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Questions tagged [nothing]

Use this tag for questions about the philosophical concept of nothing or nothingness.

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What is the definition of nothingness?

I am asking this question because I read Lawrence Krauss's book "A Universe from Nothing". I have also read a lot of criticism of that book, saying that Krauss's "nothingness" is ...
user107952's user avatar
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4 answers
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What is the lack of anything (including nothing)? [closed]

To clarify my question, I am not asking what is nothing, I am asking a more complex question, what is the lack of anything, which includes the absence of nothing (not anything), while assuming that ...
One Similarity Many Difference's user avatar
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1 answer
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All I know is that I know nothing. Does this statement of Socrates still resonate in modern philosophy?

Regardless of attribution, this could be interpreted as profound wisdom or a suggestion that things are ultimately unknowable. It certainly seems to indicate humility. Does any of this still hold true ...
Meanach's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
81 views

Can the universe be finite and also not come from nothing?

If the Big Bang model of the universe is correct, then that would mean the universe is finite in the past. Some may say that if there is no cause, this implies that the universe came from nothing. But ...
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2 votes
4 answers
193 views

Why does something exist, and not nothing? [closed]

I have a seemingly easy looking question, but I couldn't unfortunately find an answer to it, or rather a definitive one, that leaves no doubts. The question is, If there is a thing, what does it mean? ...
Kamran Noor's user avatar
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2 answers
124 views

Why does the universe exist? [duplicate]

The universe appears to have appeared from nothing. Why does something exist, and not nothing? This is about why, not how.
Meanach's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
787 views

Question Regarding Holes

What even are holes? Are they something or nothing? Do they even exist? Sure, you might think me saying that holes do not exist is idiotic but think about it. The existence of holes doesn't make sense ...
Kamran Noor's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
100 views

Something and Nothing [closed]

What is something and what is nothing. They both need each other to exist. Why is there something but not nothing?
Kamran Noor's user avatar
3 votes
9 answers
2k views

Is the concept of (Total) Nothingness self-refuting?

I've been reading the SEP about Nothingness and it gives a good summary of the philosophy around "Why is there something rather than nothing?". One of the confusions it notes is that "...
Annika's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
880 views

Why does the world exist, as opposed to nothingness, from Indian perspective?

I came across this Ted Talk by philosopher and author Jim Holt which raised the question as to why the universe, as we know it, exists at all as opposed to existence. The viewpoints discussed in the ...
Muralidhar Rao's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

The set-or-class of things that don't exist

If it could be determinate, how many things don't exist, i.e. if there could be a set of nonexistent things, would the existence of other things follow "mechanically"? If it's not ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
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0 answers
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If existence-tropes would be absurd, does this count against trope theory or the theory of existence-as-a-property?

I advert to the word "trope" as used in philosophy and not as used in narrative analysis (although I can see a reflection of either sense of the word, in the other use). The argument goes: ...
Kristian Berry's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
542 views

Speaking what is not = speaking about non-being?

In Plato's The Sophist, a stranger from Elea argues with Theaetetus, a young friend of Socrates, about the definition of "sophist". They come to the conclusion that the sophist imitates the ...
viuser's user avatar
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8 votes
8 answers
3k views

Why is something coming from nothing seen as less intuitive than something existing eternally?

Many people often use the infinite regress argument of causality to posit an entity that always existed or was eternal. In their eyes, it escapes the problem. But how does it escape the problem? If it ...
user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
374 views

What is "Nothing"? [closed]

What is "nothing" and how can a Universe be entirely created out of "nothing"? The moment we give "nothing" a description or definition, it becomes something. The ...
NamesLano's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
255 views

What happens when nothing happens? [closed]

If there is nothing to happen then nothing should happen hence if nothing is happening then something is happening if something is happening the nothing is not happening. Just take example of nihilist ...
Ha'Penny's user avatar
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0 answers
125 views

When is an absence a nothingness?

When is an absence a nothingness, completely nothing? I've read all of Heidegger's basic writings, a handful of commentaries on him and lots on Buddhism. Both these topics talk a lot about "...
user avatar
-2 votes
3 answers
623 views

If Non-existence is nonexistent, then does that mean a Supernatural Exists?

Ok, what I am asking is bascially, if non-existence (which I use synonymously with the word 'nothing' - this is my defintion of 'nothing' in this piece - non-existence, so please no dcitionary ...
Simon's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
143 views

Is nothingness the same thing as the empty set?

