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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Eternity is a property that substance and modes have in common. Spinoza posits in E5p23 that “the human mind cannot be absolutely destroyed with the body, but something of it remains which is eternal.” Thus, men have both an indefinite existence or duration, and an eternal one. This thesis sounds very odd because it seems to stand in contradiction to the “parallelism” between body and mind. One may wonder whether Spinoza really thinks that the mind enjoys eternal existence or if he is merely paying lip service to a traditional belief. What does he mean when he states in E5p23s that “we feel and experience (experimur) that we are eternal.” The purpose of the article is to understand this mysterious statement and to examine Spinoza’s definition of eternity in order to determine if modes can enjoy a real eternity.

Keywords: eternity, duration, existence, essence, mode, substance, immortality

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