Given Nietzsche's Eternal Return philosophy, would the Big Crunch mean that our existence is cyclical, and therefore coincide with Eternal Return philosophy?

  • total lack of effort
    – user34105
    Jul 31, 2018 at 17:12
  • 1
    Note that the Big Crunch is a scientific theory, and recent discoveries have strongly favored the Big Rip from expansion of space, which would ensure that the Universe doesn't repeat itself. Aug 30, 2018 at 22:00
  • No -- even if we assume that existence is cyclical, that is not sufficent for our existence to be cyclical.
    – Roger
    Nov 28, 2018 at 15:41
  • At some point in the Big Crunch, Heisenberg's Principle should exert so much power that the next instance is unrelated to the previous one. Each iteration should originate with a basically random and therefore almost always different starting energy, which determines the course of the rest of the iteration. Things should never repeat.
    – user9166
    Nov 28, 2018 at 17:53
  • @DavidThornley No, the Big Crunch is a scientific hypothesis. Nov 28, 2018 at 18:43

1 Answer 1


What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ...

That, combined with a closed universe collapsing--how does it measure up? It doesn't. They are two unrelated ideas. One is more about philosophical implications, and the other about modern cosmology.

For both to be reconciled, there would have to be a perfect mechanistic materialist resurrection occurring. Although, even that is different from what Nietzsche was poking at. He did not mean one iteration of history, of our lives, continually reoccurring. He meant that given infinite possibilities, forever, every possible iteration would have to repeat itself. [Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is how I interpreted the text.] Since this life you are living now is one of such iterations, it is bound to repeat. That is the opposite of the Big Crunch.

Think of it as gas filled balloon (your life, the universe). Will it pop or be blown up the same way every time? Or superheat a rock; condense it down to magma. Then, will it expand the same way every time once cooled?

Here is a long discussion: thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/410/musings-on-the-nietzschean-concept-of-eternal-recurrence

  • If there's an infinite number of Big Bangs, there could well be recurrences. Oct 29, 2018 at 16:19

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