Inheritance, originality and the will: Bergson and Heidegger on creation

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In the work of Henri Bergson and Martin Heidegger we find different responses to traditional ideas of ‘creation’. Bergson advances a philosophy of creation, wherein ‘creation’ is presented as the production of a ‘radical’ or ‘absolute’ novelty, not only in art, but in all forms of human experience and biological life. Heidegger, in contrast, comes to criticise ideas of ‘creation’ in art as the expression of an alienated ‘humanism’ and ‘subjectivism’ essential to the modern age. This paper illuminates this divergence by showing how Bergson and Heidegger, despite appearances, grapple with the question of art-production – and with the attendant issues of inheritance and originality – in similar ways. It is only in recognising this proximity, I argue, that it is possible to perceive adequately what essentially distinguishes their approaches: Bergson’s conception of creation as a function of the will.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655-675
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophical Studies
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


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