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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 ?
All hermeneutic is a hermeneutic of Nothingness in the sense that I make interpretations of the things, I search for its connection with the Being starting out from what it is not.
Weatherall contends, for instance, that differing notions of nothingness between theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics could help explain why scientists are still struggling to unite the two ideas into one theory of quantum gravity.
The argumentation would seem coherent, if we did not find out that not even God is immune to solitude, ennui and nothingness.
Tanabe considers absolute nothingness as a metaphor for a "net" which exemplifies interrelatedness.
Using covert negation the poet provokes connotations of presence in such a way that nothingness in itself becomes a presence.
This may seem to contradict the typical Heideggerian understanding of nothingness wherein boredom is not a kind of 'immediate access'.
In Godot, nothing (Godot) represents Heidegger's sense of nothingness as an integral part of Being.
In Hisamatsu's third characteristic of Nothingness, Mind in
The Law of the episteme, however, turns nothingness into a mere listener, so to speak, and a servant of Being; by filling the blank of nothingness this Law ends up denying the very Becoming of which the Law itself is the primary acknowledgment.
THE MANIC STREET PREACHERS Some Kind of Nothingness Ian McCulloch of the Bunnymen guests on this song from new album.
In 2004, he invited people to send him objects they thought represented the idea of nothing or nothingness for an exhibition called the museum of nothingness.