Phenomenal complexity theory as informed by Bergson

Hugo Letiche (University for Humanist Studies, Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Publication date: 1 December 2000


Though all complexity theory claims to be anti‐reductionist, there are enormous differences in what “emergence” and “self‐organization” mean for the “self” and consciousness in the writings of the one and the other. Phenomenal complexity theory seeks to include the experiencing subject in its epistemology and thereby to neither be one‐sidedly rationalist or subjectivist. The resulting (social science) epistemology of the “in‐between” is mirrored in Bergson’s work. The relationship between complexity theory and Bergson’s concepts of Durée, Élan Vital and Intuition, are explored in this article. The goal is to clarify the relationship between complexity theory and the knowing subject, and to indicate directions for complexity theory’s study of consciousness.



Letiche, H. (2000), "Phenomenal complexity theory as informed by Bergson", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 545-557.

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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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