Thoughtful Gifts for Curious People

Nothing: A Philosophical History


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How can nothing cause something? The absence of something might seem to indicate a null or a void, an emptiness as ineffectual as a shadow. In fact, 'nothing' is one of the most powerful ideas the human mind has ever conceived. This short and entertaining book is a lively tour of the history and philosophy of nothing, explaining how thinkers throughout history have grappled with the mysterious power of absence ― and how these ideas about shadows, gaps, and holes have played a very positive role in the development of some of humankind's most important ideas.

Filled with an entertaining mix of anecdotes, puzzles, curiosities, and philosophical speculation, the book is ordered chronologically, from the Taoists, the Buddhists, and the ancient Greeks, moving towards the middle ages and the early modern period, all the way through to the existentialists and present day philosophy. The result is an entertaining history of the idea of nothing - including absences, omissions, and shadows - from the Ancient Greeks through the 20th century.

Hardback, 288 pages.
Measures 20.3 x 3.6 x 14.2 cm.