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B.

Bridson

Rejecting the Concept of Doctrine in Nietzsches Writings I mistrust all systematizers and avoid them. The will to a system is a lack of integrity. (Twilight of the Idols, Maxims and Arrows) I have been compelled to write a paper on Nietzsches conceptualizations of the eternal return, situated alongside the corpus of his writings. My compulsion has been fueled by the irresponsible use of language employed by scholars; particularly the scholars who claim to have a specialization in Nietzsche scholarship. What has bothered me most has been those who refer to Nietzsche being either a systematizer or indoctrinator, in particular those who refer to Nietzsches concept of the eternal return as a doctrine itself. In this paper I will demonstrate both that Nietzsches concept of the eternal return is not to in any way to be understood as a doctrine, and that Nietzsche cannot be sensically understood to be a systematizer or an indoctrinator. In order to demonstrate that this is how Nietzsche himself would likely understand these issues, I will divide this essay into three sections. In the first I will look at the corpus of Nietzsches writings and from them analyze key passages pertaining to truth, experimentalism, system, doctrine and logic, and explain their importance. In the second section I will provide the reader with passages that Nietzsche uses to convey his concept of the eternal return. I will try to convey what Nietzsche seems to mean in each instance, while attempting to make sense of each passage in light of the first section. In this section I will also dissect a key passage from the German and argue that a good deal of misunderstandings regarding Nietzsche and his work are likely due to mistranslations of the texts. I will employ both sections to demonstrate the Nietzsche is not a systematizer and that his concept of the eternal return is not a doctrine. I One need not look terribly long before they are confronted by or meet, in person or in the literature those who would have us understand Nietzsche to be an indoctrinator or a systematizer; one will also find those who are so dissatisfied with Nietzsches writings that they feel the need to turn them into a system. But a careful reading of Nietzsches writings will provide the attentive reader with a number of instances in which he expresses his contempt for systems and doctrines, as well as logic, and that his concept of truth provides us with novel concepts of epistemology; foreign at least to neophytes and some seasoned readers. Understanding how Nietzsche conceives of these ideas will help us better understand his concept of the eternal return in section two. As early as Nietzsches notebooks from the winter of 1872-1873 we are able to bear witness to his distaste for and employment of caution against systematizers and dogmatists. He warns that every power, when taken to an extreme, has a barbarizing, corrupting, and stultifying effect as unbending tyranny. (Winter 72-73, #23 (14)) Anything then, when taken beyond a moderate level becomes something that we lose control of, something tyrannical, something that we can no longer employ in our search for knowledge of truth. The threat then is that we will, against whatever will we have, be forced away from that which we had set as our goal. Dogma then, as Nietzsche

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conceives of it, is nihilistic; incapable of possessing knowledge of truth in any degree dogmatism as delusion. Later in Daybreak Nietzsche warns us again about systematizers in Book IV, aphorism 318, titled Beware of Systematizers. He writes, Systematizers practice a kind of play-acting in as much as they want to fill out a system and round off its horizon, they have to try to present their weaker qualities as their stronger they try to impersonate whole and uniformly strong natures. This passage is rich in meaning and requires careful interpretation if this meaning is to be maintained. His most obvious criticisms in this passage are that systematizers are phony; so too are their constructions. Likewise, they are deceptive, perhaps even self-deceptive, for they dress-up their weaknesses and attempt to pass them off as their strengths. Another meaning is contained in Nietzsches imagery and denotes the artificiality of the system, they want to fill out a system and round off its horizon Those familiar with Nietzsches writings, specifically his symbolism, will realize that he says quite a lot in few words whenever the concept of the horizon is employed. The horizon makes reference to the infinite, the natural and truth, that which we are part of but know very little of; that which we perceive with glimpses and interpret; something even thought is too feeble to grasp hold of (see Nietzsches Joyful Wisdom, aphorism 124 for an example). And thus the problem with a dogma or a system: not only is it entirely artificial, it is also an impossible task; just as it is impossible to grab hold of truth, so too are we unable to mould it as we see fit. This is not to deny that we do interpret the truth, because we do in fact interpret it. What it does deny a possible is that anyone can know it absolutely, and as such, an objective reality cannot be contained or