May 1st, 1960

After Kant, both Maimon and Fichte will say that it is necessary to pass from a transcendental philosophy to a genetic one.
But Bergson says that this genesis is badly enacted: either because it is a genesis of intelligence derived from matter, or because it is a genesis of matter derived from intelligence. In both cases, it is not a true genesis because, taking as a point of departure one of the terms, the other is immediately given, for there is a fundamental reciprocal relationship between the two. In such a case, how are we to conceive a real genesis?

Seminar Introduction

Deleuze taught philosophy at the Lycée Orleans from 1953-1955 and at the Lycee Louis-le-Grand in Paris from 1955-1957. He then became an assistant professor at the Sorbonne, where he taught from 1957-1960, replacing Jean Hyppolite, who had been appointed to a position at the École normale supérieure on rue d’Ulm.

At the Sorbonne, Deleuze taught a course on Wednesdays in Cavailles Hall from 2:00-3:00pm. In his 1957-1958 course, he lectured on Jean Wahl’s concepts of diversity, pluralism, the irreducibility of the many, and a philosophy of the “and.” In his 1959-1960 course, Deleuze focused on Rousseau and chapter three of Bergson’s Creative Evolution. It is these latter two courses from 1959-1960 that are available here.

The manuscripts of these courses have been preserved in the archives of the École normale supérieure at Fontenay Saint-Cloud in the ENS-LSH library in Lyon. The archive contains manuscripts of Deleuze’s lectures on Bergson (19 pp.), Rousseau (27 pp.), Kant (24 pp.), and Hume (38 pp.).

English Translation


Deleuze was an assistant professor at the Sorbonne from 1957-1960, where he taught a course on the third chapter of Henri Bergson Creative Evolution during the 1959-1960 school year. 

The nineteen page manuscript of the course is preserved in the archives of the École normale supérieure Fontenay Saint-Cloud in the ENS-LSH library in Lyon. 

Bergson in 1878
Henri Bergson in 1878, age 19, in a detail from a group photo taken at the École Normale Supérieure. Photograph by Pierre Petit. Source: Wikimedia Commons


An English translation, by Brian Loban, of Deleuze's 1960 lecture on Bergson at the Sorbonne, entitled "Lecture Course on Chapter Three of Bergson's Creative Evolution, appeared in the journal SubStance 114 (2007), Vol. 36, No. 3, special issue on "Henri Bergson's Creative Evolution: 100 Years Later," pp. 72-90.

A copy the lecture course can be accessed by clicking on the "Lecture in English" button above. 

French Transcript

Bergson in Office
Henri Bergson in his office at the Collège de France.


Deleuze notes for his 1960 course on Bergson at the Sorbonne have been published by Frédéric Worms in Annales bergsoniennes, II: Bergson, Deleuze, la phénoménologie (Paris: Epiméthée, 2015), pp. 166-188. 

A pdf copy of Deleuze's course can be accessed by clicking on the "Lecture in French" button above.

Lectures in this Seminar

Rousseau and Bergson / 01
Rousseau and Bergson / 02