Who, if anyone, claims that the future begins before the present ends? I will spare you the tortured reasoning behind the (implicit) claim someone might. I'd be especially interested in any philosopher who thinks the present depends on us in any sense.

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    You could say the quantum wavefunction contains all the futures, and a measurement picks one present result of timeline
    – CriglCragl
    Oct 2, 2022 at 12:12
  • Cute thanks @CriglCragl
    – user62727
    Oct 2, 2022 at 12:15
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    Leibniz had a quote in a private letter: The present is saturated with the past and pregnant with the future, so for him the pregnancy of the future begins before the present ends of Dasein as being-in-a-world thrown projected in its efficient causal chain... Oct 3, 2022 at 1:35
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    The Avant Garde ones, I suppose.
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 3, 2022 at 20:43
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    hahah @ScottRowe weird
    – user62727
    Oct 3, 2022 at 21:56

2 Answers 2


A Physics Professor, a Pastor, a Buddhist Monk and a Sailor can have different opinions on this and all of them would be right. Can you include the context on what this question is all about? Why does that matter to you? In what way? What is your approach? What is the context of the question?

Theoretically speaking a moment that happens now, belongs to the past instantly after it happens. So it comes down to how we measure time and how we define time. In how many measures of time does something actually happen? Can we measure a moment? In other words, what is the least time measure we can set? Mathematically speaking you can not have present at the same time with past. Or can you?

How many real numbers are there between 0 and 1? Leaving that as it is the answer is infinite. So there are infinite small moments of time. Right? Or wrong? We do not have context. If we accept infinity on this, as an answer, you must approach each moment as a dot on a real number axis that represents a moment of time. The approach will be done as a limit. Each moment that happens NOW belongs almost instantly to the past and future begins at the same time with the NEXT moment. So as a matter of fact this conversation exceeds the power of human senses.

The problem is how are we supposed to measure time, define what past, present and future is? Under what spectrum? Without a context there is not an answer, because for example you could argue that there are no infinite moments between 1 second and another. We need to accept a few things as concrete truth and through these conventions, we shall start a philosophical conversation on that topic.

Giving a context can help give a good answer. I am interested in such questions. Please edit your question, give us a context and leave me a comment to give me a heads up. I will gladly share my thoughts with you.


The underlying idea can be given expression in temporal logics based on relationships between intervals vs. relationships between instants (e.g. inclusion, overlap, etc.). Think of an overlap of temporal intervals as a "place" where present and future meet. (SEP article https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-temporal/#IntBasModTim)


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