explicated by anyone. This touches on Nietzsches perspectivalism, which I shall explain shortly. What is important to note in this passage is Nietzsches belief that systems are inauthentic, artificial and in reality impossible constructs. In his Joyful Wisdom, Nietzsche further attacks the impetuous demand for certainty as being as instinct of weakness. (Joyful Wisdom, 347) Not only does he conceive of doctrine or system as being weak, but that those who cling to doctrine are exactly opposite those who he conceives of as being free-spirits, or higher men. Unlike the weak, Nietzsches free-spirits will take leave of all faith and every wish for certainty, being practices in maintaining himself in insubstantial ropes and possibilities and dancing even near abysses. Such a spirit would be the free-spirit par excellence. What he praises then is not weakness, but what he perceives as its antipode: not only accepting uncertainty and rejecting systems or dogmas, but to do so joyfully. In Twilight of the Idols we are again confronted with Nietzsches distaste for systematizers. He writes, I mistrust all systematizers and avoid them. The will to a system is a lack of integrity. (Maxims and Arrows) Again we bear witness to the low rank that Nietzsche allots to systematizers: not only are they to be avoided, as though unclean, they also lack integrity (keep in mind that they are creating or adhering to a system, and that doing so is either intentionally or unintentionally deceptive). With these understandings of systems and doctrines, insofar as Nietzsche conceives of them, let us move on to Nietzsches treatment of logic and mathematics, before we consider his concepts of truth and perspective. I believe that there are two aphorisms that capture the essence of Nietzsches treatment of logic and mathematics. The first is from his Joyful Wisdom where he writes,

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The preponderating inclination, however, to deal with the similar as the equal an illogical inclination, for there is nothing equal in itself first created the whole basis of logic. (Joyful Wisdom, 111) Logic is intrinsically flawed, Nietzsche argues, because at its heart is the erroneous belief that things are capable of being equal: Nietzsche is not merely arguing that any two things are incapable of being equal; he is making the much stronger claim that no thing is capable of being equal to itself! For a thing to be equal to itself, it would necessarily have to co-exist with itself at precisely the same time and in precisely the same space; it would have to exist in duplicate and overlap itself exactly. This, however, is impossible. Things exist in changing spatial-temporal locations, and because no thing can exist in the same time as space as any other thing (even with itself), equality is an impossibility. We are merely confused then when we equate similar things as things that are equal. And because this error lies at the heart of logic, conventional logic for Nietzsche becomes something that cannot be taken seriously. Another expression of Nietzsches contempt for logic is located in aphorism 3 of Twilight of the Idols titled Reason in Philosophy. He writes, We possess scientific knowledge today precisely to the extent that we have decided to accept the evidence of the senses to the extent that we have learned to sharpen and arm them and to think them through to their conclusions. The rest is abortion and not-yet-science: which is to say metaphysics, theology, psychology, epistemology. Or science of formulae, sign-systems, such as logic and that applied logic, mathematics. Logic and mathematics are abortions where knowledge is of importance. Real knowledge is that which accepts and thinks through what is presented to the senses. The problem with logic and mathematics is that they transcend everything empirical: instead of dealing with what we can sense, they deal with tangents and numbers and other supra-sensical notions. He also criticizes mathematics because it is based on logic, and we already know why Nietzsche is opposed to logic and why he thus has very reasonable grounds for denying that 1+1=2. I would now like to spend the rest of this section sifting through Nietzsches concept of truth and, inseparable from it, perspective. In the summer of 1872 to early 1873, Nietzsche writes in his notebook, the demand for truth means: do no evil unto human beings by means of deceit. (19 [253]) Shortly after he writes, Does the philosopher seek the truth? No, for then he would give more credence to certainty. (19 [254]) We see here a concept of Nietzsches regarding truth that we will come across in his Joyful Wisdom in its mature expression. At this point it is sufficient to remark that being truthful to Nietzsche entails not being deceitful. In Book IV of Daybreak, aphorism 353, Nietzsche writes that if we are to speak the truth, as demanded by Fichte, it would entail that everyone be allowed to express his own opinion. Truth, as we saw earlier, is not something possessed in an objective form by anyone, but rather is something understood by each person individually; truth entails perspectivalism; while it is absolute, our knowledge of it is not. In aphorism 370 he writes, Never keep back or bury in silence that which can be thought against your thoughts! Give it praise! It is among the foremost requirements of honesty of thought. Every day you must conduct your campaign also against yourself. A victory and conquered fortress are no longer your concern your concern is truth but your defeat is no longer your concern, either! This again is a profound passage that requires more than a passing word if we are to understand it properly. First, truth is not a system or doctrine set in stone A victory and a conquered fortress are no longer your concern

