Notes on Bergson, H.  (2008) [1911] Creative Evolution.  Trans: Arthur Mitchell.  Project Gutenberg EBook #26163.  [NB no page numbers]

Dave Harris

[First a very quick summary from a past attempt at summary...

I have just been reading the Gutenberg ebook version of Creative Evolution, the 1911 publication by Bergson.  I haven’t taken complete or thorough notes, but a couple of things have popped into my head.

There are hints of the connections traced in Matter and Memory of the links between intellect and undestanding: there [remains], around our conceptual and logical thought, a vague nebulosity, made of the very substance out of which has been formed the luminous nucleus that we call the intellect. Therein reside certain powers that are[Pg xiii] complementary to the understanding, [and] we must develop: not the false evolutionism of Spencer—which consists in cutting up present reality, already evolved, into little bits no less evolved, and then recomposing it[Pg xiv] with these fragments, thus positing in advance everything that is to be explained—[but] a true evolutionism, in which reality would be followed in its generation and its growth. [Itnro]

Bergson distinguishes between living and non living things, for example, by saying that only living ones have duration:   'there is no feeling, no idea, no volition which is not undergoing change every moment: if a mental state ceased to vary, its duration[Pg 2] would cease to flow' and 'My mental state, as it advances on the road of time, is continually swelling with the duration which it accumulates: it goes on increasing'. We don't normally notice this, though,until some threshold is crossed,and then we think of our mental lives as discontinuous --but they are constantly changing. We impose continuity artificially as aspects of our ego or consciousness. The changes really show that we endure, that the past endures and pushes us into the future.

.I suspect that this distinction is going to be modified (it certainly would be for Deleuze) but the discussion rapidly turns into a distinction between science and philosophy.  Science studies movement by abstracting simplified states of a system, and comparing them at different times.  Bergson says that this ignores the effects of the time going on between those two moments, or at least assumes that the only effects are those that are displayed in the comparisons between two abstract moments.  In effect, science assumes that the world is created anew just before it comes to study the second moment. [which is why it needs proper metaphysics?]  Maybe this is a clear example of what Deleuze is always banging on about in the cinema books, eg Cinema 1, when he says that motion used to be seen in terms of space, the differences between two spaces.

However, with human affairs at least, it is particularly inappropriate to ignore the affects of time, or duration, defined initially quite simply as the pressure of past events on present conduct.  I thought of this in terms of trying to hold back a car that is rolling downhill—gradually it forces you downhill as well.  The present immediately turns into the past so that it can exercise this pressure.  The pressure is exercised constantly, but not evenly—elements of the past can have a contingent effect on present conduct.  Again I thought of a homely example, one discussed as an example of emergence in Elias and Dunning—a football match.  Gradually each player is effected by events which become immediately past and which have effects on present actions—growing fatigue, injury, changes in one’s opponents and team mates, the referee, spectators, the mysterious effects of morale, memories of past successes and failures and so on, and these exert a contingent effect.  Again, avoiding excessive French philosophical bullshit, this is one way in which the past clearly affects us, or even determines us, which could be rendered as time itself creating positions and states of affairs.

In CE, much of the debate turns upon Darwinian evolutionary theory, and the various ways of explaining a classic problem—the evolution of the eye.  Bergson considers ‘mechanistic’ explanations, where each component of the eye develops and finally gets assembled, but he says this is an insufficient explanation, since each component actually depends on the development of the others in the first place.  Then there is ‘finalism’, which says that nature is working to a plan, with definite ends, but again there are some emergent factors, contingencies, and also signs of regression not progress.  He also considers Lamarckism, where animals themselves make efforts to change their bodies and somehow pass this advantage on, but as he says, there’s little experimental evidence here, and anyway this would rule out the evolution of plants.  There are some nice comments about the ways in which terms like ‘adaptation’ are used inconsistently, and not innocently—for example we can see how an individual might adapt to its environment, but when we’re talking about species, adaptation means something different.  He makes the same points about correlation, where it seems he is arguing something like the need to avoid the ecological fallacy. 

What emerges after this debate is the need to recognize the effects of a continuous impulse forcing progress in contingent ways—duration. The thing is that understanding has evolved in two impulsive directions in life -- intelligence and instinct. Roughly, intelligence works with abstract (deterritorialized one might say) conceptions, whereas instinct is rooted in concrete episodes of life and works via a kind of sympathetic understanding  -- hunting wasps have it with their prey which is how they know how to sting them precisely in the right place. Some animals have degrees of both -- including us. Our intelligence is devoted to action on nature (the interest in work as Habermas would put it). We are natural positivists and scientists. We are not good at grasping motion or duration by this approach. This is philosophy's job. It requires a special form of understanding -- intuition, a combination of intelligence and sympathetic instinct.

There is also a long discussion on getting problems right. It is the example also chosen by Deleuze on the stupidity of the classic philosophical questions 'Why is there something rather than nothing, Why does anything exist' etc. Bergson argues basically that 'nothing' is only a word, not a coherent idea, because it always presupposes something -- if we think of a void it is always of a void that once had something in it, or something that was there once but is no longer. The emptier the void, the fuller it really is! The critique extends to denial and negation as well (as in dialectics?) -- this can only be a denial of a judgement (that something is the case), never of reality itself. The real problem is to work out the current state of existence, or  the basis of validity of judgements. Always positive (in that sense).

Then we get on to thinking about motion. The usual way is to think of it as composed of a number of fixed states. This is 'cinematographic' thinking for Bergson and he is critical of it [an error, says Deleuze in Cinema 1] . It led the Greeks into paradoxes like Zeno's one about the arrow -- at each stage it is motionless so how can it move etc. We must think instead of motion as a whole act or movement, a unity, not divisible. We must NOT think cinematographically in that stop-frame animation sense. Bergson goes on to say that thinking like this led the Greeks to think of matter as having ideal forms, that Platonism is an inevitable consequence of thinking of matter as fixed elements that do not move -- roughly, any thing unusual that they do do must belong to some other realm. [I think he says that Aristotle bundled up all these metaphysical qualities into one substance -- God.  At this point, as elsewhere this is really close to monist readings of Deleuze]

More interesting stuff ensues on the old metaphysics of the Greeks, which did come close to modern science especially in the stuff by Archimedes on displacement but was hampered by their views of motion. Motion was seen as focused in particular privileged points -- the high and low of falling bodies, their natural positions at rest etc. The privileged points could be described in ordinary language. But first Kepler then Galileo saw motion as passing through any point whatever (sic), with no privileged moments,and describing no ideal path (not circles for the orbits of planets) this required mathematical calculation - -leading to (Newton and Leibniz and) Descartes and the notion of calculating curves by equations. Any sorts of curves. Great but this is still cinematographic motion and still only gets one aspect of reality -- it misses duration.

Duration's importance can be seen when we consider subjective time --some intervals (like waiting for an important event) are much more important qualitatively than others of the same objective length because more things can happen. But this happens in nature too -- qualitative changes occur and these cannot be measured by the quantitative/mathematicised procedures of modern science. These qualitative changes are crucial in order to understand evolution. Full understanding of anything requires both quantity and quality, both science and intuition.

This was discussed earlier in philosophy in terms of universal mechanism (by people including Leibniz and Spinoza) -- but how to account for free will? Free will has to be a part of God or Nature. This leaves free will as an epiphenomenon of causal mechanisms or as distributed in particles into a monism [Deleuze embraces both of these?This is where he has to depart from Bergson?]. There was apparently some flirtation even in those days with the idea of the brain as a mechanism that produced free will and other subjective phenomena. Bergson will have none of it and says will depends on physical brains in that both are required, but it is silly to argue that therefore one causes the other, any more than a vital component in a machine causes the machine.

The book ends with some good criticisms of Spinoza, Leibniz and Kant. The latter is again rather familiar if you have read Deleuze. D's main beef is that Kant's notion of the transcendental is still rooted in the mundane ego. B goes back a bit and says the problem was always to explain the subjective while acknowledging the success of science and its threatening mechanism. K decided not to grasp it at all and dismissed it as part of the unknowable noumena. For B this leaves us with a divided understanding ( like Habermas's view of positivism as a 'bisected rationalism'). The trick is still to think the whole, unite the intellect and intuition.

Fuller summary:


Intellect is involved so that understanding has grown from acting, in the name of adaptation of the consciousness of living beings basically the prime role of understanding therefore is to 'think matter'.  We still feel more at home with solid inanimate objects.  Geometry represents the highest achievement of this kind of logical thought.  However, it's not possible to use it or its categories 'unity, multiplicity, mechanical causality, intelligent finality' to understand evolution itself, 'the true nature of life'.  Yet the intellect itself is subject to evolution, and it makes progress despite frequent difficulties.  One of them is to think that existence will never be known, that it is unknowable.  However we can know something of reality through action, certainly rather than speculation which only ends in deadlock and contradiction.  Intellect has evolved to produce not only logic but other forms of consciousness, and these can be 'amalgamated with intellect'to give us at least a vision of life.

It follows that 'theory of knowledge and theory of life seem to us inseparable'.  We do not just except the facts that life provides, nor the concepts.  That way leads to a certain symbolism and positive science, but not 'a direct vision of its object'.  We have to see how knowledge and intellect itself has been constructed from the progress of life.  We can then solve the great problems of philosophy rooted in nature and mind.  We're not going to reproduce the 'false evolutionism of Spencer' which operates typically by cutting up present reality into little bits, 'already evolved', and then recomposing them.  This only posits in advance what is to be explained. Collective effort will be required.  This essay outlines a possible method.

Rival explanations for evolution have to be disposed of first—'mechanism and finality'.  Then the evolution of life has to be retraced and its culmination in human intellect.  Then we have to see how understanding itself 'might prepare a philosophy which transcends it'.

Chapter one.  The evolution of life - mechanism and teleology.

We know of our own existence best.  We know that our existence is composed of a sequence of different states, endlessly changing, but change does not consist only of passage from one state to the next.  Every stage is undergoing change and flowing.  We see this with visual perception, where different perceptions of the same object have changed and have been affected by memory.  The past always intrudes into the present, even more so with things like feelings and desires which are not tied to one external object.  There is continuous transition, although we often manage our psychical life by splitting it into separate acts or steps.  However, these discontinuous steps have continuity in the background, 'the fluid masses of our whole cyclical existence', split into steps by attention, and then needing some artificial bond to reunite them—'a formless ego' which undergoes different psychic states.  However, there is no abstract indeterminate ego—'it is merely a symbol'.  If it existed there would be no duration [so we are making the conclusion part of the premis, or something], and we would only have an artificial imitation of internal life, even though this would be easier to understand with a timeless logic.

Duration is substantial, it is what makes the present pass, and evolution take place.  As the past grows continually, it is preserved continually.  Memory is not just a matter of pushing away recollections somewhere, and there is not even a real faculty for memory.  The past increases without relaxation and is preserved by itself, in its entirety.  It constantly accompanies this, even though our consciousness tries to banish it in the name of immediate relevance and use.  We can sometimes grasp its effect with deliberate recollections.  Our past determines our character.  The entire past affects our desire and will, often in the form of a tendency rather than a properly formed idea.

This means that 'consciousness cannot go through the same state twice', since the person himself changes unceasingly.  This is what makes duration irreversible: even if we could erase memories, our will would still be affected by it.  New moments are constantly added, and they are unforeseeable.  Each state is an 'original moment of a known less original history'. I might be able to explain my present state in terms of [scientific] elements, but would never be able to predict its form or concrete organization, since that is future oriented and emergent.  We are creating ourselves continually, and here human reason does not resemble geometry, since 'the same reasons may dictate different persons, all to the same person of different moments, acts profoundly different, although equally reasonable'.

What of nonhuman existence?  We tend to understand material objects as fully explicable once we know what forces are operating on them, since their parts do not change.  A composite object may be decomposed and [technically] recomposed to the same state.  Nothing is created.  Time does not affect such objects, at least in the scientific world view.  Time itself is conceived as an abstract time, 'a certain number of simultaneities or more generally of correspondences.  This is because we adopt the utilitarian stance, only concerned with the outcome and not what the intervals mean.  Yet there is succession, and unfolding of history 'as if it occupied a duration like our own'.  It takes time for sugar to dissolve in water, and this time is not mathematical time.  It coincides with subjective time, say in the form of impatience, a portion of my own duration.  We can see it as 'something lived', and as a whole process, with a separate components of water or sugar as abstractions, 'cuts out by my senses' from a Whole.

Science closes and isolates systems, and there is an objective foundation for this in that matter itself can create 'isolable systems'—indeed this is almost its definition.  But this is only a tendency and isolation is never complete.  Science completes the isolation for the purposes of explanation, and where the remaining external influences can be ignored for the moment.  But these influences do connect systems to others and to wholes, ultimately to the movements of the universe itself. The universe itself endures, invents and creates new forms and elaborates them.  Relatively isolated systems of science can exist within them.  The movements of the universe can be seen as both decent and ascent, unwinding, or a kind of ripening or creating: the first does not involve duration, but the second does and 'imposes its own rhythm on the first, which is inseparable from it'. The same might be said of the apparently separate objects, whose boundaries are cut out by perception and result from human influence, a plan of action.  Reality itself however, always involves universal interaction.

