The work of Henri Bergson, the foremost French philosopher of the early twentieth century, is not usually explored for its political dimensions. Indeed, Bergson is best known for his writings on time, evolution, and creativity. This book concentrates instead on his political philosophy—and especially on his late masterpiece, The Two Sources of Morality and Religion—from which Alexandre Lefebvre develops an original approach to human rights.
We tend to think of human rights as the urgent international project of protecting all people everywhere from harm. Bergson shows us that human rights can also serve as a medium of personal transformation and self-care. For Bergson, the main purpose of human rights is to initiate all human beings into love. Forging connections between human rights scholarship and philosophy as self-care, Lefebvre uses human rights to channel the whole of Bergson’s philosophy.