The Rejection of the Cartesian Dogma of the Completely Extensionless Mind

  • Milič Čapek
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 7)


It has already been pointed out that the original sharp dualism of the Essai, which opposed the temporal realm of consciousness to a physical world completely devoid of duration, was attenuated in Matter and Memory and Creative Evolutionby conceding the reality of the duration of matter itself. But so far we have had no opportunity to stress that the original sharp opposition between the ‘mental’ and the ‘physical’ was further attenuated by Bergson’s modification of his original view about the utterly inextensive character of the mental data. “Neither is space so foreign to our nature as we imagine, nor is matter as completely extended in space as our senses and intellect represent it.”1Our following exposition will be largely a detailed commentary on this quotation which concisely formulates the way in which the original sharp dualism of Bergson’s first book was modified. Instead of a spaceless, psychological duration, he posited a mental realm which, though intrinsically temporal and foreign to the static space of classical physics, participated in some degree in spatiality in general. Instead of the durationless space of matter he posited extension which, though far less heterogeneous than psychological duration, still in some degree participates in duration in general. Such a theory clearly implies the assumption of different degrees of spatialityand of different degrees of durational tensionor rhythms.


Homogeneous Space Physical World Conscious State Original View Infinite Divisibility 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1971

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  • Milič Čapek

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