Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2012 - Philosophy - 309 pages
14 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MikeFutcher - LibraryThing

In truth, a book such as Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist? should appeal to everyone. This is a question which everyone has, at some stage and to some variable degree, contemplated, whether in ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mykl-s - LibraryThing

This is a book I enjoyed skimming - and reading reviews of - and writing a few notes about. It is about the question why there is something rather than nothing, and reconfirmed my own thought/feeling ... 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
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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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