Time, Duration and Eternity in Spinoza

I use Jonathan Bennett’s, Gilles Deleuze’s and Pierre Macherey’s interpretations of Spinoza to extract a theory of time and duration from Spinoza. I argue that although time can be considered a product of the imagination, duration is a real property of existing things and corresponds to their essence, taking essence (as Deleuze does) as a degree of power of existing. The article then explores the relations among time, duration, essence and eternity, arguing against the idea that Spinoza’s essences or Spinoza’s eternity are atemporal. Essences and eternity both involve necessary references to time, but the time involved is not that of the “fortuitous sequence of events” apprehended through sensory experience. Rather, the “time” is that implicit in the necessity of God’s self-determination through God’s differentiation into natura naturans and natura naturata, which is involved in the production and differentiation of eternal essences
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DOI 10.1558/ccp.v2i2.211
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