chapter  2
19 Pages

Dühring and Time

Let us look in turn at the writers he mentions by name here, beginning with Duhring's discussion of time in his Cursus der Philosophie. In view of Nietzsche's criticism, it is surprising to see the extent to which he is in agreement with Duhring's general views on infinity. Duhring was not alone in asserting the finitude of the world in past time. Like Duhring, Hartmann begins from the assumption that the notion of a completed infinity is an absurdity. Nietzsche says that nothing can prevent him from counting back into infinity, just as he can count forward into infinity. Nietzsche is thinking of a scientific equation as an application of the law of conservation of force to a particular case. Nietzsche makes things too easy for himself by trying to pin Duhring down in a contradiction. Duhring does not in the least commit the first substitution, as Nietzsche unjustly charges.