it was taught by a complete asshole whose only pleasure was ridiculing and tormenting others. 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. An Existential Detective Story. Holt's objection to the brute-fact view, then – the view, that is, that the existence of the universe as a whole has no explanation, most likely because it has simply always been around – … 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. Why is there something rather than nothing? Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" You also can read online Why The Universe Exists and write the review about the book. Cleveland Plain Dealer. “That question,” Deutsch says, “could only be answered by finding a more encompassing fabric of which the physical multiverse was a part. Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? 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 inquiry. After all, some basic physics suggests that you and the rest of the universe are overwhelmingly unlikely to exist. This all-inclusive being does not exist and cannot exist. The second law of thermodynamics, that most existentially resonant of … Why does the universe exist? So, he wasn't forced by lack of funds, time, or physical disability from seeking answers further afield. This may sound like the dumbest of questions, for we know our universe is all the matter and energy that inhabits space and time. Childhood memories and annual traditions. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The author seems very willing to travel, since he crossed the Atlantic to Paris & London several times. The book was also a 2012 National Book Critics Award finalist for nonfiction. Midway through the book, however, I began to wonder why all the philosophers, scientists or simply very smart peop. I'm used by now to this kind of book not actually providing a satisfactory answer to the question posited, but this one is really infuriating. Even with some limitations, this was a very stimulating book to read. And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. 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? Holt's existential detective story checks off every one of my pet peeves about contemporary mainstream nonfiction. Why does this book review exist? By Derek Parfit This Spring Derek Parfit is Visiting Profssor of Philosophy at Harvard University, where he is teaching "Recent Ethical Theory" with T. M. Scanlon. Why Does the World Exist? True to the story I missed it by like .1 of a point. An advaita vedantic perspective. Stephen Hawking comes right out and says it. All told, Why Does the World Exist? Over the last few centuries, however, the divide between science and philosophy has grown larger and more irreconcilable, even while science overwhelmingly surpassed philosophy in importance. Welcome back. Philosophical reasoning, according to Thomas, is sufficient by itself, without faith or revelation, to demonstrate that God exists. I wish I'd read Freeman Dyson's review in the New York Review of Books first and saved my time. 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. i.e. the real things those matters, let say for an electron, are (-1, 1/2, 9.10938356 × 10^-31, etc) which represent charge, spin, and mass respectively. Why Does the World Exist? Lewis’s point is that religion and philosophy study the abstract question of why humans do things, while … I was hooked as I'm sure most of you reading a review of this book would have been. Why Does the Universe Exist? Hard to imagine now, but it’s true. So the universe should be capable of making its own space, time and complexity. Why Does the World Exist? Gives me a fresh perspective on that tired "turtles all the way down" story a certain kind of person loves to reference: in the context of this book, whose author clearly doesn't think women have anything of value (well, anything at all, actually) to contribute to the pressing concerns of humanity, the one woman who gets a mention is one who made a stupid comment to a brilliant man delivering a lecture she obviously didn't understand and thus sealed her legacy as a droll punchline and illustration of the hilarious antics of uneducated plebeians for class acts like the author of this book and his cohorts. Firstly, that there is nothing else to create the universe but itself (because it came from nothing). Taking the thought to heart, he gave himself the task of talking to a succession of experts--particle physicists, theologians, philosophers, cosmologists, mystics, and a great writer, heavy thinkers all--who he hoped would prove. Actually more like 4.5. Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? Adam J. Because of my background, the philosophy felt a little basic, but a lot of the physics were engaging and new, and seeing them together was a nice treat. Because the universe also began as a singularity, time itself could not … Why Does the World Exist?, By Jim Holt. 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 To his credit, Holt does interview one theistic philosopher, Richard Swinburne, but his report on the interview seems biased strongly in favor of naturalism. Our best theories predict that all the matter in the universe should have been destroyed as soon as it existed. All well & good & I enjoyed the ride, even though one should know from the outset that nothing will be decided. It does not know who or how. He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and ev This is a far more personal and self-disclosing book than I expected, and skates very far, I feared at first, in the direction of one of those concocted "How the Irish Jews Saved The Parthenon, Invented Caller ID, and Inspired Emily Dickinson" sort of books. The so-called "five ways" are taken from his Summa Theologica. Perhaps all possible universes have existed from the start, including one that contains nothing. Three cheers for deep thought and wild conjecture! 