H. BERGSON’S CONCEPTION OF FRATERNITY AND THE FORMATION OF CONTEMPORARY EUROPE

Camille Riquier

Abstract


The focus of this paper is the concept of fraternity, which has a specific status in the slogan of the Republic of France alongside the concepts of freedom and equality. It demonstrates how the meaning associated with this concept conditions understanding of democracy and society in general, as well as the directions of their historical development. Following the research of Bergson, the author reveals the essential difference between the democracy of ancient antiquity and modern times, which is formulated through the prism of the concepts of “closedness” and “openness”. Bergsonian conception of open society is a reflection of the historical breakthrough of the special psychological relationships between people, or a contemplation on the expression of a pre-political phenomenon in the political sphere. The concept of fraternity defines both these relationships and this phenomenon. This paper highlights certain essential moments in the Great French Revolution, and other revolutions that took place in the 19th century. The analysis of these moments demonstrates a unique phenomenon of fraternity that is often indiscernible via the traditional research methods of social sciences. The idea of Europe and its future perspectives also have their outlines traced in this research.

Keywords


Fraternity, freedom, equality, democracy, open society, the Great French Revolution, Bergson.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SMS-19-11-1-01

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236