Below the Abyss: On Bergson's Metaphysics

Episode 76 · June 24th, 2020 · 1 hr 18 mins

About this Episode

According to the French philosopher Henri Bergson, there are two ways of knowing the world: through analysis or through intuition. Analysis is our normal mode of apprehension. It involves knowing what's out there through the accumulation and comparison of concepts. Intuition is a direct engagement with the absolute, with the world as it exists before we starting tinkering with it conceptually. Bergson believed that Western metaphysics erred from the get-go when it gave in to the all-too-human urge to take the concepts by which we know things for the things themselves. His entire oeuvre was an attempt to snap us out of that spell and plug us directly into the flow of pure duration, that primordial time that is the real Real. In this episode, JF and Phil discuss the genius -- and possible limitations -- of his metaphysics.


Henri Bergson, "Introduction to Metaphysics"
Weird Studies episode 13 -- The Obscure: On the Philosophy of Heraclitus
Weird Studies episode 16: On Dogen Zenji's 'Genjokoan'
Bertrand Russel's critique of Bergson's philosophy
Dōgen Zenji, Shōbōgenzō
Wiliam James, Principles of Psychology
Plato, Theaetetus
Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency
Aleister Crowley, British occultist
Graham Harman, "The Third Table"
Weird Studies episode 8 - On Graham Harman's "The Third Table"
Bergson, Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic
Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus