Following in the footsteps of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose, and even Stephen Hawking, Jim Holt now enters this fractious debate with his lively and deeply informed narrative that traces the latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. The s. "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" October 11, 2016 by David James. He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and ev Why Does the Universe Exist and Other Things We Cannot Know. Some of the people interviewed are John Updike, David Deutsch, Adolf Grünbaum, John Leslie, Derek Parfit, Roger Penrose, Richard Swinburne, Steven Weinberg, and Andrei Linde. God did not create the universe, the man who is arguably Britain's most famous living scientist says in a forthcoming book. The book was also a 2012 National Book Critics Award finalist for nonfiction. Such thoughts did spoil the fun a bit, I must admit. The slyly humorous Holt takes on the role of cosmological detective, suggesting that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to Yahweh vs. the Big Bang. Along the way, Jim Holt also introduces the reader to the philosophy of mathematics, theology, physics, ontology, epistemology, and other subjects.[1][2][5]. Sure, it has taught me enough about Leibniz and Spinoza to be vaguely re-interested in specific metaphysicians, but Holt's self-absorbed and self-serving writing style is not worth my time. – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. The whole group of universes, if there are indeed more than one, is commonly called the multiverse. It's more engaging than most surveys, with some nice cameos by prominent scientists/philosophers, and less shallow than most things aimed at a general audience. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was the first to publish the question in 1714. An advaita vedantic perspective. Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? Download Full Why The Universe Exists Book in PDF, EPUB, Mobi and All Ebook Format. by Jim Holt". The puzzle of why there is something rather than nothing – from which all the biggest questions of metaphysics spring such as ‘where did we come … I really, really don't like not finishing books, so congratulations to Mr. Holt for being one of the chosen few (I gave up with about 90 pages to go). Why Does the World Exist? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". Jim Holt is a longtime contributor to the, “Having just enough life to enjoy being dead.”, “In 1921, a New York rabbi asked Einstein if he believed in God. Most people have heard of the possibility of more than one universe from science fiction stories and movies. Why does the universe exist? Hadoualex/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET If I were a scientist, I'd stick to the Goldman Sachs principle: bet on both sides. so the question would be, why do we think that the universe is not made out of just numbers like (-1, 1/2, 9.10938356 × 10^-31, etc) instead of some abstract entities like electron and quark? : An Existential Detective Story . True to the story I missed it by like .1 of a point. In this book, the author records a quest to answer the question through a series of interviews and discussions. is one of the very best popular philosophy books I have ever read. How can people get away with such partial and idiotic arguments, and how can anyone take them seriously. The book irritated me, to say the least, and all I wanted to do was sit across a table from Holt and from everyone he interviewed (except David Deutsch and Steven Weinberg) and ask them if they were really kidding. “The block universe theory says you’re spread out in time, something like the way you’re spread out in space,” Skow says. Our best theories predict that all the matter in the universe should have been destroyed as soon as it existed. It's more engaging than most surveys, with some nice cameos by prominent scientists/philosophers, and less shallow than most things aimed at a general audience. : An Existential Detective Story is a nonfiction work authored by Jim Holt. In this excerpt from his new book, Our Mathematical Universe, M.I.T. The second law of thermodynamics, that most existentially resonant of … It's not like there aren't very smart women & non-English or French speaking women & men in the world who might have contributed some interesting thoughts on the subject. A comforting balm. I took a college philosophy class more than two decades ago. In “Why Does the World Exist?,” Jim Holt, an elegant and witty writer comfortably at home in the problem’s weird interzone between philosophy and scientific cosmology, sets out in search of such answers. Thomas believes God's existence, although not self-evident, can be made evident using reasoning drawn from the nature and structure of the world. is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". Philosopher and author Jim Holt plays the role of the inquisitive detective who is on a mission to answer the ultimate question of existence. Why is there something instead of nothing? The book was also a 2012 National Book Critics Award finalist for nonfiction. Why is there — Okay. Perhaps all possible universes have existed from the start, including one that contains nothing. Hard to imagine now, but it’s true. By Sean Carroll. ( CC0) Let the unpacking began. The child knows that someone must have written these books. : An Existential Detective Story. But Jim Holt's slyly amiable and vulnerable persona is armed with a very serious purpose, and rather than give us potted versions of the views of the various players in this arena, he works out his own understanding, often in conversation with the philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians themselves. Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. To his credit, Holt does interview one theistic philosopher, Richard Swinburne, but his report on the interview seems biased strongly in favor of naturalism. In other words, scientific observation of the universe would not even be possible if the laws of the universe had been incompatible with the development of sentient life. Adam J. Jocaxian's Trains refutes Especial Relativity: Why Does the World Exist? For instance: We exist in a “temporally scattered” condition, as he writes in the new book. i.e. ? It's a classical philosophical question. by Liveright Publishing Corporation. Holt took an interesting approach with this book, combining a serious, if somewhat light-hearted, philosophical inquiry into a profound metaphysical question with a non-fiction style situated between autobiography and travelogue. Stephen Hawking comes right out and says it. Existence, as we know it in this universe, consists of a what, a where and a when. Another complication in the understanding of time is demonstrated by Lee Smolin's 2013 book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, in which he argues that science does (as the mystics claim) treat time as an illusion. Philosopher Jim Holt on Nothingness, the God Wars, and His New Book: “I’m a Little Unhinged”, The Philosophers Magazine - The best books of 2012, "Why Does the World Exist? It does not know who or how. Why does the universe exist? He takes inspiration from readings of Heidegger and Sartre, and from something Martin Amis once said in a television interview: “We’re at least five Einsteins away from answering that question.”... Holt reminds us that no exploration of being — especially human being — can be separated from the human who undertakes it, complete with character and the play of moods. Why Does the World Exist? Midway through the book, however, I began to wonder why all the philosophers, scientists or simply very smart people the author consulted & conversed with were white males & pretty exclusively North American or British (perhaps a few Frenchmen, since the author does journey to Paris a few times & he does at least mention Buddhism at the very end of the book). Where did the book come from? And what does it all mean? : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" Actually more like 4.5. The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. I was hooked as I'm sure most of you reading a review of this book would have been. As Jim Holt tells it, Martin Amis once remarked in an interview that we're about 5 Einsteins away from answering the question of why things exist and how the universe popped into being. An exuberant romp of a book. Why Does the World Exist?, By Jim Holt. http://pjpub.org/Abstract/abstract_pet_197.htm, See all 3 questions about Why Does the World Exist?…, New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012 (fiction and nonfiction), Goodreads Members Share the Books They've Been Rereading. Rock. Unfortunately, the book is dominated by the materialistic assumption that the ultimate explanation will be physical rather than Personal. Why is there something rather than nothing? Search Results for “why-the-universe-exists” – PDF Search Engine Following in the footsteps of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose, and even Stephen Hawking, Jim Holt now enters this fractious debate with his lively and deeply informed narrative that traces the latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe. Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. Unlike many, Jim is able to convey his reverence for some of the people he speaks with, and he does not put words in their mouths - far from it. William James called the question of existence "the darkest in all philosohpy." Why Does the World Exist? remains the darkest and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. As soon as you ask why there is something instead of nothing, you have gone beyond science. Ancient philosophers didn’t focus too much on what Heidegger [3] called the “funda- mental question of metaphysics” and Gru¨nbaum [4] has dubbed the “Primordial Existential As he pieces together a solution--one that sheds new light on the question of God and the meaning of existence--he offers brisk philosophical asides on time and eternity, consciousness, and the arithmetic of nothingness. The universe shouldn't exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter. : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" This is the idea that our universe is not the only one in existence. An Existential Detective Story' by Jim Holt", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Why_Does_the_World_Exist%3F&oldid=977004557, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 September 2020, at 10:49. If Jim Holt's deft and consuming Why Does the … Time spent with an old friend. The evolution of the Universe from the big bang to the present. It's also referred to as "parallel universe theory." remains the darkest and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. is exceedingly clear and well written. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The author approaches this inexhaustible theme through a wide array of perspectives He has a polyhedral vision that takes into account some of the most brilliant minds in history. He conducts interviews with leading scientists and philosophers who have explored the mysteries of existence using the tools of mathematics, quantum mechanics, platonic philosophy, and philosophical. 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