Bergson’s “The Possible and The Real”
Leibniz famously asked: “Why is there something instead of nothing?” In the short essay The Possible and The Real, Henri Bergson shows that this question is badly posed, as it presupposes not only that the ‘something’ needs a reason to be, but also that the ‘nothing’ precedes it. Because it is based on such badly posed questions, on pseudo-problems, traditional metaphysics always arrived at the wrong results, completely missing the nature of reality. Nothingness, from which traditional metaphysics starts, has no sense. Instead, Bergson underlines, metaphysics should start out from what there is, which is the fullness of things. From this, another conception of reality arises, one that is not based on a universal necessity, but a productive creativity that is inherent in the ceaseless unfurling of the world. Infinite novelty against the cold abstract logic of negation and the ‘merely possible’.