Matter and Memory

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Cosimo, Inc., Nov 1, 2007 - Psychology - 368 pages
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In one of his most important philosophical writings, Henri Bergson here discusses how the matter of the brain and the world external to the body create mental impressions and memories. Matter and Memory, first published in 1912, introduced the current selectionist theories of memory, which postulate that there is a part of the brain that generates all possible images to be stored in memory and a part of the brain that chooses which images to store. Crossing academic disciplines and touching on matters that concern us all-how do we remember, and why?-this essential work will enthrall students of philosophy and psychology and lay readers alike. French philosopher HENRI BERGSON (1859-1941) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927, and is said to have influenced thinkers such as Marcel Proust, William James, Santayana, and Martin Heidegger. Among his works are Matter and Memory (1896), An Introduction to Metaphysics (1903), and The Two Sources of Morality and Religion (1932).
 

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for my philosophical issues in film class. he's got some things to say but i'm not sure if I really connect with Bergson as a theorist/philosopher. Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

OF THE SELECTION OF IMAGES FOR CONSCIOUS PRESENTATION WHAT OUR BODY MEANS AND DOES
1
OF THE RECOGNITION OF IMAGES MEMORY AND THE BRAIN
86
OF THE SURVIVAL OF IMAGES MEMORY AND MIND
170
THE DELIMITING AND FIXING OF IMAGES PERCEPTION AND MATTER SOUL AND BODY
233
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
299
INDEX
333
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Page xi - There is a close connexion between a state of consciousness and the brain : this we do not dispute. But there is also a close connexion between a coat and the nail on which it hangs, for if the nail is pulled out the coat falls to the ground. Shall we say then that the shape of the nail gives us the shape of the coat or in any way corresponds to it ? No more are we entitled to conclude because the psychical fact is hung on to a cerebral state that there is any parallelism between the two series psychical...
Page vii - Matter, in our view, is an aggregate of 'images.' And by 'image' we mean a certain existence which is more than that which the idealist calls a representation, but less than that which the realist calls a thing — an existence placed halfway between the 'thing
Page xi - But there is also a close connection between a coat and the nail on which it hangs, for, if the nail is pulled out, the coat falls to the ground. Shall we say, then, that the shape of the nail gives us the shape of the coat, or in any way corresponds to it? No more are we entitled to conclude, because the physical fact is hung on to a cerebral state, that there is any parallelism between the two series psychical and physiological.

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About the author (2007)

Born in Paris in 1859 of Jewish parents, Henri Bergson received his education there and subsequently taught at Angers and Clermont-Ferraud before returning to Paris. He was appointed professor of philosophy at the College de France in 1900 and elected a member of the French Academy in 1914. Bergson developed his philosophy by stressing the biological and evolutionary elements involved in thinking, reasoning, and creating. He saw the vitalistic dimension of the human species as being of the greatest importance. Bergson's writings were acclaimed not only in France and throughout the learned world. In 1927 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature. In defiance of the Nazis after their conquest of France, Bergson insisted on wearing a yellow star to show his solidarity with other French Jews. Shortly before his death in 1941, Bergson gave up all his positions and renounced his many honors in protest against the discrimination against Jews by the Nazis and the Vichy French regime.

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