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Bergson’s debate with Einstein swayed the 1921 Nobel committee (2016) (nautil.us)
12 points by wskinner 3 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments





I find the parallels to artificial intelligence really interesting. Bergson attributes some kind of magic to time that can't be fully explained by clocks in the same way that consciousness is evoked to argue that brains aren't normal physical systems.

A contemporary of Bergson, the philosopher Samuel Alexander, put that succinctly as "Time is the Mind of Space".

>"Time is the Mind of Space"

That sounds wonderful but doesn't mean anything.

An interesting quote from the article:

For many, Bergson’s defeat represented a victory of “rationality” against “intuition.” It marked a moment when intellectuals were no longer able to keep up with revolutions in science due to its increasing complexity.


> That sounds wonderful but doesn't mean anything.

Why do you think that?

I think you have to really understand a field to say that a given statement in it is meaningless. Or are you simply stating that it doesn't mean anything to you? (Which would, after all, be expected if you weren't an expert).


No, it really is just a couple of fancy words strung together.

Let's deconstruct it:

1) Space -- Einstein has shown that it's really Space-Time 2) Mind -- there is no real agreement on what "mind" means. Brain? Consciousness? Brain is well defined, consciousness no so. 3) Time -- the 4th dimension of space-time, right?

So "Time is the Mind of Space" deconstructs to: "the 4th dimension of space-time is <something to do with thought or thinking or consciousness> of the other three dimensions of space-time."


Can we reduce the clickbait by replacing "This philosopher" with "Henri Bergson"?

We'll use the subtitle.



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