Archives de l’auteur : Caterina Zanfi

À propos Caterina Zanfi

Chargée de recherche CNRS UMR 8547 Pays germaniques - Transferts culturels Ecole normale supérieure, Paris

Atelier Bergson — Bergson et l’éducation

La prochaine séance de l’Atelier Bergson aura lieu sur Zoom le 12 avril 2023 de 14h à 16h30 (CET)

Lien Zoom :

Meeting ID: 950 9606 0568
mot de passe: hqxn4

Mélanie Weill (chercheuse indépendante) : Life and education: the influence of bergsonism on Montessori pedagogy

In the aftermath of the First World War, a great movement aiming to reform education took place in Europe, called “new” or “alternative” or “active” education. The new educators questioned the authoritarian way teachers related to their students in the 19th century, defended children’s rights, and renewed the notions of what it is to learn and to teach. Reading the works of medical doctor and pedagogue Maria Montessori, I noticed the repeated presence of bergsonian vocabulary. In the introduction of The formation of man (1949), an overview of her life’s work, the major figure of New Education places Bergson’s most famous concept at the heart of her pedagogy, stating that “Our first teacher will be (…) theélan vital”. In this talk I will defend the idea that a lot of aspects of New Education can be seen as practical applications of Bergson’s philosophy. 

Liselott-Mariett Olsson (Associate Professor in Pedagogy, Malmö University) : Becoming Pedagogue: Bergson and the Aesthetics of Early Childhood Education and Care

Throughout the history of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), aesthetics has played a prominent role, and it has been practically and theoretically treated as concerning the relation between matter and mind in a non-dualistic and integrated way. However, in the contemporary educational situation the aesthetic dimension is neglected, and the components of the relation are no longer “held together” (Olsson 2023). A certain kind of “abstract formalism” (Løvlie 2007), expressed not the least in ever-growing “neuromania” (Vandenbroeck et al. 2017) and “standards and accountability movements” (Taubman 2009) in ECEC, has taken over the discourse on education, obliterating the aesthetic dimension and relation as well as pedagogical practices and theories connected to these.

To address this, some decisive parts of Bergson’s major work Matter and Memory (1896/1991) are of value and use, not the least the critique of epiphenomenalism and parallelism in neuroscientific explanations of the human mind, as well as the critical and creative account of the relation between matter and mind herein displayed. Bergson approaches the problem by showing how the dualism between mind and matter becomes settled when space is allowed to intervene and through perception produce a distance and a division between mind and matter – between “our mind” and “our body” (including our material brain) as well as between “our mind” and “things”. This spatialized vision is due to how perception is directed towards action that pragmatically and reductively deforms matter. This, however, is not the only or even the true nature of matter and the quest that Bergson begins with this book concerns therefore to restore to matter (including our own body and its brain) its “ultimate reality”[1] (Worms 2013:112, my translation). The main thesis is double: “the critique of space is extended to the perception of matter, leading to a metaphysics of duration, that in turn is extended to the reality of matter[2] (Worms 2013a:113, my translation).

In this presentation I will further explore this thesis and its potential synergies with the aesthetics of ECEC by proceeding through three movements: 1) critically identifying abstract formalism as a badly stated problem in ECEC, 2) making an inventory of some pedagogical-aesthetical practices and theories in ECEC, and 3) suggesting some creative and contemporary contributions for how to practically and theoretically re-activate aesthetics in ECEC.


Bergson, H. (1896/1991) Matter and Memory. New York: Zone Books.

Løvlie, L. (2007) The pedagogy of place, Nordisk Pedagogik, 27 (1), 32-36.

Olsson, L. M. (2023) Becoming Pedagogue – Bergson and the Aesthetics, Ethics and Politics of Early Childhood Education and Care. London & New York: Routledge.

Taubman, P. M. (2009). Teaching by numbers: Deconstructing the discourse of standards and accountability in education. New York: Routledge.

Vandenbroeck. M., DeVos J., Fias, W., Olsson, L. M., Penn, H., Wastell, D., and White, S. (2017) Constructions of neuroscience in early childhood education. London: Routledge.

Worms, F. (2013 2e éd.) Bergson ou les deux sens de la vie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

[1] réalité ultime 

[2] la critique de l’espace, étendue à la perception de la matière, conduit à une métaphysique de la durée, elle-même étendue à la réalité de la matière

Chair : Maria Adriana Camargo Cappello (Universidade Federal do Paraná)

Appel à communications : Réunion africaine du projet sur le bergsonisme global — 11-12 et 18-19 Janvier 2024 — Université de Yaoundé 1 et Zoom

Barthélémy Toguo, Take a Green Breath, 2017

Colloque international: Le clos et l’ouvert. Bergson, l’Afrique et le monde contemporain (Université de Yaoundé 1 et Zoom)

11-12 et 18-19 Janvier 2024

Il est proposé, pour la rencontre de 2023 sur le bergsonisme dans l’histoire globale de la philosophie, piloté par l’Afrique à partir du Cameroun, de tenter d’utiliser une grille conceptuelle bergsonienne d’interprétation de l’évolution des affaires humaines centrée sur les concepts de « société ouverte » et de « société close ». La mondialisation, non pas comme ouverture, mais paradoxalement comme avènement d’un « village planétaire » d’une part et, d’autre part, l’apparition de nouvelles formes de revendications identitaires se fondant sur les principes de liberté, de respect des droits des êtres humains, tout autant que sur les grandes avancées dans la recherche scientifique et technologique, peuvent-elles être interprétées et comprises par référence en particulier aux concepts bergsoniens de « société ouverte » et de « société close », sans oublier celui d’un évolutionnisme par création d’imprévisibles nouveautés ?

