Bergson and the Development of Sartre’s Thought

in Research in Phenomenology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of Henri Bergson to the philosophical development of Jean-Paul Sartre’s thought. Despite Sartre’s early enthusiasm for Bergson’s description of consciousness, and the frequent references to Bergson in Sartre’s early work, there has been virtually no analysis of the influence of Bergson’s thought on Sartre’s development. This paper addresses this deficit. The first part of the paper explores Sartre’s analysis of the function of the imagination in his two early works on the subject, The Imagination, and The Imaginary. I argue that many of Sartre’s central criticisms of what he calls “the illusion of immanence” can be traced back to Bergson, and that, despite Sartre’s rejection of Bergson’s account of consciousness, Sartre’s account of the imagination is still heavily indebted to Bergson’s logic of multiplicities. The second part argues that Sartre’s analysis of the imagination leads, in Being and Nothingness, to an account of freedom that still bears traces of his early Bergsonism, even if it reverses the direction of Bergson’s own analysis of freedom.

Bergson and the Development of Sartre’s Thought

in Research in Phenomenology

Sections

References

4

Ibid.77.

5

Ibid.79.

8

BergsonTime and Free Will127.

9

Ibid.100–1.

12

SartreThe Imagination5.

13

Ibid.7.

14

Ibid.7.

18

David HumeA Treatise of Human Nature (London: Penguin1985) 1.1.1.

19

SartreThe Imagination84. As Sartre notes there are instances when we appear to take images for perceptions such as when we mistake a tree trunk for a man. In these kinds of cases he claims that what he have is a false interpretation of a real perception rather than a confusion between a perception and an image.

20

See SartreThe Imagination92.

21

SartreThe Imagination96.

23

SartreThe Imaginary27.

28

SartreThe Imaginary60.

30

SartreTranscendence of the Ego85.

31

C.f. for instance Stephen PriestThe Subject in Question: Sartre’s Critique of Husserl in The Transcendence of the Ego (London: Routledge2000) which despite offering a book length study of the Transcendence of the Ego does not take up any of Sartre’s references to Bergson in this work.

32

SartreThe Imaginary60.

33

SartreThe Imagination143.

34

BergsonCreative Evolution36–7.

35

SartreThe Imagination143.

37

SartreThe Imagination7.

38

SartreThe Imagination4.

39

SartreThe Imaginary10.

40

Ibid.8.

42

SartreThe Imaginary130.

43

Ibid.131.

44

Ibid.132.

45

Ibid.11.

46

Ibid.12.

48

Ibid.8.

49

Ibid.8.

51

BergsonCreative Evolution320.

53

BergsonMatter and Memory159–60.

54

BergsonTime and Free Will183.

55

Ibid.231.

56

SartreBeing and Nothingess498.

59

Ibid.39 (my own translation).

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 37 37 9
Full Text Views 76 76 64
PDF Downloads 6 6 6
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0