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). : An Existential Detective Story . Holt reminds us philosophy can be fun, too. The s. "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" July 16th 2012 Somewhat disappointing, in large part because of its approach, which entails attempting to answer an ontological/metaphysical question by asking analytical philosophers and physical scientists. remains the darkest and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. The universe shouldn't exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter. 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. – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. Why is there something instead of nothing? 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, Why Does the World Exist?, An Existential Detective Story, Jim Holt, 9780871403599 is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". This is becoming tedious. The book was also a 2012 National Book Critics Award finalist for nonfiction. 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. Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. 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. 10 mysteries of the universe: Why does anything exist at all? Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published There was not a single page where I thought to myself ah yes that obviously makes sense, each page elicited a headache. in a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. ", Books of the Times - Into the Nothing, After Something. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The mystery of why the universe exists still intrigues and defies philosophers, theologians, scientists, and pretty much anyone who’s ever sprawled in a park and stared at the sky. We’d love your help. by Liveright Publishing Corporation. Part of this is my fault: I forced myself through the equally terrible Assholes: A Theory last year and should know by now that navel-gazing logic-heavy philosophical books based around thought experiments are not my cup of tea. Wonderful book. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. A nice, well written survey of contemporary metaphysics/science, mostly trying to explain "why there is something rather than nothing". Secondly, that the universe EXISTS. Why did he write it? This book helped clarify for me that I’m much more interested in the whats and hows of existence than the why of it. (Laughter) This is a cosmic mystery. The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. Physicists have found the answer and it will blow your mind QUANTUM physicists have finally answered the biggest question of them all – why is there a universe? The New York Review of Books - What Can You Really Know? The context of this scripture is the creation of the universe in which we live and can observe. 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. Even if he were limited to New York City, his home base, there must be a goodly supply of female thinkers in that city alone. 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. All told, Why Does the World Exist? Or at least I thought it was until I read the book. Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? It was paining me to get through this to begin with, because at the end of the day, though armed with plenty of jargon a. 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). It's a classical philosophical question. :An Existential Detective Story, tackles the question that Martin Heidegger characterized as the greatest in all philosophy and William James called the darkest in all philosophy—why is there something rather than nothing? Why Does the Universe Exist and Other Things We Cannot Know. Already, I've started a list of folk who will find it gift-wrapped from me at the holidays.— Karen R. Long. But that's to be expected & doesn't diminish the pleasure of the quest. Why Does the World Exist?, By Jim Holt. Philosopher and author Jim Holt plays the role of the inquisitive detective who is on a mission to answer the ultimate question of existence. p180 ABC Television 20/20 Interview, 1989 "It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. There could not be a causal explanation of why the Universe exists, why there are any laws of nature, or why these laws are as they are. The child knows that someone must have written these books. Be solemn. 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. An Existential Detective Story. Here’s my view. He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and ev In this excerpt from his new book, Our Mathematical Universe, M.I.T. By then I found that I was rapidly losing interest in a very important question: why does the world exist? This supremely unimportant book raises three deep and troubling questions. is one of the very best popular philosophy books I have ever read. 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 wi. If Jim Holt's deft and consuming Why Does the … Anyhow, it's fascinating stuff. The whole group of universes, if there are indeed more than one, is commonly called the multiverse. Sadly, the book sheds no light on the question. The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. A Physicist Explains Why Parallel Universes May 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 else would "Why Does the World Exist?" 