Contemporary debates on freedom traverse questions concerning metaphysics, the mind/body relationship, evolution, morality, and religion. Throughout his life, the French philosopher Henri Bergson dealt with these questions from the perspective of time, believing that spatializing these problems led to inadequate solutions. That freedom was a centralizing concern in his oeuvre can be demonstrated in the way he approached these questions in challenging determinism, materialism, mechanism, and finalism. Bergson studies, despite noting the importance of freedom for Bergson, have focussed on intuition and duration as his seminal contributions. Bergson himself never thematized freedom in any specific way, but by working with a positive conception of freedom, as a creation of the new within the flow of duration, freedom can be seen as a centralizing motif in his work. By clarifying the nature of freedom and its centrality, the ground can be cleared for a Bergsonian intervention into contemporary debates on freedom.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.