chapter  8
18 Pages

The Physics of Eternal Recurrence

One way of understanding Nietzsche's thought is through the concept of force. Is it the Newtonian theory, or the dynamic approaches of Boscovich, Kant and Faraday, or a more modem physics? In this chapter, the author surveys the sources of Nietzsche’s conception of force, and then looks into his use of these theories to construct a model of reality corresponding to his doctrine of eternal recurrence. When he took his reading in natural philosophy further, he was biased towards approaches which seemed to build on the dynamic approach of Boscovich and eager to find evidence that those ideas had become generally accepted in recent science. One contemporary author proved very suitable in this regard. This was Johannes Gustav Vogt, a professor of physics at the University of Leipzig whose book Die Kraft, published in 1881, offered a comprehensive account of the natural world, based on a few simple assumptions.