Please which of the meanings CONCEIVED is used in this context: VIII By Eternity, I mean existence itself, in so far as it is conceived necessarily to follow solely from the definition of that which is eternal.


  1. To become pregnant with (offspring): She conceived her first child in London, but her second child was conceived in Paris.
  2. To form or develop in the mind: conceive a plan to increase profits; conceive a passion for a new acquaintance.
  3. To apprehend mentally; understand: couldn't conceive the meaning of that sentence.
  4. To be of the opinion that; think: didn't conceive that such a tragedy could occur.
  5. To begin or originate in a specific way: a political movement that was conceived in the ferment of the 1960s. v.intr.
  6. To form or hold an idea: Ancient peoples conceived of the earth as flat.
  7. To become pregnant
  • It may help to give the example of the usage...
    – Joseph Weissman
    Nov 18 '16 at 0:10
  • 2
    "Conceiving" is the activity of the mind; compare with "perceive". We may rephrase it as "To understand something truly." Thus, I would chose 3) understand. Nov 18 '16 at 13:51
  • Thank you - is it safe then to assume that when "conceive" is used in Spinoza's The Ethics (I have a translation by R.H.M. Elwes) / or as in the original text, "concipio" - that most likely it is used with the meaning "to understand"?
    – Aili J.
    Nov 18 '16 at 22:27
  • @AlliJ- what Spinoza intends by the word 'conceive', is roughly, 'for that particular idea to have a presence in a human mind.' The mind and what it is capable of 'conceiving' share a reciprocal symbiotic relationship such that, if a human mind is capable of conceiving eternity then that 'proves' that eternity exists necessarily.
    – user37981
    Aug 29 '20 at 3:49

"Conceiving" is the activity of the mind (compare it with "perceive").

We may rephrase it as "To understand, to think something truly." Thus, I would chose 3. understand.

Understanding is the "basic" act of mind. The term is from Descartes; see Meditations, V, 9 :

"I cannot conceive a God unless as existing",

translated from the original Latin :

"ne possim quidem cogitare Deum nisi existentem".

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