Friedrich Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence has confounded generations of thinkers. This article enters the fray by treating recurrence as an invitation to develop a radically new approach to metaphysics itself. I develop the argument by analyzing the place of recurrence in the work of Heidegger and Deleuze. By framing recurrence as an illustration of Nietzsche's core metaphysical commitment, Heidegger provides the crucial point of entry for this argument. However, while Heidegger regards that return to metaphysics as a weakness, the Deleuzean reading makes clear that it should instead be seen as the final creative possibility. The element of recurrence that makes it the ‘highest formula of affirmation’ is its metaphysics, understood now to be a metaphysics of difference. This reading is essential if we hope to respond to the nihilism of modernity without descending into chaotic despair or defaulting to redemptive violence.

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