Is the human body privileged in some way?  Through is very life it acts on the real.  It is also extended, 'bound up with the rest of extension, an intimate part of the Whole'and subject to the same physical and chemical laws.  But living bodies have been closed off by nature as well.  It is a composite of 'unlike parts' and it can perform different functions.  It is an individual unlike any other object, although there are degrees of individuality.  It runs through tendencies rather than states.  In nature, the tendency toward individuality is limited by the tendency towards reproduction, a kind of detachment of the original organism becoming a separate life.  Human individuality is not the same as individuality of animals or objects: differentiation off objects can be understood as entirely an affect of the past, already caused, while living organisms grow and change without ceasing, including moving from one to many.  So mere division into fragments is insufficient [Deleuze says this is the notion of quantitative multiplicity].  The living organism is like the totality of the universe in that both endure.  Both grow old for example.  There is no universal law here that only directions that species follow, so that trees never actually grow old since they are always regenerating by growing new branches.  However all living things register time.

This could be seen as only a metaphorical account of a mechanism, and even the experience of duration can be explained by a common sense 'mechanistic instinct of the mind'.  Thus change must be seen as a rearrangement of parts, the irreversible if time is an era, growing old can be grasped as the gradual gain or loss of certain substances, and so on [variants are discussed].  All are in danger of circularity with a priori stages of argument.  The Bergson what is at stake is a gradual change of form, accompanied by organic changes.  We can explain the universe mechanistically, but then composition and decomposition are explained by causes.  We can only extend the same two human beings by an a priori agreement.  Even this is poor at explaining organic creation.  We do better to think of this in terms of an effect of the entire past of the organism.

When me explain artificial systems by causes, we do bring time in, and this can look like introducing duration.  Similarly, understanding the affects of the history of an organism can turn into an examination of immediate causes.  The concrete time is not abstract time.  Specifically, there is no immediate cause—to calculate one implies that we must consider an interval of time, but this interval of time depends on a notion of the present, especially 'an instantaneous present that is always being renewed' [where time and its intervals remain constant].  Science can ever deal with'real concrete duration' where the past is indistinguishable from the present.  As for predicting the future, what we're doing again is predicting a state that is assumed to be a renewal of the present [so everything remains the same except the thing that's being predicted to change: in practice, the universe could disappear altogether between the two moments or with 'a world that dies and is reborn it every instant'].  [Science freezes real living systems, or explains only their extreme limits]. Evolution cannot be explained like this, because it implies 'a real persistence of the past in the present'.

Transformism is already implied by biological or natural taxonomies, and evidence is found in embryology, where higher forms come from elementary ones.  This can be seen as a general principle of evolution, and is supported by paleontology and experiments to induce variation.  There is no rigorous demonstration as yet, but a high probability.  What if there had been some discontinuous process as yet undiscovered?  There would be no real difference, since forms would still have to appear successively not simultaneously.  We still can work only with a notion of 'ideal kinship', 'logical affiliation between forms'and a notion of chronological succession.  The same evidence would also apply to teleology, with its notion of 'a plan of vital organisation immanent in nature'.  This is just a matter of supplying an extra invisible process.

So life is not an abstraction, living organism not just a category.  It is a force distributing its effects among species and individuals.  Other people have tried to identify this life force in sexual elements or in 'genetic energy', with the organism itself as only an effect [compare with 'selfish gene' theories].  There's also a resemblance with an evolution of consciousness in that new forms emerge.  We can interpret this in terms of causes, but only backwards.  Things that will become cause are already included in particular phases of history, and there is no comparison with scientific causes which depend on a predictable system.  This seems to go against intellectual habit, which is designed to help us act.  That requires finding similarities.  Science builds on this common sense and develops it.  Hence the interest in repetition, and the decomposition of systems into stable elements which persist through time.  Science involves repetition and cannot deal with th 'anything that is irreducible and irreversible'.  Philosophy must break with it and with the common sense that underpins it.

However, a persistent idea has it that changing continuity are just appearance, that will be penetrated by knowledge, that things can be reduced to a series of successive states, biology resolved into physics and chemistry, and then nuclear physics.  Life can be seen as a kind of mechanism, but a 'mechanism of the real Whole'and its persistence and continuity.  Our systems are partial views of this whole, and can never be recomposed to get to it.

'"Vitality" is tangent, at any and every point, to physical and chemical forces', but it is a mistake just to study the points as isolated, rather than the actual moments of movement that generate curves.  Physical and chemical elements can be seen as components of curves, but not as curves themselves.  The different sciences might be able to work back to some scheme of the whole [some graph of all the points], and to plot predictable variations of a function as a form of mathematical motion.  Some goal like this for biology would help shrink the gap between its theories and objects.  We could use mathematical notions of motion elsewhere too.  We might be able to reconstruct curves, or at least their functions [as calculus does] but we would still only have a mechanics of transformation, a 'plane of pure quantity'.  But this is only a dream at present.  [Further discussion on the resemblances and possibilities.  One issue that remains is whether life can or cannot be created by chemical construction]. 

Repetition in the living being tends towards mechanism, but unique acts of the things that 'really constitute a history'.  Mechanistic accounts claim that the future and the pastor only 'calculable functions of the present' so that all must be given, and this applies to everything, at least in principle.  But duration is the foundation of being and 'the very substance of the world in which we live', and this must not be sacrificed to the drive to develop 'a universal mathematic'.

'Radical finalism' or teleology is just as unacceptable [Leibniz is seen here as a teleologist].  Again it assumes that everything is preprogrammed with nothing unforeseen.  It is thus only inverted mechanism, which substitutes the attraction of the future for the impulsion of the past.  There may be more inflections, however, and this enables it to adjust to criticism.  So it even affects Bergson's approach.  Perhaps, for example it will fit particular organisms if not the whole of life, where each component is directed at survival, 'a plan immanent in its substance'.  There may be no external finality, but there is an internal one: finalism defends itself by becoming smaller in reach. However, finality must be external overall, since each organism can also be seen as a functioning part.  For that matter, particular cells might be seen as organisms [cancer cells for example] which put their own need for life in front of the host organism.  Conventional vitalism therefore runs into difficulties of defining independent individual elements and where they start and end.

The real error lies in that finalism tries 'to extend too far to the application of certain concepts that are natural to our intellect'[like all the others].  It follows from the original connection between thinking and action.  In order to do so, we have to classify nature as elements that repeat themselves and have causes.  We tend to think of efficient causality in particular as mechanical causality, but this in linking of causes to affects also guides 'action inspired by intentions', aimed at reproducing patterns.

As a result finalism is always close to mechanism, and both are unable to see 'an unforeseeable creation of form'.  Both assume similarity or repetition, like reproducing like.  The sort of creativity found in art is usually tied too interest as well, as when we fabricate or build models, while 'disinterested art is a luxury, like pure speculation'.  Repetition assumes that all is given already.  Real duration must be neglected, where everything changes and concrete reality never recurs.  Repetition involves an abstraction from the reality of duration.  That is why intellect finds it difficult to grasp the real effects of time and the fluid.  These are given in life but not so well in thought: luckily 'life transcends intellect'.  However, the 'fringes' of thought around formal logic are the ones that need to be explored by philosophy.  When we do this, we see a reality as 'a ceaseless upspringing of something new', something which immediately falls back into the past, where it can be grasped by intellect.  If we avoid abstraction, we can see that the 'whole of our person' is engaged.  There are causes and there are intentions', but there is more than we consider the whole, because then we realize that not everything can be foreseen, that intentions operate with an ever renewed reality.  Conduct exceeds abstracted scientific intellectualism.

We should not see free action as 'capricious, unreasonable'.  Often behaving like this involves oscillation between two readymade alternatives rather than 'real maturing of an internal state'.  Free acts like this are 'incommensurable with the idea'.  However, normal notions of reason assume that we already have all the essential elements of knowledge of truth, or soon will have, and that our categories already fit reality.  Instead, 'for a new object we might have to create a new concept, perhaps a new method of thinking', although this is often repugnant.  The history of philosophy does show alternative systems and the difficulties of developing concepts to fit the real, but it would be wrong to assume there for the only relative knowledge is possible.  Philosophers have often argued this, so  Plato picked on a common understanding that knowing the real involves finding its Idea, that is forcing it to fit a frame of knowledge.  This is still a commonsense view so 'it may be said that, in a certain sense, we are all born Platonists'.

Theories of life show the inadequacies.  Many elements have been discarded.  It is the totality of elements that is important.  Our 'vague intuition'is as important as the formed intellect here.  Indeed, we can explain intuition as itself a part of evolution which has not been reduced to formal reason.  We get an idea of the whole not just by combining simple ideas, but by considering the vital operation itself.  We misunderstand and reduce this point when we see in life in simple terms as a passage towards the heterogeneous.  If we are at the peak of evolution, it would be wrong to see consciousness as only a matter of the intellect.  We would have to restore all the elements of thought.

The philosophy of life developed here transcends mechanism and finalism, although it is closer to the latter.  Like finalism, it sees the organized world as a harmonious whole, but there is no equilibrium or consensus, and each species can use the life force in its own interest in order to adapt.  There is therefore no pre established harmony, although there is a common impetus but this produces diversity.  Harmony is at best a tendency, and it may be behind as rather than in front, a result of impulsion not aspiration.  Life has no end in the human sense of the word.  It does not conform to some model being realized.  It 'progresses and endures in time'.  We can understand it backwards, but nothing of how the path has been created or which direction we are taking.  Finalism limits the meaning of life and our ability to think it.  Our intellect is only a part of something larger, and it helps to create a convenient reality, not the whole of reality.

Evolution as thought goes beyond repetition to become creative ['it expands and transcends its own being'].  Reality is creative, producing [emergent] effects.  These cannot be taken as original intentions, although once known they can be used in rational interpretation.  There is a comprehensive reality 'of which intellect is only the contraction'.  The future expands the present rather than being contained in it.  Full understanding may be beyond the grasp, although we can reject finalism and mechanism [final refutations ensue.  One issue is whether we can show that the same apparatuses have been produced by different means in very different species—if so, pure mechanism falls, and finalism triumphs]. 

Even so we still have the issue of how external conditions produce alterations in the organism --directly, or only by favoring particular adaptations.  The latter, Darwinism, finds it hard to explain progressive developments, and would also struggle with the issue of similar structures above.  Mechanism would suggest that the same causes are at work, but even so, the complexity of directions of change would be hard to explain, unless we are to use the term 'adaptation' in a very flexible sense, as both mechanical adjustment to a preexisting form, and as life being able to create its own form.  Can active adaptation be explained mechanically?  There is often a slide from passive to active adaptation, from science to its philosophy, or from particular cases to general ones.

[Detailed discussion of rival theories explaining the development of the eye ensue. Each follows roughly mechanist or finalist conceptions, as in neo-Darwinism and neo-Lamarckism. Each is forced to adopt logical slippages as above. Each can be seen as offering some limited grasp of reality. The real explanation lies in the energy of life itself. The complexity of the eye itself is contrasted with the simplicity of the act of seeing, with vision. We get the famous example of an overall movement of the hand which can be decomposed into sections or treated as an intention -- but both ignore the movement as a whole 'which is reality itself'.  This movement is neither  a combination of moments, nor need it be an intention, deliberately planned.  The same goes for the eye, not necessarily designed by nature with full intention, but capable of generating something more than just the sum of its parts: it would be wrong to see the process of evolution as something parallel to manufacture.  This is useful for science, but philosophy must take a different stance, seeing organization rather as the result of avoiding a series of obstacles.  The eye arises as a series of simple movements which encounter obstacles.  It is the drive to a vision, considered as a whole, which encounters obstacles which result in the form of the individual components of the eye and the different examples in the different species.  This is not finalism again because no conscious intention is involved, only 'the original impetus of life'.  Life has 'a tendency to act on inert matter', with unpredictable results and and inevitable element of contingency.  Visual perception represents a series of possible actions on bodies: it's found in different degrees in diverse animals, and has the same 'complexity of structure wherever it has reached the same degree of intensity'.]

Chapter two.  The divergent directions of the evolution of life.  Torpor, intelligence, instinct

The movement of evolution is like a shell bursting into fragments which then burst into further fragments.  It is driven by the 'explosive force—due to an unstable balance of tendencies—which life bears within itself', opposed by the resistance of inert matter.  At first, this resistance was overcome by small scale infiltration eventually turning into living microorganisms.  The limits to growth of these organisms is overcome by division, assisted again by the tendency of life itself which heads for divergence.  We can see this with the human personality as well—we constantly choose and abandon possibilities.  In the case of nature, possibilities are often preserved and can be seen in divergent species.  There are many blind alleys, and no ideal balance between progress and inertia, and some doubts about whether social life results from progress alone.  In any event, there is far more than just a series of adaptations to circumstances as in mechanism, and not just a realization of a plan either.

Adaptation is necessary but it is not a directing cause.  There is instead 'an internal push that has carried life'.  Indeed, stasis might represent better adaptation.  Adaptation explains 'sinuosities' but not general directions, any more than geographical characteristics explain the direction of roads.  Unceasing renewal is what we see rather than a plan: indeed diverse plans also result from this open future, and nor is there any tendency towards harmony.  Indeed disharmony will go on increasing.  There also some species which do not progress and some that retrogress, so that evolution is not just a movement forward.  We get misled if we generalize from the 'two or three great lines of evolution'.  The exceptions from a general plan are so substantial that it can come to look as if everything is accidental in its deviation.  On the contrary, there are centres 'around which the incoherence crystallizes'.

