(redirected from nothingness)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.



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 ?
However, when this man, who we are supposed to be, is not supported by anything more than Nothingness, it becomes complex to be as Sartre supposes; it turns into an almost impossible mission.
Scientists have argued over nothingness since the early days of physics.
The Terzo Giocatore points out that both players agree that going to nothingness and coming from it are supremely evident, that this can be concretely observed and experienced.
In Tears and Saints, a subtle and diffuse dialectics comes forth, between being, nothingness, soul, gap, void, man, and God.
Nothingness plays a vital role as a limiting concept in the simplicity way of thinking.
An example of the diversity of views between Nishida and Tanabe is evident in their positions on nothingness.
The sense of nothingness is powerful, but so is the sense of desire; it pops up when you least expect it, and it must be explained away as quickly as possible, to let the sense of nothingness replace it again.
The idea of nothingness as an entity evolves through the use of negative triggers and through employing binary opposition:
Heidegger asserts that 'profound boredom' represents the essence of attunement, a path to understanding Dasein and so nothingness and authenticity.
In Godot, nothing (Godot) represents Heidegger's sense of nothingness as an integral part of Being.
Between or Nothingness can be cognitively understood at all without