Spinoza's Eternal Mind

Zachary Biondi, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville


Spinoza ends the Ethics with a series of obscure and seemingly inconsistent statements about the eternity of the mind. Although some scholars hold that Spinoza's statements contradict those in earlier parts, others offer more hopeful interpretations. I put forward a new interpretation. It is my aim to show that Spinoza's views on the eternity of the mind are wholly coherent, consistent, and perhaps even right. In order to do this it is first necessary to understand Spinoza's historical context, other readings of the doctrine, and several key components of Spinoza's system. I will then put forward and defend my interpretation and end with some comments concerning the plausibility of Spinoza's eternity of the mind doctrine.