Empty vessel

Empty vessel

The phrase "empty vessel" literally means a container with nothing inside.

It has additional significance in various areas.

In literature

The quotation, "As empty vessels make the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest blabbers," is from the Greek philosopher Plato.

Shakespeare referred to this proverb in Henry V.


In martial arts, the empty vessel approach is utilized for internal and spiritual training. [ [http://www.energyarts.com/Articles-and-Research/Internal-Martial-Arts/The-Empty-Vessel-Interview-With-B.K.-Frantzis.html Empty Vessel Interview With B.K. Frantzis] ]

Many Asian religions and arts also utilize similar approaches to achieving inner peace. [E.g. " [http://abodetao.com/cgi-bin/shop.pl/SID=1191314419.483/page=magazine.html The Empty Vessel] ," A Journal of Contemporary Taoism.]

In Christianity, the saying may refer to a willing mind ready to receive teaching, [E.g. [http://emptyvesselministries.org/ Empty Vessel Ministries] ] or an expectation that God will provide for the poor. [E.g. [http://www.emptyvesselministry.org/ Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation] ] The latter refers to a miracle in the Bible when a poor woman's vessels were filled with valuable oil from a single small container. (bibleverse|2|Kings|4:1-7|HE)

Behavioral analysis

Empty vessel or the empty vessel approach is a term describing the negative effects of how one ends up with a worthless outcome when trying to please everyone. The term is more commonly used in psychology and behavior analysis. Worthlessness cannot be measured, but there will be consensus among the participants that the end product does not even come close to the previously desired outcome.

In business, the "empty vessel approach" can be characterized by lack of leadership and unwillingness for the members to take individual responsibility. Larger corporations with many mid-level managers are more easily trapped in this negative spiral where the company essentially becomes a "meeting company", where most of the employee's time is wasted away in meetings instead of actually making products or providing services.


Empty vessel names are names of products, brands, or even companies that have been conjured up so as not to offend anybody. Usually, these names are not in the dictionary, but rather combinations derived from everyday words that allude to their meaning only by their similarity to the root words. [* [http://www.igorinternational.com/press/all-about-branding-products-business.php "Naming Exposed"] from Igor Naming and Branding Agency, 2 April 2003. Retrieved 13 June 2006.]

In the 21st century, with the explosive popularity of the World Wide Web, domain names, and trademark disputes, it has become important for companies to derive names that are easier to protect. Empty vessel names provide a unique moniker for products and companies that nobody can dispute. Unfortunately, because of this approach, the name usually does not describe the product or company, and is less recognizable at first instance.


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