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Creative Evolution   By: (1859-1941)

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First Page:

CREATIVE EVOLUTION

BY HENRI BERGSON

MEMBER OF THE INSTITUTE PROFESSOR AT THE COLLEGE DE FRANCE

AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION BY ARTHUR MITCHELL, PH.D.

NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1911

COPYRIGHT, 1911, by

HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

CAMELOT PRESS, 18 20 OAK STREET, NEW YORK

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

In the writing of this English translation of Professor Bergson's most important work, I was helped by the friendly interest of Professor William James, to whom I owe the illumination of much that was dark to me as well as the happy rendering of certain words and phrases for which an English equivalent was difficult to find. His sympathetic appreciation of Professor Bergson's thought is well known, and he has expressed his admiration for it in one of the chapters of A Pluralistic Universe . It was his intention, had he lived to see the completion of this translation, himself to introduce it to English readers in a prefatory note.

I wish to thank my friend, Dr. George Clarke Cox, for many valuable suggestions.

I have endeavored to follow the text as closely as possible, and at the same time to preserve the living union of diction and thought. Professor Bergson has himself carefully revised the whole work. We both of us wish to acknowledge the great assistance of Miss Millicent Murby. She has kindly studied the translation phrase by phrase, weighing each word, and her revision has resulted in many improvements.

But above all we must express our acknowledgment to Mr. H. Wildon Carr, the Honorary Secretary of the Aristotelian Society of London, and the writer of several studies of "Evolution Creatrice."[1] We asked him to be kind enough to revise the proofs of our work. He has done much more than revise them: they have come from his hands with his personal mark in many places. We cannot express all that the present work owes to him.

ARTHUR MITCHELL

HARVARD UNIVERSITY

CONTENTS

PAGE

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... Continue reading book >>




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