|Past ♦ Present ♦ Future
Arguments for eternity
|Presentism ♦ Eternalism,
Philosophy of Space and Time
Day of Judgement
Afterlife ♦ Reincarnation
|Time measurement and Standards|
|Metric Time ♦ Hexadecimal time|
Eternity (or forever) is endless time. In philosophy and mathematics, an infinite duration is also called sempiternity, or everlasting. Eternity is an important concept in many religions, where the immortality of God (or the gods) is said to endure eternally. Some, such as Aristotle, would say the same about the natural cosmos in regard to both past and future eternal duration, and like the eternal Platonic Forms, immutability was considered essential.
The metaphysics of eternity studies that which necessarily exists "outside" or independently of space and time. Another important question is whether "information" or Form is separable from mind and matter. Aristotle established a distinction between actual infinity and a potentially infinite count: a future span of time must be a potential infinity, because another element can always be added to a series that is inexhaustible. Aristotle likewise argued that the cosmos has no beginning. Euclid invoked this distinction instead of saying that there are an infinity of primes... rather that the primes outnumber those contained in any given collection thereof.
Eternity is often symbolized by the image of a snake swallowing its own tail, known as the Ouroboros (or Uroboros). The circle is also commonly used as a symbol for eternity, as is the mathematical symbol of infinity, .
See also 
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Eternity|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Eternity|
- God and eternity
- Arguments for eternity
- Eternal return
- Perennial philosophy
- Temporal finitism
- Yin and yang
|Look up eternity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/eternity/ Entry in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on Eternity.
- http://www.iep.utm.edu/g/god-time.htm Entry in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy on the relationship between God and Time.