Duration, Temporality, and Freedom: Self- Creation in Bergson and Sartre

Yılmaz, Reyhan
This study aims to explore how freedom should be understood in terms of spontaneity from the perspectives of philosophy of life and phenomenology. In this context, it concentrates on Bergson’s and Sartre’s notions of freedom in relation to their qualitative understanding of time which stands for a central motif in their philosophy. Beyond the theories of determinism and free will that discuss freedom under the conception of time as successive series of ‘nows’, freedom implies the self-creative activity of life as in Bergson, and the constitution of oneself in the world on the basis of a fundamental choice as in Sartre. On the one hand, Sartre asserts the original temporality assuming the ontological structure of being-for-itself, on the other hand, Bergson highlights the essential difference between duration and spatial time. In order to explicate these key remarks, this thesis scrutinizes the notions of consciousness and self in both philosophies. Furthermore, it discusses Sartre’s critique of Bergson on duration to disclose how Sartre transforms Bergson’s idea of freedom from the existentialist point of view.


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Citation Formats
R. Yılmaz, “Duration, Temporality, and Freedom: Self- Creation in Bergson and Sartre,” M.A. - Master of Arts, Middle East Technical University, 2022.