It is probably impossible to use this notion to explain all developments.  But existing genealogies are questionable.  General Lines of movement can attract more consensus, and things are simpler if we are trying not to classify all the species but indicate principle directions of evolution, especially the one that leads to human beings.  For example, there is no agreed characteristic distinguishing plants and animals, no 'clean cut concepts', no equivalent to scientific definitions.  Instead it is a matter of proportions, the emphasis of certain characters or tendencies.  This is seen, for example, when considering alimentation.  There's no static definition, but 'the beginning of a dynamic definition' pointing two divergent directions.  Thus fungi can be seen as vegetables which have not developed, but instead operate with 'blind alleys' as far as alimentation is concerned.  Because animals depend on eating particular vegetables, they need to move and eventually coordinate their movements with sensations, and this requires flexible cell membranes.  Some plants do move, or at least climb or close their leaves, and some animals to display certain levels of fixation—but we can classify these as 'like a torpor' as far as evolution is concerned.

There is a clear link between mobility and consciousness, itself connected with cerebral development.  But these can be seen only as devices that canalise and intensify, a more rudimentary activity [otherwise we would risk brain determinism?].  There's a difference between the specialization of the nervous centres and all the other apparatuses.  The nervous system does not create consciousness but makes it more intense and precise, producing both reflex and voluntary activity, for example.  We can come to define consciousness in terms of an ability to move freely, and it is both a cause of and an effect of motor activity [activity is needed to sustain it].  Plant biology with cellulose in cell boundaries serves to screen the organism from external stimuli, although even here, there is a potential movement and a notion of awakening consciousness but found in the lower less specialized organisms [the reverse with animals]. The earliest organisms may have oscillated between vegetable and animal, but tendencies emerged to encourage one and crush the other, although never entirely: so torpor and unconsciousness are still latent in animal species, as we see with fatigue. Diversity is not mysterious, but follows what is most convenient to the life of the living being.  What looks like the will of an animal reflects the direction produced ultimately by solar radiation [the source of energy]  rather than 'chlorophyll light'.  In a way, the nerves and nerve centers of the animal, and the chlorophyllic function of the plant are produced by the same initial impetus. 

Life may also produce a level of indetermination to combat the necessity of physical forces.  Effort is directed at making the best use of preexisting energy in material sources.  Ultimately, it is a matter of harnessing the energy provided by the sun, acquiring it and storing it.  Storage capacity increases through evolution, but it was originally replaced by constant movement [as in grazing].  The two tendencies displayed by vegetables and animals might indeed be complementary, arising from a functional diversity of the means of storage.  This diversity increases, in the form of divergence and dissociation.  Some forms complement each other however and coalesce.  The components of a tendency are not mutually exclusive, and the characteristics of other manifestations are always 'in a rudimentary or latent state', so that one line of evolution can  offer a recollection of no longer active tendencies.  What happens is that the active ones try to develop what is functional in the latent ones.  This explains the 'deep seated analogies between the animal and of vegetable', including tendency towards growing complexity and reproduction.

Focusing on animals, their characteristic is the ability to release stored energy into explosive actions of movement.  Gradually, possible directions are associated with chains of nervous elements gradually emerging.  All organisms have to maintain themselves first, but this is only a means for animals.  Food therefore has a number of complex functions in the maintenance of animal bodies, and its components can be subdivided in terms of their maintenance or energetic functions [the latter include carbohydrates].

The sensori-motor system is central, rather than the nervous system, and actually puts into operation processes that divert energy to the nerves [he seems to mean this literally, with the production of glycogen regulating first the sensori-motor then the nerves and muscles, but the former continuing even at the expense of the depletion of glycogen].  Thus in practice, 'the rest of the organism is at [the sensori motor's] service'.  [But then there's a waffle about this system consisting of nerves linking the sensory organs and the motor apparatus]. This is so much so that we can actually define a higher organism in terms of its sensori-motor system, with more and more degrees of precision.  [And there is a reference back to Matter and Memory].  Greater adaptation also means greater choice, especially because the components are known longer functionally continuous, but rather end 'in a kind of cross road'.  In this way, life introduces indetermination into matter, and unforeseeability.  Our neurones are 'a veritable reservoir of indetermination'. 

Why should this be the main outcome of the vital impulse?  The life force seeks to transcend itself and overcome obstacles, but it never simply follows a plan, but rather constantly meets opposing forces.  Even our freedom is threatened by automatism [both a kind of mental inertia and the threat from the autonomic activities of the body?].  Once living thoughts are expressed, 'the word turns against the idea'.  Enthusiasm once 'externalized into action' soon become subject to 'cold calculation'.  Different rhythms explain this, the extent to which manifestations of life accept or oppose the mobility of life in general.  Stable forms are common, and we tend to think of them as things, although 'the very permanence of their form is only the outline of a movement'.  Sometimes we glimpse life impulses beneath the material, as in maternal love, in general though there's a contrast between life and the forms in which it is manifested.  Forms naturally tend towards stability and minimization of effort.

We can see successful adaptation in existing species, but we tend to ignore the movements that have been left behind, and the way in which some of these have been stopped, progress halted, blind alleys produced.  We've seen this already say in the distinction between animals and vegetables, but animals probably had 'infinitely plastic forms, pregnant with an unlimited future'[which we have transcendentally deduced from the plethora of existing stable forms?].  One obstacle in particular is found in the 'imprisonment of the animal in a more or less solid sheath': this produced a blind alley, and led to torpor as much as did the rigid cell walls of the vegetable.  The impulse of life gained the upper hand in other directions, however to form things like fish or insects, replacing protection with agility.  We can see the same trend when looking at the development of military technology in humans.  There is a general interest in mobility and this is the 'immediate cause' of variation, but the 'profound cause' is the impulse of life itself.

As before, the progress of the sensori-motor nervous system is key.  A variety of movements led in divergent directions, and explains say the difference between arthropods and vertebrates, and eventually the independence of human hands.  We can see in the species themselves the culmination of different powers of life, but success itself is not an immediate guide to superiority.  It is more a matter of the development of adaptive capacity to extend the domain.  This is why humans are superior, although other species, like ants, have also been very successful.  It is not just a matter of late appearance, since sometimes this can produce degenerates.  In general, adaptations seems to have led to either instinct or intelligence.  However, the two are not linked by some progress of single development, but rather the result of divergent directions of an activity: the difference is not just a difference in intensity, but a difference in kind, although many philosophers of nature have failed to grasp this.

Intelligence and instinct are opposite and complementary, so it is not possible to argue that one is simply superior to the other.  They have a common origin and each contains residues of it: there is no pure state.  Potential intellect can be awakened in plants, and torpor in animals.  Each haunts the other and differ in kind, but are found mixed in different proportions: specifically, instinct operates as a 'fringe of intelligence'.  Both are tendencies lacking rigid definition.  Both offer different methods of action on matter, but it is wrong to idealize, since in practice they are mixed [so what follows immediately below is only a rigid 'diagram'] . 

Human beings have been defined as the first animals to make tools, although there is controversy.  Manufacture also seems to be crucial rather than the occasional use of a tool or elementary recognition of objects.  Inference alone is not a hallmark of intelligence, although it is the beginnings of invention.  This is easier to see with recent history of the flood of machines.  There may be an accelerating curves of invention.  We should therefore define human beings as homo faber not homo sapiens [further support for the creative abilities of sensori-motor systems of course].  Animal use of tools is governed by instinct, although it is difficult to pin these down too.  Generally though, instinct leads to organized instruments, and intelligence to unorganized ones [as a result of the organized social life of insects and so on].  Instinct is specialized, but unorganized matter may be more difficult to use at first, and has an emergent quality, which will eventually lead to great advantages.

The original activity probably had both, in ways which were determined by matter.  Intelligence needs instinct more than the reverse, precisely because it transcends the options provided by nature.  It develops fully in human beings as a result of insufficient natural objects to preserve life.  However, this is also a more risky option [leading to reductionism as below] .  Once begun, instinct and intelligence turned into two divergent solutions.  They now have different internal structures, implying different kinds of knowledge.

One issue raised is the extent of consciousness in both.  Instinct can be both conscious and unconscious, with different proportions of consciousness.  But there is a distinction between a lack of consciousness at all, and one where consciousness is 'nullified', by some opposite tendency—examples include unconscious action or dreams.  Generally, action stops representations, but they may appear if actions are blocked.  Consciousness illuminates zones of action or potential activity which themselves surround actions.  It produces hesitation or choice, deliberation.  With automatic action, consciousness is reduced to nothing.  As a result, we can see the consciousness of the living being as the difference between potential and real activity, 'the interval between representation and action'.

As a result, intelligence is likely to develop consciousness, and instinct unconsciousness. Consciousness appears when instincts are inadequate, initially as an accident, something to start instinct working again, usually by identifying obstacles.  Intellect was originally designed to overcome difficulties.  Its needs expand continually as well.  The real difference lies in the objects to which instinct and intelligence aim.  Instinct can achieve remarkable acts of coordination [with examples of beetles and wasps], where knowledge does not involve learning.  But the knowledge of intelligence does, not in all cases.  It is also not necessarily aimed at specific objects, but rather at relations, initially relations of attributes or relations implied by verbs, relations of 'like with like, of content to container, of cause to effect', and these are implied in the structure of languages.  Forms can be seen as totalities of relations, and again we can have knowledge of them, through 'a certain natural bent of attention', grasped through categories.  Instinct focuses on knowledge of matters.

The immanent life force seems to operate with different source of knowing, aimed at objects or relations, categorical and hypothetical propositions.  The first enables immediate reaction, but cannot be extended to all objects.  Rather instinct focuses on specific aspects of specific objects.  Intellectual knowledge is 'external and empty', but it offers a frame which can include an infinite number of objects.  Overall, knowledge can either apply to extension or 'intension' respectively.  Specialization between these options then followed the normal path of growth and diversity.  Intelligence is the more flexible, given its innate interest in relations.  It is formal and empty, but this enables the intelligent being to 'transcend his own nature', although it lacks an immediate materiality.  There are limits to both forms, things that can never be found by either.

It's important to remember that intelligence does not aim at pure speculation, so there are no absolute inexplicable categories, no universal tendencies towards unifying phenomena, as in earlier philosophy.  Instead, the intellect proceeds according to its interests and the needs of action, and it is that that makes it material, 'part and parcel of reality'.  It is not simply an impression left by some natural order, as we will see in the next chapter.  Intellect treats matter as inert and intends to fabricate it.  This is what leads to the focus on the ' unorganized solid'.  The material world presents external objects and external parts, and it makes sense to our intellect to 'arbitrarily cut up' matter, and to see it as a series of real units.  It is a matter of choosing to think about continuity and discontinuity in a particular way, and that comes to seem particularly real, mostly because it governs action.  Discontinuity is seen as real, while continuity is less clear, mostly the result of negative mental activities when actions fail.

We can see objects as mobile, but we tend to want to pin down where they going, to predict their future positions.  All the processes that gets them there are of less interest.  Action aims at movement only insofar as action can be advanced or retarded, and the same goes with wholes.  Movement is reality itself, but it is not easy to theorize it, and this alone shows that the intellect is not designed for pure theorizing.  Instead, it treats immobility as the ultimate reality, and then has to construct movement.  None of these constructions are successful, but we can now see how they are justified if they end in practical reconstructions.  We see fabrication as taking a fixed object in matter, but we then draw upon our understanding of forms in our imagination, which involves seeing matter as transformable at will.  Fabrication is not a matter of speculatively identifying then following 'the articulations marked out by nature' as Plato thought.  We take matter as indifferent to its form, manipulable as we wish.  This is the origin of the commonsense notion of space as something homogeneous and empty [as in Matter and Memory], infinitely divisible, a neutral medium.  It is projected behind real extension.  Its origin lies in 'the plan of our possible action on things'.  It is a mental construction.  It helps us manipulate matter.

Humans are also social beings, and so they have other activities in intellect, including communication [Habermas!].  This involves the use of signs and language, but not like the language of animals based on instinct, where the signs are always attached to particular operations or objects.  Humans signs offer variable forms, and we must learn to use them.  We extend the limited set of signs in our language to what is not known.  This is not the same as generalizing  and is better understood as mobility.  Signs can then move from things to ideas.  This involves reflection, which in turn involves 'a surplus of energy' above immediate needs.  The virtual has to become actual to be useful, and this follows from words being transferable to other objects, to recollections and to ideas or images.  This helps because the word is itself external and yet also immaterial [just like the image].  It follows the already established logic of fabrication, but it can also take the form of representations, not immediately connected to practical action.  This is what intellect alone can seek.

The instruments of intellect began by being strongly attached to matter, and when language developed, it was still related to things.  Only the mobility of the word made full intellect possible, especially in its flight to something which is not a thing and then its reconversion into a thing.  This is the characteristic work of the intellect, and this is why it is fulfilled in 'distinctness and clearness'[Deleuze is not so fond of this bit].  This involves necessarily a grasp of 'the form of discontinuity'.  Concepts are external to each other because they are modeled on separated solids.  They do not directly represent things, but rather 'the act by which the intellect is fixed on them' so they're 'not images but symbols'.  The original connection with solids is responsible for the development of logic and geometry.  There's also a supervisory role for common sense outside logic.

So intellect attempts to subordinate matter to action.  We see a connection between 'organizing' and 'organ', because life itself has provided us with the means to transform inorganic matter into useful organs for human beings.  However, living matter is itself already organized, and this produces 'bewilderment'.  This is what makes it difficult grasping  'true continuity, real mobility...  that creative evolution which is life'.  We have already seen that to modify objects, they have to be seen as divisble and continuous, and this has led to the development of 'positive science', but it also keeps science from getting close to the mysteries of life.  Science follows natural intellect here in its limits.  Neither can grasp 'the multiplicity of elements and the interpenetration of all by all'.

