Advertisement

Physical Events as Proto-Mental Entities. Bergson, Whitehead and Bohm

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

Abstract

Although the element of novelty differentiating two successive events of physical duration is negligible in our macroscopic perspective, it cannot be completely absent. In other words, there is an element of heterogeneityeven in the physical world. For we must remember the result of our previous analysis: if the differentiating element of novelty is due precisely to the survival of the antecedent moment within the present, then there must be an element of memory, that is, a certain degree of interpenetration of successive phases even in physical duration. Without such an element of memory there would be no duration at all. Here is the basis of Bergson’s panpsychism:

What we wish to establish is that we cannot speak of a reality that endures without inserting consciousness into it. The metaphysician will have a universal consciousness intervene directly. Common sense will vaguely ponder it. The mathematician, it is true, will not have to occupy himself with it, since he is concerned with the measurement of things, not with their nature. But… if he were to fix attention upon time itself, he would necessarily picture succession, and therefore before and after, and consequently a bridge between the two (otherwise, there would be only one of the two, a mere snapshot); but, once again, it is impossible to imagine or conceive a connecting link between the before and after without an element of memory and, consequently, of consciousness. (Italics added.)1

Keywords

Physical World Modern Physic Temporal Span Natural Knowledge Simple Location 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 3.
    Cf. the essay, ‘Immortality’, in A. N. Whitehead, The Interpretations of Science(ed. by A. H. Johnson ), Bobbs-Merrill, New York, 1961, p. 262.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Modes of Thought, Capricorn Books, New York, 1958, pp. 198–201.Google Scholar
  3. 12.
    Cf. Victor Lowe, ‘Whitehead’s Philosophical Development’, in The Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead(ed. by Paul Schilpp), Evanston, 1941, pp. 89–90.Google Scholar
  4. 13.
    B. Russell, Portraits from Memory and Other Essays, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1965, p. 101.Google Scholar
  5. 23.
    B. Russell, ‘Materialism, Past and Present’. Introduction by F. A. Lange to a new edition of The History of Materialism, Humanities Press, New York, 1950, p. X II.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    David Bohm, Quantum Theory, Prentice Hall, 1951, p. 170.Google Scholar
  7. 26.
    D. Bohir Problems in the Basic Concepts of Physics, An Inaugural Lecture, Birkbeck College, London, 1963, pp. 41–42.Google Scholar
  8. 29.
    F. A. Lindemann, The Physical Significance of the Quantum Theory, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1932, p. 110.Google Scholar
  9. 31.
    Karl Menger, “Topology without Points”, Rice Inst. Pamphlets, XXVII, No. 1 (Jan. 1940) 260Google Scholar
  10. D. Hilbert and P. Bernays, Grundlagen derMathematik, Jena, 1931, pp. 15–17Google Scholar
  11. Norbert Wiener, I am a Mathematician(M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1964), p. 107: “the infinite divisibility of the universe cannot any longer be applied without serious qualifications.”Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milič Čapek

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations