- Heraclitus: The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is famous for his doctrine of change. He said, “You could not step twice into the same river,” emphasizing the constant flux of the world. This aligns with the idea that time is an ever-flowing river of change.
- Augustine of Hippo: Augustine, a Christian philosopher, grappled with the nature of time in his “Confessions.” He pondered the idea that time is a construction of the mind, stating, “What, then, is time? If no one asks me, I know; if I want to explain it to someone who does ask me, I do not know.”
- Immanuel Kant: Kant, an Enlightenment philosopher, considered time as one of the fundamental categories of human perception. For Kant, time is not just a measure but a necessary framework through which we understand our experiences.
- Martin Heidegger: Heidegger delved into the existential aspects of time. He argued that our authentic existence is rooted in the awareness of our finite time on earth. He introduced the term “Dasein” to describe the human experience of being-in-the-world with an awareness of its temporal nature.
- Albert Einstein: While not a traditional philosopher, Einstein’s theory of relativity significantly influenced philosophical discussions about time. His theories suggested that time is not an absolute constant and can be influenced by factors like gravity and velocity.
It is hard to conceptualize, but I believe that time is infinite. Something like time is already a confounding concept. Our universe is beyond our comprehension. The size, while unknown, boasts an infinite expanse and in that expanse – exists time.
However, something that is little known is that the observable realms of space are actually in our history. What we can see is not the future, but the past. 13.8 billion years into the past, to be exact.
This is measurable by a concept known as the Cosmic Microwave Background and is how light in our universe is measured. This is how we know that the universe is 13.8 billion years old, because it has taken 13.8 billion years for light to reach us.
The concept of looking into the past seems unfathomable, or even straight up a lie. You are welcome to believe what you want, but for the sake of this prompt, we are going to remain under the assumption that time is as old as the cosmos.
This means that what we can see in our visible universe is what was scattered by the big bang. What we can see is actually moving further away from us as the forces of the big bang continue to push the objects of space further away.
Essentially, the observable cosmos, are actually remnants of the past, a space time capsule. This does not answer the question though.
Is time finite or infinite?
My final personal response would be infinite. Why? Even though we can observe a certain degree of our universe, we do not know what is beyond the fringes of what is known. This to me means that time is infinite. We can only measure what we can see. Beyond our reach is an infinite abyss of unknown universes and more.