The same goes for time, which makes it difficult to think of evolution as continuous change, 'pure mobility', 'becoming' except as a series of homogeneous states, a series of stable elements.  This makes it difficult even to see the becoming is something more than just an addition of elements.  It means we cannot grasp what is new in each moment, what is unforeseeable, what is creation itself.  We are satisfied instead by seeing things in simple causal terms.  It is more difficult to see that 'the new is  ever upspringing, that the form just come into existence', and we tend to grasp it only once it has been produced.  The causes have also come into existence like this, 'and are determined by it as much as they determine it'.  Our intellect reflects the mechanism of our industry, combining parts into wholes with the same movements.  Invention as such is not easily grasped, especially not its creativeness or fervour.  Both complete novelty and real becoming are difficult to grasp, because our intellect was never intended to grasp them. Hence the difficulty and hesitations of dealing with life and the living, at least without reducing them to manageable terms.  Both stupidity and error are common.

Instinct is much closer to life, and proceeds organically and reflects the movement of life.  Unfortunately, we cannot interrogate it.  Instinct organizes cells into bodies.  It does vary in terms of its degrees of perfection.  It does not need to generate a reflective capacity.  Instinctive knowledge 'has its roots in the very unity of life'. For this reason, it is unlikely we will ever get a scientific analysis of it, because that which is instinctive cannot be expressed in terms of intelligence [with more references to scientific reductionism, say of perception, discussed earlier].

[A lengthy discussion of evolutionary biology ensues.  Instinct is accidental with the best ones preserved by selection, or is lapsed intelligence solidified in habit.  Both have their limits].  It is more like a musical theme being transposed into different variations, something which we feel [more on hunting wasps, which develop an internal knowledge of the nerve centers of their prey, through a version of sympathy, a relation between them, incapable of being grasped by science.  We can sometimes grasp this in our own lives]. Instinct can never be resolved completely into intelligent actions or mechanisms.  We should be focusing on the diversity between them and why it that has emerged.  The existence of diverse explanations in science also show an underlying relation or sympathy between them [the transcendental deduction again].

Instinct is really sympathy but it is incapable of reflection.  We have to rely on intuition as a form of disinterested instinct which has become self conscious.  We see traces of this in our aesthetic faculties, the occasional glimpse of the significance of life and its connections between us.  This only appears as the individual and subjective, but we need to make it more general as a philosophy.  It can never be as precise as science, but we can make some progress and work towards the replacement of purely intellectual inquiry, but still based on intelligence and enquiry.  Until this is done, we can predict 'inextricable difficulties', sometimes arising from false problems.  A proper form of intelligence should aim at retaining the essence of both intellect and instinct, working with an openly double form of consciousness, but seeing the links between them via the 'empirical study of evolution'.

It has been argued that consciousness is linked to a power of choice, the ability to identify potentials.  This capacity increases with evolution, and development of nervous centres, although either could cause the other.  The main difference again is whether relations are established between perceptions by action, or by distinctively human capacities to call up recollections, replay past life, represent and dream.  The difference between human and animal brains is a difference between two wholes [so consciousness is emergent from complexity].  This was argued earlier, partly in terms of discussions of psychological disorder.  In any event, there can be no equivalence between cerebral and psychical states. 

The evolution of life does have a meaning, but it does not represent an actual idea.  Instead consciousness provides 'an enormous multiplicity of interwoven potentialities' and this has developed as a way of penetrating into matter.  However there's been no smooth continuous movement.  Manifold tendencies have been distributed among different organisms, so that some represent more characteristics than others, and eventually intuitions separates out from intellect.  Consciousness and its development of intelligence is a way of externalizing itself and adjusting to wider ranges of objects: 'once freed, moreover, it can turn inwards on itself and awaken the potentialities of intuition which still slumber within it'.  Eventually, these developments would lead to a difference in kind between humans and animals.

We see this in the tendency of human fabrication not only to model itself on matter, but to pursue something independent of it, a mastery of matter.  The way that human fabrication enlarges horizons is also crucial.  We can separate cause and effect, and treat causes as producing effects.  In this way, intelligence 'lets something pass that matter is holding back'.  The same emergent qualities distinguish human and animal brains, and consciousness is liberated from automatic action.  The parallel is with relatively intelligent machines and the way in which they have been developed to liberate human labor from constant attention.  Consciousness in particular has divided instinct from intelligence, and the latter triumphs only with 'a sudden leap from the animal to man'.  It looks as if man could be seen as their reason for the whole reason and organization of life, but in reality there is only 'a current of existence and the opposing current'.  The two might turn out to have a common source, with metaphysical implications.

Chapter three.  On the meaning of life—the order of nature and the form of intelligence

Matter is a flux, divided into separate objects by our senses and intellect.  As consciousness in general, this must be 'coextensive for universal life', and we would have explained the genesis of intelligence.  The task here is to explain the genesis of intellect itself at the same time as a genesis of material bodies.  The two must be linked, because intellect guides action on matter [which would not be possible unless there were some general link?  That our ability to form action depends on real objects being related together?].  Both can be seen as 'derived from a wider and higher form of existence' [so we can use transcendental deduction].

This will involve us in metaphysics.  Psychology has explained the development of intelligence but not its genesis.  Intelligence is taken for granted also in Spencer's evolution.  Physics presupposes some independent existence for external bodies, even though it has developed to dissolve objects 'into a universal interaction'.  However, normally, human perception organizes what is unorganized matter, while insects might perceive things quite differently.  Organization involves the notion of space [separated into units] imposed on extension.  Generally, 'the more consciousness is intellectualized, the more is matter spatialized', so the two go together [and it is wrong to see the emergence of intelligence as the ability to act on some already spatialized matter].

Metaphysics attempts to determine the categories of thought a priori, in effect emptying out content.  Thought is then expanded out into reality.  Again, this does not help explain the genesis of intelligence.  Systems like this often argue for the unity of nature, but in an 'abstract and geometrical form'.  There is no division between organized and unorganized except a difference of degree, of complexity or intensity.  A geometric space then permits an unlimited scope for intelligence.  Knowing is seen as coextensive with experience, and thus requiring no genetic explanation: it is given.  These tendencies are exaggerated by the notion of philosophy as 'a single and unitary vision',  usually of a great individual.

This approach is more modest.  It assumes that intelligence grows from knowledge of action as it contacts reality, while there is 'an ocean of life' which provides us with the very force to live and develop.  Human intellect is 'a kind of local concentration' of this ocean.  If we can trace back the connections between human intelligence and the whole, we might be able to explain intelligence.  We can only do this, however, in a 'collective and progressive' way, examining our impressions and correcting them to make progress.  We would end at something that transcends humanity.

All the 'inveterate habits of mind' oppose this sort of development.  How can intelligence proceed and to be explained except by more intelligence?  But this confines us to a 'circle of the given'.  We have to plunge into the possibilities, just as learning to swim involves taking a leap instead of trying to develop it from walking, say.  We have already seen that there is a fringe around conceptual thought 'which recalls its origin'.  The intellect is the nucleus with 'fluid surrounding it'.  We have to try to understand that fluidity, rather than extending our intellect, based on solids.  An 'act of will' is required to abandon the habits of intellect. 

Speculative philosophy often operates with a kind of a division of labour so that facts are left to positive science, while philosophy provides critiques of the faculty of knowing and metaphysics.  Knowledge itself and its matters are not addressed.  Inevitably, this will lead to confusion, where philosophy has to accept the tenets of science and can only attempt to make them more precise or simple.  This leaves scientific approaches intact, especially the combination of laws and facts that they offer [not the first hint of a Kantian critique of empiricism].  What seems to be a description of an object already contains judgements, 'lines that have been followed in cutting the real into distinct facts', presupposing the inner nature, or form.  Positive science is thus a work of intellect, something that operates on unorganized matter and that grasps it in terms like mechanism or 'latent geometrism', seen as a natural logic.  Such an approach to living things must reduce them, and this is 'no more than a symbolic verity', a result of scientism.  Philosophy needs to address the living and the active directly.  Habitual intellectual approaches must be abandoned.  The scientistic approach must end inevitably in the false unity of knowledge and nature as above.

This will lead philosophy into having to choose either dogmatism or skepticism at the metaphysical level, seeing this unity in 'an ineffectual god', or 'an internal Matter', or even a 'pure Form which endeavors to seize an unseasonable multiplicity', which is the real form of nature and thought.  Scientism leads to crises, and this points to doubts about the entire approach, which itself leads to dogmatism or skepticism and relativism, or attempts to unite them both in the sort of unity we began with, which can only be postulated or accepted a priori

We should start instead by distinguishing the inert and the living.  The first one fits the 'frames of the intellect', but the latter has to be forced to do so.  We need 'a special attitude', 'other eyes from those of positive science'.  This risks the uniformity and continuity of positive science, but avoids the problems above.  It is no longer obvious or 'natural' that we should use scientific frameworks in thought which is disconnected from immediate action, which pursues the 'depths of life'.  Science is metaphysical anyway, and we should be developing a better metaphysics [shades of the arguments with Einstein here].  This would combine with science to grasp the absolute, where 'we live and move and have our being'.  Ironically, only by renouncing existing notions of unity do we find a 'true inward and living unity', approaching 'that more vast something out of which are understanding is cut' restoring the disconnections.  We are heading for understanding genesis of both matter and intelligence, since 'an identical process must have cut out matter and the intellect, at the same time, from a stuff that contained both'

We should start with experience, which is both internal and non intellectualized.  We examine pure duration.  Normally, we would find it very difficult to focus on the past, which is always slipping away, and to see its links with the present.  Self possession like this means that 'our actions are truly free', but it is rare to be able to equate 'ourself with itself'.  However, we can see how life would absorb intellectual activity 'by transcending it'.  We normally do this through an intellect which grasps moments of duration after they have passed.  Our intellect also builds on impulses ['a series of views taken of it'] from the outside, which tends to be something already known.  So the intellect is contained by consciousness, but consciousness overflows, is incommensurable with it. If on the other hand we relax the 'strain' of attempting to grasp the whole of the past, we would probably lose memory and will and enter a state of total passivity.  Again this is a limit state like absolute freedom, but it helps us glimpse an existence entirely in the present and the instantaneous, a view of matter that unceasingly dies and starts up again.  Once more this would be a limit state, and modern physics argues that matter never actually vanishes.  These two possibilities represent spirituality and materiality respectively.

The more we think about our duration, the more unified the parts of our being become: if we can see the present as a point or image pressing into the future, we can see that 'life and action are free'.  Dreams, on the contrary, scatter the self into different external recollections, and we see a different kind of disorganized space.  This might help us to grasp that extension [is the underlying category] with different degrees, with the external isolated sensations of dreams as an exception [although it is implied in some metaphysics].

We can see physics as leading in one direction [towards segregated extension, space] with 'psychics' heading in the other.  This can explain why our mind can rove around, while analysis of matter involves more distinct notions.  The mental notions are what is responsible for developing a sense of extension, in a concept of 'pure space'[there is an earlier argument that it is matter that produces this mental capacity in the first place], which can then be used to grid and subdivide matter [the metaphor is the network, with real nets].  This is a kind of compromise produced from 'the reciprocal action and reaction' of the two directions, and it means that artificial space is not entirely foreign to us, but nor is matter completely extended in this way, despite the evidence of our senses and the operations of our intellect.  If we took 'perfect spatiality' as real, it would imply the perfect isolation of parts, an independence.  But modern science [with Faraday cited] says that all atoms interpenetrate, and the fixed notion of an atom is just a mental construct.  It is science that cuts up the universe into independent systems, but its success in doing so shows that matter does extend itself in space, but not that it is 'absolutely extended'.  This leads us to an apparent limit of the subdivided notion of space, and can be seen as matter pointing to something more.

[Then we get on to Kant. Quick summary only here].  There are a priori figures or categories in space, determined by our experience although we have lost the memory of this.  Intelligence is deeply connected to this notion of space, which guides our perceptions, although these are already affected by mathematical properties.  These are provided by those bits of matter which are intelligible, although there is an element which can never be known independently: we can arrive at this notion or ideal because we analyze the antimonies in existing theories [maybe]: this serves to rebuke empiricism.  However, space is already given and therefore cannot be open to criticism.  The argument also tends to seeing some 'pre established harmony between things and our mind'.  Kant saw that either mind determines things, or the reverse, or that there is some 'mysterious agreement'.  Bergson sees an additional possibility, which appears only if we see the mind as something more than the intellect, and duration as more than a kind of spatialized temporality.  Intellect and matter have progressively adapted themselves to each other, as part of the same genetic process, which also appears in an inverted form as creating intellectuality of mind and materiality of things.

Perception is based on action and this leaves it too sharply defined and divide up matter.  This tendency is accentuated by science.  The always provisional nature of science follows because of its inability to 'embrace the totality of things in block'.  It also explains why science addresses problems 'relative to the particular order' in which they have been put.  All is well as long as we consider only inert matter, and this explains science's success.  But it is an error to take it as some higher example of intellect.  Its operations have to be explained—how its categories of thought arose, how spatiality appears as a regressed form of extension.  We have to do this through an effort of mind, making ourselves self conscious and then seeing how the self displays external recollection fixed in extension [as above], then extrapolating.  We consider matter in the same way, seeing how apparently separated objects interrelate and thus indicates some 'whole, which is consequently somehow present'.  These are the two ends of a chain and we have to supply the intermediate links in philosophy.  This would involve metaphysics doing more than commenting on the assumptions of physics.  It has to 'remount the incline that physics descends'[and psychology, here treated almost as a general analysis of the mind].