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Knowledge of truth requires honesty of thought and the courage to question all thoughts, even those thoughts most dear to us; it is a testing of hypotheses! It is an experiment and process! Truth does not formulate presuppositions and as such, does it have an end in sight; truth has no goal. The inability to question and experiment with respect to truth, particularly those dear truths, is weakness and cowardice. If we recall aphorism 347 from Joyful Wisdom above, Nietzsches concept of truth demands his free-spirits of the future; those who can stare into the abyss and gaily dance while doing so. A similar expression of what is demanded with respect to Nietzsches concept of truth is found in his Joyful Wisdom in aphorism 110. He writes, How far is the truth susceptible of embodiment? that is the question, that is the experiment. Again we notice that Nietzsches concept of truth demands experiment, and truth is to be embodied it is not something one keeps in their back pocket but something that one attempts to incorporate into their life. As such, we can understand that his concept of truth will naturally involve internal conflicts a successive testing of different hypotheses, reformulations and retesting. This being the case, much to the contrary of being discouraged, internal conflicts should be encouraged if we are honestly concerned with truth, because they ensure that we actively sift through our thoughts and attempt to think them through to their conclusions. Another aphorism from Joyful Wisdom is 114; he writes, We construct a new picture, which we see immediately with the aid of all the old experiences we have had, always according to the degree of our honesty and justice. The only experiences are moral experiences, even in the domain of sense perception. Again, we encounter another passage rich in meaning. Most obvious is Nietzsches associating being truthful, in his radical conception of it, with being moral. When we experience anything we are interpreting the world around us; we use all the experiences of our past and create the meaning the experience. When we interpret the world around us we can choose to do so honestly, or we can decide to manufacture meanings, which is to say we can idealize the world and represent it as we would like it to be instead of trying to understand it the way it impresses itself on our senses and the manner in which we instinctually respond to it. Experiencing is impossible without interpretation; experience must be understood, and to be understood we must attempt to make sense of it which is to interpret it. There is no one way to perceive reality, Nietzsche would argue, because no one is able to perceive or understand an objective reality. There are some who would like to deny that there are individual perspectives or points-of-view and that Nietzsche is in this instance wrong. But what these persons would have to do is prove that we all have access to an objective reality and that we are capable of intelligibly understanding it. If this cannot be done, then they would be hard pressed to argue that how each of us has perceived the past does not necessarily colour our understanding of the present and in turn how we will interpret future events. At this point we have come to realize that in Nietzsches work, both in his earlier and later writing, certain concepts have been present throughout and some have matured over time. In respect to system and doctrine and those who create or support them, Nietzsche admonished and openly criticized. Nietzsche considered dogmatism as being delusional, as deceptive and phony. He considered system to be an artificial and impossible construct. He saw the demand for certainty as a weakness of will and argued that systematizers lack integrity. We have seen that Nietzsche considers equality to be a

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mistake and that logic, based on the concept of equality, is nonsense; so too is mathematics, as logic furnishes its foundations. With respect to Nietzsches concept of truth we have seen that it is perspectival and cannot possibly be objectively understood; that understanding truth is a goalless process and experiment; that interpreting truth is a creative act; that truth is a moral concern and dependent upon radical honesty; and finally, that truth is subjective. With these points in mind, we can now turn our attention towards Nietzsches conceptualizations of the eternal return in the second section of this essay. II As I mentioned in the opening paragraph of this essay, I have been compelled to put pen to paper due to a relentless misuse of language when discussing Nietzsche in general, and the eternal return more specifically; in particular it