Talking about nothing is common. Even in everyday language we say “it’s nothing”, “do nothing”, “I haven’t lost anything”, and so on.
Sartre published in 1943 an essay entitled “Being and nothing”, arguing how human life gets by on and between the cracks, the cavities that divide being and nothing, the being of the self and a self “in itself”, that is ontological, and a self “for itself”, that is practical-operative, and non-being at the same time, and that is precisely why existential anguish, the evil of living, is given to each human it derives, in fact, from the sense of precariousness and the consequent absurdity that it generates in the human soul.
Two thousand five hundred years earlier he treated the great Parmenides indirectly, when he said that the existence of Being presupposes the nonexistence of nothing. “Being is, non-being is not,” says the eleate in his marble fragment left there.
Platonic-Aristotelian metaphysics, as it was revised in a Christian context by Agostino, Tommaso, Bonaventura and others, used the concept (conceptum-conceived) of Being to represent the divine Absolute, and the concept of non-being to show how give evil in human life, as defectio boni, lack of good: something, therefore, that has no ontological consistency, but only a voluntary moral dimension in the context of human free will.
For physicists, on the other hand, nothing cannot exist, and rightly so, since the nature of things cannot stand the void, it needs to be filled with something, however. Galileo, in fact, who revolutionized scientific thought while remaining a good Christian who the church of the time did not deserve, wrote to Cristina di Lorena that “(…) theology and philosophy do not teach how heaven is going, but how heaven is going . “
It can be said then that, philosophically, to speak of nothing is to speak of nothing. But this is true, incontrovertible only from an ontological (that is, relative to the discourse on being) or metaphysical, where it is stated that only the entities (present participle of what exists) are, and therefore you can not give entities that do not they exist: outside the entity there is nothing. But only metaphysically.
In fact, on an intentional, logical, thinking (and thought) level, nothing can be given: it is not unthinkable. On the other hand, the notion of “unthinkable”, so usual today, is absurd. Every push is said to be “unthinkable”, nothing more false: everything is thinkable. Man also manages to think of nothing, in addition to everything else. How can he think of mathematical infinities, as classes of infinities (Cf. Russell and Withehead) contained in sets of major infinities (even, odd, integer, rational, fractional, irrational numbers, etc.). All that is nothing is real. Although not “everything can be mathematized”, as Gödel argued, because at least contradictory in the axiomatic statement just said.
Something, therefore, is “not mathematizable” like the first principles of metaphysics, which are incontrovertible judgments (subject more predicate nominal than the subject where the copula “is” is the medium demonstrationis, the demonstrative medium: eg “man is free “).
Nothingness is useful, because it also helps being, since if I admit that a thing is, and is what it is, I must admit ne / cessarily (the necessity is “what-which-does-not-cease), under penalty of nullification of the my assertion, that it is nothing else: therefore the other from it is nothing, it is nothing (with respect to it). In Italian nothing can also be said “nothing”, which is the negation of the entity (what-is-is), n (on) entity, the ni-entity.
So about reality, it is not only what is material: it is also a dream, a thought, an idea, a concept, a metaphor (to enter the fog with the car on the highway is to enter a “nothing”, some buildings are said to be built “in the middle of nowhere”). So there are two planes of the real within the being: the real material that can be tested, and the mental real, which cannot be tested, except on a reflex, bioelectric and neurological level. Nothing creeps into each of these two planes and works within it, although it does not really exist.
And, let’s not forget, because it is the most important thing, nothing is considered human when it is mistreated, vilified, oppressed, tortured, killed, forgotten, ignored, mocked, …