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Chapter 4 - Bergson on the True Intellect

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 November 2019

Alexandre Lefebvre
Affiliation:
University of Sydney
Nils F. Schott
Affiliation:
Collège universitaire de SciencesPo
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Summary

The chapter explores Bergson’s connection of intelligence and invention. Far from dismissing the intellect outright (as many of his readers believe), Bergson carefully distinguishes between the intellect that understands and the intellect that invents - the “true intellect,” which is best understood by way of virtuality. Focusing on the essay “Intellectual Effort” from Mind-Energy, the chapter gives a detailed description of the dynamic schema as a singular, unified, and schematic view of the whole (an intuition) that points in the direction in which the solution to a problem is to be invented. The key aspect is its dynamism, which allows for action and distinguishes the “true” from the “pure” intellect that merely rearranges preexisting images. On the basis of this reading, the essay proposes a definition of the virtual as actualized through the effort of the inventive intellect: the virtual is the production of a new invention (a creation) thanks to the dynamic schema, the force of a problem demanding to be solved (perception), and the memory-images that come in to embody the schema.

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Chapter
Information
Interpreting Bergson
Critical Essays
, pp. 67 - 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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