A Taxonomy of Nothing

A. Logical Negation

  1. The opposite of affirmation; one pole in binary logic
  2. Zero


B. Ontical Non-being (e.g., "I have no children", me on)

C. Ontological Non-being

  1. Non-being as non-existence (No-thing exists; ouk on)
  2. Non-being as negative existence


D. Noetic Non-being

  1. Non-being as Existence with no essence (Sartre)
  2. Non-Being as the Impossibility of Knowledge (no essence; Parmenides)
  3. Non-being as Indeterminate Matter (matter with no forms; Aristotle)
  4. Non-being as Potentiality or Becoming (the forms that matter can take)
  5. Non-being as Lack of Permanence (Becoming; Plato)
  6. Non-being as Lack of Determination; Same as Being (Hegel)
  7. Non-being as the Rupture in Being (Derrida)
  8. Non-being as the Presence of Intelligence (Eckhart's God)


E. Other senses of Non-Being

  1. Non-being as Privation (Augustine & sin)
  2. Non-being as Unity, that which preceeds Being (Plotinus)
  3. Non-being as Super-eminence (Dionysius)
  4. Non-being as the hidden (Zohar)
  5. Non-being as Perspective (Nietzsche)
  6. Non-being as Creative Chaos (Boehme)