OZSW Spring Course: ‘Much Ado About Nothing: (Not) Being from Parmenides to Particle Physics’

logo vrije universiteit amsterdam

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and VU University invite PhD students/ ReMa students in History of Philosophy to register for the course Much Ado About Nothing: (Not) Being from Parmenides to Particle Physics to take place on the 1st and 2nd of June, 2018.

Organizing university

VU University


1st and 2nd of June, 2018


De Veranda
Amstelveenseweg 764
1081 JK Amsterdam

Type of activity

2-day Spring Course

Type of activity

For this activity PhD students and ReMa students can – after successful completion – earn a certificate. However, the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university. More information. The study load for this activity is as follows: ....

Primary target group

PhD and ReMa students in the History of Philosophy

If places available, also open to

Other PhD and ReMa students

Application/registration deadline

The deadline for submission and registration is the 14th of May, 2018.

About the topic

‘Being’ may be the most prominent notion in the history of philosophy, its counterparts, ‘nothing’, ‘not being’, ‘non-being’, ‘¬’, and in general anything other than being, have also been major sources of philosophical creativity and wonder.  This OZSW spring course aims at offering a variety of perspectives on the negative in metaphysics, (philosophy of) physics, and logic. Topics range from Parmenides’ problematizing of ‘to mè eon’ to 21st century physics of nothingness

Aim / objective

This OZSW course will provide an environment for the investigation of such problems and aim to contribute methodological tools and experience to graduate researchers in the history of philosophy. While this course is primarily tailored to those working in the History of Philosophy, those whose interests are not mainly in the History of Philosophy are also very welcome to participate.


Friday June 1

10.30-12.30 Chiara Robbiano (UUC), Parmenides’ being without not-being

12.30-14.00 Lunch

14.00-16.00 Doug Berger (LU), Nothing (wu) in Dao De Jing 11

16.00-16.30 Coffee

16.30-18.30  Carla Rita Palmerino (RU), The scientific academies and the vacuum debate in the seventeenth century

 18.30 Dinner

Saturday June 2

9.30-12.30 Antonio Cimino (RU), Nothing and Nothingness in Carnap, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein

12.30-14 Lunch

14.00-17.00 Sebastian De Haro (UvA, AUC), On the Notions of Nothing, Vacuum, and Void in Particle Physics and Cosmology

17.00 Drinks

Certificate / credit points

1 ECTS for active attendance. Upon approval, another 1.5 ECTS can be earned by submitting a written work after the course. More information on this will follow.


Free for OZSW members. Other participants pay a fee of €75,-.

How to apply / register

Please register by filling in this form. The registration deadline is thr 14th of May, 2018.


This course is coordinated by the History of Philosophy section of the OZSW. For further information, please contact Marije Martijn at the following e-mail address: m.martijn@vu.nl. For practical inquiries, please contact kamer.geschiedenis@ozsw.nl.