Volume 7, 2007
Philosophy of Culture(s)
Demet Kurtoğlu Taşdelen
Bergson on the Paradox of the Human Conditionq
In this paper, I will try to show Bergson's resolution of the paradox of the human condition: the tension existing between 'living in the world' and 'perceiving the world'. His resolution centers around his concept "displacement of attention." According to him, when the direction of reasoning changes from 'intellect to intuition' to 'intuition to intellect', one will be able to experience the seemingly distinct two realms as a "succession without distinction". This experience is possible only by means of intuition in duration. In order to explain this kind of experience, Bergson uses the analogy of an artist creating a work of art. The artist and the philosopher both share the act of perceiving for the sake of perceiving; they both create in duration and as such they are able to perceive the moving world of phenomena without stopping it and breaking it into pieces. It is only through carrying this experience that we live in art or when we listen to a melody or again when we experience our self from within into the realm of philosophy that one is able to do true philosophy.