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Nothingness

bulletOnline Resources
bulletOnline Resources:  Nihilism
bulletOnline Resources:  Existentialism
bulletTexts:  Nothingness
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Nothingness by Henning Genz, Karin Heusch (Translator), Genz Henning

Being and Nothingness by SartreBeing and Nothingness : A Phenomenological Essay on Ontology by Jean-Paul Sartre, Hazel E. Barnes (Translator)

Jean-Paul Sartre, the seminal smarty-pants of mid-century thinking, launched the existentialist fleet with the publication of Being and Nothingness in 1943. Though the book is thick, dense, and unfriendly to careless readers, it is indispensable to those interested in the philosophy of consciousness and free will. Some of his arguments are fallacious, others are unclear, but for the most part Sartre's thoughts penetrate deeply into fundamental philosophical territory. Basing his conception of self-consciousness loosely on Heidegger's "being," Sartre proceeds to sharply delineate between conscious actions ("for themselves") and unconscious ("in themselves"). It is a conscious choice, he claims, to live one's life "authentically" and in a unified fashion, or not--this is the fundamental freedom of our lives.

Drawing on history and his own rich imagination for examples, Sartre offers compelling supplements to his more formal arguments. The waiter who detaches himself from his job-role sticks in the reader's memory with greater tenacity than the lengthy discussion of inauthentic life and serves to bring the full force of the argument to life. Even if you're not an angst-addicted poet from North Beach, Being and Nothingness offers you a deep conversation with a brilliant mind--unfortunately, a rare find these days. --Rob Lightner

The often criticized philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre encompasses the dilemmas and aspirations of the individual in contemporary society. This work of power and epic scope provides a vivid analysis for all who would understand one of the most influential philosophic movements of this or any age. 

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The Void and Emptiness Site
Philosophy, science, art, religion... and emptiness. This site features and reflects a book on this subject by Albert Ribas:

Biografía del vacío. Su historia filosófica y científica desde la Antigüedad a la Edad Moderna by  Albert Ribas  (Biography of emptiness. Its philosophical and scientific history from Antiquity to Modern Age)

In Taoist philosophy the principle or origin is  Dao (or Tao), and Dao seems like the "Being" of Greek philosophy. But exactly, the difference between the Dao and the Being is that Dao is conceived in emptiness terms, while Being is conceived in fullness terms.

Also on this site you will find links to:

bulletArt and emptiness
bulletReligion and emptiness
bulletScience and emptiness
bulletPhilosophy and emptiness
bulletHistory and philosophy of science
bulletPhilosophy in general

Papers on:

bulletOn Leibniz
bulletOn Bachelard
bulletOn Eliade
bulletOn nihilism
bulletOn Bayle
bulletOn Molinos
bulletOn Borges and creativity 
bulletOn History of Void

And more.

 Site is also in the following languages:

bulletESPAÑOL
bulletCATALÀ

 

Nagarjuna's Negative Dialectics

Excerpt:

Nagarjuna (200-300 CE) was an Indian Buddhist philosopher and founder of the Madhyamika school of Mahayana Buddhism. He studied both the secular and religious branches of Hindu knowledge before converting to Buddhism and spent most of his life in the great Mahayana centres of learning in southeast India. Two texts most clearly present his views: the Mulamadhyamikararikas (Stanzas of the Middle Way) and the Vigrahavyavartani (Treatise on Averting the Arguments). Nagarjuna's stature in the Mahayana and Varjayana is enormous and the Tibetan tradition even identifies him as a magician-alchemist.

The Madhyamika school is characterised by its logical refutation and negation of all philosophical systems, Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike, while claiming no philosophy per se of its own. His philosophical method, refered to as 'negative dialectics', was somewhat similar to Hegel's dialectical method. Nagarjuna especially attacked the Adhidharmas, claiming that the real agenda of dharma theory (atomism) was not really momentarism, time, or causality but a new form of substantialism (anatta).  It is an unfolding argument culminating in the triumphant assertion of the reality of emptiness only. Nagarjuna tries to re-establish the Buddha's middle-path, affirming neither existence nor nonexistence, permanence nor impermanence, identity nor difference, but showing the relativity of all conceptions. Even the basic elements of existence (dharmas) are taken to be void of ultimate reality...

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Nine Ways Not to Talk About God

By Raimon Panikkar

Excerpt:

The following nine points are intended as a contribution to resolving a conflict that tears many of our contemporaries apart. It would seem, in fact, that many people do not succeed in resolving the following dilemma: whether to believe in a caricature of God that is nothing but a projection of our unsatisfied desires; or to believe in absolutely nothing at all, and, consequently, not even in oneself. 

At least since Parmenides, the major part of Western culture has been centered on the limit-experience of Being and Plenitude. A large part of Eastern culture, on the other hand, at least since the Upanishads, is centered on the consciousness-limit of Nothing and Emptiness. The former is attracted by the world of things as they reveal to us the transcendence of Reality. The latter is attracted by the world of the subject, which reveals to us the impermanence of that very Reality. Both are preoccupied with the problem of "ultimacy," which many traditions have called God. 

The nine brief reflections I am presenting say nothing about God. Instead, they would simply hope to indicate the circumstances in which discourse about God might be adequate and show itself to be fruitful, if only to help us live our lives more fully and freely. This is not offered as an excuse but as perhaps the most profound intuition: we cannot speak about God as we do of other things... 

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