Jimena Canales F'12

Jimena  Canales
Science, Technology, and Society
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowships 2012
Associate Professor
History of Science
Harvard University
Einstein against Bergson: Think Twice

In the Spring of 1922, two of the most important thinkers of that era met for the first time. Their meeting, which had been planned as a cordial and scholarly discussion, was anything but that. The physicist Albert Einstein and the philosopher Henri Bergson clashed during their face-to-face encounter, each defending opposing, even irreconcilable, ways of understanding time. This study revisits their debate to illuminate an essential piece of twenthieth-century European history. The confrontation between the two men is a missing piece in a puzzle that helps us understand many other important intellectual divisions in science and philosophy.