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The Thought of Eternal Recurrence in Nietzsche’s Notebook M III.

The Beginnings of the Doctrine and Traces of Its Silence


  • Aleš Bunta ZRC SAZU, Filozofski inštitut, Ljubljana



Nietzsche, eternal recurrence, Notebook M III 1, Einverleibung


The article is primarily a study of Nietzsche’s unpublished fragments from the period spring-autumn 1881, in which Nietzsche first developed his thought of the “eternal recurrence of the same.” In the article, I attempt to accomplish two goals: the first goal is to explain Nietzsche’s theses on the eternal recurrence, which at that time were still remarkably clear and coherent. And the second goal is to try to find in these same theses an explanation for their future silence. In other words, the article examines the relationship between Nietzsche’s theses that he developed in 1881 and his book Thus spoke Zarathustra, which, in Nietzsche’s own words, relies on these theses as their “grounding thought,” but nevertheless never fully reveals them. Both lines of inquiry lead to the conclusion that the core of Nietzsche’s introduction of the idea of eternal recurrence is his concept of Einverleibung or embodiment. Indeed, the analysis shows that Nietzsche’s main concern with the thought of eternal recurrence was not to set forth its clear articulation within consciousness, but rather to construct it in such a way that it could become an unconscious instinct capable of gradually displacing the “embodied mistakes” that dominate our thinking from within itself.


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2021-12-31 — Updated on 2022-04-06


How to Cite

Bunta, A. (2022). The Thought of Eternal Recurrence in Nietzsche’s Notebook M III.: The Beginnings of the Doctrine and Traces of Its Silence. Filozofski Vestnik, 42(3). (Original work published December 31, 2021)