The Crisis in Modernism: Bergson and the Vitalist Controversy

The Crisis in Modernism: Bergson and the Vitalist Controversy

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Overview

The Modernist movement has been regarded as representing a crisis point in Western thought. This volume looks at that crisis in terms of its reinterpretation of ideas concerning vitalism: the animation of the universe, whether spiritual or based in physical energies, of the universe. Beginning with vitalism's historical background in the enlightenment and the nineteenth century, and moving through scientific, philosophical and literary disciplines, the contributors chart the progress of vitalism and its influence on modernist thought. The focal point is the work of Henri Bergson, whose part in this powerful reinterpretation had a considerable bearing on European and American intellectual life, and yet led to a vehement rejection of his work. A previously untranslated and little-known essay by Bakhtin will be of special interest in this stimulating collection, which includes original contributions from leading scholars in literature, the history of science, biology and philosophy, and comprises a wide-ranging reassessment of 'the perpetual crises of modernity'.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521136600
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/25/2010
Pages: 424
Sales rank: 1,063,541
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

A note on references; Introduction Frederick Burwick and Paul Douglass; Part I. Historical Background: 1. The traditions of enlightenment vitalism: with a note on Bakhtin George Rousseau; 2. S. T. Coleridge and the romantic background to Bergson Jack Haeger; 3. Sir Charles Bell and the vitalist controversy in the early nineteenth century Frederick Burwick; 4. 'The triumph of life': Nietzsche's verbicide Frederick Amrine; Part II. Vitalism in Twentieth Century Philosophy and Science: 5. Bergson's vitalism in the light of modern biology Maeia de Issekutz Wolsky and Alexander A. Wolsky; 6. Metaphysical indeterminacy and freedom: Bergson and Peirce Milic Capek; 7. Vitalism, empiricism and the quest for reality in German and English philosophy Jorgen Klein; 8. Bergson and Sartre: the rise of French existentialism P. A. Y. Gunter; 9. Vitalism and contemporary thought Joseph Chiari; Part III. Vitalism In Twentieth Century Literature and Aesthetics: 10. Bergson and the politics of vitalism Sanford Schwartz; 11. Bergson and the discourse of the moderns Richard Lehan; 12. Modern times: Stein, Bergson and the ellipses of American writing Joseph N. Riddel; 13. Deleuze's Bergson: Bergson redux Paul Douglass; Index.

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