We are accustomed to seeing mathematics as triumphantly managing objects and logic, but this ignores 'negations', the absence of true reality.  The intellect has over analyzed and constructed complexity, which appears as a positive reality.  It is different when listening to poetry, where we can recapture the state which has been expressed in phrases and words.  We do this by relaxing the tension required to divide up the words, accomplishing a 'continuous movement', 'an undivided act'.  We start to distinguish sounds, syllables, start to see how these have been interwoven into sentences.  We have constructed a complexity and extension, which is not positive in the usual sense, not dominated by the will but by relaxing it.  We can understand that the whole is undivided, since the ability to divide it into parts with relations between them is massively increased.  We can use this sort of understanding to see how the reverse operation has operated in positive science and mathematics.  Poems and positive science alike have arisen from interrupting reality.

Our intellect tends toward the geometric, including the 'latent geometry, immanent in our idea of space'.  We see this in both deduction and induction.  With deduction, I move from the premises to the conclusion, from definition to its consequences.  These deductions might be perfect, as in logic, or imperfect.  At the ideal level, say tracing two sides of a triangle and deducing the third, there is an underlying 'natural geometry', which also affects other deductions, including those that relate to qualities.  In this way, our notion of quality often has 'magnitude vaguely showing through'.  Magnitude is perhaps the first quality available to humans [eg judging distance or directions], but as soon as these qualities are made explicit, a virtual geometry appears which will 'degrade itself into logic'.  Logic is therefore not something spiritual for Bergson, but something that shows an underlying 'necessary determination' both in its operations, and in its reliance upon 'spatial intuition'.

Deduction makes more limited progress in the human and moral sciences, and common sense soon has to be invoked, 'the continuous experience of the real'.  Deduction only offers metaphors, usually after a prior process of symbolization.  Since deduction is purely an operation of the mind, it is surprising to find itself unable to grasp the mind.  When we operate with things, deduction is all powerful [geometry, astronomy and physics].  We first have to acquire a principle, and then we can deduce consequences.  But we get the spatial intuition, and the notion of being able to manipulate matter, from duration, an area where logic is relaxed.

The same goes with induction.  Animals can already predict a repetition of the fact, so does the living body itself.  The intellectual version of induction has to include notions of causes and effects and predictability between them.  Again, there's a notion that reality can be divided into independent groups, although the multitude of interactions between objects has to be ignored, and an independent system constructed.  The same goes with continuity, which is an assumption or belief [as in Hume?]: its reliability depends ultimately on the consideration of magnitudes or numbers, which follow laws of their own regardless of our choice.  It looks as if applying such qualities to other cases will also provide certitude, but in fact, mathematical certitude is a limit case.  It can still affect 'imagination'[when we do thought experiments].  However there are some underlying assumptions.  For one system to be caused by another in the past, there must be some strange notion of time having halted in favor of simultaneity, 'the latter [cause] must have waited for the former [effect]'.  The direction of time is no problem in geometry, but it is everywhere else. Induction also implies that noticing similar qualities implies that all the qualities are reproduced and are identical.  An implied reduction of qualities to quantity is involved, and this is how physics actually proceeds.  Again, an implied geometrical mechanism is responsible.  What we do is to make qualitative differences 'melt into the homogeneity of the space which subtends them'.  Induction and deduction therefore represent 'intellectuality entire'. There is a whole order implied by deduction and induction, and it must seem 'marvelous', since there's a continuity of cause and effect even at the most minute levels. 

As we develop scientific analysis, 'matter becomes, it seems to us, geometry itself'.  Greater complexity only shows growing order.  Thought and matter correspond, but because both have been created by the same process of constructing order and complexity.  However, what we must examine is this process itself, 'the ever renewed creation which a reality, whole and undivided, accomplishes in advancing'.  This alone can explain the emergence of novelty.  We can also grasp this in our consciousness.  The apparent inflexible determinism of matter, grasped by mathematics, is produced by an 'interruption' of this process [described here as a relaxation of tension – presumably tension refers to the tight connection of the power of life to creativity?] Scientific and mathematical laws actually grasp a 'negative tendency'[interrupting the life force].  Individual scientific or mathematical theories clearly show the activity of investigators themselves, but there is also 'an order approximately mathematical immanent in nature, an objective order'.  Matter can be seen as 'a relaxation of the inextensive into the extensive, and, thereby, of liberty into necessity', but it does not entirely coincide completely with homogenous space.  Indeed it shows us the movement which leads to space and geometry, a movement in duration before it became immobile space. Mathematical and scientific laws are artificial, conventional.  There must be properties outside measurement—'[nature] does not measure nor does it count'.  The success of measurement say in physics must show that materiality has followed this movement.  Our intellect has 'let itself go' to find itself and actually able to grasp this specific materiality [again relaxation means moving from the effort of maintaining the whole?].

The alternative involves some sort of miracle whereby physicists or mathematicians have found the very variables of nature.  At the same time, there must be something in matter that does adapt to our intellect.  What joins them is the notion of an interruption producing both materiality and mathematical thinking.  This makes science both contingent and successful, precisely because it is so attentive to an aspect of matter, which is 'weighted with geometry'.  Most philosophers however see mathematics as entirely positive, rather than negative [which would follow if based on some interruption of order].  Mathematical order is usually contrasted to 'no order at all'.  This concept of disorder actually has a major role, although it is not usually made explicit.  It appears when philosophers think they are discovering objective laws to regulate a fundamental disorder [but it is difficult to define a negative as we shall see].  This is another example of how a practical idea has been incorporated into speculation: we do use terms to choose action that imply some lack of a particular quality [eg this is not food], but this is not a philosophical conception [and the philosopher called Jourdain is rebuked].  Affirming one quality is not negating another.  An absence for practical purposes does not imply an absence of an entire order.  The whole debate shows an ill-formed problem.

Generally, we order reality to that degree which we require in thought: 'Order is therefore a certain agreement between subject and object'.  But the mind has different degrees of tension, one which leads to creation and free activity, while its inversion leads to extension and determination of elements [again it is the former that shows the most tension].  In both cases there is order, because 'the mind finds itself' in both.  Only the second kind of order leads to geometry at its limit, and it is characterized by the idea of necessary determination, 'inertia, of passivity, of automatism'.  The first kind cannot establish finality because life transcends it.  However, this is where we will find vitality and freedom, will.  Commonsense experiences the distinction between the two orders when we admire both astronomy and a Beethoven symphony.

However, the orders are not usually separated so distinctly, and confusion is common. That arises partly because it is difficult to see something like the creativity of evolution as something unforeseeable, because we work with actual living beings, 'certain special manifestations of life' which do display similarities of form and structure.  The vital order appears to experience in the same way as the physical order, enabling us to generalize, work on similarities and repetitions.  Both actually represent independent lines of evolution as argued in chapter one.  It's common to see the vital as organized by some principle of directional reproduction as an equivalent of seeing how causes give effects as in the physical order, but this is only a useful comparison.  The vital offers us a glimpse of the infinite, which makes us realize that things like causes and elements 'are only views of the mind', imitations of the operation of nature.  The existence of similarity and repetition is not the same as that of the physical sciences, although it is important for action.  It is tempting therefore to think of a general order of nature governed by laws and generic categories.

[then an argument about how this confusion affected classical philosophy, with generality being seen as either a matter of genera or laws—both will be subject to the usual objection that these are things cut from reality].

Ultimately, repetition and simultaneity in the physical order implies identity, but the vital works through living beings which are only 'almost alike', since each one receives of the vital impulse itself.  'The physical order is " automatic;" the vital order is, I will not say voluntary, but analogous to the order "willed"'.  Different notions of disorder are also clear.  The differences need to be used to correct classical philosophy.  Normally we think of order as a conquest over something, but order is contingent only in the sense that, say,  verse is contingent in relation to prose and vice versa.  It would be wrong to see these as exhaustive definitions, since there are other forms of speech which are also not verse.  But our minds normally work like this 'through a mist of affective states', seen by the qualities of disorder in common sense [a disorderly room, even though the objects in it perfectly reflects the natural order of cause and effect].  We are interested only in aspects of order, and tend to see the rest as disorder or chaos [as in ed tech seeing objectives as the only alternative to chaos]. 

Chaos appears as something capricious, but if so, it is a caprice produced by will, often a 'a multitude of elementary wills'.  It is difficult to see the whole 'willed order' precisely because we contrast the other wills to our own objective and rational one.  The idea of chance [is similarly relative]—the movement of the roulette wheel is entirely mechanical, but we see its failure to deliver as showing some intention.  Chaos and chance are terms which appear 'when what I am expecting is mechanism'.  We only understand it as a kind of opposite possibility.  Negations like this are really affirmations of the opposite, usually something we are not interested in.

It is tempting to see the natural and the vital orders like this, but we need to think of an order that is 'everywhere of the same kind', with the differences of the orders only as differences of degree.  [This is why the vital order is often misunderstood as disorder compared to science and maths].  Instead, we can construct a hierarchy with the vital order at the top, the geometrical order as 'a diminution or lower complication of it', with incoherence itself at the bottom.  This involves differences of degree rather than stark alternatives between the two kinds of order.

The real comprises differences of tension and extension, freedom and necessity, and inversions of the orders.  The implication is that the geometrical order should be seen as resulting from the inversion of the vital, and thus requiring no explanation of its own.  This inversion arises from the requirements of practical life.  How does this release of tension, 'may we say to detend' exist as a principle, the interruption of a cause appearing as an effect?  The answer lies in consciousness, which includes the consciousness of the living being, and the ability to look behind while moving forward.  This enables it to detach from the already made, and 'attach itself to the being made'.  In this way, seeing can be 'made to be one with the act of willing'.  This can only be a short lived painful effort, however, when we 'contract our whole being in order to thrust it forward', engaging in free action.  At such times, we can become aware of motives and forces, and, 'even, at rare moments, of the becoming by which they are organized into an act'.  This will help us get to the principle of all life and materiality.

This requires intuition, which has always accompanied philosophy as a necessary part of the construction of concepts, through a process of dialectic [with formal reason?  It looks like it is necessary to 'put intuition to the proof'].  When we deliberately attempt to connect one idea with another, intuition can seem to vanish, and the development of concepts proceeds apparently on its own.  But intuition must persist, as an impetus and in order to ground abstract reasoning.  This is the dialectic as [bad, as] 'a relaxation of intuition'.  Intuition also guarantees the truth, if it could only be prolonged.  However, it cannot be sustained and generalized, or linked easily to 'external points of reference'.  'To that end a continual coming and going is necessary between nature and mind'.

When we perform these exercises, however we see that 'reality is a perpetual growth, a creation pursued without end'. We see this when our will is directed to invention and creation.  These are only creations of form, of course, because human will does not produce matter.  We are ourselves part of a vital current loaded with matter, 'that is, with congealed parts of its own substance which it carries along its course'.  An act of creation does involve extending activity to its utmost to create new assemblages of materials [sic], but this is really organizing preexisting elements.  It is only when the creation of form is interrupted [seen in a very general sense here to mean almost actualized, as when flows are interrupted with the ideal lines of the artist turning into the actual lines on the canvas].  Action needs to pause, and with it the habits of mind.  But genuine creation is possible, although hard to grasp by experience: normally we see creations as additions to the known world.

We look for some immediate understanding of the existence of the universe.  Our habits of mind normally do not consider a 'really acting duration'.  It seems as if everything is given once and for all, and then that material multiplicity must arise from some initial essence.  This is a 'prejudice', and if we overcome it, we have to change our view of the universe and its totality.  Again, nature invites us to consider the universe as made from isolated systems, and we tend to close off the systems for practical purposes.  But the intellectual operations that result need not be applied to the entire universe, 'for the universe is not made, but is being made continually.  It is growing, perhaps indefinitely, by the addition of new worlds'.

Let us see what happens when we apply the laws of science, the principle of conservation of energy 'and that of its degradation'.  The first applies only to a closed system, the total sum of energy, and relates to kinetic and potential energy.  However, there are other kinds of energy too, and these have been made to fit the principle of conservation.  We see this if we extend the principle more generally, say to the solar system: here the principle takes on a different inflection to refer to change and the need for counterbalance [the point is that this seems to imply relationship of fragments of the system to each other].  The law of degradation of energy, the second principle of thermodynamics, has a different implication.  It was eventually quantified, and operated again with some limited notion of types of energy, particularly heat.  The implication is that systems actually exhaust their potential to change, but this leaves unexamined the question of the source of energy in the first place.  It can be rescued by simply assuming 'that the sum of mutability contained in the universe is infinite', but this runs into further difficulties in arguing for 'a perfect coincidence of matter with abstract space'[with no interactions or internal relations between the parts].  Perhaps there was an earlier state where energy did not diminish, but this has not attracted much support.  The only answer would be to refer to some 'origin of these energies in an extra-spatial process'.

Extension can be seen as a form of interrupted tension, but it is not the same as the concrete reality that fills it.  The laws that applies to the concrete reality must be considered as the inverse of what happens with the 'detension of the will', or somehow must have appeared by themselves.  We have to consider the processes whereby things unmake themselves as well as make them.  If we see unmaking as the characteristic of matter [as in the second law of thermodynamics above], making as a contrary must be immaterial.  In this view, the material can be seen as a weight falling, and there can be no 'image drawn from nature' of a weight rising.  We see this particularly well with living bodies, where life climbs the incline that matter descends, where there is a process which creates matter, as an interruption.  This is not pure consciousness, because the process 'is riveted to an organism', and thus related to inert matter, but life constantly strives to free itself from these constraints.  It cannot reverse the descent into matter, but it can retard it. 

