Nobel Prize in Literature-1927,
Grand-Croix de la Legion d'honneur-
Highest Honor of France
Nobel Committee in its citation stated that the prize was given
"in recognition of his rich and
vitalizing ideas and the brilliant skill with which they have been
Born: 18/10/1859 in Paris, France
Died: 04/01/1941 in Paris, France
Henri-Louis Bergson was born in Paris. His parents, the Bereksohns
were the famous Jewish entrepreneurial family of Polish descent. After
his birth, the family moved to England for a few years . When Bergson
was nine, they came back to France crossing the English Channel and
settled in Paris.
Bergson was quite brilliant in Science & Mathematics and was also
inclined towards philosophy. In fact, his first publication was for a
scientific work in 1877 at the age of 18 for which he was awarded a
prize. The article was published the following year in
Annales de Mathématiques .
Bergson, after finishing his school education, had to decide between
Science & Humanities and he chose the latter much to the chagrin of
His thesis Time and Free Will, along with a short Latin thesis
on Aristotle fetched him Doctorate from
of Paris in 1889. The work later appeared in the book form. In 1896,
Matter and Memory, his second major work was published which
analyzed perception and memory. The treatise was very articulate in
the sense that Bergson thoroughly pursued all important contemporary
pathological investigation data before forming his opinion on the
issue. He also published Introduction to Metaphysics, a very important
essay. His third major work, Creative Evolution, the most widely
known, discussed and debated of all his works, was published in 1907.
In 1908, he went to London and there he met William James, the Harvard
Philosopher, and two became very close friends. In 1913, he visited
USA at the invitation of Columbia University and toured and lectured
in several cities there.
Bergson accepted Presidency of the British Society for Psychical
Research and gave an impressive address on "Phantom of Life and
Psychic Research". In the Year 1920, the University of Cambridge
honored him with the Degree of Doctor of Letters.
Landmarks: * Bergson was born the
month before the publication of Charles Darwin's epoch-making book-
On the Origin of Specis * In 1914, he was elected to the
Academie Francais * From 1921 - 1926, he was President of the
Commission for Intellectual Cooperation of the League of Nations. * He
had previously endorsed Lamarckism and its theory of heritability of
acquired characteristics, but after reading 'On the Origin of
Specis' , he preferred the hypothesis of gradual variation. We
know that Lamarck was correct.
Bergson led a quiet, unassuming life till the end.
Essai sur les Donnees immediates de la conscience--Time
and Free Will(1889),
e memoire; Essai sur la relation due corps a l' spirit -
Matter and Memory
L'Evolution creatrice -
Les Deux Sources de la morale et de lareligion -
The Two Sources of Morality and Religion(1932)
Order Henri-Louis Bergson's Books below