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. Existence, as we know it in this universe, consists of a what, a where and a when. There could not be a causal explanation of why God exists. Although it seems unlikely that science will answer this question (at least in my lifetime, and probably ever), the philosophical approaches, which dominate the book, offer even less hope. Hadoualex/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET If I were a scientist, I'd stick to the Goldman Sachs principle: bet on both sides. A well written excellent review of physical and spiritual answers to the question: why is there something rather than nothing? It is philosophically engaging and highly informative. 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. He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. Far from being an imaginary idea, multiple universes can exist, according to … Because of my background, the philosophy felt a little basic, but a lot of the physics were engaging and new, and seeing them together was a nice treat. I've decided not to finish this book. :An Existential Detective Story, tackles the question that Martin Heidegger characterized as the greatest in all philosophy and William James called the darkest in all philosophy—why is there something rather than nothing? This was the view of the 17th century philosopher Spinoza, who claimed that the entire universe, along with all of its contents, laws and events, had to exist, and exist in the way it does. Why is there a world, why are we in it, and why is there something rather than nothing at all? Why is there — Okay. Such thoughts did spoil the fun a bit, I must admit. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free … Philosopher and author Jim Holt plays the role of the inquisitive detective who is on a mission to answer the ultimate question of existence. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The evolution of the Universe from the big bang to the present. In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published ... time does not exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going." Sidney Morgenbesser, a much-beloved professor of philosophy at Columbia University, renowned for his aphoristic wisdom, was once asked, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” “If there were nothing,” Morgenbesser immediately replied, “you’d … It has become completely passé, if not commercially unviable, to begin a book with a thesis and spend the chapters that follow attempting to prove it with logic and evidence. It was paining me to get through this to begin with, because at the end of the day, though armed with plenty of jargon and intimidating vocabulary, Jim Holt is a bad writer, plain and simple; when I realized that in this guy's oh-so-noble quest to get to the bottom of no less comprehensive a question than why the world exists, he didn't deem it necessary to interview, cite, consult, credit, or indeed acknowledge a single person who wasn't a white man, I was done. See the article here: It's also referred to as "parallel universe theory." For instance: We exist in a “temporally scattered” condition, as he writes in the new book. Along the way, Jim Holt also introduces the reader to the philosophy of mathematics, theology, physics, ontology, epistemology, and other subjects.[1][2][5]. Nor would it make a difference if there is a God, who caused the rest of the Universe to exist. To see what your friends thought of this book. Certianlyk the organizing question--why does the universe exist?--is interesting. : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" Rock. ? A fine study of the laws of the universe interrogates what, if anything, came before the Big Bang One is far likely to be left with some questions which one hopes Jim would have asked, but didn't- which is a wonderful testament to the genius of this book, since Jim is likely to be smarter than any of his readers. Because the universe also began as a singularity, time itself could not … People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published ... time does not exist. Why Does the World Exist? Holt's book is very thought provoking and very clearly written with an occasional touch of humor. Well it's said that every thing has its reasons, sometimes you can figure it some times you can't. Why Does the World Exist? 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. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 24:69-76 (2005) 24:69-76 (2005) Search Results for “why-the-universe-exists” – PDF Search Engine The question of being itself, as Updike and Holt agree, can seem profound in one mood, vacuous in another. Part of this is my fault: I forced myself through the equally terrible Assholes: A Theory last year and should know by now that navel-gazing logic-heavy philosophical books based around thought experiments are not my cup of tea. But that's to be expected & doesn't diminish the pleasure of the quest. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. Too much belly button lint in here for my taste. : An Existential Detective Story. The author considers all possible perspectives, a strategy which makes the discussion a bit vague and directionless in my opinion. Why does the universe exist? “The block universe theory says you’re spread out in time, something like the way you’re spread out in space,” Skow says. God did not create the universe, the man who is arguably Britain's most famous living scientist says in a forthcoming book. Those who share this mood with Holt, at least from time to time, will almost certainly find this to be an entertaining and thought-provoking book. "The Basic Question 'Why Does the World Exist?' 