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It is, to borrow Grant's description of Eis in Aristotle's Ethics, a δύναμις on the farther side of ενέργειαι.

Such then in outline is Butler's dynamic conception of nature and of knowledge: perpetual change interweaving the living and the dead, the organic and the inorganic, an unbroken continuity determined by the purposiveness of mind. To quote from his closing paragraph,

Bodily form may be almost regarded as idea and memory in a solidified state. ... It ... arises from and through action. Action arises normally from and through opinion. Opinion, from and through hypothesis. “Hypothesis," as the deriva.

. tion of the word itself shows, is singularly akin to“ underlying, and only in part knowable, substratum”, and what is this but “God” translated from the language of Moses into that of Mr. Herbert Spencer ?' (Luck, or Cunning? p. 316.)

M. Bergson's Essai sur les données immédiates de la conscience (1889) was published only three years later than Luck, or Cunning? but neither in this nor in the two subsequent volumes of his trilogy does M. Bergson show any acquaintance with Butler. If, then, parallels exist between the doctrines of these two thinkers, the doctrines themselves must none the less be regarded as the outcome of independent lines of speculation.

In the essay, translated into English under the title of Time and Free Will (1910), M. Bergson sets himself the task of bringing before his readers the nature of immediate experience, the interpenetration of moment by moment in the qualitative stream of consciousness. It is this rich continuity of being, throbbing through each individual, which constitutes true duration. This duration of living experience has, however, been overlaid by thought. In the attempt to discriminate and classify, to separate by analysis this or that feature as characteristic of this or that moment of life, we have lost the flow of true duration, and substituted for it a series of successive states, each in itself static. Such a conception of conscious experience leads us to self-contradictory notions and renders the comprehension of movement impossible. The work of the intellect in analysing and classifying immediate experience involves the conception of space. For in characterizing and classifying mental states we are treating them as units which can be juxtaposed, and which qua units can be repeated and counted. To treat them thus is to treat them as homogeneous yet distinguishable, and this is, in essence, to spatialize them, space being the conception of a homogeneous medium wherein there are distinguishable positions. This conception of space, which falsifies true duration, replacing it by ordered succession, not only leads to confusion in our notions of movement, e. g. the puzzles of Zeno, but further to confusion with regard to causation.

In physical science causation involves spatialized time, uniformity of succession; the law of causation is the claim that anywhere on the time line successive positions can be repeated. But true causation implies that a given event is a creation from what has gone before. What has been, has endured and become what is. There is no possibility of laying down in advance what will be. Causation is creation. The future arises out of, and may be explained by, the past, but it can never be deduced from it in advance. Such true or vital causation is exemplified in the human will whenever' our acts spring from our whole personality, when they express it, when they have that indefinable resemblance to it which one sometimes finds between an artist and his work'. (Time and Free Will, p. 172.) It is not regularity of order which is the essence of true causation, but the evolving of the new moment in all its concreteness out of the enduring past. That necessary connexion of cause and effect, formulated in the law' whenever a, then b', can only be found in spatialized time, wherein a and b are stripped of all that characterizes them as concrete events, and preserve only the character of occupying successive positions in 'geometric' time. This distinction of vital causation and the causation of physical science gives M.


Bergson a basis for meeting the dilemma between Free Will and Determinism. A man is only free when his action exemplifies creative or vital causation.

The teaching of the essay is 'writ large' in Creative Evolution (1911) (L'Évolution créatrice, 1907). That which in the individual is the experience of true duration, is in Nature as a whole the impetus of life (élan vital.)

Science, the work of the intellect, falsifies Nature by using static conceptions and mechanistic principles and explanation. It therefore leads to self-contradiction and fails to interpret life. M. Bergson would point the road to a more excellent philosophy wherein intuition', the power in man which is complementary to intellect, shall correct the faults of the latter. By intuition man should be able to replace himself within the evolutionary process of life and reinform the analytic knowledge of science by the light of absolute experience.

Before taking up M. Bergson's account of memory we will compare the doctrines of the essay and of Creative Evolution with the teaching of Butler.

