Calendrier du projet Global Bergsonism
– Prochains numéros de Bergsoniana

6. Publications et activités des membres 

7. Questions diverses 

Nous espérons vous y voir nombreu·ses·eux.

Bien cordialement à chacun·e,  

Caterina Zanfi (Présidente)
Arnaud Bouaniche (Secrétaire)
Mathilde Tahar (Trésorière)

Publication: Bergsoniana


Nous avons le plaisir de vous présenter le premier numéro de Bergsoniana. Nouvelle publication de référence de la Société des amis de Bergson, animée par une équipe scientifique internationale renouvelée, cette revue bilingue, annuelle et en accès ouvert marque une nouvelle étape, après la série des Annales bergsoniennes.
Le premier numéro présente le dossier “Reassessing Bergson”, édité par Matyáš Moravec, la correspondance inédite entre Bergson et l’élève de Jung, Adolf Keller, ainsi que des “Varia”. Le numéro est disponible en ligne ici et la version papier (impression à la demande) sera disponible prochainement. 

Table des matières: 

Continuer la lecture

Online Workshop: Déjà-vu and memory. Bergson and Modern Philosophy of Memory – September 12, 2021- Project Bergson in Japan

A cross-boundary exchange that aims to reboot Bergson’s theory of déjà-vu, with reference to current physiological and philosophical views on déjà-vécu and déjà-vu.

Talk : “A neo-Bergsonian view about déjà-vu”
by Denis Perrin (Université Grenoble Alps / Centre for Philosophy of Memory)
Respondent 1: Ken’ichi Hara (Hokkaido University)
Respondent 2: Yasushi Hirai (Fukuoka University)

Date: September 12, 2021, 17:00-18:30 (JST)
Place: Zoom (registration required)

Organised by PBJ (Project Bergson in Japan) and Berutetsuken.
Supported by Société Franco-Japonaise de la Philosophie


Programme Fukuoka Meeting of the Global Bergsonism Research Project (an online webinar) – 12, 18, 19 November 2021 – Fukuoka University, Japan

Of all the philosophies of the early 20th century, Bergsonism has known the widest diffusion, creating a true global intellectual movement, producing local interpretations and new semantizations of Bergson’s thought. The Global Bergsonism research project aims to produce, via local chapters, a global history of Bergsonism, considered as an emblematic case of philosophical transfer.

In November 2021 a webinar will be hosted by Fukuoka University, in the framework of the CNRS IRN project “Un chapitre dans l’histoire globale de la philosophie. Nouvelles perspectives sur le bergsonisme” and in synergy with the “Project Bergson in Japan” (PBJ) led by Japanese Bergsonian scholars, to focus on Bergson studies in the East Asian area.

We are happy to present the programme below

Continuer la lecture

‘Time, Freedom, and Creativity: Bergsonian Perspectives’ – 29th-30th July 2021 – Report by Yasushi Hirai and Barry Dainton

On the 29th and 30th of July, PBJ(Project Bergson in Japan) and Barry Dainton hosted an online workshop ‘Time, Freedom, and Creativity: Bergsonian Perspectives’.

Barry Dainton is a leading analytical philosopher in the field of temporal experience and has been playing a central role in PBJ events since 2015.  In his presentation “Unity and Irreducibility” Dainton undertook a sharp conceptual investigation into the connection between the holistic, inter-mirroring character of the Bergsonian multiplicity and the ‘co-consciousness’ approach to synchronic and diachronic phenomenal unity.

Yasushi Hirai connected Bergson’s understanding of causality with the modern ‘manipulationist’ view (von Wright and others), pointing out the former’s emphasis on the ‘lived and felt’ aspect of the sense of agency as an essential difference from the latter. Referring to Godfrey-Smith’s action-shaping view, he proposed a micro-macro level distinction in Bergson’s account of the emergence of phenomenal consciousness.

Continuer la lecture

III Seminário Bergson UFSCar (online), 9-11 août 2021

Nous avons le plaisir d’annoncer le programme du troisième Séminaire Bergson organisé par l’Universidade Federal de São Carlos et l’Universidade Federal do Paranà, qui se tiendra en ligne. Pour s’inscrire et pour télécharger les résumés des interventions, nous vous renvoyons au site du séminaire : 


Continuer la lecture

Online Workshop: Time, Freedom, and Creativity: Bergsonian Perspectives – July 29-30 2021 – Project Bergson in Japan

Dates: July 29, 30.
Time: JST: 17:00-19:00, 21:00-23:00.
Place: Zoom, virtually London (Registeration Required)
Organizers: Project Bergson in Japan and Barry Dainton



17:00-19:00, Chair: Barry Dainton
Yaron Wolf, Coinciding with Time’s Flow: from Perception to the Manifest Image
Yasushi Hirai, Bergson on Causality

21:00-23:00, Chair: Hisashi Fujita
Kaoru Kamiyama, Bergson on Sympathy
Anne Sophie Meincke, With Bergson Towards a New Bio-Processual Metaphysics of Free Will or: Why Contemporary Philosophers of Free Will Ought to Read Bergson


17:00-19:00, Chair: Tatsuya Murayama
Barry Dainton, Unity and Irreducibility
Hisashi Fujita, On Personality: Analytical and Bergsonian Approaches

21:00-23:00, Chair: Yasushi Hirai
Tatsuya Murayama, Bergson on the Indefinability of Freedom
General Discussion

Register here


Call for papers: Fukuoka Meeting of the Global Bergsonism Research Project (an online webinar) – 12, 18, 19 November 2021 – Fukuoka University, Japan



Of all the philosophies of the early 20th century, Bergsonism has known the widest diffusion, creating a true global intellectual movement, producing local interpretations and new semantizations of Bergson’s thought. The Global Bergsonism research project aims to produce, via local chapters, a global history of Bergsonism, considered as an emblematic case of philosophical transfer.

A webinar hosted by Penn State University in November 2020 showed the vitality of Bergson studies in North American area by creating fertile crossroads of perspectives, particularly on the question of ecology, life sciences and politics, and postcolonial philosophy. In the next years the project will encourage further research, through five international meetings in Japan, Brazil, Cameroon, Lithuania and Turkey in the framework of the CNRS International Research Network (IRN) “A Chapter in the Global History of Philosophy: New Perspectives on Bergsonism”, whose goals are the writing of a world history of Bergsonism, making available the philosophical contributions to Bergson studies from all over the world, and establishing an international network of scholars and activities in Bergson studies from different geographical areas.

In November 2021 a webinar will be hosted by Fukuoka University, in synergy with the “Project Bergson in Japan” (PBJ) led by Japanese Bergsonian scholars, to focus on Bergson studies in the East Asian area.

Continuer la lecture

Bergson and Vitalism(s): An Online Workshop – April 29-30, 2021 | Ghent University – University Toulouse Jean Jaurès

This workshop aims to provide a reassessment of the relationship between Bergson’s philosophy of life and vitalism by combining perspectives from historians of philosophy, historians of science, and philosophers. Such a reassessment is needed to gain better understanding of Bergson’s role in the history and philosophy of biology as well as provide a reappraisal of Bergson’s contribution to current debates in biology and the philosophy of biology.


Note 1: Register in advance for this webinar:

Note 2: All times below are UTC+2.

Continuer la lecture