Department of Philosophy



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The Philosophy Graduate Colloquium Series is pleased to present

Adam Schipper on

Spinoza's Eternalist Conception of Time

Date: Friday, November 9, 2018

Time: 2:30 pm

Watson Hall, Room 341

This essay argues that Spinoza’s Ethics contains an eternalist conception of time, under which past, present, and future all exist simultaneously, and all share equal reality as discrete modes of Nature, or God. Time construed as a causal chain of “nows” is inadequate for the Spinozist conception of the universe. It is rather a mode of the imagination whose perceptions vacillate between the eternal, infinite order of Nature on the one hand, and finite, particular temporalized perspectives of that order on the other. As such, an eternalist conception makes time coherent in Spinozist Nature, because by Spinoza’s necessitarianism this world is the only possible one, and so the successive order and connection of times one imagines is a finite viewpoint on God’s eternal and necessary divine order.