3 Answers

  1. In philosophy, the concept of “nothing “is usually contrasted with the concept of” being ” as the totality of all that exists. J.-P. Sartre, for example, has a work called “Being and Nothing”, where he wrote: “We went in search of being and it seemed to us that a series of questions about being led us to its center. Now, a glance at the question itself when we are thinking of reaching the goal suddenly reveals to us that we are surrounded by nothing. It is the constant possibility of non-being outside of us and in us that determines our questions about being. And non-being also outlines the answer: what being will be is necessarily raised on the basis of what it is not.”

  2. The question is what kind of opposition we are talking about. The most traditional variants of opposition in the logical tradition come from Aristotle – this is the opposition by contradiction (contradictio, ἀντίφασις) and by contrast (contrarium, τνναντίον).

    Contradictorality (contradiction) occurs when we simply negate an object or proposition, i.e., put a propositional connective negation in front of it. White – non-white; all people are mortal – not all people are mortal (=some people are immortal). Every object and every proposition in this case necessarily fall into one of the parts of the contradiction (it is necessary that every thing either is or is not white; it is necessary that either all people are mortal, or some people are immortal).

    Contrarity ( opposite) is a case of maximum contradiction, when we are looking for something that opposes this subject to the greatest extent. White – black, all people are mortal – all people are immortal. In this case, there is no need for all objects and propositions to fall into one of the parts (there are objects that are neither black nor white; there is no need for either all people to be mortal or all people to be immortal – some may be mortal and others may not).

    The opposite term for “nothing” is ” everything.” Contradictor – “not nothing”, or “something”.

    Depending on the understanding, it is also possible to contrast “nothing” with “being”. However, strictly speaking, this is a derivative opposition: we must first identify either “nothing” with “non-being”, or “being” with “something” or “everything”. This, however, is not difficult and has been done many times in the European philosophical tradition-starting with Plato and Aristotle and ending, in fact, with Sartre.

  3. You can add some details to Stanislav's answer. For example, in pre-Socratic philosophy, in particular in Parmenides, “nothing”- non-existence was generally denied. Being is an entity that has an essence. When we speak of non-existence or “nothing”, we formally endow it with some essence, so in our understanding of the essence of non-existence, a certain existence (being) of non-existence arises. It sounds paradoxical:)

    However, nothing can be considered simply as the absence of being. Just as darkness is the absence of light, cold is the absence of heat. But this is only if being is thought to be material.

    If we answer this question quite precisely, then Nothing is opposed to Being.

Leave a Reply