Creative Evolution is a philosophical workwritten by Henri Bergson in 1907 . In this book, Bergson develops the idea of a "permanent creation of novelty" by nature.
Bergson debates the finalist explanation and the mechanistic explanation of evolution , respectively defended by traditional metaphysics (inherited from Leibniz and, before him, from Aristotle and emphasizing final causes , or goals) and by modern science (inherited from Descartes and emphasizing "efficient causes" , scientific " causality ").
Bergson shows that these two visions, which are often opposed, actually amount to the same in the treatment of evolution. They consist in supposing that everything is given from the start, in advance: either with the aim which one imagines pursued, from the beginning, "in spirit" by nature , or in the whole of the starting material parameters or in the presence - from which one could deduce exactly what has not yet happened.
The vital momentum - Elan Vital
To the two preceding positions, Bergson opposes his own concept of élan vital or “vital impetus” : there is no plan “already foreseen” - of actually foreseen as in the case of finalism, nor of simply predictable as in the case of mechanism. The idea is that evolution is unpredictable, that "the world goes on an adventure," that it "ceaselessly invents itself" without the path it traces behind itself preexisting the journey, in a way. one way or another.