Bergson Essay Consciousness

Bergson Essay Consciousness-57
Hence number or discrete multiplicity also results from a compromise.Now, when we consider material objects in themselves, we give up this compromise, since we regard them as impenetrable and divisible, i.e. Therefore, we must give it up, too, when we study our own selves.Hence, either a psychophysical formula is possible or the intensity of a simple psychic state is pure quality.

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This tendency has become more and more marked since Kant: while the German philosopher drew a sharp line of separation between time and space, the extensive and the intensive, and, as we should say to-day, consciousness and external perception, the empirical school, carrying analysis still further, tries to reconstruct the extensive out of the intensive, space out of duration, and externality out of inner states.

Physics, moreover, comes in to complete the work of psychology in this respect : it shows that, if we wish to forecast It seemed to us that there was good reason to set ourselves the opposite problem and to ask whether the most obvious states of the ego itself, which we believe that we grasp directly, are not mostly perceived through the medium of certain forms borrowed from the external world, which thus gives us back what we have lent it.

If magnitude, outside you, is never intensive, intensity, within you, is never magnitude.

It is through having overlooked this that philosophers have been compelled to distinguish two kinds of quantity, the one extensive, the other intensive, without ever succeeding in explaining what they had in common or how the same words " increase " and " decrease " could be used for things so unlike.

Quantitative differences applicable to magnitudes but not to intensities, 1-4 ; Attempt to estimate intensities by objective causes or atomic movements, 4-7 ; Different kinds of intensities, 7 ; Deep-seated psychic states: desire, 8, hope, 9, joy and sorrow, 10; Aesthetic feelings, 11-18: grace, 12, beauty, 14-18, music, poetry, art, 15-18 ; Moral feelings, pity, 19; ; Conscious states involving physical symptoms, 20: muscular effort, 21-26, attention and muscular tension, 27-28 ; Violent emotions, 29-31 : rage, 29, fear, 30 ; Affective sensations, 32-39: pleasure and pain, 33-39, disgust, 36 ; Representative sensations, 39-60 : and external causes, 42, sensation of sound, 43, intensity, pitch and muscular effort, 45-6, sensations of heat and cold, 46-7, sensations of pressure and weight, 47-50, sensation of light, 50-60, photometric experiments, 52-60, Delboeuf's experiments, 56-60 ; Psychophysics, 60-72: Weber and Fechner, 61-65, Delboeuf, 67-70, the mistake of regarding sensations as magnitudes, 70-72 ; Intensity in (1) representative, (2) affective states, intensity and multiplicity, 72-74.

Number and its units, 75-77, number and accompanying intuition of space, 78-85 ; Two kinds of multiplicity, of material objects and conscious states, 85-87, impenetrability of matter, 88-89, homogeneous time and pure' duration, 90-91 ; Space and its contents, 92, empirical theories of space, 93-94, intuition of empty homogeneous medium peculiar to man, 95-97, time as homogeneous medium reducible to space, 98-99 ; Duration, succession and space, 100-104, pure duration, 105-106; ; Is duration measurable ? 111-112 ; Paradox of the Eleatics, 113-115 ; Duration and simultaneity, 115-116 ; Velocity and simultaneity, 117-119 ; Space alone homogeneous, duration and succession belong to conscious mind, 120-121 ; Two kinds of multiplicity, qualitative and quantitative, 121-123, superficial psychic states invested with discontinuity of their external causes, 124-126, these eliminated, real duration is felt as a quality, 127-128 ; The two aspects of the self, on the surface well-defined conscious states, deeper down states which interpenetrate and form organic whole, 129-139, solidifying influence of language on sensation, 129-132, analysis distorts the feelings, 132-134, deeper conscious states forming a part of ourselves, 134-136 ; Problems soluble only by recourse to the concrete and living self, 137-139.

In the same way they are responsible for the exaggerations of psychophysics, for as soon as the power of increasing in magnitude is attributed to sensation in any other than a metaphorical sense, we are invited to find out by how much it increases.

And, although consciousness does not measure intensive quantity, it does not follow that science may not succeed indirectly in doing so, if it be a magnitude.

Now just as, in order to ascertain the real rela- (224) -tions of physical phenomena to one another, we abstract whatever obviously clashes with them in our way of perceiving and thinking, so, in order to view the self in its original purity, psychology ought to eliminate or correct certain forms which bear the obvious mark of the external world. When isolated from one another and regarded as so many distinct units, psychic states seem to be more or less intense.

Next, looked at in their multiplicity, they unfold in time and constitute duration.

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