The evolution of life shows an initial impulsion, which determines the systems of converting energy in plants and animals, and approaches a more effective use of energy.  The energy itself can be seen as representing 'a storing up the solar energy', and as energy degrades it becomes 'provisionally suspended on some of the points where it was being poured forth'.  The organism arrests or stores some of the initial explosive energy.  Life tend to accumulate in the reservoirs such as vegetables.  It is the nearest we get to a rising weight.

Alternatively, imagine a vessel full of steam which allows some of it to escape in a jet.  The steam condenses, representing an interruption, but some of it persists attempting to raise up the drops of water, but at the most delaying their fall.  The immense  reservoir of life produces such jets which fall back into matter.  Some of this will involve the evolution of living species.  However, it is not a mechanistic process but a free act, more like willing a movement of the arm—once raised, the arm falls back, yet residues of the will persist.  Thus we have an 'image of a creative action which unmakes itself' with which we can represent matter, a constant alternation between direct movement and its inversion, 'a reality which is making itself in a reality which is unmaking itself'.

However, we should not think of things being created or creating.  That would be to preserve the habits of intellect.  'There are no things, there are only actions'.  Action unmakes itself. We see the results of action in the constantly unforeseen forms which life cuts out, and the unforeseen movements they are capable of.  We might make the reasonable assumption that other worlds are analogous to ours as well.  There is a kind of centre from which worlds shootout like rockets, again avoiding seeing the centre as a thing, more a continuity.  Creation is unceasing action, freedom.  This is not a mystery because we can experience it ourselves when we act freely.  Things are different because they are solidified, but only by our understanding, so that strictly speaking things cannot create themselves.  Things are 'constituted by the instantaneous cut which the understanding practices' on a flux, and the modalities of creative action show the possibilities.  Our understanding finds it difficult to grasp both complexity and 'the practically infinite multitude of interwoven analyses and syntheses' which are implied.  Simple physical and chemical forces can never produce such complexity on their own, and we would never understand the relation between the forms of the intellect and the forms of matter.

We invent forms of organization between constructed particles operating with constructed external causes, but 'in reality in life is a movements, materiality is the inverse movement'.  These are two simple forces which together produce organization in the forms that we can grasp, but we ignore the unity of the impulse and its effects on generations and separated species.  There is in the living 'one single immense wave flowing over matter', but we cut this into individuals and aggregates, because our intellect is designed to act on matter as if it were something external.  This action leads this only with two options, to see the complex as just a lucky conjunction of atoms, or to see it as the result of some eternal force.  If we tried to break the habits of intellect, and think with 'spirit...  that faculty of seeing which is immanent in the faculty of acting', by reflecting on the formation of the will, then we see that everything is resolved into movement, producing an 'infinitely manifold' but single simple process of making and unmaking.

The impetus of life is shown in the need for creation.  This cannot be absolute creation because matter restricts it, but it tries to introduce as much indetermination and liberty as possible.  We see this with our sensori-motor systems which act to make us as independent as possible, and it is that that has produced complex nervous systems.  One development has consequences for another, producing endless complication.  The development of our nervous system helps us produce both automatic and voluntary activity.  Our will becomes less automatic but therefore more effective and more intense, our organisms become more flexible.  But this is only a development of the essential property of animal life, which both acquires energy and expends it 'by means of the matter as supple as possible'.

Animal food can be seen as stored up energy provided by the flesh of animals or plants.  Plants use solar energy and can store it.  Elements of carbon can be seen as containing the potential to restore energy which has been saved, by its capacity to combine with oxygen.  Accumulating and discharging energy is what the vital impetus would do all at once, but that is limited by various obstacles which sometimes thwart it and sometimes divide it.  This is behind the evolution of the world.  A split between animals and vegetable is mutually complementary, representing 'the duality of the tendency involved', and the same goes with much subsequent diversity.  There have also been accidents and regressions, and an inevitable conflict between the species [as an unintended consequence of the principle of life].  Contingency plays a major part, as obstacles are encountered, and it extends and divides the lines of evolution, and all adaptations. It is possible to think of a completely different system on another planet, perhaps one which did not have carbon.  Only the sensori-motor function would be common.  Different means will be followed to acquire and expend energy, so life is always possible wherever energy can be arrested or its decline retarded.  We can imagine that quite different forms of vitality would have resulted.

Life is an impetus, which is the best image, but it manages to unfold 'a confused plurality of interpenetrating terms' akin to the psychical.  A distinct multiplicity with points external to each other can exist only in the fiction of divisible space.  So with 'pure and empty unity', the mathematical point.  In psychical life, we know that we are manifold, although we're also multiple in terms of feelings and thoughts, 'a multiplicity that is one'.  The understanding can reduce this multiplicity to the unity.  Life in general is like this too, an 'immensity of potentiality', a combination of thousands of tendencies which are really inseparable, at least until they contact matter.  Matter divides multiplicities and individuates [again language is the materiality that individualizes poetic sentiment].  Yet as with poems, we can see the life behind the individuality, 'the manifold unity of life, drawn in the direction of multiplicity', a balance between individuation and association as in social life and as in simple forms of life.  [There's disagreement about whether the individual or the social comes first—for Bergson, the social form haunts the individual].  Overall, the vital impetus is both unity and multiplicity, choosing one or the other when it encounters inert matter: both individuality and association are 'due to the very nature of life'.

Consciousness in general was at the origin of life, a need of creation.  It lies dormant in the early stages of automatism, but appears as soon as choice is possible, which itself might depend on the complexity of the nervous system.  There is however no brain determinism, and the living being is itself the center of action.  It looks as if consciousness springs from the brain, and the brain determines its activity, but really, 'brain and consciousness correspond', with the complexity of the structure complementing the intensity of awareness and the amount of choice available.  We see this better when examining the psychical rather than the mechanically cerebral.  Our brains are different in kind from those of other animals [although this is emergent from the growth of specialized mechanisms and the choice provided by them].  Overall, consciousness corresponds to the possibility of choice, and takes the form of the fringe of possible action around the actual action, featuring invention and freedom rather than habit.

The history of life before can be seen as a struggle of consciousness to raise matter, with its ultimate defeat.  But a machine was created nonetheless which could escape mechanism and determinism.  Humans are the only ones who can escape, thanks to our developed brains and our language which can act as 'an immaterial body'.  Social life similarly stores and preserves effort.  We represent the triumph of life, having achieved a difference of kind from other animals.  This is what makes us special, the end of evolution.  It is not that the whole of nature has led up to us, nor is it inevitable that we have developed.  Instead, human beings represent the freedom of the impulse of life to overcome matter.  We actually continue 'the vital movement indefinitely'.  We still retain something of our history, but we have also abandoned it becoming a 'vague and formless being, whom we we may call, as we will, man or superman'.  Something of value has also been abandoned, and we see this in the dominance of intellect over the rest of consciousness.  It 'ought' to have been intuition that dominated, enabling us to go with life rather than matter.  Eventually, humanity might develop both possibilities, but at the moment, the intellect and its tie to matter is dominant, leaving intuition 'vague and above all discontinuous', almost extinguished.  But not entirely.  Philosophy should build on fleeting intuitions to regain the unity of life, perhaps expanding and then uniting them. 

Commonsense knows that conscience affirms human freedom, that people are real and independent, that men are privileged compared to the animals, but science reminds us of the opposites as well.  Philosophy that emphasizes separate spirituality also undermines the notion of a unity.  Overall, a philosophy of intuition will be negated altogether by science if it does not grasp what the life of the body is.  At the moment, few see us as located at the very moment where a wave of life can overcome obstacles provided by matter, even though they might hold it back.  Rising consciousness 'includes potentialities without number which interpenetrate and to which consequently neither the category of unity nor that of multiplicity is appropriate, made as they both are for inert matter'.  The movement of the stream is different from the course of the river bed, consciousness is different from organism, although 'it must undergo its vicissitudes'.  Consciousness is essentially free but must adapt itself to matter, and the main form in which this takes place is the limited intellect.  If we can turn intellect back toward free consciousness, reabsorb intellect in intuition, we can avoid the apparent determinism of action, and also give ourselves 'more power to act and to live'.  We can see that humanity is not really isolated in nature, but part of the single impulse, united with all other living things.  Life itself has beaten down resistance and cleared obstacles, and perhaps it can do so in the future, even  overcoming death.

Chapter four.  The cinematographical mechanism of thought and the mechanistic illusion—a glance at the history of systems—real becoming and false evolutionism

Matter is always making or unmaking, 'but it is never something made'.  This would be obvious if we could get a disinterested view of matter, but the agenda of action intervenes, with its tendency to break things into immobile intervals.  We extract from duration only those things that interest us.  But this stance persists into speculation and philosophy.  A similar illusion arises from the insistence that action has of getting something we want, creating something that does not exist, seeming to fill a void, replace an absence with the presence, move from 'the unreal to the real'.  These concepts are also relative, and we tend to see absent realities where we really mean a reality that we're not seeking [as with the distinction of order and disorder above].  'We make use of the void in order to think the full'.

As above, the idea of disorder is similarly based on practice, meaning order which does not meet our interests.  Really, disorder is only a word, not even an idea.  Similar considerations apply to 'negation..the void and... the nought'.  [Lengthy discussion ensues].

The idea of the nought has played a major role in some philosophy, as with the stuff that begins by asking why I exist.  The same might even be said of notions of the vital impulse—why does it exist rather than nothing?  Existence appears to be a conquest of nothingness, what exists seems to be something added.  These conceptions clearly oppose the notion of duration and free choice.  Metaphysics tends to substituting logical relations for physical existence, however, so that a logical statement that the A=A seems to be a demonstration of how existence conquers nothingness.  Existence is likened to the definition of a circle, which is eternal and which somehow produces actual circles.  Logic is eternal, so it looks as if existence is as well.  However, the price to be paid is that concrete things can only appears applications of the principle or consequences of the definition, leaving no room for 'efficient causality understood in the sense of a free choice', and this is found in Spinoza and Leibniz. The way forward is to suggest that nothingness is 'a pseudo idea', raising false problems.  The notion of an 'absolute that acts freely, that in an eminent sense endures' would replace it.  Philosophy would correspond to intuition and common sense.

We see the difficulties if we tried to construct an image or the idea of nothingness.  We might shy to arrive at the idea by closing down our perceptions one by one, although the thinking I would still exist, and it would always provide a consciousness even of attempts to blot out the normal I itself -- 'another consciousness lights up'.  So something is always being perceived.  I can think away the external world by focusing on my consciousness, or think away my consciousness, but not both together [not both sequentially I think the argument is].  We cannot think of an image of nothingness, because this image is actually always 'full of things', like the subject and the object and the relations between them. 

Perhaps we should see nothingness as an idea, open to abstract conception, something like the 'polygon with 1000 sides' imagined by Descartes.  We can certainly annihilate individual objects in thought, so that we can see absolute annihilation as a limit.  However, an idea is more than 'a mere word': there is for example a certain consistency required so that we cannot operate with the square circle.  This totality of conceptions cannot be annihilated unless we are to dispense with the consistent idea.  Individuals can be annihilated but not totalities [is the generalization which follows, I think].  For example, when we try and annihilate a particular object, another linked or implied one takes its place.  An annihilated object can leave behind the void of itself, a place it once occupied, with precise outlines.  More generally, perception is always directed at the presence of something, while absence relies on memory and expectation.  In practice, we think of old objects in a new place, or new objects in the old place, but we tend to call this thinking of nothingness [the actual word is 'nought' throughout].  This is a combination of a subjective preference and an objective substitution.

The same considerations applied to representations of the external world.  Consciousness represents presences.  We can interrupt this process, say by dreaming, but this second level of the I is involved again, 'the perception of myself from without'.  Intelligence is guided by regret and desire, and seeing a void actually involves recollecting a former presence.  The void is as full as the missing object.  The idea of an absolute nought can only be a pseudo idea, available only because the word for it is available.  We never annihilate objects altogether.

What about annihilation in pure thought?  We can base it on actual disappearances in space or time, but we have to abstract from normal consciousness and its images.  But even here there is a strange operation of declaring something nonexistent.  For in practice, it involves comparing an object that does exist and the same object supposing it to be non existent.  There is no difference in terms of thought and representation.  It is not just a matter of subtracting the notion of existent, a sense that is implied in the first operation of representation.  Instead, thinking of it as nonexistent involves 'adding something to the idea', to think of another reality in which the object would not exist: this other reality is not fully thought out, but remains as something which causes nonexistence in this reality.  But it is still implicit.  In practice, it involves seeing a real object as 'a mere possible', but again some reality is implied, some substantial existence.  As a result, thinking of something as not existing actually involves 'the idea of the object "existing" with, in addition, the representation of an exclusion of the subject by the actual reality [containing possibilities] taken in block'.

It is always possible, as a purely intellectual operation, to negate something, by adding the word 'not'.  This is a form of simply announcing annihilation, regardless of all the assumptions of actual consciousness mentioned above.  This is negation, and, logically, it's is simply 'symmetrical with affirmation'.  We might use it to create negative ideas, or another sequential annihilation again.  The assumption is that negation is self sufficient.  However, there is an additional element which is not just logical.  Negation always relates to an eventual affirmation, for example, as when we negate just one property of an object [as in 'this table is not white']: it is not the absence of white which has been perceived.  A judgment is involved, for example that people might think the table white, and negation is a warning that the judgement is to be replaced.  Affirmation is a judgment, so negation is a judgment about that judgment, 'it affirms something of an affirmation which itself affirms something of an object'.

