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Encyclopedia > Nothing

To put nothing in simple terms it is absolutely nothing. Nothing is a concept that describes the lack or absence of anything at all. Colloquially, the concept is often used to indicate the lack of anything relevant or significant, or to describe a particularly unimpressive thing, event, or object. It is contrasted with something and everything. Nothing can refer to: Look up nothing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... None is a synonym for nothing. ... For other uses, see Something (disambiguation). ... Look up everything in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

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Language and logic

Grammatically, the word "nothing" is a noun, which means that it refers to something. This can lead to confusion, "Nothing" is a concept, concepts are things, so the concept of "Nothing" is a thing, however it is the what the concept of "nothing" describes that is not a thing. In linguistics, a noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... REFER, EP (EP stands for Empresa Publica, English, Public Enterprise) Portuguese Rail Infrastructure Manager, since 1997. ...


The simplest meaning is: no thing. So if "Nothing" is said to be in a particular place, have a particular quality, then it is meant that "no thing" is there, or has this or that quality. The word "naught" also has this same meaning.


Its basic uses can often be restated to avoid this appearance: "There is nothing in the basement" can be restated as "There is not one thing in the basement" or "Everything is not in the basement" (which can imply that there is any quantity short of 'everything' in the basement.) "Nothing is missing" can be restated as "everything is present". Conversely, many fallacious conclusions follow from treating "nothing" as a noun. In this case, "nothing" would not be a correct statement, scientifically speaking, as air can be referred to as "something."


Modern logic made it possible to articulate these points coherently as intended, and many philosophers hold that the word "nothing" does not function as a noun: there is not any object it refers to. There are still various opposing views, though: that, for example, our understanding of the world rests essentially on noticing absences and lacks as well as presences, and that "nothing" and related words serve to indicate these. Logic (from Classical Greek λόγος logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ...


Philosophy

The concept of 'nothing' has been studied throughout history by philosophers and theologians; many have found that careful consideration of the notion can easily lead to the logical fallacy of reification. (If one does not believe that nothing is no thing.) However, many of the existentialist and postmodern philosophers and writers would argue that Nothing is actually the lack or absence of something, rather than of anything.[citation needed] A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... Reification (also known as hypostatization or concretism) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it represented a concrete, real event or physical entity. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement emphasizing individualism, individual freedom, and subjectivity. ... Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century...


The understanding of 'nothing' varies widely between cultures, especially between Western and Eastern cultures and philosophical traditions. For instance, Shunyata (emptiness), unlike "nothingness", is considered a state of mind in some forms of Buddhism (see Nirvana, mu, and Bodhi. See also soku hi in Kyoto school). Achieving 'nothing' as a state of mind in this tradition allows someone to be totally 'focused' (in the Western sense of the word) on a thought or activity at a level of intensity they would not be able to achieve if they were 'consciously' thinking. The classic example of this is an archer drawing a bow, attempting to erase their mind as a way to better focus on the shot. Existentialism and Martin Heidegger have brought these two understandings closer together.[citation needed] Śūnyatā, शून्यता (Sanskrit), Suññatā (Pāli), stong pa nyid (Tibetan), Kuu, 空 (Japanese) qoɣusun (Mongolian), generally translated into English as Emptiness or Voidness, is a concept of central importance in the teaching of the Buddha, as a direct realization of Sunyata is required to achieve liberation from the cycle of... For other uses, see Mind (disambiguation). ... Buddhism is a variety of teachings, sometimes described as a religion[1] or way of life that attempts to identify the causes of human suffering and offer various ways that are claimed to end, or ease suffering. ... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ... The character 無 in cursive script. ... Bodhi (बोधि) is the Pāli and Sanskrit word for the awakened or knowing consciousness of a fully liberated yogi, generally translated into English as enlightenment. It is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (to awake, become aware, notice, know or understand), corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (P... The Kyoto School was a philosophical movement primarily active in the first half of the 20th century. ... Consciousness is a quality of the mind generally regarded to comprise qualities such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, sapience, and the ability to perceive the relationship between oneself and ones environment. ... Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) (IPA ) was a highly influential German philosopher. ...


Science

In mathematics, nothing does not have a technical meaning. It could be said that a set contains "nothing" if and only if it is the empty set, in which case its cardinality (or size) is zero. In other words, the word "nothing" is an informal term for an empty set. However, since two minus two is also called nothing, it could also refer to the number zero. For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ... In mathematics, a set can be thought of as any collection of distinct objects considered as a whole. ... ↔ ⇔ ≡ logical symbols representing iff. ... The empty set is the set containing no elements. ... In mathematics, the cardinality of a set is a measure of the number of elements of the set. There are two approaches to cardinality – one which compares sets directly using bijections and injections, and another which uses cardinal numbers. ... 2-dimensional renderings (ie. ... Zero redirects here. ... The empty set is the set containing no elements. ... 5 - 2 = 3 (verbally, five minus two equals three) An example problem Subtraction is one of the four basic arithmetic operations; it is the inverse of addition. ...


