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The Nothing that Is

Author: Robert Kaplan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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A symbol for what is not there, an emptiness that increases any number it's added to, an inexhaustible and indispensable paradox. As we enter the year 2000, zero is once again making its presence felt. Nothing itself, it makes possible a myriad of calculations. Indeed, without zero mathematics as we know it would not exist. And without mathematics our understanding of the universe would be vastly impoverished. But where did this nothing, this hollow circle, come from? Who created it? And what, exactly, does it mean? Robert Kaplan's The Nothing That Is: A Natural History of Zero begins as a mystery story, taking us back to Sumerian times, and then to Greece and India, piecing together the way the idea of a symbol for nothing evolved. Kaplan shows us just how handicapped our ancestors were in trying to figure large sums without the aid of the zero. (Try multiplying CLXIV by XXIV). Remarkably, even the Greeks, mathematically brilliant as they were, didn't have a zero--or did they? We follow the trail to the East where, a millennium or two ago, Indian mathematicians took another crucial step. By treating zero for the first time like any other number, instead of a unique symbol, they allowed huge new leaps forward in computation, and also in our understanding of how mathematics itself works. In the Middle Ages, this mathematical knowledge swept across western Europe via Arab traders. At first it was called "dangerous Saracen magic" and considered the Devil's work, but it wasn't long before merchants and bankers saw how handy this magic was, and used it to develop tools like double-entry bookkeeping. Zero quickly became an essential part of increasingly sophisticated equations, and with the invention of calculus, one could say it was a linchpin of the scientific revolution. And now even deeper layers of this thing that is nothing are coming to light: our computers speak only in zeros and ones, and modern mathematics shows that zero alone can be made to generate everything. Robert Kaplan serves up all this history with immense zest and humor; his writing is full of anecdotes and asides, and quotations from Shakespeare to Wallace Stevens extend the book's context far beyond the scope of scientific specialists. For Kaplan, the history of zero is a lens for looking not only into the evolution of mathematics but into very nature of human thought. He points out how the history of mathematics is a process of recursive abstraction: how once a symbol is created to represent an idea, that symbol itself gives rise to new operations that in turn lead to new ideas. The beauty of mathematics is that even though we invent it, we seem to be discovering something that already exists. The joy of that discovery shines from Kaplan's pages, as he ranges from Archimedes to Einstein, making fascinating connections between mathematical insights from every age and culture. A tour de force of science history, The Nothing That Is takes us through the hollow circle that leads to infinity.


The Nothing that is and the Nothing that is Not

Author: Steven Carter
Publisher: University Press of America
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The Nothing That Is and the Nothing That Is Not is the final volume in a trilogy on interpretations of otherness in the postmodern era. The first two volumes are A Do-It-Yourself Dystopia: The Americanization of Big Brother (University Press of America, 2002) and Leopards in the Temple: Selected Essays 1990-2000 (University Press of America, 2001).


Nothingness and the Meaning of Life

Author: Nicholas Waghorn
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
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What is the meaning of life? Does anything really matter? In the past few decades these questions, perennially associated with philosophy in the popular consciousness, have rightly retaken their place as central topics in the academy. In this major contribution, Nicholas Waghorn provides a sustained and rigorous elucidation of what it would take for lives to have significance. Bracketing issues about ways our lives could have more or less meaning, the focus is rather on the idea of ultimate meaning, the issue of whether a life can attain meaning that cannot be called into question. Waghorn sheds light on this most fundamental of existential problems through a detailed yet comprehensive examination of the notion of nothing, embracing classic and cutting-edge literature from both the analytic and Continental traditions. Central figures such as Heidegger, Carnap, Wittgenstein, Nozick and Nagel are drawn upon to anchor the discussion in some of the most influential discussion of recent philosophical history. In the process of relating our ideas concerning nothing to the problem of life's meaning, Waghorn's book touches upon a number of fundamental themes, including reflexivity and its relation to our conceptual limits, whether religion has any role to play in the question of life's meaning, and the nature and constraints of philosophical methodology. A number of major philosophical traditions are addressed, including phenomenology, poststructuralism, and classical and paraconsistent logics. In addition to providing the most thorough current discussion of ultimate meaning, it will serve to introduce readers to philosophical debates concerning the notion of nothing, and the appendix engaging religion will be of value to both philosophers and theologians.


Time in the Ditch

Author: John McCumber
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
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Explores the damaging effects of McCarthyism on American philosophy during the 1940s and 1950s.


God and the Between

Author: William Desmond
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
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An original work which rethinks the question of God in a constructive spirit, drawing its conclusions by considering ideas received from both philosophy and religion. Makes an important new contribution to the ongoing scholarly debates surrounding the intersection of philosophy and religion Suggests that this junction is not just dictated by religion having to prove its credentials to rational philosophy, but that it is also a matter of philosophy wondering if religion is the ultimate partner in dialogue Includes discussion of a wide range of significant thinkers, both traditional and contemporary, such as Plotinus, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche and his successors Completes a trilogy of works by William Desmond, complementing its companion volumes, Being and the Between and Ethics and the Between.


Creative Involution

Author: S.E Gontarski
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
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Creative Involution: Bergson, Beckett Deleuze focuses on a philosophical trajectory that not only had a profound impact on critical thought of the 20th and now 21st centuries, but on cosmopolitan, contemporary culture more broadly and on artistic ex


Invitation to Philosophy

Author: Yuval Stienitz
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
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Classical positions on central topics--mind/body, epistemology, freedom/determinism--are presented in a series of imagined discussions between renowned philosophers and critical interlocutors.


Nothing that is

Author: Sarah Lynn Higley
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
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Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez's The Blair Witch Project seemingly appeared from nowhere to become one of 1999's highest grossing films. While generating revenue as a low budget movie backed by a media blitz, The Blair Witch Project also generated controversy and made a mockery of the Hollywood industry, billing itself as "real" footage of a supernatural event. Critics were divided over some of the most basic questions: whether the film was an artistic success or the product of its hype, for example, and whether it challenged Hollywood conventions or succumbed to them in the end. Nothing That Is: The Blair Witch Controversies examines these and other debates, and initiates some of its own about American taste for horror, hoax, independent films, the Internet, and the direction of cinema in the twenty-first century. The book explores the modest origins and rapid demise of this independent film- while also analyzing the sensational results of its broad media discourses--a Web site developing the back story of The Blair Witch Project was one of the most-accessed sites on the entire Internet at the time of the movie's release. These essays, from many diverse perspectives, also look at The Blair Witch Project's manipulation of cinematic codes, its view on technology and the occult, its film progenitors, and even its effects on the film's setting of Burkittsville, Maryland. Nothing That Is will interest both film scholars and fans of this unexpected blockbuster that emerged from, if not "nothing," a complex brew of culture, technology, and ingenuity.


LOVE In Search of a Reason for Living

Author: Paul Snyder
Publisher: CLiP
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LOVE -In Search Of A Reason For Living - is an essay about life, a book about you. Its purpose is to send you on a journey through your heart, mind, and soul. If you take the journey you will find in yourself the reason for living. If you care at all about life and people and yourself, you will take the journey.


The Plays of William Shakspeare Richard II Henry IV pt I

Author: William Shakespeare
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