Religion Past and Present

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[German Version]

In philosophical discussion of nothingness (Ger. das Nichts), one may distinguish logical and metaphysical approaches. On the level of logic various meanings of speaking about nothingness are traditionally discussed. Thus, for example, I. Kant distinguishes four possible meanings. First, nothingness as ens rationis, i.e. as a mere “thought thing” in the sense of a con-cept free from contradiction; second, nothingness as ens imaginarium, i.e. a mere play of ideas; third, nothingness as nihil privativum, i.e. as a negation or lack; fourth, nothingness as nihil ne…

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Steinmann, Michael, “Nothing”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 15 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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