Matter as movement: Exploring the role of movement in Henri Bergson and Bruno Latour

Marcelina Piotrowski
Communication and Culture, York University
April, 2008
 

Abstract

This thesis explores the meaning of matter and particularly the implications of the methodologies of Henri Bergson and of Bruno Latour in arriving at an understanding of the material milieu. It suggests that matter is movement. Matter is the movement of time which in its duration is memory and creativity; conservation and action, as well as the moving reorientation of matter spatially through the constant collision between different surfaces of meaning. An investigation of matter through this approach allows for an
understanding of matter to be achieved, one in which the material realm plays the steering role in the methodology, not a preconceived agenda which the theorist wishes to
exemplify. The outcome is a shared agency between humans and matter, which has neither been found in idealism or materialism, which both Bergson and Latour reject. Bergson’s intuition, and Latour’s translation and Actor-Network-Theory, are further
examined as ways of interpreting the documentary Manufactured Landscapes.
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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