Away from abstract logic, negation also serves as a warning that an affirmation might be dubious when held by others—'there is a beginning of society'.  This sort of negation is 'of a pedagogical and social nature'.  However, it is a warning about an existing affirmation, not an attempt to substitute another one immediately—but it invites someone to try another affirmation.  The whole operation involves an interest in what other people are affirming, and the demands for an additional affirmation—'in neither of these two acts is there anything but affirmation'.  It also follows, for Bergson, that's 'no idea will come forth from negation, for it as no other content than that of the affirmative judgement which it judges'.  Even the very act of denying that an object exists, say, implies an initial affirmation at least if it's possibility.  Judgements are often of this kind, contrasting possible and actual, or 'two kinds of existence, one thought and the other found'.  Invoking possibilities also implies particular interests.

So negation is 'subjective, artificially cut short, relative to the human mind and still more to the social life'.  All propositions are relative to social life and human experience, they are all social and pedagogical, aiming to prevent error.  Negation and affirmation are only equivalent of the level of formal logic.  The whole point of human intellect is to affirm.  There is no way to represent 'the nonexistence of the non existing'.  Simple logical negation never suggests a positive content, however ['this ground is not damp' does not mean that 'this ground is dry' unless we take into account a whole series of collective experience and sensations]. 

Negation never exists in experience, which reacts to the present and uses memory to contrast it.  It looks like this contrast will suggest different sorts of possibility, and even suggest a notion of disappearance—but remembering it links it with the present, so it never disappears, at least all the time we do not disown our past.  Negation only makes sense ['objectifies itself'] by connecting itself with 'a latent affirmation of its replacement'.  So the idea of an absolute Nothing really involves 'the idea of Everything' assisted by focusing on the refusal and never filling out the background.  As a result, the great question why does anything exist is only 'a pseudo problem raised about a pseudo idea', although it is a stubborn one.  The idea persists because it has a social and practical element as above, insufficiently separated from philosophical ideas.  'Every human action has its starting point in a dissatisfaction, and thereby in a feeling of absence'[getting a bit close to desire as a lack here?].  It looks as if we precede from nothing to something, although it is really a matter of utility.

Another implication is that the notion of being derived from the idea of the nought, can only itself be a logical or mathematical one, something static where everything appears all at once and for all eternity.  That is why we have to reject the nought and try to grasp being as something more than an opposite of nothingness.  This will be something psychological rather than mathematical or logical.  It is something that endures.  Duration must also be addressed directly and not through contrasts and oppositions. 

The reliance on action directs our attention toward the end to be realized, not the action or process to get there.  Will not understand the movement of an arm by thinking first of 'all the elementary attractions and tensions this act involves', nor having to enumerate them one by one.  We go straight to the end and simplify the act, and the appropriate movements take care of themselves.  The intellect only grasps the end of the activity, turning away from the movement going on.  There's also an assumption that the surroundings or context can be seen as unmovable, an essential assumption for action to be described: of us activity leaps from act to act, and matter seems to pass from one state to the other.  At the level of the organism, sensory organs are coordinated with motor organs, perception with action.  The working hypothesis is that the material world is a series of states variants, confirmed by experience.

We also see qualities as states, even though things like color actually comprise large numbers of movements, vibrations.  We know that qualities change, and this has led to attempts to grasp what it is that is mobile.  Natural perception grasps changes in terms of a quality or simple state 'by a work of condensation'.  The more we act, the more we can condense changes into instants, through perception.  Humans, particularly 'a "man of action"'can take in a large number of events at a glance, while it is a sign of weakness to precede from one event to another.  Condensation involves producing boundaries around bodies, groups of qualities.  Bodies can change their qualities, however, requiring a conception of the body as 'a relatively closed system', or form.  These forms are seem to change eventually, 'but in reality the body is changing form at every moment; or rather, there is no form, since form is immobile and the reality is movement...  form is only a snapshot view of a transition'.  We see changes between similar forms as alterations of a 'single mean image', and this is usually what is meant by the essence of the thing or the thing itself.

Things actually reveal changes accomplished in the Whole, although it appears that they act on one another.  We can grasp this as movement, but mobility is still unexamined.  We are interested in where it is going rather than examining it.  We do not imagine all the movements involved in an act, and refer them instead to a general plan of movement, really a 'motionless design'.  Same goes with the commonly distinguished movements 'qualitative or evolutionary or extensive' to which correspond 'three kinds of representations: (1) qualities, (2) forms of essences, (3) acts'.  And categories of words like adjectives substantives and verbs correspond to them.  Even verbs largely express motionless states.

Becoming is infinitely varied.  Qualitative movements, like changes of colors, are different in themselves.  Evolutionary movements likewise, and the same with acts.  These are 'profoundly different becomings' [within themselves as well as between themselves] although they are abstracted to produce a single notion of becoming in general.  When we have to examine specific becomings, we tend to consider images are represent states: specific states combined a general notions of change [the example is we see differences of color as differences between states, connected by some invisible becoming which is itself colorless].

Moving images are also considered like this, a series of snapshots of something moving, which are allowed to replace each other rapidly as in a cinematograph.  This shows that movement is added, and the movement appears in the apparatus itself.  However, we abstract from moving images and notion of movement in general.  Knowledge tends to work like this generally, with abstracted movement added to things, rather than by examining 'the inner becoming of things'.  'The mechanism of our ordinary knowledge is of a cinematographical kind', and this is eminently practical.  In practical activity, we also have a kind of kaleidoscope, arranging and rearranging elements, 'but not interesting itself in the shake'.  We make sense of movement with our intellect by adopting the rhythm of a particular activity, providing discontinuous knowledge of movement.

Thinking more philosophically, the concept of becoming in general can be understood by grasping the transition itself, between any snapshots.  This can only be done by placing ourselves within movement or change, and then understanding both movement and successive states of immobility.  We can never go from immobile states to movement [a discussion of the paradoxes of Zeno ensues].  The paradox of the flying arrow assumes that the arrow can be located at particular positions, but it never actually exists in those positions, and to make it do so means we have to move away from a moving arrow altogether.  Actually the flight of the arrow is 'indecomposable', offering 'indivisible mobility'.  Movement like this occurs between two stops at the start and the end, and if it makes any intermediate stops 'it is known longer a single movement'.  We can count points on the trajectory, but the trajectory itself is created in a single stroke.  The other paradoxes offer the same attempt to apply movements to paths actually traversed, divided into arbitrary divisions, and to take these as movement: real movement is continuous and it is 'articulated inwardly' as either an indivisible 'bound' even if it lasts a long time, or as a series of bounds.  Zeno's paradox of Achilles and the tortoise is only difficult once the movement has been arbitrarily considered as a series of corresponding steps.  But then explaining movement is difficult except as a 'theoretical absurdity', where movement comes out of immobility.

The same mistakes have affected qualitative becoming and evolutionary becoming, for example the common notion that children evolve through various fixed stages into men.  But suggesting that there are self contained stages makes it impossible to explain movement between them, although it is normal not to think this out systematically.  Instead of having to add some abstract movement, we should describe the process not as '"the child becomes the man," but "there is becoming from the child to the man"'.  The difference is that 'becomes' is indeterminate, uninvestigated, but 'becoming' in the second sentence is a subject, 'it is the reality itself' with childhood and manhood as only possible stops.  It helps us break habitual thinking.  It reminds us that there is more in the transition than just the series of states or 'possible cuts'.

Even Greek philosophy found this break with habit difficult, and saw the habits of the mind and the characteristics of language as more important.  [Then we get onto the Eleatics, who apparently saw movement and change as illusion].  This was a philosophy of forms or Ideas.  Idea means quality, form, or the end or designing or intention of the act, corresponding to the adjective, substantive and verb.  However, it should be translated as view or moment, the stable view or snapshot, the quality which is a moment of becoming, the form, a moment of evolution, the essence as the mean form, and the intention or mental design which is really a condensation of the accomplished act.  Reducing things to ideas presupposes 'principal moments', extracted from eternity.  A notion of physics and theology necessarily follows from this fundamentally cinematographic mechanism.  There can be nothing accidental or contingent.  But separated from life, the forms become artificial and symbolic.

Instead of seeing objects as related to some essence, as contained within them, like 'a piece of gold and the small change', we should find the gold straight away.

There is more in movement and becoming, but this cannot be derived from the notion of form, although it does work vice versa.  As a result, it is the motionless that must be the only thing that can be studied for the Greeks.  We have already seen that they tend to add the negative or zero to make the idea turn into a movement, something added to a void.  Duration should rather be studied as the fundamental reality, 'the very life of things'.  
Placing ourselves in duration reveals that form is extended, that becoming has an extensity which it materializes as it flows.  Classical Greek philosophy sees it the other way around, starting with form, which then gets elevated into a concept.  Concepts are not extended, so forms must be somehow 'stationed outside space as well as above time'[because concepts are idealized].  The diminished notion of being provided by idealism requires space and time to complete it, a 'field' where we find completed reality.  But this field is itself created by the process of looking for reality, and is considered as something lacking, endlessly pursued by human reason,  never fully recovered.  Materiality has a fundamental deficit, but when we fill it with pure forms, extended space is contracted, and the flow of time is stopped by a notion of eternity.

This produces a physics based on and close to logic [hence no material science for the Greeks?].  In common sense, we find the same tendency, and it also leads to seeing objects as a series of forms governed by some logical system [maybe].  However if we examine the process is by which poems are developed, we can see that phrases and words are materialized, but not logically from some first principle, rather through 'contingency and choice'.  Other metaphors and words could have arisen, especially as images and words call up other images and words.  We tend to work backwards here moving from those words and images back to some supposed generative idea which is taken as self sufficient.  This is how classical philosophers proceed as well.  They work 'from the percept to the concept' and thus manage to condense all the detail of positive reality into the logical. 

This procedure lies at the basis of the intellect and of science itself, so that science 'is not, then, a human construction.  It is prior to our intellect, independent of it, veritably the generator of Things'.  Actually, the forms must be 'snapshots taken by the mind', ideals as well as Ideas, but for the classics Ideas must exist by themselves.  Aristotle attempted to avoid this conclusion, and did so by combining Ideas and constructing a world above the physical, 'the Idea of Ideas...the Thought of Thought', God.  This God happily 'inclines' to the world producing the more material platonic Ideas, and this is seen in the notion of the active intellect, more or less 'Science entire', which can show us a vision of god as we analyze the material.  The notion of causality is involved which we can get to if we follow this 'natural movement of the intellect', and it was conceived as an attraction or an impulsion originating from the Prime Mover.  Intellect can follow the chains of analysis from things toward god [attraction]or start with god and work down.
God therefore becomes both efficient cause and final cause, depending on point of view [there's also an notion of ultimate cause, which looks like a kind of logical relation between two terms of an equation, or the relation of the gold piece to the small change.  This notion is used to argue that therefore there is an eternity of movement, with no beginning or end—Aristotle again, apparently.  Again the implication is that if movement is eternal like this, it can only be seen as something immutable which unwinds itself in the material world—maybe].

However, there is a third fundamental notion as well, which involves affirming 'all the degrees of reality intermediate between it and nothing', just as we have to accept the numbers between one and 10 if we affirm 10.  This involves a slip from quantity to quality, since notion of the whole continuity implies perfection at one end and nought at the other, with a constant circling between the two.  As soon as the Prime Mover takes one step 'down', Being appears in space and time.  Duration and extension, therefore, are seen as closest to the divine principle.  We can think of it as also perpetuating circular movement [making and unmaking?], creating itself 'and thereby duration in general'.  This perfection decreases as it moves down toward the world [and so duration fizzles out, so to speak?].

There may be connections 'by many invisible threads to the soul of ancient Greece', and there are clearly been inputs from poetry religion and social life, but its underlying metaphysics has persisted as 'the natural metaphysical of the human intellect', based on a cinematographic notion of perception and thought.  Since we arrive at stable forms by extracting all the concrete characteristics, nothing is left that can explain change and instability, except an equally abstract negative, some notion of 'in determination itself'.  Change has actually been subdivided into a force that maintain stability in the form, and some notion of change in general, something equally predictable.  The operations of language correspond.  Philosophy has helped to develop these ideas with more force and construct a system leading to the real seen as a matter of forms, and some purely indeterminate mobility.  The sensible has been abstracted into concepts, and these are seen as somehow  linked to each other, maybe even derived from a single concept.  The imperfections of material reality are explained in terms of approaching non being, some 'quasi-nought'.  This system is then used to interpret the world, by adding some notion of metaphysical necessity which includes intermediate realities as above.  Anything arising as novelty can be understood in terms of negation.  Duration and extension are seen as forms of negation ['the smallest possible quantity of negation']. More and more particular attributes emerge as we degrade the principle.  All these attempts depend only upon 'the philosopher's fancy': the steps are arbitrary.  Concepts will be seen as in a logical order, underlying the physical.  Science will transcend the sensible because it would trace this system of concepts, and will deliver a more complete version of human knowledge and of the understanding of things 'which awkwardly try to imitate' the logical order.  This system has persisted even in modern philosophy [could be a bit like Hegel?].

