31 May 2009

Abstract, Kelly's "Husserl, Deleuzean Bergsonism and the Sense of the Past in General"

by Corry Shores
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Michael R. Kelly

Husserl, Deleuzean Bergsonism

and the Sense of the Past in General


Post-moderns have critiqued Husserl's inner time-consciousness theory. Many now know Husserl’s defenses. But post-modernism has been replaced by Deleuzean post-structuralism. And now Deleuze's text, Bergsonism, (Le bergsonisme) has come to bring-about the Bergsonist movement. Bergsonists challenge Husserl's theory that there is a linear sequence of instants with a privileged internal 'now.' Bergsonism argues: this theory derives the past as a product of the now; but on those grounds we cannot understand our sense that the past is qualitatively different from the present. So Husserl never really explains the past or the real passage of time that we experience. For, everything is always fundamentally a product of present intentions and retentions.

Kelly will renew Husserl's defenses to counter the Bergsonist critique.

In the first section, he explains how Bergsonism's account of the past critiques Husserl's theory of time-consciousness.

In the second section, he questions three elements in the Bergsonist critique:

a) its understanding that the living-present is linearly extended,

b) its conflating the living-present with Husserl's early schema-apprehension interpretation, and

c) its failure to comprehend Husserl's revised concept of primary memory.

Kelly concludes by addressing the question of who is more consistent with the ideas of Bergson himself. He suggests that Husserl's theory of retention might in fact be more Bergsonian than the position held by recent Bergsonists.

Kelly, Michael R. "Husserl, Deleuzean Bergsonism and the Sense of the Past in General." Husserl Studies (April, 2008) Vol 24, pp.15–30.

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