We have seen that Butler was aware of the inadequacy of the clear-cut distinctions of common sense to express the interdependence of life and death, of the individual and his environment, of design and undesign. 'The error of our philosophers consists in not having borne in mind that when they quitted the ground on which common sense can claim authority, they should have reconsidered every thing that common sense had taught them' (Luck, or Cunning ? p. 167). Butler did not develop the contradictions into which such hard and fast divisions of thought lead us, nor did he connect such errors with our conception of space, but he did, significantly enough, entitle his chapter on the illusiveness of such clearcut distinctions, 'The Way of Escape'.

Butler found the riddle of the universe in change : it is here that M. Bergson finds his central problem. Butler rejected both mechanism and finalism, when the latter



was interpreted as meaning the design of an external Creator. M. Bergson rejects both as inadequate to explain the course followed by the vital impetus.

Butler saw plant life and animal life, not as progressive orders of a serial development, but as ' embodiments of the two great fundamental principles on which alone it is possible that life can be conducted'. (Luck, or Cunning ? p. 115.)

M. Bergson speaks of belief in the serial development of a single tendency as 'the cardinal error which from Aristotle onwards has vitiated most of the philosophies of nature'. (Creative Evolution, p. 142.) Vegetables and animals have chosen two different kinds of convenience in the way of procuring the carbon and nitrogen they need '. (ibid., p. 119.)

Do Butler and M. Bergson, then, take the same view of life? We have seen that for Butler life is the manifestation of mind. The form of any living thing is due to its mind. 'The more a living thing knows its own mind the more living it becomes.' (Luck, or Cunning ? p. 167.) The continuity of life is dependent upon continuity of mind. Life is the being possessed of memory.' It holds from moment to moment and from generation to generation.

Let us turn to M. Bergson. Life is creative,' a continually growing action.' 'The living being is above all a thoroughfare, and the essence of life is the movement by which life is transmitted.' (Creative Evolution, p. 135.) 'Heredity does not only transmit characters, it transmits also the impetus in virtue of which the characters are modified, and this impetus is vitality itself.' (ibid., p. 244.) It is the continuity of life rather than the continuity of mind which M. Bergson stresses.

In speaking of nature as the realization of a plan M. Bergson says, ‘Nature is more and better than a plan in course of realization. A plan is a term assigned to labour : it closes the future whose form it indicates. Before the evolution of life, on the contrary, the portals of the future remain wide open. It is a creation that goes on for ever in virtue of an initial

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movement.' (ibid., p. 110.) Is such creative life more than the manifestation of a mindful and designing' memory ? Apparently, yes. We read that it is consciousness or rather supra-consciouness, that is at the origin of life', (ibid., p. 275.) Again, that 'in reality life is of the psychological order'. (ibid., p. 271.) But although life for M. Bergson may be the manifestation of a soul, it is not the manifestation of the memory-filled mind or soul of the individual instinct with life, as it is for Butler. This is a significant difference. Life is greater than the living individual. We may say that for M. Bergson it should be written with a capital.

We must now turn to M. Bergson's account of memory and knowledge. In Matter and Memory (1911) (Matière et Mémoire, Ist ed., 1896) M. Bergson claims for man two memories, one which imagines and one which repeats. The former represents the past, the latter enacts it. The topics usually discussed in psychology under 'habit', 'learning by rote', illustrate the latter, while reminiscences illustrate the former, The relation of these two memories to each other is dependent upon the relation of the body to the soul. Memory is, M. Bergson tells us, ' a privileged problem for the study of the relation of body and mind.

The human body is an object having its place in the world of change together with other objects. It is a centre of activity and a centre upon which the activities of other objects may be exercised. By reason of its nervous system it is ' selective' in its receipt of such activities and ' indeterminate' in its response. In the world of change there is action and reaction continuous everywhere throughout that world. But in relation to the nervous system of an organism there is limitation in action and reaction. And the more complicated the nervous system of any organism, the more selective it is in its receipt of stimulation and the more indeterminate in its response. It is just this selectiveness and indetermination which occasions perception. There is ' merely a difference of degree and not

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