Dear philosophy stackexchange,

I'm curious as to whether there have been arguments by philosophers for there being a finite past/future or whether it has always been past/future temporally infinite? Ever since i've first been met with the substantialist/relationist discussions in spacetime philosophy and the Kalam cosmological argument by William Lane Craig i've been curious as to whether it even makes sense to say that time ever began. In particular what do relationists or positions close to a near reductive account of time make sense of time having began whether it even makes sense from this perspective.

I'm also wondering about what process philosophy has to say about the finiteness of time given that particular branch of philosophy puts dynamism at the heart of its metaphysics. Thank you for all of your consideration and info.

Sincerely, a freshman college student going on sophomore year

  • Your question is currently too broad. There is a good survey Is There a Beginning or End to Time? on IEP, perhaps you could narrow down after reading it. Various aspects were addressed here multiple times already: Does there necessarily have to be a beginning to time?; Can everything that exists have no beginning or end?; Is it possible that an infinite amount of time has elapsed since beginning?
    – Conifold
    Jun 11, 2020 at 20:50
  • This question is a subject of active research in the mathematical physics community. You might want to have a look at the physics stack exchange for answered questions on this topic, as the answers there will have a better chance of comporting with the Real World Out There. Jun 11, 2020 at 21:11
  • Spinoza differentiates among time, duration and eternity, wherein time is a purely human experience or, as he would say it, 'an aid to the imagination'. Duration is the indefinite experience of existence and a sort of mediate space between eternity and time. Eternity is the definition of existence, the human mind can recognize its participation in an aspect of eternity intuitively but cannot frame an accurate idea of it. I know this is not very clear, Search for: "Spinoza's Conception of Time', by Nancy Brenner-Golomb, Bilthoven- The Netherlands. It will prove interesting in your search.
    – user37981
    Jun 14, 2020 at 8:17


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