Geoffrey Gorham


Macalaster College

Spinoza on Time, Duration and the Mathematization of Nature

When McTaggart (1908) put Spinoza on his short-list of philosophers who considered time unreal, he fell in line with a reading of Spinoza’s philosophy of time advanced by contemporaneous British Idealists and by Hegel. In Faith and Knowledge, for example, Hegel comments that ‘every line of Spinoza’s system makes the proposition that time and succession are mere appearances so utterly trivial that not the slightest trace of novelty and paradox is to be seen in it’. This reading of Spinoza is also common among McTaggart’s contemporaries within the school of British Idealism.