The Problem of Being or Not, Is There Being or Not?

The Problem of Being or Not, Is There Being or Not?

June 28, 2021 Off By Felso

The first problem of the philosophy of existence is whether there is existence or not. When it is accepted that it exists, the problem arose whether it is in the form of matter or in terms of ideas or thoughts.

One of the basic questions of the philosophy of existence, “Is there really anything?” The question has been discussed for a long time in philosophy, and opposing currents of thought have emerged regarding the reality of existence: nihilism (nihilism) and Taoism as views that accept the non-existence; Realism (realism) is the view that accepts existence.

Nihilism is the view that asserts that there is nothing that cannot be doubted and denies the existence of material reality. As nihilism denies existence, it does not accept any moral principles and rules in terms of value. In epistemological terms, he claims that correct information cannot be reached. This trend was defended by the sophist Gorgias (483-375 BC) and extreme skeptics, who said “There is nothing”, “Even though it exists, it cannot be known”, “Even if it is known, it cannot be taught to someone else” by putting absence against existence.

Taoism is one of the important thought systems of the Far East and was put forward by Lao-Tse (604-531 BC). According to Taoism, there really is no being or object, since everything in the external objective world is in contradictions and contradictions. Everything we think exists is an image, all the objects we observe are non-existent things of an illusory world.

Realism, on the other hand, accepts the existence of a reality (external world) independent of the human mind, which is not the product of human consciousness. According to realist philosophers, “What exists is what is objective, what is perceptible.” Realists accept as a principle that things should be understood as they are, not as they should be.


One of the first questions that every philosopher interested in the philosophy of existence must answer is whether existence really exists.

If existence exists, what is the source of this existence? If such a source exists, can it be known to us? What states of existence can man know? All these questions and inquiries are the issues that philosophers who are interested in the philosophy of existence think about. Many famous philosophers have various views on existence and non-existence:

Descartes also emphasized the importance he attached to the philosophy of being, with the expression “I think, therefore I am”. In this statement, Descartes emphasizes that he is sure that there are certain things in his mind and that he is also thinking about these things. In other words, Descartes accepted the existence of the subject in this statement.

Likewise, Berkeley has entered into the philosophy of being with the phrase “to exist is to perceive”. According to Berkeley, we can only know reality outside of the mind, that is, outside of ourselves, and different minds through our perceptions. Seen this way, it can be thought that Berkeley is a solipsist; but Berkeley certainly does not consider himself a solipsist. Because the solipsist in philosophy; He is a person who accepts only the existence of individual perceptions and does not accept realities outside his own consciousness. Berkeley speaks not of a single mind to escape solipsism, but of many minds, each with its own design. That is, as soon as one mind ceases to perceive, other minds will continue to perceive, and thus existence will be constantly realized. In fact, above all these minds is the mind of God. That is, if all minds cease to perceive, the absolute perception of God will be sufficient to ensure the existence of existence.

One of the ancient Greek thinkers, Thales, with the expression “nothing comes into being” This substance is self-living and can change spontaneously.

The “aperion”, the first unlimited article of Anaximandros, also does not accept non-existence.

For Heraclitus, non-existence is explained as the transformation of existence into a new form. In Heraclitus, fire, the main substance of the universe, changes all beings. This change sometimes occurs in the form of development within one entity, and sometimes in the form of transformation into another entity. The state of being transformed into another being, extinction; The state of coming into existence with a new formation is also the existence out of nothing.

The Elean philosopher Parmenides, “there is only that which exists, and only this can be thought; He put forward his main idea by saying that there is no non-existent and unthinkable. Parmenides described multiplicity and constant change as an illusion of sense.

Empedocles also put the elements of earth, water, fire and air on the basis of all beings and argued that beings are composed of different combinations of these substances and that there is no extinction.

According to Democritus, the existing does not perish; but outside the world of existence there is a non-existent space.

According to Plato, there is no complete absence, there is relative absence. The fact that something is something else and its absence is characterized as non-existence.

Aristotle also argues that absence cannot be thought of, and generally occurs.