Bergson, Henri-Louis (1859–1941)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DD008-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 01, 2022, from

List of works

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1889) Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience, Paris: Alcan; trans. F.L. Pogson, Time and Free Will, New York: Swan Sonnenschein, and London: Allen & Unwin, 1990.

    (Introduces contrasts between time and duration and between movement and trajectory.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1896) Matière et mémoire: Essai sur les relations du corps avec l’esprit, Paris: Alcan; trans. N.M. Paul and W. Scott Palmer, Matter and Memory, New York: Swan Sonnenschein, and London: Allen & Unwin, 1911.

    (Translation contains a new introduction by Bergson.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1900) Le Rire: Essai sur la signification du comique, Paris: Alcan; trans. C. Brereton and F. Rothwell, Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, London and New York: Macmillan, 1911.

    (Applies his general ideas to the sphere of humour.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1903) ‘Introduction à la métaphysique’, Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 29: 1–36; trans. T.E. Hulme, Introduction to Metaphysics, New York: Putnam, 1912; and in The Creative Mind, 1934.

    (More on epistemology than on metaphysics, this is where Bergson introduces his notion of ‘intuition’.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1907) L’evolution créatrice, Paris: Alcan; trans. A. Mitchell, Creative Evolution, New York: Holt, 1911.

    (Important for Bergson’s treatment not only of biology but of intuition, and also of different types of order and disorder and their relations, and of the concept of nothing.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1919) L’energie spirituelle, Paris: Alcan; trans. H. Wildon Carr, Mind-Energy: Lectures and Essays, New York: Holt, and London: Macmillan, 1920.

    (Collected essays, mainly on mind and body.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1922) Durée et simultanéité: a propos de la théorie d’Einstein, Paris: Alcan; trans. L. Jacobson, with introduction by H. Dingle, Duration and Simultaneity, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965.

    (The second edition in 1923 adds three appendices replying to criticisms. Bergson tries to defuse some paradoxical consequences of relativity theory, writing before these were empirically confirmed. It is now agreed he was wrong in the letter, though some say he was right in the spirit and anticipated later developments; see Čapek and Heidsieck.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1932) Les deux sources de la morale et de la religion, Paris: Alcan; trans. R.A. Audra, C. Brereton and W.H. Carter, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion, New York: Holt, 1935.

    (Distinguishes two levels, higher and lower, in each of these spheres.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1934) La pensée et le mouvant: essais et conférences, Paris: Alcan; trans. M.L. Andison, The Creative Mind, New York: Philosophical Library, 1946.

    (Essays, historical and on method, including ‘Introduction à la métaphysique’ and two new introductions which form perhaps the best entrance-point for newcomers to Bergson.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1959) Oeuvres, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    (Centennial edition containing all the above except Durée et simultaneité, with an introduction by H. Gouhier and critical and historical notes by A. Robinet.)

  • Bergson, H.-L. (1972) Mélanges, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    (Edited with notes by A. Robinet and with foreword by H. Gouhier, this contains virtually all Bergson’s writings whose publication he allowed (except those in Oeuvres 1959), including his early thesis on place in Aristotle and Durée et simultanéité.)

References and further reading

  • Barlow, M. (1966) Henri Bergson, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    (Brief French biography which succeeds in integrating Bergson’s life and works.)

  • Barreau, H. (1973) ‘Bergson et Einstein: A propos de Durée et simultanéité’, Les Études bersoniennes 10: 73–134.

    (Extended but accessible discussion, critical of Bergson.)

  • Berthelot, R. (1913) Un Romantisme utilitaire: étude sur le mouvement pragmatiste. Troisième partie. Un Pragmatisme psychologique; le pragmatisme partial de Bergson (A Utilitarian Romanticism: A Study of the Pragmatist Movement. Part 3: A Psychological Pragmatism; The Partial Pragmatism of Bergson), Paris: Alcan.

    (Full and scholarly, though rather unsympathetic, treatment of Bergson and influences on him.)

  • Boudot, M. (1980) ‘L’Espace selon Bergson’ (Space According to Bergson), Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 85 (3): 332–356.

    (Mentioned in §2. Very hostile discussion, claiming, among other things, that the asymmetry Bergson sees between space and time is illusory.)

  • Čapek, M. (1971) Bergson and Modern Physics, Dordrecht: Reidel.

    (Full and scholarly treatment of Bergson, going well beyond its title, but accessible. Much more sympathetic to Bergson than Berthelot.)

  • Čapek, M (1980) ‘Ce qui est vivant et ce qui est mort dans la critique bergsonienne de la rélativité’ (‘What is living and what is dead in Bergson’s critique of relativity’), Revue de synthèse 101 (99–100): 313–344.

    (Sympathetic and accessible.)

  • Gale, R.M. (1973–4) ‘Bergson’s analysis of the concept of nothing’, The Modern Schoolman 51: 269–300.

    (On a topic on which Bergson says some important things in chap. 4 of Creative Evolution, though not covered in this entry.)

  • Gunter, P.A.Y. (1974, 1986) Henri Bergson: A Bibliography, Bowling Green, OH: Philosophy Documentation Centre.

    (Massive work with over 6,000 entries by and on Bergson, many with summaries, extensive in the case of Bergson’s main works.)

  • Heidsieck, F. (1957) Henri Bergson et la notion d’espace (Henri Bergson and the Notion of Space), Paris: Le Cercle du Livre.

    (Influential in the rehabilitation of Bergson after the Second World War. See especially the discussion, with some technicalities, of Durée et simultanéité, claiming that Bergson was right in spirit, though not in letter.)

  • Husson, L. (1947) L’intellectualisme de Bergson, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    (Emphasizes that Bergson’s use of intuition does not imply that he was anti-intellectualist.)

  • Kolakowski, L. (1985) Bergson, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    (Brief elementary overview.)

  • Lacey, A.R. (1989) Bergson, London: Routledge.

    (The book on which this entry is based. Confined to philosophy, not the history of ideas.)

  • Milet, J. (1974) Bergson et le calcul infinitésimal (Bergson and the Infinitesimal Calculus), Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

    (Referred to in §2. Nontechnical discussion claiming Bergson saw the calculus as a means of dealing with duration, not as something limited to the ‘cinematographic’ method. See English résumé of his views in Papanicolaou and Gunter 1987.)

  • Moore, F.C.T. (1996) Bergson: Thinking Backwards, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    (Good attempt to give brief and accessible expression to some of Bergson’s more difficult doctrines, and to bring out their significance.)

  • Mullarkey, J. (1998) The New Bergson, Manchester, Manchester University Press.

    (Essays aimed at bringing out the contemporary relevance of Bergson in a wide variety of spheres.)

  • Papanicolaou, A.C. and Gunter, P.A.Y. (1987) Bergson and Modern Thought, Chur, Switzerland: Harvard Academic Publishers.

    (Essays, sometimes technical, claiming Bergson anticipated elements of various modern scientific developments, which confirm many of his ideas.)

Citing this article:
Lacey, A.R.. Bibliography. Bergson, Henri-Louis (1859–1941), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DD008-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2022 Routledge.