Because nothing exists, nothing also does not exist.

If you look at nothing as the opposite of something. The existence of one requires the existence of the other.

But since one explicitly says it is nothing i.e. does not exist. That should also mean that something also does not exists. Or nothing exists.

Is there a known solution to this paradox?

  • 7
    You are playing with words: if with "nothing exists" you are saying that there are no "entities" whatever in the world, then there is neither an "entity" called "nothing"; fullstop. Thus, not you, not me, not SE... nothing means nothing. Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 14:37
  • What you (re)discovered is kind of a modification of Descartes' cogito-argument: The mere uttering of "nothing exists" leads to an inevatible paradox, therefore it must be false. That means radical scepticism is self-refuting.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 14:53
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    @MauroALLEGRANZA Right. To assert "nothing exists there" is not to assert existence of some "thing" (called "nothing") in that location, but rather to (only) deny that any thing exists there. Nothing more! (It's a shorthand for negating the verb, not a shorthand for asserting a negative object (despite the "no" being applied to the noun).)
    – Jeff Y
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 15:01
  • There is a difference between nothing and nothingness.
    – rus9384
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 19:00
  • There is.a known solution. It is to deny the (metaphysical) distinction between something and nothing. This is the metaphysical approach of the Perennial philosophy, a paradigm case being Middle Way Buddhism. I'm not sure your argument works as it is but it does indicate the way that all our concepts require their opposite, such that if there is no opposite there can be no concept. Hence the common idea that we live in a world of opposites. Two hands clapping and all that...
    – user20253
    Commented Sep 15, 2018 at 12:25

6 Answers 6


To expand upon Mauro's excellent response: "Nothing" isn't a name of a thing that doesn't exist. Words like "nothing" "something" "everything" "most things" and so on don't refer to objects the way that proper names like "Shane" do. Rather these words, called quantifiers, show how many objects are being referred to by other expressions. So "nothing exists" doesn't mean "the object which is nothing has the property of existing", rather it says that the number of the things that have the property of existing is 0.

That resolves the paradox you mention above.

  • 1
    I take the question a bit more serious, i.e. that the very concept of nothingness in order to be understood includes something existing, as analytical necessity. Some kind of natural dialectics of language. Therefore, "nothing exists" is paradoxical.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 15:02
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    "the very concept of nothingness in order to be understood includes something existing" I don't see why that's true, could you expand? I recognize that when I have the thought about my world that "nothing exists" I know the sentence is false because I must exist to be thinking about it. But that's not the case when, say, I'm considering a language to represent a certain phenomenon and I see there could be no objects which would provide a model for that language. For instance let a world consist of set of objects that could satisfy the sentence x ≠ x. In that world "nothing exists" is true.
    – user5172
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 15:35

Think of it as the lack of "something". Nothingness cannot be because we know there is "something", we are that "something". Nothingness is the lack of "something", but again because there is "something", there cannot be "nothing". "Nothing" and "something" are not two separate tangible concepts, the concept of "nothing" is the absence of "something". The same thing applies to things like light. There isn't dark and light, dark is just the absence of light.


A paradox is a mental autodestructive or self-negative construct.

Natural (physical) entities are not autodestructive. But our mind allows that: mental entities could negate itselves. As soon as you construct a paradox, it's supposed to negate its existence or contradict itself. There's no solution to paradoxes. They're just fun to play with as mental experiments.

Think of this similar construct: is washing zero hands the same as not washing two hands? If you follow the same logic as in the original question of yours, you can end up concluding that washing=not washing, or even that infinity=2.


Because nothing exists, nothing also does not exist.

In physics especially astrophysics- 'nothing' exists...the example is 'dark matter'. The scientific workers do not get anything in the space between stellar objects. However, the presence is felt by the theoretical calculations..and its name is 'dark matter' as when one observes there is 'nothing' to be found.

So, the corollary that nothing' does not exist may not be true.

This type of situation has come earlier also - say before the discovery of 'positron' particle -which is anti-particle of an electron. The theoretical evidence was there but its detection had not taken place.

If you look at nothing as the opposite of something. The existence of one requires the existence of the other.

the above is true.

But since one explicitly says it is nothing i.e. does not exist. That should also mean that something also does not exists. Or nothing exists.

the above paradox is not there at least in physical sciences.


If nothing exists, that means there has to be something so nothing can exist; e.g., if l cannot see around a corner, does that mean nothing is there even though l know it is there?

So this means that l know it is there, but l cannot prove it until l see it. So if l stand on the corner, l can see where l was and where l could go; so where is the corner?

  • Thanks for the answer. However you probably are thinking about consciousness or an observer. What if a tree falls in the woods and there’s nobody there to hear it. Does it make a sound? Commented Oct 21, 2019 at 22:07

Nothing by diffinition doesn't exist. But if Nothing doesn't exist, then what is left over is existence.

What is existence? vibrational energy physics Structure 3 dimension plan.

What is the meaning of life? Or should I ask what gives meaning to life?

We the human race, the only one's on this planet with the intelligence to name things. Without us here life would have no meaning at all regardless of its life happening on this plane it would have no meaning at all.

So nothing exist because we made it up to exist as nothing but a tool to use. The word Nothing exists in the meany human languages and is in the dictionary.

For example: if ones beliefs that their is no life after death and no one has a sprit nothing exist after death or even beliefs one has here on this planet and nothing can charged it, will always end the possibilities of knowing something.

So if one comes to the realization that you know nothing then the possibility of knowing something is a absolute possibility of knowing something from Nothing.

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