Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2017 | 1 | 1 | 76-88

Article title

Time as the Source of Inalienable Freedom: Henri Bergson’s “Immunizing” the Self


Title variants

Languages of publication



The paper looks at the idea of grounding human freedom in selfhood, with particular attention to the strategies of “denaturalizing” time, resulting in its separation into different modalities. The perspective of practical philosophy, interested in accounting for and making legitimate the spontaneous first person assumption of being a free agent, is enriched with some historical references to different ontological and anthropological attempts at inscribing verticality or transcendence into the human self in order to secure to this self what is called here inalienable freedom. The paper focuses on some elements of Henri Bergson’s thought and tries to reinterpret them in terms of an example of a modern, anti-reductionist “immunization” of the triad of freedom – self – humanity. It also emphasizes the emancipatory potential and the novelty of Bergson’s conception of the human self.








Physical description




  • Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw


  • Auxier, Randall E. “Image and Act: Bergson’s Ontology and Aesthetics.”, Sztuka i Filozofia, 45 (2014).
  • Barnard, G. William. Living Consciousness. The Metaphysical Vision of Henri Bergson. Albany, New York: SUNY Press, 2011.
  • Benjamin, Walter. „Fate and Character” In Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings 1913–1926, vol. 1, edited by Marcus Bullock and Michael W. Jennings. Harvard: Harvard University Press, 1996.
  • Bergson, Henri. Henri Bergson. Key Writings, edited by Keith Ansell Pearsona and John O’Maoilearca, London, New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.
  • Bergson, Henri. The Two Sources of Morality and Religion. Translated by R. Audra, C. Breretn. London: Macmillan and Co., 1935.
  • Bergson, Henri. Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. Translated by Frank Lubecki Pogson. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1910.
  • Bergson, Henri. Matter and Memory. Translated by Nancy Margaret Paul and W. Scott Palmer. London: George Allen and Unwin, 1911.
  • Bouton, Christofe. Time and Freedom, Translated by Christopher McCann. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2014, l6l.
  • Canales, Jimena. The Physicist and the Philosopher: Einstein, Bergson, and the Debate that Changed Our Understanding of Time. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.
  • Deleuze, Gilles. Bergsonism. Translated by H. Tomlinson and B. Habberjam. New York: Zone Books, 1988.
  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “The Over-Soul.” In Essays and Poems. New York: The Library of America, 1996.
  • Heidegger, Martin. The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Translated by Albert Hofstadter. Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988.
  • Ricoeur, Paul. Memory, History, Forgetting. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.
  • Santayana, George. Dominations and Powers. New York: Scribner’s, 1951.
  • Skarga, Barbara. Czas i trwanie. Studia o Bergsonie (Time and durèe. A study on Bergson). Warszawa: PWN, 2014.
  • Taylor, Charles. The Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.