Nobel Prize winner Henri-Louis Bergson

On October 18, 1859 Nobel Prize winner Henri-Louis Bergson was born. Today, Philosophical Library is looking back on the accomplishments of this noted French philosopher and influential thinker. He was born in Paris, France though moved to London with his family soon after. Even though he would return to France years later, his time spent in London gave him a foundation in the English language. Henri-Louis received his education from the Lycee Condorcet in Paris and had studied the Jewish religion as well. Though in his mid-teens, he lost his faith after his acquaintance with the theory of evolution. His first published piece came at the age of eighteen upon completion of a mathematical problem and he was the winner of a prize for his scientific contributions while attending the Lycee. At nineteen years old, he matriculated into the Ecole Normale Superieure where he focused his studies on the humanities and eventually received his licence es lettres. He would go on to give lectures and earn his doctoral degree from the University of Paris.

“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.” – Henri-Louis Bergson

Henri-Louis Bergson taught for many years and even led courses on the theories of Charles Darwin, having sided with his views of gradual variations. By the year 1900, he was promoted to professor at the College de France and was offered the Chair of Greek and Latin Philosophy. In the years that followed, he would write and publish many essays and create some of his greatest works. In 1908, Henri-Louis journeyed to London where he met and befriended philosopher William James, who would praise Bergson’s theories in many lectures and in publications as well. In 1927, Henri-Louis Bergson won the Nobel Prize for Literature after publishing The Creative Evolution.

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” – Henri-Louis Bergson

Henri-Louis Bergson believed in having intuition and free will and he sought to redefine how we view time and space. The works of Henri-Louis Bergson are still held in high regard to this day. Some titles available to fans and researchers of this influential philosopher include The Philosophy of Poetry, a work translated by Wade Baskin from the original Ecrits et Paroles, and The World of Dreams. In his book The World of Dreams, Henri-Louis incorporates contemporary thinking in his exploration of dreams and how they work and function. He speaks about the sensory organs and their involvement in what we perceive to be happening when in a dream state. He includes discussions on free will, perception, change, memory, consciousness, language and reason. To purchase either of these titles, please click here.

“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.” – Henri-Louis Bergson


Henri-Louis Bergson. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri_Bergson

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