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Bergson's conception of time: its effects on a possible philosophy of life

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2003
Kurtoğlu (Taşdalen), Demet
The aim of this study is to show how a possible philosophy of life can arise from Bergson̕s conception of time. In realizing this aim, I appeal to Hadot̕s description of the paradox of the human condition. I claim that in order to understand how a Bergsonian philosophy of life through Bergson̕s conception of time would arise we need to understand the paradox of the human condition. The reason for this is that there are a lot of dualities in Bergson̕s philosophy all of which, I claim, are based on this fundamental duality concerning the human condition. I believe that when this paradox and its possible resolution are restated in Bergsonian notions, a Bergsonian philosophy of life that consists of a life sub specie durationis, that is a life under the aspect of duration, would arise. Hadot considered the paradox within the context of phenomenology alone. This made me proceed by searching for other approaches to the paradox within Bergson̕s philosophy. I realized that the attempts in finding out possible solutions to this problem cannot be found in the context of phenomenology alone and that the vitalist and the existentialist aspects have to be considered in order to remain faithful to Bergson̕s philosophy as well as in order to construct a Bergsonian philosophy of life. The phenomenological aspect of the paradox arises around Bergson̕s notion of displacement of attention and when the notion of durée réelle is considered with consciousness in the light of the notion of intensity. The vitalist aspect enters into our discussion when we analyze Bergson̕s notion of élan vital around the consideration of true evolution. I believe that the existentialist aspect of the paradox of the human condition comes from Bergson̕s notion of freedom around the discussion of the superficial and the fundamental self. It emerges if the individual asks himself how to deal with this paradox