“Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness” is Bergson’s doctoral thesis, which was originally published in 1889. Within it, he deals primarily with the problem of free will, arguing that it is simply a confusion resulting from an illegitimate translation of the unextended into the extended. It is in this essay that he introduces his theory of duration, which became popular amongst continental philosophers in the subsequent century.
Henri-Louis Bergson (1859–1941) was a French-Jewish philosopher. He had a significant influence on the tradition of continental philosophy during the first half of the twentieth century until World War II, and is famous for his idea that immediate experience and intuition are more important than abstract rationalism and science for understanding the nature of reality. Other notable works by this author include: “The Philosophy of Poetry: The Genius of Lucretius” (1884), “The Meaning of the War – Life and Matter in Conflict” (1915), and “Matter and Memory” (1896). This classic work is being republished now in a new edition complete with a Chapter From “Bergson And His Philosophy” by J. Alexander Gunn.