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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 ?
No-one is in danger or anything like that, there are just a few things gone missing, but nothing major.
I have got new cracks on the top two ribs but they are nothing major and nothing to do with the old injury.
He said: "We're expecting a small bit of rain perhaps Friday or Saturday but nothing major.
He (Smith) is training today, so it is nothing major," added the manager yesterday.
I speak to James regularly and there's nothing major about the injuries he's been getting.
There have been rumours about this drink, but let me be clear that nothing major is happening," he told the GDN.
Crews at Radford Road Fire Station in Coventry city centre reported a handful of incidents in Cheylesmore, but nothing major.
But after seeing a specialist it appears Young's knee problem is nothing major and he could return to first-team duty within a fortnight.
It was nothing major, but you can't take any chances," said the Barbury Castle handler.
I've been sore, but it's nothing major," he explained.
com said: "Although nothing major, the injury requires rest, which would rule him out of the summer's major mile events.
And, asked after the game whether the injury would affect the Yorkshire player's participation in tomorrow's clash against Australia at Chesterle-Street, vice-captain Trescothick said: 'It s a little tweak, nothing major.

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