Bergson's Philosophy of Memory

Philosophy Compass 9 (12):837-847 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Bergson identifies multiple forms of memory throughout his work. In Matter and Memory, Bergson considers memory from the perspectives of both psychology and metaphysics, and he describes what we might refer to as contraction memory, perception memory, habit memory, recollection memory, and pure memory. Further, in subsequent works, Bergson discusses at least two additional forms of memory – namely, a memory of the present and a non-intellectual memory of the will. However, it is often not clear how these different forms of memory relate to one another. With the aim of providing an overview of Bergson's philosophy of memory that can also serve as a point of entry to his philosophy as a whole, this article explores the different senses and forms of memory that Bergson describes, paying special attention to how they are distinct from one another and how they are unified. It is my intention to show that, although these various senses and forms of memory are different from one another , they are also continuous and unified insofar as they are equivalent to different tones of one's mental life and to different tensions of one duration

Similar books and articles

The memory of another past: Bergson, Deleuze and a new theory of time.Alia Al-Saji - 2004 - Continental Philosophy Review 37 (2):203-239.
Matter and Memory.Henri Bergson - 1912 - Mineola, N.Y.: MIT Press. Edited by Paul, Nancy Margaret, [From Old Catalog], Palmer & William Scott.
Towards a Phenomenology of Memory and Forgetting.Alexandre Dessingué - 2011 - Études Ricoeuriennes / Ricoeur Studies 2 (1):168-178.
Historical perspectives on memory.Anne Ollila (ed.) - 1999 - Helsinki: SHS.
Prospective memory: A new focus for research.Peter Graf & Bob Uttl - 2001 - Consciousness and Cognition 10 (4):437-450.


Added to PP

1,317 (#9,262)

6 months
867 (#1,268)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Trevor Perri
KU Leuven (PhD)

Citations of this work

Opening the doors of memory: Is declarative memory a natural kind?Kourken Michaelian - 2015 - Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews 6 (6):475-482.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Difference and repetition.Gilles Deleuze - 1994 - London: Athlone Press.
Bergsonism.Gilles Deleuze - 1988 - New York: Zone Books.
Memory, History, Forgetting.Paul Ricoeur - 2004 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Implicit memory: History and current status.Daniel L. Schacter - 1987 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 13 (3):501-18.

View all 22 references / Add more references