chapter  1
20 Pages

Spir and Time

African Spir is a more interesting writer than his lack of continuing reputation would suggest. In rebutting the idea of time as something in its own right, Spir draws on an argument used by Herbart. If Aristotle's argument is valid, the continuity of space and time must stand or fall together, for if in following the alternating procedure we arrive at some indivisible period of time, any further division of space will be precluded. How far Nietzsche's train of thought goes beyond Spir's account, however, is seen in his introduction of absolute becoming into the discussion, leading on towards a radical relativization of space and time. Nietzsche's reading of Spir is evident in Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks, written in 1873, where Parmenides is presented as basing his system on the logical principle of identity, as the only certainty available to human knowledge.