I have a question pondering in my head that if Space and Time are infinite, then does that mean that Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory is true in the way that my life would recur that when 'I' ('I' being the obvious fact that for me I see the world in first-person) die, 'I' will immediately be alive again?

For example, if the universe and/or time is infinite, then there would be exact copies of earth, histories, and therefore me an infinite number of times.

The question being that would I be experiencing the world as those copies the same way as I am experiencing the world as this version of me (and if the universe and/or time is infinite, then this me could be one of several copies). basically if me experiencing the world in first-person view is made of physical matter, how would a replica of me with the same properties that I have with my first-person existence not be a new person. basically imagine that we brought in a future replica of me with the exact same properties into the room while I am still alive, Would the replica of me see through my eyes and would I see through the eyes of the replica? wouldn't this replica be just like other people? (other people obviously cannot se through the eyes of each other) and therefore a new individual and not 'me'?

Therefore how would Space and/or Time make Nietzsche's Eternal Return theory true?


Part of the question is about personal identity but I will focus here on physical recurrence.

I can think of an obvious counterexample to this idea: imagine space and time are infinite, except that nothing really happens outside of a finite region. Then there's no return. However what you say would be true under certain conditions, assuming that your first person experience supervenes on physical facts. This is related to Poincaré's recurrence theorem https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poincar%C3%A9_recurrence_theorem However this recurrence only occurs with the laws of classical physics for closed systems, which means that time must be infinite but not space.

Also related: Boltzman's brains: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain

  • If my first person experience is from physical facts, how could it be replicated in a way that it won't be a new person but me in infinite space and time? – user202315 Jul 28 '18 at 12:06
  • @user202315 well if it's the same physical facts it's the same experience. I thought your question was along these lines. Now if your question is about identity and stuff it's much more metaphysical and there are many different possible answers. – Quentin Ruyant Jul 28 '18 at 12:16
  • Maybe you should clarify the question – Quentin Ruyant Jul 28 '18 at 12:17
  • I clarified it. – user202315 Jul 28 '18 at 12:30
  • Ok I don't have any answer to your new question. It's about personal identity/philosophy of mind, a subject I'm less familiar with. Maybe I'll remove my answer. – Quentin Ruyant Jul 28 '18 at 12:39

Exactly. It wouldn't make it true. The only way the 'other you' s would relate would be in terms of how your correct understandings of them affect your behaviour now. Your understanding of you possible futures affect your choices.

Nietzsche explicitly stated eternal recurrance as a thought experiment, not a proposal of literal truth.

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