Henri Bergson Quotes (38 Quotes)


    Spirit borrows from matter the perceptions on which it feeds and restores them to matter in the form of movements which it has stamped with its own freedom.

    I cannot escape the objection that there is no state of mind, however simple, that does not change every moment.

    We regard intelligence as man's main characteristic and we know that there is no superiority which intelligence cannot confer on us, no inferiority for which it cannot compensate.

    In short, intelligence, considered in what seems to be its original feature, is the faculty of manufacturing artificial objects, especially tools to make tools, and of indefinitely urging the manufacture.

    Wherever anything lives, there is, open somewhere, a register in which time is being inscribed.


    Homo sapiens, the only creature endowed with reason, is also the only creature to pin its existence on things unreasonable.

    Intelligence is the faculty of making artificial objects, especially tools to make tools.


    Genius is that which forces the inertia of humanity to learn.

    There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation.

    Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.

    Life does not proceed by the association and addition of elements, but by dissociation and division.

    Our laughter is always the laughter of a group.

    Some other faculty than the intellect is necessary for the apprehension of reality.

    In its entirety, probably, it follows us at every instant; all that we have felt, thought and willed from our earliest infancy is there, leaning over the present which is about to join it, pressing against the portals of consciousness that would fain leave it outside.


    The only cure for vanity is laughter, and the only fault that is laughable is vanity.

    In just the same way the thousands of successive positions of a runner are contracted into one sole symbolic attitude, which our eye perceives, which art reproduces, and which becomes for everyone the image of a man who runs.

    When we make the cerebral state the beginning of an action, and in no sense the condition of a perception, we place the perceived images of things outside the image of our body, and thus replace perception within the things themselves.

    In reality, the past is preserved by itself automatically.

    Instinct perfected is a faculty of using and even constructing organized instruments; intelligence perfected is the faculty of making and using unorganized instruments.

    A situation is always comic if it participates simultaneously in two series of events which are absolutely independent of each other, and if it can be interpreted in two quite different meanings.

    For life is tendency, and the essence of a tendency is to develop in the form of a sheaf, creating, by its very growth, divergent directions among which its impetus is divided.

    And I also see how this body influences external images: it gives back movement to them.

    The essential function of the universe, which is a machine for making gods

    To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.


    The major task of the twentieth century will be to explore the unconscious, to investigate the subsoil of the mind.

    You will obtain a vision of matter that is perhaps fatiguing for your imagination, but pure and stripped of what the requirements of life make you add to it in external perception.

    My body, an object destined to move other objects, is, then, a centre of action it cannot give birth to a representation.

    An absolute can only be given in an intuition, while all the rest has to do with analysis.

    The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect was already in the cause.

    There is nothing in philosophy which could not be said in everyday language.

    I see plainly how external images influence the image that I call my body: they transmit movement to it.

    Religion is to mysticism what popularization is to science.

    In laughter we always find an unavowed intention to humiliate and consequently to correct our neighbour.

    To perceive means to immobilize... we seize, in the act of perception, something which outruns perception itself.

    The body, by the place which at each moment it occupies in the universe, indicates the parts and the aspects of matter on which we can lay hold our perception, which exactly measures our virtual action on things, thus limits itself to the objects which actually influence our organs and prepare our movements.


    More Henri Bergson Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Sense & Perception - Mind - Life - Body - Intelligence - Actions - Reality - Man - Thought & Thinking - Laughter - Past - Intuition - Science - Inertia - Genius - Philosophy - Democracy - Liberty & Freedom - Attitude - View All Henri Bergson Quotations

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