Bergson, Henri

(1859–1941)
   French philosopher and Nobel laureate, 1928. Bergson was one of the most eminent and influential philosophers of his time. Though his father was from Poland and his mother from England, he was born in Paris and became a naturalized Frenchman. He taught philosophy at various academies and in 1900 was appointed professor at the Collège de France. His lectures and books made him internationally renowned for the originality of his ideas and his concise, lucid and elegant style. In 1918, he was elected a member of the Académie Française, the highest intellectual distinction in France. He stopped teaching and took an active part in public affairs. He led a cultural mission to the United States, and was president of the League of Nations Committee for Intellectual Co-operation. In 1928, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
   Bergson maintained his Jewish identity throughout his life. With the German invasion of France in 1940, the Vichy government, headed by Marshal Pétain, offered him exemption from the anti-Jewish laws that were brought into force. Though eighty-one years old and in poor health, he rejected the offer and insisted on standing in line to be registered as a Jew. His basic philosophical theory took shape at the age of twenty-five during solitary walks while teaching at Clermont-Ferrand. He analyzed the essence of being in terms of duration and change, thereby breaking with the Platonic doctrines that had influenced philosophy till then. He insisted that reality could be apprehended by intuition rather than by the rational intelligence. He made little attempt to elaborate a general system of philosophy, preferring to examine and elucidate specific problems such as memory, free will and evolution. His best-known works are Time and Free Will (1910; orig. Fr., 1889), Creative Evolution (1911; orig. Fr., 1907), Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1935; orig. Fr., 1932).

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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  • Bergson, Henri — ▪ French philosopher Introduction in full  Henri Louis Bergson  born Oct. 18, 1859, Paris, France died Jan. 4, 1941, Paris  French philosopher, the first to elaborate what came to be called a process philosophy, which rejected static values in… …   Universalium

  • Bergson, Henri — (1859 1941)    by Felicity J. Colman   Deleuze has been credited with restoring French philosopher Henri Bergson to the canon of key thinkers of his generation, and Bergson s work continues to impact disciplines concerned with time, movement,… …   The Deleuze dictionary

  • Bergson, Henri — (1859 1941)    by Felicity J. Colman   Deleuze has been credited with restoring French philosopher Henri Bergson to the canon of key thinkers of his generation, and Bergson s work continues to impact disciplines concerned with time, movement,… …   The Deleuze dictionary

  • Bergson, Henri — (1859–1941)    Philosopher.    Bergson was born in Paris, to Jewish parents. Between 1900 and 1924 he held a chair at the Collège de France; he was elected to the Académie Française in 1914 and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1928. Among his… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Bergson, Henri — (1859 1941)    philosopher    Born in Paris, Bergson was professor at the CoLlège de france from 1900 to 1914. As a thinker, he left an abundance of philosophical writings, including Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (1889),… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Bergson, Henri — (1859–1941) French philosopher and evolutionist. Born in Paris, in 1900 Bergson became professor at the Collège de France, and held the post until 1921. His fluent and accessible works with their uplifting spiritual content led to many honours in …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Bergson, Henri — (1859 1941)    French philosopher. Born in Paris, he taught philosophy at the Angers Lycee and later at Clermont Ferrard. In 1889 he returned to Paris and in 1900 became professor at the College de France. In 1928 he received the Nobel Prize for… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • BERGSON, HENRI LOUIS — (1859–1941), French philosopher. His father, michael bergson , came from a distinguished Warsaw family; his mother from England. He was born in Paris and from 1881 taught philosophy at the Angers Lycée and subsequently at Clermont Ferrand, where… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Bergson, Henri (-Louis) — born Oct. 15, 1859, Paris, France died Jan. 4, 1941, Paris French philosopher. In Creative Evolution (1907), he argued that evolution, which he accepted as scientific fact, is not mechanistic but driven by an élan vital ( vital impulse ). He was… …   Universalium

  • Bergson,Henri Louis — Berg·son (bĕrgʹsən, bĕrg sôɴʹ), Henri Louis. 1859 1941. French philosopher and writer whose popular and accessible works, including Creative Evolution (1907) and The Creative Mind (1934), largely concern the importance of intuition as a means of… …   Universalium

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