Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jul 16, 2012 - Philosophy - 320 pages
13 Reviews

The Washington Post Notable Non-Fiction of 2013

“I can imagine few more enjoyable ways of thinking than to read this book.”—Sarah Bakewell, New York Times Book Review, front-page review

Tackling the “darkest question in all of philosophy” with “raffish erudition” (Dwight Garner, New York Times), author Jim Holt explores the greatest metaphysical mystery of all: why is there something rather than nothing? This runaway bestseller, which has captured the imagination of critics and the public alike, traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. Holt adopts the role of cosmological detective, traveling the globe to interview a host of celebrated scientists, philosophers, and writers, “testing the contentions of one against the theories of the other” (Jeremy Bernstein, Wall Street Journal). As he interrogates his list of ontological culprits, the brilliant yet slyly humorous Holt contends that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God versus the Big Bang. This “deft and consuming” (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times) narrative humanizes the profound questions of meaning and existence it confronts.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Daniel_Nanavati - LibraryThing

sometimes a little too funny for his own good, but when he hits the mark his observations make philosophy a joy to read. Put your mind in gear if you want to get the most from this. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Paulagraph - LibraryThing

An exuberant romp of a book. Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. All well & good & I enjoyed the ride, even though one should know ... Read full review

Contents

A Quick Proof That There Must Be Something
PhilosophicalTour dHorizon
The Arithmetic of Nothingness
The Great Rejectionist
Finite or Infinite?
The Inductive TheistofNorth Oxford
The End of Explanation
Nausea
It from
The Ethical Requiredness of There Being Something
An Hegelian in Paris
The Proof 13 The World as aBit ofLight Verse
Return to Nothingness
Over the Seine
Index
Copyright

A Word on Many Worlds

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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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