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Frontiers of Philosophy in China

ISSN 1673-3436

ISSN 1673-355X(Online)

CN 11-5743/B

Postal Subscription Code 80-983

Front. Philos. China    2007, Vol. 2 Issue (4) : 547-556     DOI: 10.1007/s11466-007-0035-x
Zero and metaphysics: Thoughts about being and nothingness from mathematics, Buddhism, Daoism to phenomenology
NI Liangkang
Department of Philosophy, Institute of Phenomenology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China;
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Abstract  With the help of the natural history of zero,  and the use of zero  as a starting point, one may consider two types of metaphysics. On the one hand, the epistemological metaphysics, based on the perceptual/rational dichotomy, is related to the zero as a vacancy between numbers. On the other hand, the genetic metaphysics, based on the dichotomy of source-evolution (or origin and derivate), has much to do with the zero as a number between negative and positive numbers. In this respect, zero represents the horizon of metaphysics: we can forever approach it, but we cannot ultimately arrive at it. Though serving as the point of convergence and divergence for all relationships, zero has no definable content of its own. Such is the essence of zero, and of metaphysics as well.
Issue Date: 05 December 2007
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