The cinematographic method haunts modern intellectual effort.  Science attempts to handle signs which substitute for the objects themselves, not always those of ordinary language, but signs always 'denote a fixed aspect of the reality under an arrested form'.  Movement is resupplied in a manageable form.  Science here betrays its persistent connection to the sensori-motor, even though it might speculate in the short term.  Movement between moments is still largely irrelevant.  Modern science looks at laws rather than genera, and this has helped it move beyond the classical conception of 'privileged moments' in movement—'modern science considers the object at any moment whatever' [familiar phrase for deleuzians].  There is no real interest in the passage between these privileged moments, say between the beginning and end of the falling object in Aristotle, compared to Galileo, who did want to grasp all the moments in between, and had to develop more precise signs to do so.  So we break up time indefinitely, while the ancients thought ofperiods of time.  New thinking arose because of 'apparent crises of the real'[Kepler on puzzling orbits will soon follow as the example].  However, this is still a difference of degree rather than kind, a move towards a higher precision, but the same cinematographic method [scientific conceptions of the movement of the horse, clearly hinting at the famous early experiments].

This enables us to move beyond qualitative descriptions, where one phase succeeds another.  Now we can examine quantitative variations, of the whole thing or of parts.  This is what the experiments of modern science aims at—measurement rather than concepts, laws of constant variation, no natural figures like the circle, but a grasp of the elliptical orbit.  The ancients still developed accurate experimental malls, like Archimedes on displacement, but it was a static science, having to operate with periods of movement as blocks.  Time emerges as a separate variable with modern science, seeing movement as fundamentally connected to time as well as space, even in geometry, with a shift towards Cartesian equations for curves on a graph, and equations generally rather than figures.  [Examples from Galileo and Kepler ensue—solving specific problems led to generalized understanding, in each case taking matter as occupying points in space, which was good enough: Bergson sees such a laws as good enough, provisional, awaiting 'a dynamic law which alone would give us whole and definite knowledge'. 

However, the main characteristic of modern science is that it takes time as an independent variable.  This notion of time is the same as the ordinary notion, although science might require a greater number of moments and smaller intervals.  As argued above, this means that real time and cannot be grasped by science.  Its notion of science involves a certain mobility on a trajectory, which can be divided into equal units of time.  At particular times, the mobile thing will be in a particular place.  This can be calculated, but the effects of the flux of time itself are overlooked, especially the effects on consciousness.  We measure the intervals of time between virtual stops, and can use standard time to estimate the position of all other mobile objects at that particular time.  But this is only counting 'simultaneities', and we know nothing of the process that links them: we know this because we can consider different sorts of rapidity in consciousness, but science would be oblivious to them, even if we imagined an infinitely rapid flow.  The points would not disappear nor would the mathematical correspondences as the world 'unfolded like a fan'.  But there would be no grasp of succession and duration, both of which are specific to time and which make it flow.

Succession certainly exists, independent of my perception, and this is not grasped simply by rendering time as a number of unexamined units of duration.  The units matter the consciousness because 'we feel and live the intervals themselves'.  If we take the example of waiting for sugar to dissolve and a glass of water, the duration for the physicist is relative and can be measured in certain units of time which are indifferent to each other.  However, for my consciousness, duration is 'an absolute', coinciding with a feeling of impatience.  There is something that makes me wait, and I have no power over it, and so it is 'an absolute for my consciousness'.  This notion of succession is replaced by simply one of juxtaposition in science.  But why is there a particular kind of philosophy in the passage of time?  Why isn't everything given at once?  There is a difference between the future and the present so it is appropriate to talk of succession rather than juxtaposition: the future is not determined at the present moment, so there must be in real duration 'something unforeseeable and new'.  We can see that there is a concrete whole and a dynamic life, and this is the only way to explain creation.

It is the difference between assembling a jigsaw puzzle and painting a picture, composing something that has already been created compared to something that requires duration in order to be created: 'the time taken up by the invention is one with the invention itself', we see the progress of a thought which is changing as it takes form.  This is a 'vital process'.  We can guess what the outcome will be, but there it is always something unforeseeable in art [circular definition here, I suspect].  We can see this as well in the works of nature, and that militates against accurate prediction in science, so the future can not be read in the present state without 'absurdity'.  Normal thought misses this because memory juxtaposes elements of the past and the present, condensing past succession.  We normally just assume that the duration to come will be the same as past duration, already unrolled [shades of Hume here].  Neither physics nor common sense can grasp a time in any other way.  Both must extract events from a whole and render them as isolated, even though modern science has a quantitative notion of time.

Ideally, intuition should've developed alongside physics, avoiding the common habits of the mind, and ensuring duration directly, 'by an effort of sympathy', in order to grasp the 'very flux of the real'.  Science has mastered events to some extent by symbolizing the real rather than expressing it.  Intuitive knowledge is useless in terms of practice, but it will lead to a better grasp of reality itself, completing the intellect, developing a complimentary faculty.  We will be able to see continuous growth at work in the universe [as making and unmaking].

Modern science actually suggests such a metaphysics.  It overthrew ancient conceptions of essence is and the like as we saw.  Time became an independent variable, an element of reality itself.  Science now needs a 'another knowledge to complete it' away from relativism towards the absolute [which I think means away from human restrictions introduced by unfortunate conceptions of the ordinary intellect], and toward seeing evolution as 'a continual invention of forms ever new'.  This would be a new metaphysics, not mixed up with science, but separate from it and complementary.  Science had the old ambition to find the answers to all the problems and therefore produce a unity, but it was held back by the presuppositions of the cinematographical method.  As a result it came to conclude that 'all is given'.  [That is, there is no more room for philosophy—which is quite like the actual position taken by Einstein in the great debate with Bergson?].

We see the hesitation between [absolute and relative in this special sense] metaphysics in Descartes, struggling to reconcile both universal mechanism and a freewill of man.  This was solved by treating physical determinism in terms of human action, while duration was seen in terms of an ever creative god, outside time.  Had he pursued the second option, he mites have ended in an understanding of duration.  We would have known longer thought that the future was predictable, if only by combining the old elements in a new way.  Mechanism would've been seen as a method not a doctrine, recognizing the cinematographical assumptions in science.  But it was the first option that was chosen.

Both Leibniz and Spinoza experimented with another option, suggesting some 'supra-sensible truth', still carrying with them Greek conceptions of metaphysics as something to add to or systematise science.  In both there are flashes of intuition, however.  Both offer a unity for science.  Science has constructed closed systems which enabled the position of elements to be calculated 'for any moment whatever', and it preceded 'as if [this] condition was realized'.  This assumption was hypostatized in philosophy, so a method became a ' fundamental law of things', and the whole of the sensible world was incorporated in universal mechanism.  Philosophy sought to provide the reason for this mechanism in a single principle to explain the whole of the real, something like true being, or normal being expressing the eternal. 

The operation was to proceed by unifying laws rather than concepts, with laws seen as expressing quantifiable relations between things.  This is a synthesis that must leave out a lot of reality, or impose divisions like quantity or quality, the properties of bodies or souls.  Metaphysics increasingly reconciled itself to explain one of these halves, or possibly translate one into the other in a 'rigorous parallelism', implying some underlying fundamental or identity which could explain everything.  We find this in Leibniz and Spinoza in different forms.  With Spinoza thought and extension are placed in the same rank and are seen as translations of the same original or attributes of the one substance.  These attributes then appear in material reality having been 'forced into existence'.  With Leibniz, fault is original, with all the possible views of god expressed in the monads: different points of view are taken by humans who lack perfection, and each represents reality,  although not a self sufficient account of reality, only a representation of God's view of reality.  We can explain their plurality by referring to a multiplicity of exterior points of view [percepts?], And we can explain their similarity or dissimilarity in terms of where they are positioned relative to each other: this can be quantified.  This is what explains the perception of extension: 'the real Whole has no parts' but repeats itself infinitely [in order to get the possibilities, further organized by degrees of compossibility?].  Objects themselves are made up by the 'reciprocal complementarity of these whole views', and only god has no point of view: universal mechanism is but 'an aspect which reality takes for us', while Spinoza thought it was simply real.

It is still difficult to move from god back to things, 'from eternity to time'.  For modern philosophers, laws become crucial, and are seen as 'immanent in what [they govern]'.  This is a shift from transcendence of the Greeks to immanence as their reason for the unity of nature.  Immanence implies that relations are 'both in and out of time', both found in the unity of the substance and in all its subsequent derivatives.  In order to solve these contradictions, the 'weaker of the two terms' were abandoned, especially time as anything other than an illusion, a confused perception for Leibniz.  For Spinoza, it is more like the Greek distinction between essence and accidents, expressed in terms of the inadequate and the adequate.  In both cases, a science is possible which will eventually coincide with reality, a coincidence which is 'integrally given in eternity': both reject the notion of a reality that creates itself, 'an absolute duration'.

All modern empirical sciences incorporate this metaphysic, which supposes 'an a priori that the whole of the real as resolvable into elements' and that mechanism will explain everything.  We find this in modern attempts to equate the cerebral and the cyclical [as above and in Matter and Memory], which incorporates ancient metaphysical beliefs and the truths of experience, although real experience which show 'the into dependents of the mental and the physical': the one is necessary for the other just as a crucial screw makes a machine function, but there is no direct translation between operations.  Here, we have shrunk the problems that connect thought to extension, and not pursued implications fully [those contradictions found initially in Leibniz and Spinoza, which lead to having to posit an essential unity either in Substance of the mind of God].

[Kant's position is then outlined, so very short notes as usual...] Kant believes in a single science which can embrace the whole of the real, but asks whether we need this full application to explain modern science.  Science no longer applies to concept or things, so it need no longer be compressed to given accounts of the whole of being.  Relations found in laws are clearly established by mental activity, and are discovered by the intellect.  It's possible that god's intellect constructed so we could understand them that way, but we do not have to assume it any longer: Kant prefers to operate with a strict minimum of such metaphysics, sufficient to explain the physics of Galileo.  There may be in impersonal unification of the intellects, and if so this is transcendental, not exactly proceeding from god, but exceeding human thought, thus restoring humanity.  However, there is still an origin outside the intellect of the relations found in laws, something more than just intelligence.  This might've been considered as Bergson considers it, as a higher level of consciousness, intuition, but Kant saw nothing other than intellect at work in knowledge.  Intellect could not even be grasped in terms of its genesis, nor was there any underlying relationship between intellect and matter itself: intellect imposes its form on matter [so things in themselves can never be grasped, I assume?].

Kant's effort was directed into understanding what must be so if the claims of science are justified, but he does not investigate the origin of these claims in the first place, things like the way it becomes more a more a matter of symbols, for example, or how it leaves out the vital.  Intuition must be 'infra-intellectual'.  However, science is not superior, more objective, in every aspect of its operation, and indeed departs more a more from objects as we saw, which leaves a possible intuition as 'supra-intellectual', with new connections to the sensuous.  Such an intuition can know things as they are.  It would correct the symbolic tendencies of science.  It would complete the notion of the intellect and increase what would count as sensible knowledge.  But Kant would not accept duality, nor that duration is the basis of reality, more that things can be known from the inside: again he operates with constitutive notions of space and time.  His understanding of consciousness is limited as a consequence, especially as something which intervenes between physical existence and non temporal existence.

Philosophers since have talked about progress and evolution, partly to escape relativism, but again duration is not included, especially 'real which each form flows of the previous forms, while adding to them something new, and is explained by them as much as it explains them'.  There is a lingering notion of a complete being being manifested, or a denial of anything other than physical causality, or mechanism.  To finally break with this, we must abandon construction and appeal to experience, breaking from the habits of our intellect, seeking a 'continual rearrangements between the parts, that concrete duration in which a radical recasting of the whole is always going on'.  We should study the real in all its complexities.  We should not aim to develop more and more generalities, but opt for 'the detail of the real, and no longer only the whole in a lump'.

This is what current philosophy calls for.  The development of the moral sciences, psychology and embryology all suggest this enduring reality.  Spencer offered a possible link between the progress of matter and advance of the mind, and saw in biology a possibility for philosophy to advance.  However, he was diverted [and substantial discussion ensues].  His method involved working with what had evolved already and then dividing it into fragments, ready to be reconstructed or integrated back into a whole, rather than tracing the actual genesis of what has evolved.  He concedes the elements as solid ones when considering matter, and tries to combine instinct and rational volition to explain evolution itself: both really are 'deposits of the evolution movement' themselves, as we see when we use a combination of semi voluntary and semiautomatic movements ourselves, say when escaping danger.  Spencer argues that the phenomena that follow each other in nature project into the mind images, so that relations between phenomena have symmetrical relations between ideas—but this leaves out the process by which the mind constructs phenomena as distinct elements cuts out from continuity, and takes the modern intellect for consciousness as a whole.  A proper evolution would try to work out how the intellect became structured like this, and how it related to matter and the way it became subdivided.

Modern science is pressing us to examine different sorts of origin and process including creation and annihilation.  They still think of this in terms of movements or energies, and philosophers must go further, abandoning existing 'imaginative symbols' in favor of seeing 'the material world melt back into a simple flux'.  Above all, we can find a real duration 'in the realm of life and consciousness', because ignoring it in science does not produce so serious an error as in that realm.  We must see how the rest of reality derives from this realm, how consciousness has developed to help us escape determinism, how evolution is not just the recomposition of fragments.  Philosophy is therefore 'the turning of the mind homeward', reuniting consciousness with the underlying living principle or creative effort, studying becoming in general.  We have to avoid scholasticism, however.

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