The philosophy of Nothing

Paul Benedict pbenedict at
Sun Nov 29 12:58:25 PST 2009

Yes, I understand that the the empty set is a subset of any other set.
I looked it up just to refresh myself:

But what does an "empty set" (not java.uitl.Set) mean to Java? I
perceive "Nothing" as pure .. well, nothingness. I liken such a type
to be like NULL in SQL which has no equality -- even to itself.

So I have a difficult time accepting that nothing is somehow the set
of, or even the type of, something else.


On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 2:41 PM, Dimitris Andreou <jim.andreou at> wrote:
> But you *do* understand that the empty set is a subset of any other set, right?
> 2009/11/29 Paul Benedict <pbenedict at>:
>> Yes, I do have it flipped around. Thank you. I shouldn't enjoy making
>> big blunders in public so much. :-)
>> So let me ask the opposite:
>> How can nothing be a type of something?
>> Paul
>> On Sun, Nov 29, 2009 at 2:26 PM, Reinier Zwitserloot
>> <reinier at> wrote:
>>> You've got it flipped around.
>>> Nothing is a subtype of Object. (and of String, and of Number, and of
>>> Integer, etc).
>>> --Reinier Zwitserloot

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