Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 54, 2008

Time and Memory

Andrejs Balodis
Pages 3-12

Revitalization of the Past
Henry Bergson’s Theory of Memory

The concept of memory rests at the heart of Bersgon’s theory of consciousness. His theory of memory is the novelty in the history of philosophy. It is not an affirmation either of the metaphysical conceptions (versions à la Platonism) where “all knowledge is recollection”, nor of empiricist psychology possibly traceble back to Aristotle, where, briefly speaking, the faculty of memory depends on the general perceptual capacity. Contrary to the majority of the philosophical and psychological theories of his epoch, Bergson assigns memory the most important role in the intellectual process, denying the characteristic of passivity (from greek word pathos meaning kind of affection) attached to it, instead concerning with the creative, productive and vital power of memory rather than merely its retentive and recalling capacity.