Spinoza on the Very Nature of Existence

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 35 (1):310-334 (2011)
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The official definitions that appear at the beginning of four of the five parts of the "Ethics" do not include an account of "existence." However Spinoza does provide a definition of “existence” in the scholium to proposition 45 of Part 2. This is an odd place for such an important doctrine, and all the more so given that the account there differs from anything resembling commonsense. In this paper I show that, for Spinoza, to exist is to be eternal. Existence in the strict sense is eternal existence.
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