Skip to main content

The Normal and the Pathological in Bergson

In this conference, I will try to understand why Bergson shift from the concept of "attention to life" (introduced in Matter and Memory) to the concept of "attachment to life"(introduced in The Two Sources). Often considered as synonymous, the slight difference between them represent actually a major change in Bergson's thought. "Attention to life" as the "sens of real" is the concept by which Bergson can draw a line between the normal and the pathological, between the real and the unreal (dreams, deliriums, etc.), providing also a concept of equilibrum and adaptation as opposed to psychosis, "Attachment to life" describes a new kind of equilibrium and, therefore, a new kind of pathology : neurosis. How one can go beyond the fables and tales of religion, to this closed world of superstition ? How one can go beyond religion considered as neurosis ? would be now the question. Moral and Religion are the forms of our "natural" neurosis. How can we escape from it ? To answer those questions, it will appear that "attachment to life" plays a major role.

David Lapoujade