Continuer la lecture

Call for Contributions: New Bergson Bibliography

The CNRS International Research Network A Chapter in a Global History of Philosophy. New Perspectives on Bergsonism, is producing a new and up-to-date bibliography of studies on Bergson, completely open access on Zotero.

The bibliography responds to the global history vocation of the research project and is divided according to a geographical criterion. The coordinators of the project, Alessandro Taverniti (University of Pavia) and Caterina Zanfi (CNRS/ENS), are seeking contributors from or with expertise in philosophy of the following areas: Argentina, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, India, Israel, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela, Vietnam.

While the current team has a majority of early-career contributors (master’s students, Ph.D. students, young researchers), we are nevertheless open to collaborating with researchers at all levels.

Those interested can contact me directly at the following email address:

Continuer la lecture

Brazil Meeting of the Global Bergsonism Research Project (an online webinar) – 18, 24 and 25 of November, 2022 – Universidade Federal de São Carlos

Based on the pioneering work of Bento Prado Júnior and Franklin Leopoldo e Silva, Bergsonian studies have developed significantly in Brazil over the last 20 years. This includes a thematic diversity that allows a rich dialogue with other scholars around the world. Our participation in the CNRS International Research Network “A Chapter in a Global History of Philosophy : New Perspectives on Bergsonism” intends to expand this exchange even further and, thus, the research horizon around Bergson’s philosophy. The openness of his thought, related to the fundamental idea of the continuous transformation of time, leads us to strengthen our ties while looking forward to new interlocutors, especially from Latin America, beyond the consolidated connection with France.

This Webinar will be an occasion to discuss the potentialities of Bergon’s work, explored in an original way through the diversity of schools and academic backgrounds of all continents. We hope to encourage and foster discussions in a concrete practice of “ouverture” – mental, cultural and social – renewing questions and problematizations.


Ernesto Neto, We Fishing the Time, 2001



Continuer la lecture

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 (CNRS/Ens).

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.

For Zotero beginners: a basic knowledge of this tool is required. Thank you for registering to Zotero downloading it before the meeting, as shown in these short tutorials.  

If you are interested in participating, thank you for sending a registration message to Alessandro Taverniti before the meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 942 3888 0874
Passcode: 71EJEN

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)

‘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

Le CNRS soutient le projet sur le bergsonisme dans l’histoire globale de la philosophie par un IRN

Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique soutient par son outil de coopération international International Research Network le projet “Un chapitre dans l’histoire globale de la philosophie : Nouvelles perspectives sur le bergsonisme” de 2021 à 2025.

Les débats méthodologiques sur l’histoire globale et les transferts culturels ont été extrêmement animés au cours des dernières décennies et ont montré leur fertilité dans la plupart des domaines.

Cependant, en ce qui concerne l’histoire de la philosophie, de telles recherches font encore défaut. La méthodologie de ces enquêtes n’est pas bien définie et dépend encore beaucoup des approches nationales. Les recherches actuelles sur l’histoire de la philosophie, en particulier sur le 20e siècle, traitent néanmoins non seulement des variations historiques au sein des systèmes de pensée, mais aussi des questions relatives à la circulation globale des tendances philosophiques.

Continuer la lecture

Call for papers : First Annual Meeting of the Global Bergsonism Research Project

First Annual Meeting of the

Global Bergsonism Research Project

November 6-7, 2020

Penn State University

Nittany Lion Inn

University Park, PA, USA

Henri Bergson’s writings and the ‘Bergsonian’ approach, especially questions of time, human freedom, evolution, memory, and society dramatically transformed the intellectual landscape of the 20th century. Thus, Bergsonism as an intellectual, philosophical orientation reached well beyond France and Europe. The research project is about the comprehension and theoretization of this reality. Numerous works were written in many geographical centers on the reception, perception, interpretation, and the reproduction of Bergsonian ideas, but still several questions need to be answered in this process: What is implied by the global nature of Bergsonism and what did the twentieth century intellectuals find in Bergson that was so pertinent to the intellectual, political, and social issues that they experienced?  To what issues did it respond outside of the Western milieu? Who was interested in Bergsonian approaches and for what reasons? Why did certain type of authors harshly react to Bergson? In which creative ways did World Bergsonians see something of their own traditions and solutions to problems of global modernity? Exploring Bergsonism as an example of the globalization of philosophical modernism through these questions will allow us to obtain a clearer understanding of its transformations in particular historical contexts in more detail and across cases. Analyses of Bergson need to be discussed not only by texts written in local languages but also via the social and scholarly context of that specific area.

Continuer la lecture

‘Reassessing Bergson’ – 11th-12th September 2019, Pembroke College, Cambridge – Report by Matyáš Moravec

In 1912, Bertrand Russell presented his Philosophy of Bergson to ‘The Heretics’ society in Cambridge. Though not the first – and certainly not the last – attack against Bergsonian thought from an analytic philosopher, Russell’s criticism played a crucial part in the rejection of Bergson by the mainstream of English-speaking philosophy. In the past few years, this has, for the first time, started to change. His work has begun to receive rigorous and ingenious reassessments from philosophers from outside the philosophical traditions with which he is almost canonically bound. One of the aims of the Reassessing Bergson event, which took place on 11-12th September 2019 in Pembroke College, Cambridge, was not merely to undo the damage instigated by Russell over one hundred years ago, but also to expand and reassess Bergson’s legacy.


Continuer la lecture