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a category in a number of idealist systems of ontology, signifying the absence or nonexistence of a specific essence or the total absence of being.

From classical times, two fundamental approaches to nothing may be observed in the history of idealist philosophy. In the systems of one group (Platonism and Neoplatonism, medieval Christian mysticism, Hegelianism) nothing is one of the key categories of ontology (as god, being, the absolute) and the principle ex nihilo nihil fit (nothing can be created from nothing) is rejected. The second approach to the problem, dating back to the Eleatic school of Greek philosophy, affirms the origin of nothing from formal negation, that is, nothing is only a concept in formal logic. Thus, the problem of nothing in ontology is completely removed.

In materialist philosophy, nothing is not a philosophical category, since materialist philosophy proceeds from the fact that the material world is indestructible, and pure nonexistence and absolute emptiness are not possible.

References in periodicals archive ?
receive the award: "We are thrilled to be by The British Sandwich We at Deli," business has the years but we continue to Nothing, absolutely nothing to criticise - done as it should be by professionals Sammies judge
Those maps have absolutely nothing to do with the Aztec tribe of Mexico, and the Spaniards were certainly not Aztec.
The rogue actions of any priest, minister, other church official, or anyone else for that matter who is doing something in his own flesh has absolutely nothing to do with "in the name of God"
There are no winners in a life drama such as this: a taut, beautiful ship destroyed; hundreds of men dead who might have been rescued; a captain dishonored to the point of suicide--and a Japanese submarine skipper well aware that his victory meant absolutely nothing to the course of the war.
Mr Blair remains a master at saying absolutely nothing with ponderous sincerity - Political commentator Ben Macintyre.
So when, for instance, the director of a major art museum--who came to the job a scant three years before with a lot of flash and filigree from another major museum where he was rumored to be in hot water--precipitously "resigns" to "pursue other opportunities," you can rest assured that absolutely nothing is amiss, nothing unexpected happened, and, of course, everybody concerned still loves and admires everybody concerned.
the most exhaustive exploration ever written" about this text complet ely misses the point that, as described in the essay at least, there is absolutely nothing exceptional about what the text being exhaustively explored actually offers.
But furious O'Neill said: "There is absolutely nothing in that story - not a thing.
The reason DVD hasn't eclipsed CD has absolutely nothing to do with shipping product and a promised "better" product.
An utmost authority on absolutely nothing, he could almost be considered a regular on "Meet the Press.
If Congress did absolutely nothing, the federal budget would have fallen into balance as early as next fiscal year," says William Armistead, a vice president at Citizens for a Sound Economy.
Combing the depths of federal penitentiaries throughout the country, Sullivan's prosecution team offered inmates with absolutely nothing to lose amazingly lucrative deals--dropped charges, sharply reduced sentences, immigration visas for their loved ones--all for a few words that would implicate the general.