A Review of

Henri Louis Bergson's Book

*Creative Evolution***Chapter III:****On****The Meaning of Life**—**The Order of Nature**

and the

Form of Intelligence

**Topic 33:***Physical Laws*by Doug Renselle Doug's Pre-review Commentary

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**Chapter****I****II**Introduction **1****2****3****4****5****6****7****8****9****10****11****12****13****14****15****16****17****18****19****20****21****Chapter****III****IV****22****23****24****25****26****27****28****29****30****31****32****33****34****35****36****37****38****39****40****41****42****43****44****45****46****47****ñ**

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**Topic 33...............Physical Laws**

**PAGE****QUOTEs**(Most quotes verbatim Henri Louis Bergson, some paraphrased.)

**COMMENTs**(Relevant to Pirsig, William James Sidis, and Quantonics Thinking Modes.)

**217**"It creates them in the mind. But it creates also, in things, the "order" which our induction, aided by deduction, finds there. This order, on which our action leans and in which our intellect recognizes itself, **seems to us marvelous**.**Not only do the same general causes always produce the same general effects, but beneath the visible causes and effects our science discovers an infinity of infinitesimal changes which work more and more exactly into one another, the further we push the analysis: so much so that, at the end of this analysis, matter becomes, it seems to us, geometry itself.**Certainly, the intellect is right in admiring here the growing order in the growing complexity; both the one and the other must have a positive reality for it, since it looks upon itself as positive. But things change their aspect when we consider the whole of reality as an undivided advance forward to successive creations. It seems to us, then, that the complexity of the material elements and the mathematical order that binds them together must arise automatically when within the whole a**partial interruption or inversion is produced**. Moreover, as the intellect itself is cut out of mind by a process of the same kind, it is attuned to this order and complexity, and admires them because it recognizes itself in them.**But what is admirable in**; for*itself,*what really deserves to provoke wonder, is the ever-renewed creation which reality, whole and undivided, accomplishes in advancing**no complication of the mathematical order with itself, however elaborate we may suppose it, can introduce an atom of novelty into the world**, whereas this power of creation once given (and it exists, for we are conscious of it in ourselves, at least when we act freely) has only to be diverted from itself to relax its tension, only to relax its tension to extend, only to extend for the mathematical order of the elements so distinguished and the inflexible determinism connecting them to manifest the interruption of the creative act: in fact, inflexible determinism and mathematical order are one with this very interruption."(Our bold and color.)

Bergson restarts his footnote counts on each page. So to refer a footnote, one must state page number and footnote number.

Our bold and color highlights follow a code

**:****black-bold**- important to read if you are just scanning our review**green-bold**- we see Bergson suggesting axiomatic memes**violet-bold**- an apparent classical problematic**blue-bold**- we disagree with this text segment while disregarding context of Bergson's overall text**gray-bold**- quotable text**red-bold**- our direct commentary

**218**"It is this merely negative tendency that the particular laws of the physical world express. None of them, taken separately, has objective reality; each is the work of an investigator who has regarded things from a certain bias, isolated certain variables, applied certain conventional units of measurement. And yet there is an order approximately mathematical immanent in matter, an objective order, which our science approaches in proportion to its progress. For if matter is a relaxation of the inextensive into the extensive and, thereby, of liberty into necessity, it does not indeed wholly coincide with pure homogeneous space, yet is constituted by the movement which leads to space, and is therefore on the way to geometry. It is true that laws of mathematical form will never apply to it completely. For that, it would have to be pure space and step out of duration.

"We cannot insist too strongly that there is something artificial in the mathematical form of a physical law, and consequently in our scientific knowledge of things.

^{(1)}Our standards of measurement are conventional, and, so to say, foreign to the intentions of nature: can we suppose that nature has related all the modalities of heat to the expansion of the same mass of mercury, or to the change of pressure of the same mass of air kept at a constant volume? But we may go further.**In a general way,**"*measuring*is a wholly human operation, which implies that we really or ideally superpose two objects one on another a certain number of times. Nature did not dream of this superposition. It does not measure, nor does it count.Note (1) - Cf. especially the profound studies of M. Ed. Le Roy in the

*Revue de métaph. et de morale*.(Our bold and color.)

Here, in our quantumesque opinion,

**Bergson makes an extreme error in philosophical judgment**. This appears to explain some of our earlier concerns regarding his anthropocentrism and his carrying of classical legacy as heavy baggage.**In our Quantonic view: Reality measures. Reality superposes. In a powerful and quantum epiphany, reality**__is__*both*measurement*and*superposition!However, his semantics for these two terms may be purely classical, in which case we are in error in our perhaps too hurried assessment of his judgment.

From our comtexts, quantum measurement is proemially

*an*event, and generally*an ensemble*of events. If Bergson means by measurement—anthropocentric, unilogical comparative checking of classical length, mass, time, or gravity then, indeed, we misassess his judgment. Too, we may have malinterpreted his "...dream of this superposition." But then, Bergson too must be a classicist. Ugh! Wethinks he stands in both.**219**"Yet physics counts, measures, relates "quantitative" variations to one another to obtain laws, and it succeeds. Its success would be inexplicable, if the movement which constitutes materiality were not the same movement which, prolonged by us to its end, that is to say, to homogeneous space, results in making us count, measure, follow in their respective variations terms that are functions one of another. To effect this prolongation of the movement,

**our intellect has only to let itself go**, for it runs naturally to space and mathematics, intellectuality and materiality being of the same nature and having been produced in the same way."

**If the mathematical order were a positive thing, if there were, immanent in matter, laws comparable to those of our codes, the success of our science would have in it something of the miraculous.**What chances should we have indeed of finding the standard of nature and of isolating exactly, in order to determine their reciprocal relations, the very variables which nature has chosen? But the success of a science of mathematical form would be no less incomprehensible, if matter did not already possess everything necessary to adapt itself to our formulae.**One hypothesis only, therefore, remains plausible, namely, that the mathematical order is nothing positive, that it is the form toward which a certain**We shall understand then why our*interruption*tends of itself, and that materiality consists precisely in an interruption of this kind.**science is contingent**, relative to the variables it has chosen, relative to the order in which it has successively put the problems, and why nevertheless it succeeds. It might have been, as a whole, altogether different, and yet have succeeded.**This is so, just because there is no definite system of mathematical laws, at the base of nature, and because mathematics in general represents simply the side to which matter inclines. Put one of those little cork dolls with leaden feet in any posture, lay it on its back, turn it up on its head, throw it into the air: it will always stand itself up again, automatically. So likewise with matter: we can take it by any end and handle it in any way, it will always fall back into some one of our mathematical formulae, because it is weighted with geometry.**"(Our bold and color.)

See Doug's 'What is Immanence?' Doug - 8Aug2012.

Classical

**science**only succeeds within its own convention! Our classical**science**, were it placed in another convention, would—in general—fail. Its congenital myopia in this regard is what garners our disrespect.We agree! Quantum reality, as we perceive it, tells us

**there are an infinity of interpretations**of nature. Each of those could have its own set of interpretive axioms which might provisionally appease nature's wiles. Actually, we see this in spades in quantum science: it has countless interpretations, all of which appear to offer modica descriptions of nature (no adenoidal pun intended J).Return to Chapter Index

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(14Dec2001 rev - Add top of page frame-breaker.)

(15Nov2007 rev - Reformat slightly.)

(8Aug2012 rev - Add pp. 218-219 links to Doug's 'What is Immanence?')

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