is that certain scholars were referring to the eternal return as a doctrine and thus to Nietzsche as an indoctrinator or systematizer. In this section of my paper I will work through key passages in Nietzsches later works of the Joyful Wisdom, Thus Spake Zarathustra, the Will to Power and some of the nachlass in order to provide different expressions of Nietzsches eternal return. I will then argue that we cannot reasonably hold that Nietzsches eternal return is a doctrine in two ways: first I will use the arguments from the first section to demonstrate why we cannot and Nietzsche would not conceive of his eternal return as either a doctrine or system. Second, I will analyze a passage from The Convalescent in Thus Spake Zarathustra to demonstrate that the popular belief that the eternal return is a doctrine is to some degree attributable to insensitive translations by a popular translator, and I will do so by a) providing the text of the original German, b) providing the suspect translation, and c) providing a critical comparison of the two to demonstrate what the error is. The first expression of the eternal return is found in Joyful Wisdom, aphorism 341 titled The Heaviest Burden. In it we are to imagine a demon coming to us in the night and telling us that we are condemned to live every moment of our lives, in precisely the same way innumerable more times. He writes, every pain and every joy and every thought and every sigh, and all the unspeakably small and great must come to thee again, and all in the same series and sequence Nietzsche then asks us how we would respond to such a scenario: would we respond with gnashing of teeth or would we think the thought divine; would the burden crush us or give us reason to dance? He then writes, the question with regard to all and everything: Dost thou want this once more, and also for innumerable times? would lie as the heaviest burden upon thy activity! At this stage in Nietzsches writing we encounter the eternal return as a suggestion or thought experiment. We are to imagine how we would respond to the demon that puts this question to us. Do we live our lives, in every way, such that we would desire nothing more than to have our lives, in every small and great aspect, repeat just as they are for innumerable, perhaps an infinite number of times? Or would we gnash our teeth and feel crushed by the prospect? Being told this is all that reality has to offer, would we suffer greatly from our past and present asceticism? Would we be sorrowful because our lives are filled more with regret than joyful affirmation? Have we been waiting all our lives for another world, a better world, in which to live? Would we be able to take stock of our lives and genuinely be able to will that they recur an infinite

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number of times? Or would the prospect of our worthless lives repeating in all their misery and abortiveness overwhelm us with depression? This is the heaviest burden to be able to will that your entire life your past, your present and your future be such that you could wish for nothing better than for your life to repeat in all its glory for eternity; that you would will your life to return eternally. After spending quite a lot of time contemplating this aphorism I was struck by two different interpretations of it. The first falls in line with standard interpretations of the eternal return and is straight-forward in nature: all persons, objects and events that do, have or will occur will recur ad infinitum in precisely the same way they originally occurred. Nietzsches imagery of the hourglass makes this clearer, The eternal sand glass of existence will ever be turned over once more, and you with it, thou speck of dust! Another interpretation, however, is that while events do recur eternally, they do so in a manner that is distinct from the one above. With every decision we make, all of history becomes important again; we must be able to acknowledge that all events of the past, great and small alike have been responsible for bringing us to this very moment. We must accept them just as they are, for to do otherwise, to want them to be different in any way is nihilistic, as it is impossible. We must will that all of the past and the present be just as they are and do so joyfully. We are also responsible for the future, knowing that all the actions of the present shape the course of the future. Ours is not then just a yes-saying to the present and the past but to all eternity; if we say yes to anything once we say yes to all things; if we say no even once, we will the impossible. I believe that both readings are plausible given the aphorism in question. The second passage is found in Thus Spake Zarathustra, part two of On the Vision and the Enigma, in which Nietzsche introduces us to his concept of This Moment or what I have elsewhere termed the Eternal Now. In this passage we encounter Zarathustra and a dwarf walking along a path in the midst of a combative debate. When of the sudden Zarathustra says to the dwarf, Look at this gateway! Dwarf!...it hath two faces. Two roads come together hereThis long lane backwards: it continueth for an eternity. And that long lane forward that is another eternityThe name of the gateway is inscribed above: This