Bergson : événement et création // [Bergson: event and creation]

Just like Humpty Dumpty, the character of Lewis Carroll who celebrates his non-birthday 364 days a year, Bergson seems to inscribe discontinuity of event in the continuity of duration. He invites his reader to conceive novelty as the frame of reality. Nothing is repeated identically. Each event is singular and takes place in an irreversible time. However, intelligence does not always perceive this "continuous creation of unpredictable novelty" because it petrifies and spatialises reality by making it homogeneous. But as soon as spirit rediscovers the temporal character of reality, present appears as always unprecedented. Seen from this angle, the Bergsonian definition of event seems to attribute to what appears as banal, the characteristics of what is exceptional. Non-birthdays would possess the same ontological consistency as birthdays without disappearing in the homogeneity of daily repetition. Event would be both an asperity arising in the flow of duration and, at the same time, expression of purest continuity. To solve this apparent contradiction we must ask: How does Bergson succeed in reconciling the novelty of event with the continuity of duration? To answer this question, we will show how Bergson introduces qualitative differences within the continuum of becoming. These differences are expressed through several levels of reality, which the article successively studies. We start from the Bergsonian metaphysics of duration, capable of giving event a real content, not merely mental. Thanks to the thickness of becoming, event connects with spiritual continuity of duration while retaining its unprecedented and unpredictable character. Its heterogeneity distinguishes it from pure discontinuity of the fiat lux and from mechanistic homogeneity. The causality of events is different from the simple mechanism. In the second part of the article we draw consequences of this metaphysics and apply them to event studied from the angle of history. Starting from a reexamination of aporias of possible, we examine the value of uchrony and then describe the way Bergson theorizes historical knowledge and action of great men.