In physics, the word nothing is not used in any technical sense. A region of space is called a vacuum if it does not contain any matter. But it can contain physical fields. In fact, it is practically impossible to construct a region of space which contains no matter or fields, since gravity cannot be blocked and all objects at a non-zero temperature radiate electromagnetically. However, supposing such a region existed, it would still not be "nothing", since it has properties and a measurable existence as part of the quantum-mechanical vacuum. The only physical concept in which the literal meaning of nothing can be embodied, is with the theoretical probability over the existence of Dark Matter; a collective substance which is referred to as being an anti-matter and having no mass - it is a concept principally used to explain the unusually high, regarding the mass of visible matter, mass of the universe. A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article is about matter in physics and chemistry. ... The magnitude of an electric field surrounding two equally charged (repelling) particles. ... Absolute zero is the lowest temperature that can be obtained in any macroscopic system. ... This box:      Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is a self-propagating wave in space with electric and magnetic components. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


In computing, "Nothing" (VB.Net), or "null" (Java, C#, others), can be a keyword used to represent an unassigned variable, or a pointer that does not point to any particular memory address, or a reference that does not refer to an extant object. Similarly, Null is used in SQL as a symbolic representation of the absence of data. This meta-data usage of "null" is different from the unprintable ASCII and unicode null character, which has a numerical value of zero — although it is different from the ASCII character for zero ("0"). The ASCII blank character (" ") is not the same as an empty string (""), which is itself sometimes confused with the null pointer in languages such as C. Most forms of assembly language have a no-operation (nop) instruction (often with a numerical value of zero) — that is, a command to do nothing, which can prove useful for blanking out areas of problem code. For the formal concept of computation, see computation. ... Visual Basic . ... This article is about the Java island. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... In computer science and mathematics, a variable (pronounced ) (sometimes called an object or identifier in computer science) is a symbolic representation used to denote a quantity or expression. ... In computer science, a pointer is a programming language data type whose value refers directly to (or “points to”) another value stored elsewhere in the computer memory using its address. ... In computer science, a memory address is a unique identifier for a memory location at which a CPU or other device can store a piece of data for later retrieval. ... This article is about a general notion of reference in computing. ... Metadata can refer to a number of things: Metadata (computing) Metadata (corporation) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... The null character (also null terminator) is a character with the value zero, present in the ASCII and Unicode character sets, and available in nearly all mainstream programming languages. ... There are a number of uses for the word blank: For reverting page blanking, see Wikipedia:Vandalism. ... In computer programming and formal language theory, (and other branches of mathematics), a string is an ordered sequence of symbols. ... C is a general-purpose, block structured, procedural, imperative computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the Unix operating system. ... See the terminology section, below, regarding inconsistent use of the terms assembly and assembler. ... NOP or NOOP (short for No OPeration) is an assembly language instruction, sequence of programming language statements, or computer protocol command that does nothing at all (besides wasting clock cycles). ...


See also

There are a number of uses for the word blank: For reverting page blanking, see Wikipedia:Vandalism. ... The empty set is the set containing no elements. ... Existentialism is a philosophical movement that posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives, as opposed to deities or authorities creating it for them. ... Look up everything in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Negative theology - also known as the Via Negativa (Latin for Negative Way) and Apophatic theology - is a theology that attempts to describe God by negation, to speak of God only in terms of what may not be said about God. ... This article is about the philosophical position. ... For other uses, see No (disambiguation). ... Look up Nobody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... NOP or NOOP (short for No OPeration) is an assembly language instruction, sequence of programming language statements, or computer protocol command that does nothing at all (besides wasting clock cycles). ... Nowhere typically means a place that doesnt exist or a place that seems like it doesnt exist. ... Look up null in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The null graph or the empty graph is the graph with no points and no lines. ... Seinfeld is an Emmy Award-winning American sitcom that originally aired on NBC from July 5, 1989 to May 14, 1998, running a total of 9 seasons. ... Śūnyatā, शून्यता (Sanskrit), Suññatā (Pāli), stong pa nyid (Tibetan), Kuu, 空 (Japanese) qoɣusun (Mongolian), generally translated into English as Emptiness or Voidness, is a concept of central importance in the teaching of the Buddha, as a direct realization of Sunyata is required to achieve liberation from the cycle of... Vacuous truth is a special topic of first-order logic. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up void in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up zero in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Further reading

  • The Book of Nothing, John D Barrow
  • Being and Nothingness, Jean-Paul Sartre
  • The Nothing That Is, Robert Kaplan
  • In Search of a Cyclops, Fredrick Schermer
  • Zero, Charles Seife
  • The Hole in the Universe K. C. Kole
  • Church Dogmatics III/3, pp. 389-368, Karl Barth
  • Signifying Nothing: The Semiotics of Zero, Brian Rotman
  • Speech - Something About nothing, http://www.southperth.wa.gov.au/media_releases/docs/2007/July/MR%20Speaking%20with%20Conf.pdf

John David Barrow FRS (born November 29, 1952, London) is an English cosmologist, theoretical physicist, and mathematician. ... Being and Nothingness: A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology (1943) is a philosophical treatise by Jean-Paul Sartre that is regarded as the beginning of the growth of existentialism in the 20th century. ... Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ... Karl Barth Karl Barth (May 10, 1886 – December 10, 1968) (pronounced bart) a Swiss Reformed theologian, was one of the most important Christian thinkers of the 20th century; Pope Pius XII described him as the most important theologian since Thomas Aquinas. ...

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
Nothing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (796 words)
"Nothing" and "zero" are closely related but not identical concepts, though, in common parlance, the word "nothing" can also mean "zero" which is a mathematical object that can, for example, symbolize a variable which is "lacking in value".
Therefore the nothing is not defined or appraised positively (a definition is to say what the thing is), but only represented, making the relationship between its symbol (the word "nothing") and the idea that one has of the nonexistence of something.
The "nothing" does not exist, but it is conceived by operations of the mind.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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