Moment. At This Moment then, the past and the future branch directly outwards in opposition to one another. He then adds, From this gateway, This Moment, there runneth a long eternal lane backwardsMust not whatever can happen of all things have already happened, resulted, and gone by?...must not this gateway also have already existed? As he envisions it here, all things that can be must have already existed on this long lane backwards already; even This Moment must have already existed. He also adds, For whatever can run its course of all things, also in this long lane outward must it once more run!...And must we not return and run in that other lane out before us, that long weird lane must we not eternally return? Just as with the long lane backwards, so must all things return eternally in this long lane outwards. Just as in The Heaviest Burden it seems as though the sand glass is ever being turned over. Thus far it seems as though only one of the two interpretations I provided for the earlier aphorism in Joyful Wisdom could possibly be found in this passage: that of all things eternally recurring, the sand glass ever turning over. But what I argue is that my earlier interpretations are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps what Nietzsche is suggesting is that time is circular, but that at every moment we must accept the heaviest burden, such that we will at this moment joyfully take responsibility for all of the past,

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for this very moment and for all events that are to follow, for in doing so we are creating the possibility of the future. So even if time is a circle, it would seem that both interpretations can be accepted as part of Nietzsches concept of reality as he perceives it. Of course, it is likewise possible that Nietzsche struggled with both concepts, perhaps even in opposition to one another. We must recall a victory and a conquered fortress are no longer any concern of Nietzsches truth, as he conceives of it, is what concerns him. Let us now turn our attention to other passages from the Will to Power and nachlass. In aphorism 1062 of the Will to Power Nietzsche writes, The world, as force, may not be thought of as unlimited, for it cannot be so thought of. Thus the world also lacks the capacity for eternal novelty. This is further supported by aphorism 1063, The law of conservation of energy demands eternal recurrence. The Oxford Dictionary of Science defines the law of conservation as such: A law stating that the total magnitude of a certain physical property of a system, such as its mass, energy or charge remains unchanged even though there may be exchanges of that property between components of the system. Nietzsche argues then that because the amount of energy or matter in the world never increases or decreases, and because time is infinite, not only must all configurations be realized, but they must be repeated an infinite number of times. Perhaps you have already read this paper hundreds of millions of times. In Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography, on page 228, Safranski takes a selection from one of the notebooks, The world of forces is not subject to any standstill; because otherwise it would have been reached, and the clock of existence would stand still. The world of forces therefore never reaches a state of equilibrium. It never has a moment of respite; its force and its movement are equally great at any given moment. Whatever condition this world may reach, it must have reached it already; not once, but innumerable timesHumanity! Your whole life becomes like an hourglass, always being inverted and always running out again Nietzsche has adopted a more scientific way of justifying his concept of the eternal return, but I do not think that we should or even can begin to treat the eternal return any differently than we did with earlier expressions of it above. Despite its scientific nature, we can understand it just as we did the aphorisms from Joyful Wisdom and Thus Spake Zarathustra: the course of matter or force through time is circular. The earlier conviction that we must evaluate and give meaning to existence may seem challenged here by his denial that anything novel is possible except that he himself is evaluating and valuing as he writes, creating not a refutation but a contradiction. This, however, is not the only contradiction contained in Nietzsches concept of the eternal return. Recall Nietzsches attitude towards logic and mathematics: neither possesses much value because both are founded upon mistakes in thought, precisely believing that anything can be equal. Safranski also notes on page 232 that With this firm claim to truth, [Nietzsche] got tangled up in contradictions, since he ultimately considered knowledge a series of fabrications. He did not exempt even the figures of mathematics which he used to determine the idea of eternal recurrence. It is clear that with this enhanced focus on science in order to elucidate his idea of eternal return Nietzsche had to make more reference to mathematics and employ the tools of scientific logic. It also seems as though Nietzsche was delving more than he would like to admit into metaphysics, causing him to at times transcend what he could empirically verify.

