chapter  6
17 Pages

Possibility, Probability and Finality

The concepts of possibility and necessity are crucial to arguments about the final state and eternal recurrence. We will see that the argument which rules out the possibility of a final state requires the use of more than one concept of possibility. When the same principle appears as part of the argument for eternal recurrence, the chapter explores an interpretation suggested which changes the emphasis from possibility to probability. Nietzsche's talk of possibility is confused in that it fails to observe the important distinction between logical possibility and empirical possibility. Nietzsche writes: 'The standstill of forces, their equilibrium is a thinkable case: but it has never taken place, hence the number of possibilities is greater than the number of actual cases.' Nietzsche begins by pointing out that a certain argument which rules out the first case does not rule out the second one.