Nietzsche on Loneliness, Self-Transformation, and the Eternal Recurrence

Journal of Nietzsche Studies 49 (2):194-213 (2018)
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Abstract
Nietzsche’s presentation of the eternal recurrence in Gay Science 341 is often viewed as a practical thought experiment meant to radically transform us. But exactly why and how we are supposed to be transformed is not clear. I contend that addressing these issues requires taking a close look at the psychological setting of the passage. The eternal recurrence is presented in our “loneliest loneliness.” I argue that facing the eternal recurrence from a state of profound loneliness both motivates self-transformation and contributes toward helping us succeed at that project.
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Archival date: 2019-03-02
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