Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2012 - Philosophy - 309 pages
2 Reviews
Whether framed philosophically as Why is there a world rather than nothing at all? or more colloquially as But, Mommy, who made God? the metaphysical mystery about how we came into existence remains the most fractious and fascinating question of all time. Following in the footsteps of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose, and even Stephen Hawking, Jim Holt emerges with an engrossing narrative that traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. As he takes on the role of cosmological detective, the brilliant yet slyly humorous Holt contends that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God vs. the Big Bang. Whether interviewing a cranky Oxford philosopher, a Physics Nobel Laureate, or a French Buddhist monk, Holt pursues unexplored and often bizarre angles to this cosmic puzzle. The result is a brilliant synthesis of cosmology, mathematics, and physics one that propels his own work to the level of philosophy itself."
  

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Review: Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

User Review  - Ron - Goodreads

OK book, some good parts and a lot or tedium & mental masturbation over things that should be obvious (ie "Nothing" is a abstract human construct). I enjoyed some of the interviews and it is well written but I was expecting more. Read full review

Review: Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

User Review  - Goodreads

OK book, some good parts and a lot or tedium & mental masturbation over things that should be obvious (ie "Nothing" is a abstract human construct). I enjoyed some of the interviews and it is well written but I was expecting more. Read full review

Contents

A Quick Proof That There Must Be Something
1
The Ultimate Free Lunch?
138
Waiting for the Final Theory
154
Platonic Reflections
171
The Last Word from All Souls
221
Acknowledgments
281
Index
295
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Jim Holt, a prominent essayist and critic on philosophy, mathematics, and science, is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and the New York Review of Books. He lives in New York City.

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