On Spinoza’s Conception of Time

Nancy Brenner


Spinoza distinguishes between a natural [formal] conception of time, which forms an
innate property of the mind, and various conceptions of duration, derived from the
application of the former to known objects. While the concept of duration presupposes
created things, the concept of time presupposes both created things and thinking men.
There are many ways by which ideas, like duration, are formed in the mind. But the
essence of the corrective function of reason is to create a unified conception of
Nature. This may suggest that the concept is in the mind alone. But, by Spinoza’s
naturalistic metaphysics, we would not have had this innate concept, had it not been
a real property of Nature.


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; duration; objective knowledge; formal feature of the world; dimension of change; independent sphere of knowledge

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.