Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Repetition: procedures or processes that are described in a certain way, but not objects, can be repeated. In order for the repeatability of a process to be ascertained, its description must emphasize and particularly evaluate certain properties of the objects involved against other properties of the same objects. Whether history is repeated is the subject of controversy. See also forgery, copy, history.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Friedrich Nietzsche on Repetition - Dictionary of Arguments

Danto III 46
Eternal Return/Nietzsche/Danto: Nietzsche's nihilism culminates in the doctrine of the Eternal Return, according to which the world repeats itself endlessly and precisely. Nietzsche considered it to be a serious scientific insight and the only alternative to the view that the world has or can have a goal, a purpose or an end state. (F. Nietzsche: Nachlass, Berlin, 1999, p. 684).
If every state of the world (if one can even say so since Nietzsche describes the world as formless) comes back an unlimited number of times, no state can be definitive, and as far as the nature of things is concerned, there can be neither progress nor regression...
Danto III 47
...rather, the same is always repeated.
Danto III 244
Return/Repetition/Eternity/Nietzsche/Danto: Nietzsche's thought of eternal return is that everything that exists will return, and that everything that exists is a return of itself, that everything has already happened and will happen again, every time in exactly the same way, forever and ever. There is no beginning and no end, and no middle in the story of the world: there is only the monotonous emergence of the same episode.
Gateway/Danto: in the gateway episode, the dwarf is the personification of gravity.
Danto III 245
Nietzsche: From this gateway a long eternal lane runs backwards: behind us lies an eternity... Does this doorway not also have to be there already?... And does it not have to be so tightly knotted with all things that this moment draws all the coming things after itself? So - also itself? (F. Nietzsche: Zarathustra, KGW VI. 1. p. 196).
Zarathustra: I myself belong to the causes of the eternal return (ibid., p. 272.)
Danto III 247
Apart from the Zarathustra and one or two mentions in Beyond Good and Evil and in Ecce homo (as well as some early references in Gay Science), the doctrine of eternal return hardly ever appears in the published works.
Danto: there can be no proofs or evidence for the doctrine of the return. If the repetitions are exactly the same, they cannot bear traces or imprints of previous episodes.
((s)VsNietzsche: Problem: It is not clear where the seams of the episodes should run or where a new episode should start. For example, it cannot happen while an object is falling because the case is not interrupted; in any case, the doctrine does not involve the interruption of processes. As processes are now constantly under way and observable, there are no points at this level where a repetition could occur.
Danto III 252/253
Repetition/Poincaré/Danto: In 1890 Poincaré proved a theory of the phases, according to which a certain mechanical system within the Statistical Mechanics to be specified conditions must, in a sufficiently long period of time and this infinitely often come close to each of its states.
Danto: But "infinitely close" does not correspond enough to Nietzsche's doctrine to affect the problem.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Nie I
Friedrich Nietzsche
Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe Berlin 2009

Nie V
F. Nietzsche
Beyond Good and Evil 2014

Danto I
A. C. Danto
Connections to the World - The Basic Concepts of Philosophy, New York 1989
German Edition:
Wege zur Welt München 1999

Danto III
Arthur C. Danto
Nietzsche as Philosopher: An Original Study, New York 1965
German Edition:
Nietzsche als Philosoph München 1998

Danto VII
A. C. Danto
The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art (Columbia Classics in Philosophy) New York 2005

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2022-06-30
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