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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 ?
In 2006, we realized Nothing Bundt Cakes had the potential to grow beyond our hometown and began developing our franchise program," said Shwetz.
Doing nothing can get quite complicated as the act of doing nothing can be simple or it can be more complicated and elaborate.
1984 Nothing could have prepared him for his role in the most controversial television placed back into the community and struggling to control his vile urges.
It says nothing about Juvenile Court judges' refusal to enforce the terms of probation that all convicted gang members have, which would quickly return to incarceration those who refuse to obey the law.
Doing nothing proved to be the hardest thing to do.
A wildly sensual tale, NOTHING BUT THE BEST is a blazing hot read for a cold winter night.
The Emperor, to the oohs and ahs of his subjects, processed through the town until the voice of a small child was heard: "But the Emperor has nothing on
To be "cursed" is to be nothing, to go nowhere, to have no meaning, regardless of how much domineering power one possess at any given moment.
John Owen (Cromwell's Chaplain) maintained after the Restoration that "nothing certain be left, nothing unshaken" (27).
Thanks to a Republican Party undeserving of our trust and a Democratic Party undeserving of our confidence, we are again faced with the reality that black political power and representation among the leadership of America will only increase when we accept nothing less.
Yet so, too, is Happy Mondays, a title that sounds like a something for a group of semi-mindless boosters, but which includes some of the most demanding observations, such as, "There is nothing admirable about sticking at a soulless task.
But then, "human nature" is actually nothing more than human habit.