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Some may at this point argue that because of all the contradictions entailed within the concept of the eternal return, what he has given us lacks any meaning. Despite whatever prejudices we may have, we should try to discover whether or not Nietzsche himself is serious about these ideas, and if so, why that is. To help facilitate this exploration, we need to keep in mind what ideas of Nietzsches we came across in the first section of this essay. What are inconsistencies and contradictions to one who is adamantly opposed to certainty? To someone who would much rather dance near abysses and struggle for truth? To one whose concept of truth concept of truth implies uncertainty? Nietzsche rejected the idea of certainty altogether, preferring, even welcoming rather the warring of ideas and thoughts. To one such as Nietzsche, contradictions were necessary for coming to have any knowledge at all; contradictions cause one to question, examine, experiment and exhaust as many possibilities as possible; nothing is spared from being questioned because nothing is certain, hence, questioning is necessary and a plethora of ideas, even if antipodal to one another, are expected. Rather than regarding this as a problem, Nietzsche would regard this as evidence that he was progressing towards knowledge. Perhaps incorporating mathematics and logic so heavily into his concept of the eternal return allowed Nietzsche to test the concept stringently; to determine whether it stood in his own mind as something strong and worth carrying along on the road of experimentation. Perhaps the inconsistencies fueled his desire to question things all the more and thus found it necessary to keep it ready at hand should he feel the need to stimulate himself. If one would like to argue that this is a point of weakness in Nietzsches philosophy (and with his eternal return specifically), they would need to demonstrate that objectivity, and hence certainty, is attainable and that the need to question, experiment and challenge is unnecessary. What also makes questioning imperative for Nietzsches conception of truth is perspectivalism: we each approach reality from our own perspective and as such can never take solace in the conclusions of any other person; no one is capable of actually laying claim to truth. That his ideas are radically different than most is no substantial charge: if perspectival knowing is all that is possible, and if certainty is unknowable (even if only because it is indemonstrable), then radical ideas are perhaps more justified than most common ideas recycled amongst those concerned with grandiose concepts of certainty. Thus that Nietzsches eternal return is radically different in nature and that it is difficult for most to wrap their heads around are not problems in Nietzsches eyes. Much to the contrary, he would likely believe that these criticisms are unwarranted, given his numerous remarks regarding the nature of truth. Others accuse Nietzsche of turning his concept of the eternal return into a doctrine or system; it would not take one long to notice such remarks in the literature. However, as I have shown above, Nietzsche spent his entire writing career railing against systems and systematizers. Perhaps he was most outspoken when he argued that the will to a system is a will to weakness and that dogmatists possess a will to weakness and should be avoided. One must also recall that Nietzsche believes that certainty is impossible and that establishing doctrines is foolish and befitting blockheads. If one still questions Nietzsches beliefs and philosophy in this respect, I will present two further arguments to demonstrate Nietzsche did not establish any doctrine at any point in his philosophy.

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A lot of people will read a translation of Nietzsche by Kaufmann, and will thus read a number of times that Nietzsche uses the word doctrine to refer to himself or what he is doing, which certainly seems to suggest that Nietzsche was dogmatic and that the eternal return is a doctrine. To demonstrate that the use of the term doctrine is an irresponsible translation on Kaufmanns part, and demonstrate that we have even less reason to support claims regarding Nietzsche being a dogmatist, I will provide the original German text from part of The Convalescent in Thus Spake Zarathustra (Also sprach Zarathustra) and also the text from Kaufmanns translation. I will then analyze the two and demonstrate that a sensitive translation of the text yields a very different result. Nietzsche writes, Denn deine Theire wissen es wohl, oh Zarathustra, wer der bist und warden must: siehe, du bist der Lehrer der ewigen Wiederkunft-, das ist nun dein Schiksal! Das du als der Erst diese Lehre lehren musst, - wie sollte diess grosse Schicksal nicht auch deine grosste Gefahr und Krankheit sein! Kaufmann translates this passage as, For thine animals know thee well, O Zarathustra, what you are and must become behold, you are the teacher of the eternal return that is your destiny! That you must be the first to teach this doctrine how could this great destiny not be your greatest danger and sickness too? What Kaufmann does is translate the word Lehre as doctrine. However, the word Lehre has two possible meanings in English: doctrine and teaching. These two words, however, do not have the same meaning. To have a doctrine is to have a system; a doctrine is a system. Teaching however does not necessitate doctrine at all. While a teaching