Bergson’s theory of “pure perception,” laid out in the first chapter of Matter and Memory aims to show that — beyond both realism and idealism — our knowledge of things, in its pure state, takes place within the things it represents.

…Bergson starts with a hypothesis that all we sense are images.

…Bergson is employing the concept of image to dispel the false belief — central to realism and materialism — that matter is a thing that possesses a hidden power able to produce representations in us. Bergson, however, not only criticizes materialism, but also idealism insofar as it attempts to reduce matter to the representation we have of it.

…For Bergson, the image is less than a thing but more than a representation. The “more” and the “less” indicates that representation differs from the image by degree. It also indicates that perception is continuous with images of matter. Through the hypothesis of the image, Bergson is re-attaching perception to the real.

…Like the descriptions of intuition, this passage describes how we can resolve the images of matter into mobile vibrations. In this way, we overcome the inadequacy of all images of duration. We would have to call the experience described here not a perception of matter, but a memory of matter because of its richness. As we have already suggested, Bergsonian intuition is memory. So, we turn now to memory.

…Therefore, he sees that our word “memory” mixes together two different kinds of memories. On the one hand, there is habit-memory, which consists in obtaining certain automatic behavior by means of repetition; in other words, it coincides with the acquisition of sensori-motor mechanisms. On the other hand, there is true or “pure” memory; it is the survival of personal memories, a survival that, for Bergson, is unconscious. In other words, we have habit-memory actually aligned with bodily perception.

The movement of memory always results in action.