Continental Philosophy Review

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 549–564 | Cite as

Bergson’s panpsychism

  • Joël DolbeaultEmail author


Physical processes manifest an objective order that science manages to discover. Commonly, it is considered that these processes obey the “laws of nature.” Bergson disputes this idea which ultimately constitutes a kind of Platonism. In contrast, he develops the idea that physical processes are a particular case of automatic behaviors. In this sense, they imply a motor memory immanent to matter, whose actions are triggered by some perceptions. This approach is obviously panpsychist. It gives matter a certain consciousness, even if the latter is different in nature from our consciousness. In some respects, this approach is similar to contemporary panpsychism because it claims that the psychic is a fundamental characteristic of nature, causally active. But it is also original because it does not constitute a theory of the origin of mind in nature.


Bergson Panpsychism Laws of nature Philosophy of mind 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Domaine universitaire du Pont de BoisUniversity of Lille-IIIVilleneuve-d’AscqFrance
  2. 2.Noisy-le-GrandFrance

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