can entail doctrine (consider the teachings of the Church), it can also be used to denote that which is taught (and it is possible to teach something without trying to indoctrinate or enforce a system). Given that this is the case and that Nietzsche is as opposed to doctrine as he is, Kaufmann should have used teaching rather than doctrine for the word Lehre. The translation would then read, That you must be the first to teach this teaching It should be noted that not all translators commit the same mistakes, and that Thomas Common provides an excellent, much more sensitive translation of Thus Spake Zarathustra. Correcting these improper translations of Nietzsches work would likely do much to diffuse the misconceptions of Nietzsche that are circulating at present, helping people realize that Nietzsche does not refer to himself or his work as being systematic. My last example of Nietzsches anti-systematic beliefs and his desire for questioning ands experiment come from discussing the last part of The Bestowing Virtue in Thus Spake Zarathustra. Nietzsche writes, Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath deceived youOne requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a scholar. And why will ye not pluck at my wreath? Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! Ye are my believers: but of what account are all believers? Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account. These are certainly not the words of one who is indoctrinating or desiring to erect a system. He warns his disciples to beware lest he has deceived them. He tells them that one is a poor student if one never desires to learn things for himself and to

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question what he has been taught, to pluck at the wreath of his teacher. He discredits all believers because nothing that they believe is their own, and it is because they spend no time in experimenting and questioning themselves that their belief is worth very little. What Nietzsche wanted was those who would question and challenge all beliefs and philosophies, including his own. His is not an unquestionable system, his is a questioning process. As such we can safely argue that Nietzsche is not a systematizer, and that his concept of the eternal return is not a doctrine. We can attribute any contrary beliefs to irresponsible translations, pulling passages out of context and failing to acknowledge Nietzsches own concepts of truth and his attitudes towards systems and systematizers. III Given what I have argued above, most of us must re-evaluate how we understand Nietzsche and whether our understanding reflects what is actually contained in Nietzsches writings. We must keep in mind how Nietzsche conceptualizes truth, as this is essential to understanding why he argues as he does and also why he is justified in arguing the way he does. His concept of truth is also important for understanding why he is opposed to and despises both systems and their proponents. One must also use caution both when reading Nietzsche in translation and when exposing oneself to passages taken out of context, as both can lead one to misunderstand what Nietzsche is trying to express. Approaching Nietzsche with these ideas in mind will remind one that Nietzsche is not a systematizer and that his philosophy is free from doctrine. This is not to argue that one cannot attempt to demonstrate that Nietzsche is a systematizer or indoctrinator; one is more than welcome to try. The purpose of this essay has been to demonstrate why it is I believe that Nietzsche is not a systematizer and that the eternal return is not a doctrine, and I have done so not by providing an abstract argument in Nietzsches favour, but by providing a detailed analysis of his writing that solidifies my argument. What Nietzsche does is explain how the world and reality appear to him and tries to express how he understands it all. Never once does Nietzsche claim that his perspective of the world is the only perspective, he actually argues against this. What he does time and again is question what he believes and invites others to question him. We must question because we can never know anything for certain, thus demanding that experience be an experiment ad infinitum. Perhaps it is fitting to conclude with a passage from Nietzsches Joyful Wisdom: How far is the truth susceptible of embodiment? that is the question, that is the experiment. (Joyful Wisdom, 110)

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Bibliography Nietzsche. Also sprach Zarathustra. Walter de Gruyter & Co., Berlin: 1968. Nietzsche. Daybreak. R.J. Hollingdale, trans. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 2003. Nietzsche. Joyful Wisdom. Thomas Common, trans. Frederick Ungar Publishing Co., New York: 1975. Nietzsche. Thus Spake Zarathustra. Thomas Common, trans. The Heritage Press, New York: 1967. Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Walter Kaufmann, trans. Penguin Books, New York: 1966. Nietzsche. Twilight of the Idols/The Anti-Christ. R.J. Hollingdale, trans. Penguin Books, New York: 1990. Nietzsche. Unpublished Writings from the Period of Unfashionable Observations. Richard Gray, trans. Stanford University Press, Stanford University: 1995. Nietzsche. Will to Power. Hollingdale and Kaufmann, trans. Vintage Books, New York: 1968. Oxford Dictionary of Science. Oxford University Press, Oxford: 1999. Safranski, Rdiger. Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography. Shelley Frisch, trans. W. W. Norton and Co., New York: 2002.