In 1901-1902, shortly following his appointment to the chair of Greek and Latin Philosophy at the Collège de France, Bergson devoted an entire course to explaining and commenting on Plotinus’ Enneads VI 9, a treatise bearing the Porphyrian title of ‘On the Good or the One’. Until recently, no transcriptions or notes from this course were available, so the finding of annotations in Bergson’s own hand constitutes an exciting discovery, of which the present essay provides a first overview. Bergson made his notes on a copy of the Enneads which, in all likelihood, is the one he used to prepare the lecture course. These annotations provide some insight into the philosopher’s approach to Plotinus, whereby a philological investigation of the text is conducted within the framework of a philosophical analysis of the problems it raises. In particular, the present contribution examines Bergson’s analysis of chapters 2 and 3 of the treatise by focusing on four aspects: textual interventions, clarifications of the text, translation, and interpretation. These aspects, which are first distinguished and then reconnected, are strictly complementary. They fall within a distinctly theoretical perspective and at the same time foster philosophical reflection, revolving as they do around two topics of considerable importance for both Plotinus and Bergson: the theory of the Intellect and the conception of ecstasy.
Keywords: Plotinus, Ennead VI 9, 2-3, theory of the Intellect, Bergson, unpublished annotations