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Bergson and Biology: life, the direction of evolution and man's place in nature

Grant number: 20/15114-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - History of Philosophy
Principal Investigator:Pedro Paulo Garrido Pimenta
Grantee:Bruno Batista Rates
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):22/06544-1 - Bergson's anthropology as heterodox naturalism: history, brain, language and society, BE.EP.PD


On numerous occasions, Bergson was considered one of the most important figures of a tradition named "Biological Philosophy", "Philosophy of Life", "Biophilosophy" and "critic vitalism". Although they are not synonyms, these theoretical designations have in common the recognition that the idea of life is at the center of the Frenchman's thought. But even with the relative consensus of this fact, rare are the specialists that tried to understand it through the many biological references in Creative evolution. The hypotheses that I present in this project is that such references, far from being mere appendix that would only have the function of exemplifying a philosophical thesis, are, in fact, constitutive parts of Creative evolution's argumentative structure. However, to demonstrate that, I will investigate the mentioned biological references not from the point of view of the relation between Science and Philosophy proposed by Bergson, work already done by many interpreters. I propose instead to follow the meanders of the post-Darwinian debates in which Bergson examines and takes side, attitude not devoid of theoretical risks, bringing profound impacts on his views of life, evolution and man. (AU)

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