Edward Drinker Cope et la métaphysique de Bergson


Edward Drinker Cope and the metaphysics of Bergson

This article analyzes the role, decisive but all-too unknown, played by the American paleontologist and embryologist Edward Drinker Cope (1840-1907) in the argumentation, both biological and metaphysical, of Bergson in his Evolution créatrice (1907). As in the cases of Weismann and, negatively, of Haeckel, this role is all the more important that it is less visible in the explicit references. It concerns three questions: that of aging, which is, for Bergson, the mark of the duration on the organism; that of photosynthesis, which is the chemical phenomenon to which all life is suspended; and , above all, that of the difference between life and matter. This difference is seen by Bergson from the standpoint of a science to which Cope gives great importance too, namely the thermodynamics.

Keywords: Bergson, Cope, théorie de l’évolution, néo-lamarckisme, vie, vieillissement

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