“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Gilles Deleuze’s and Arthur Young’s Bergsonisms: An Outline and Notes

I’ve just finished Gilles Deleuze’s book Bergsonism (1990). Here is my outline of the text: Deleuze’s Bergsonism: Notes and Outline.

Bergson suggested that the Absolute had to be approached from two sides, the scientific and the metaphysical. Science/Intellect considers the universe according to a series of states. Metaphysics/Intuition considers the universe according to the self-differentiation of a whole.

Here is a video creating/communicating the thoughts of Tom McDonald on Deleuze’s Philosophy of Cinema:

Here is Arthur Young speaking about Bergson and his argument with Einstein about the nature of time:

Young speaks of the photon’s quantum of action at the microcosmic level being productive of time. He counts it as the primordial cycle of learning, the first instance when matter finds itself mixed with memory, perception mixed with recollection.

Young suggests that natural science/physics needs to take into consideration not only the objective and inanimate, but the projective and active aspect of physical nature: i.e., light. Only then will science be able to account for perceptive life and subjective mind further up the scale of cosmic complexity.


5 responses to “Gilles Deleuze’s and Arthur Young’s Bergsonisms: An Outline and Notes”

  1. mary Avatar

    First of all allow me to apologize for the tone of my comment I made on “Philosophy and the City”,…it was impatient, which is an impatience with myself as I try and comprehend, which for me is a major effort to slow my mind down, to think like a philosopher, which I am not. My mind leaps ahead and grasps the feelings of the lures in everyone’s thoughts, which are quite amazing, and so very much appreciated, but I then I don’t retain much of the vocabulary for thought-constructing, because the aesthetic unity….the univocity inspires.spontaneous lines and colors, appearing gifts to my mind’s eye, and I see to just draw a poem or a prayer for the world.
    I just finished reading “Bergsonism” also, and your outline is so very helpful! mostly pp.94- 100, in the Elan Vital ch. …on the virtual vs possible, because I kept leaping to the concept of the virtual as an intuition of the Causal body in Steiner and Aurobindo …( the construction of a causal body is a solution to the problem posed in terms of form..I paraphrased)


    ….that virtual actualization was the imagination of the cosmos as creativity, the ‘ideal’ of Whitehead, which is incomplete in Einstein….

    I must mention the artist that came to mind while reading this lovely book, and also reading Shaviro’s essay:

    Click to access DeleuzeWhitehead.pdf

    Franz Marc painted animals, forests, beams of light, the occasions of unity between living creatures and the light, rendered in a cubist style, yet not merely the geometry of spaciality, …..more the unity of the multiplicity of becomings, their duration…..Marc paints the vision of Bergson”s metaphysics-to- Einstein,.. beyond the initial interpretations of cubist thought. Marc illustrates “that differentiation is never a negation but a creation,..” 103……light itself as a “cumulative nexus of occurences” (Lowe,237, philosophy of organism).
    Here: two horses

    and here in this tender exquisite painting;

    the light, the angles of shadow and tone, in an organic of the mathematics adequate to life, the actual becomes “adequate to the virtual”.
    Marc’s paintings recover the intensity of experience Whitehead hoped for humanity, and open one to deep affection for all creatures.
    thank you again, Matt, for so much sharing.

    1. Matthew David Segall Avatar


      No need to apologize! If anything, I should apologize for not responding yet. I always appreciate your comments for their depth of feeling and intuitive expression. Please don’t hesitate to leap!!


  2. Page not found « Footnotes 2 Plato Avatar

    […] Gilles Deleuze’s and Arthur Young’s Bergsonisms: An Outline and Notes […]

  3. Deleuze’s Platonism and Cosmic Artisanry « Footnotes 2 Plato Avatar

    […] Gilles Deleuze’s and Arthur Young’s Bergsonisms: An Outline and Notes (footnotes2plato.com) […]

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: