Essay question

#1Write on “nothing.”

  • How is the concept or notion of “nothing” important to philosophy in general and the philosophy of religion in particular?
  • Does “nothing” serve a discernable role that we should take seriously? E.g., of what significance is it for Aquinas? Hint: You may want to begin by looking online at things such as this:
  • Suggested starting strategy: offer a brief etymological background for the term and its various uses throughout history; compare and contrast closely related concepts; explain what you find interesting, annoying, shallow, deep, etc., about “nothing”; respond to the claim that it is merely a “mental game” to keep philosophers and theologians employed and does not have any meaningful use at all.
  • You are free to interact with the material as creatively as you see fit, but do so with clarity and precision.

Note: while it is helpful to consider specific philosophers (e.g., Martin Heidegger, who is well-known for having lectured and published on “nothing”), be sure to include your own thoughts and reasons on the matter.


Essay Guidelines

  1. You are expected to write two, 2300-3000 word essays (excluding endnotes) for this essay.
  2. Make sure you describe your topic at the beginning of the essay
  3. Present a clear thesis statement.
  4. Every idea, argument or fact that is not your own, i.e. derived from another source must be correctly referenced using MLA style.
  5. Use endnotes rather than footnotes. Google “how to make endnotes” or try here
     or to Make numbers
  6. You may use the personal pronoun “I” but avoid “you” and “we” (too general).
  7. Avoid contractions, e.g. “don’t” or “can’t”. Use “do not” or “cannot”


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