JBSP Online: Florian Vermeiren – ‘A Reply to John Bagby’

journal update

Available now online, a new article by Florian Vermeiren (KU Leuven) for the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology.

Florian Vermeiren – ‘The Ordinality of Duration: A Reply to John Bagby’: JBSP (Originally published online: 22 May 2021).

Abstract: In “Reconstructing Bergson’s Critique of Intensive Magnitude” (JBSP 52.1 [2021]: 80–94), John Bagby defends Bergson against the criticism that I develop in “Bergson and Intensive Magnitude: Dismantling his Critique” (JBSP 52.1 [2021]: 66–79). I thank him for his insightful commentary and would like to offer a reply. The central argument that I have made in my article is that Bergson’s critique of intensive magnitude is inconsistent with the spirit and the letter of his later philosophy. In Time and Free Will, Bergson argues against the idea that something can be ordered in terms of “more or less” without this more “containing” the less, in other words, without this magnitude being metric and divisible. Bergson thus rejects the possibility of a concept of magnitude that is not metric or extensive but purely intensive and ordinal. I argue that this rejected idea of a non-metric order of “more and less” returns in Bergson own idea of degrees of freedom in the third chapter of Time and Free Will and in the idea of degrees of memory in Matter and Memory. Furthermore, I endorse, and will further defend below, Deleuze’s criticism that even the very conception of duration, in terms of a heterogeneous multiplicity, matches the notion of ordinality and intensive magnitude. I discern two main points of criticism in Bagby’s article. The first is that I confuse the abstract and the concrete. The second argument is that I misunderstand duration by comparing it with ordinality and intensive magnitude. I will reply to both.

Full article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2021.1928898

Florian Vermeiren, Centre for Phenomenology and Continental Philosophy, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Accessing the JBSP Online: The online version of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology publishes articles in advance of the print edition. Articles can be accessed via our publisher’s website: JBSP at Taylor & Francis Online. Access to the JBSP is free to all members of the society, who also receive the quarterly print copy of the journal as part of their subscription. You can find out more about becoming a member and supporting the BSP on the membership webpage. If you are not a member of the BSP, you can also log in using institutional or personal access via Shibboleth and OpenAthens.