I have read that someone defined nothingness as the empty set. Is this true? Is nothingness the empty set?
user107952's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
396 views

Understanding "Emptiness"

One of the many sincere efforts by mankind has been to try to understand "Emptiness" sometimes by scientific methods, sometimes by religious doctrines. Recently, we are trying to investigate ...
Soumyadip Sarkar's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
446 views

How to explain nothingness in Consciousness theory of Tegmark

The hypothesis was first put forward in 2014 by cosmologist and theoretical physicist Max Tegmark from MIT, who proposed that there's a state of matter - just like a solid, liquid, or gas - in which ...
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5 votes
5 answers
711 views

Is dying in a simulation ever sufficient for death, and if not does that make death inconceivable?

Is dying in a simulation -- any simulation at all -- ever physically sufficient to die at that instant outside it? I mean a simulation like in the film the Matrix, or in a dream, one that kills your ...
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2 votes
3 answers
208 views

Do questions of Infinite regress, uncased cause and nothingness just point to our limits?

A lot of debates and conversations with theists seem to end up with the "ultimate" questions where the questions themselves seem to me to be conceptual/linguistic/psychological dead ends. Infinite ...
MGm's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
234 views

If God does not exist then would God's heaven be classified as an "empty world"?

If God does not exist then would God's heaven, in the phrase "God is in his heaven" be classified as an "empty world"? I have only encountered the phrase "empty world" in the SEP article on ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
359 views

How to denote the idea of nothingness in formal terms?

I was thinking about the question "Why is there something rather than nothing?" , and have read about some theories that existence is the case because non-existence is logically impossible So, I ...
SmootQ's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
738 views

Is nothing an entity?

An entity cannot not be and the definition of nothing is not being. Can we include "nothing" among the abstract entities or should we differentiate nuances of nothing, eg. the mathematical nothing, ...
user27426's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
654 views

Can nominalists believe in their own death?

Can nominalists believe in their own death? You often hear people talk about death as nothing-ness, which suggests a universal nothing. And nominalists say that universals do not exist. Just trying ...
luke's user avatar
  • 49
2 votes
1 answer
216 views

Does defining nothing make it something?

I originally thought of 0 for this question. 0 is used to represent nothing withing mathematics. However, I thought that by defining nothing as 0 which (at some level is something) does it no longer ...
Joshua Killen's user avatar
0 votes
8 answers
3k views

Why do humans think that something starts with nothing?

I always had a problem with how anything came into being. What I mean is that how come anything exists. Creationists try to solve it by God making stuff, but then where did God come from? Another God ...
Matas Vaitkevicius's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
343 views

Does Bergson mean we can't imagine our death, in The Idea of Nothing?

In fact, the object suppressed is either external or internal: it is a thing or it is a state of consciousness. Let us consider the first case... now, what is, and what is perceived, is the ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
59 views

Are Theists and physicists talking about an empty universe or no universe at all?

When they talk about the beginning of the universe, are Theists and physicists talking about an empty universe or no universe at all? It is fairly straightforward to imagine an empty Universe - an ...
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
227 views

Some questions about Scientific American's article on nothingness

A Scientific American article I was reading (I couldn't find it online) has a one-page discussion about nothingness. Some of the discussion points seem a little questionable to me, and I'd like to ask ...
APCoding's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
137 views

Can something sensible be said about a world of complete nothingness?

One thought that keeps me up at night is when I start to think about the world "before" the universe existed and "beyond" the universe itself. I know that it doesn't really make sense to speak about "...
vonjd's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

"nothing" and "no-thing" - is "nothing" a negative term that is too easy to convert into a positive one? [duplicate]

So for example a sentence like "Things only exist conventionally, about their ultimate status, nothing can literally be said." If read as written, can the "nothing" be interpreted as a reification of ...
Ilya Grushevskiy's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
205 views

What reasoning does Melissus or Parmenides give against the existence of "empty" or "the void"?

Melissus reaffirms Parmenides by explaining how there cannot be many without the existence of that which is empty, and since that which is empty is nothing, and nothing can't exist, thus there cannot ...
personjerry's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
1k views

What is nothing?

In Lawrence Krauss' book A Universe From Nothing he portrays "nothing" as a physical state. He says that nothing is found by removing all of what we know to be things (particles, electrons etc). I've ...
William Perkins's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
74 views

Can we intend anything that exists and must it exist partly in that intention

Can we intend anything, even nothingness, or my own death, or an empty world? And if so do these things exist in their intention, as something interior to the thought about them? I ask because it ...
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