Nietzsche and Eternal Recurrence

In Robert C. Solomon (ed.), Nietzsche: A Collection of Critical Essays. pp. 343-357 (1973)
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I critically examine Nietzsche’s argument in The Will to Power that all the detailed events of the world are repeating infinite times (on account of the merely finite possible arrangements of forces that constitute the world and the inevitability with which any arrangement of force must bring about its successors). Nietzsche celebrated this recurrence because of the power of belief in it to bring about a revaluation of values focused wholly on the value of one’s endlessly repeating life. Belief in recurrence would bring joy to those who had achieved excellence in this life and crush those who had not. I point out, however, that this significance of recurrence must be spoiled by the consideration that within each of the long cycles of recurrence there would have to be, as well, countless variations of this life. And I consider the issue of personal identity within such recurrences. Is it the same person or merely resembling but distinct persons in the recurrences or the variations? If it is the same person in precise recurrences, should the subjectively identical experience be thought of as really additional for that person?



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Arnold Zuboff
University College London

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Objective probability and the mind-body relation.Paul Tappenden - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 57:8-16.

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