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Henri-Louis Bergson

life vital élan

Bergson, Henri-Louis (1859–1941), French philosopher. He viewed the world as containing a life-force (élan vital) in constant conflict with matter. Evolution, he wrote, is creative process energized by the élan vital, and time he saw not as a unit of measurement but as the duration of life experience. Bergson was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1927.

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