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The Meaning of the War: Life & Matter in Conflict
This little volume contains the discourse delivered by M. Bergson as President of the Acadmie des Sciences Morales et Politiques at its annual public meeting on December 12, 1914. It is the address which preceded the announcement of the prizes and awards bestowed by the Academy. It is now issued in book form with the consent of the author, and his full appreciation of the object, to give it the widest circulation. Although it is brief, it is a message addressed directly to the heart of our people in the crisis of war. To it is added a short article on the same theme, contributed to the Bulletin des Armes de la Rpublique, November 4, 1914. It has been said that war, with all its terrible evils, is the occasion of at least one good which humanity values as above price: it inspires great poetry. On the other hand, it seems to crush philosophy. Many may think that in this message it is poetry to which M. Bergson is giving expression. It is, however, from the depth of his philosophy that the inspiration is drawn. The full significance of the doctrines he has been teaching, and their whole moral and political bearing, are brought into clear light, focussed, as it were, on the actual present struggle. Yet is there no word that breathes hatred to any person or to any race. It is by the triumph of a spiritual principle that philosophy may hope to free humanity from the oppression of a materialist doctrine. The opposing principle has had, and still has, philosophers to defend it, and they belong to no particular nation or race. One of its most brilliant and influential exponents was a Frenchman, the diplomatist, Comte Joseph Arthur de Gobineau (1816-1882). A brief word on this remarkable man may help the reader to understand the mention of his name on page 30. His Essai sur l'ingalit des races humaines (1855) was the first of a series of writings to affirm, on ethnological grounds, the superiority of the Aryan race, and its right and destiny by reason of that superiority to rule all other races as bondsmen. He was the friend of Wagner, and also of Nietzsche. Madame Frster-Nietzsche in her biography of her brother has spoken of the almost reverent regard which he entertained for Gobineau, and it may be that from him Nietzsche derived the idea which he developed into his doctrine of the non-morality of the superman. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 17111
Author: Bergson, Henri
Release Date: Nov 20, 2005
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