Posted by: Johan Normark | August 26, 2010

Take your pick

Here is some Bergsonian philosophy as interpreted by Monty Python:

Michael Miles: Jolly good. Well your first question for the blow on the head this evening is: what great opponent of Cartesian dualism resists the reduction of psychological phenomena to physical states?

Woman: I don’t know that!

Michael Miles: Well, have a guess.

Woman: Henri Bergson.

Michael Miles: He is the correct answer!

Woman: Ooh, that was lucky. I never even heard of him.

Michael Miles: Jolly good.

Well, how many archaeologists have heard about Bergson? You should have heard about him if you have ended up on this blog.



  1. Have you seen Philosophy Football?

    I think there’s sense in reducing but the reason the reductionists fail is because they don’t follow the curve of progressively dissolving abstractions. Our understanding through the generalization and specialization of various notions had reached the point of being “self-aware”. We could see that we were dissolving abstractions this whole time, but then upon seeing the light, they want it all.

    There is a logical chain of epiphanies necessary to move closer to the physical state theory but they just want to jump off the cliff without a parachute. All they accomplish is a clumsy flattening of highly contextualized ideas.

    Besides they have to explain two things:
    1) the irreducibility of state and change (position, velocity/momentum)
    — aka becoming
    2) the experience anomaly – how is it even possible that we can see and hear rather than simply reacting to inputs?


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