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. Well we exist because we are a part of the world, this world/universe is part of its fellow universes in the multiverse. Jim Holt’s recent book, Why Does the World Exist? Our best theories predict that all the matter in the universe should have been destroyed as soon as it existed. This is the idea that our universe is not the only one in existence. 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. is exceedingly clear and well written. Why Does the Universe Exist? Jim Holt is an excellent writer who can explain philosophical, scientific and existential themes with skill. Science cannot answer the deepest questions. 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 … How can people get away with such partial and idiotic arguments, and how can anyone take them seriously. And what does it all mean? 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. 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. Apparently the NYTimes reviewed it well and I can definitely understand why; this book isn't an end in itself or anything, but it really stands out especially compared to similar books that try the same thing and don't do nearly as good a job. the real things those matters, let say for an electron, are (-1, 1/2, 9.10938356 × 10^-31, etc) which represent charge, spin, and mass respectively. Okay. same goes for quark as well. Scientists Studying EDM To Find Why Everything In The Universe Exists Somehow, at the beginning of time, there was an imbalance of matter and antimatter. professor Max Tegmark explores the possibility that math does not just describe the universe, but makes the universe … Download Full Why The Universe Exists Book in PDF, EPUB, Mobi and All Ebook Format. All well & good & I enjoyed the ride, even though one should know from the outset that nothing will be decided. is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". Because its author poured himself a cup of coffee the other morning and sat down in front of the computer to write it. In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was the first to publish the question in 1714. In the new work, The … is one of the very best popular philosophy books I have ever read. Holt was never going to get much beyond a detailed description of "what is" or "why what is is the way it is," when the book's central question is actually "Why is there something. An intriguing and hopeless search for the meaning of existence. Similar remarks apply to all suggestions of these kinds. Taking the thought to heart, he gave himself the task of talking to a succession of experts--particle physicists, theologians, philosophers, cosmologists, mystics, and a great writer, heavy thinkers all--who he hoped would prove to be one or two or three of those Einsteins shining a light down the path toward the answer. Unfortunately, the book is dominated by the materialistic assumption that the ultimate explanation will be physical rather than Personal. Engaging and thoughtful and deftly told (probably all these adjectives are used in the blurbs, but in this case they're accurate). He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. William James called the question of existence "the darkest in all philosohpy." "Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?" Why is there something instead of nothing? If Jim Holt's deft and consuming Why Does the World This book came to me via the very positive New York Times Book Review review, and it made the Times list of best books of the year. It’s a peripatetic book, one that only occasionally seems really … Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. exist?) Science, Lewis argues, can study the material components of the universe, but it cannot offer an explanation for why the universe exists in the first place. It's a classical philosophical question. in a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. Theoretical physicist Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, explains how that's possible in the new book, The Hidden Reality. why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? “Why Does the Universe Exist?” could have used more moments that slyly build to something like awe. : An Existential Detective Story is a nonfiction work authored by Jim Holt. He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and everything else. same goes for quark as well. I took a college philosophy class more than two decades ago. "I believe in Spinoza's God," he answered, "who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”, National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee for General Nonfiction (2012), Andrew Carnegie Medal Nominee for Nonfiction (2013), Do you agree that "The Jocaxian Nothingness" is the answer for the question: An exuberant romp of a book. 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. remains the darkest and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. ( CC0) Let the unpacking began. Sadly, the book sheds no light on the question. 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. As soon as you ask why there is something instead of nothing, you have gone beyond science. Philosophy used to be the king of science. Why Does the World Exist? Why is there something instead of nothing? Still, Skow’s view of time does lead to him to offer some slightly more unusual-sounding conclusions. The mystery of why the universe exists still intrigues and defies philosophers, theologians, scientists, and pretty much anyone who’s ever sprawled in a park and stared at the sky. 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). It does not understand the languages in which they are written. why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? This is the idea that our universe is not the only one in existence. [1][2][3][4], A central question of the book is 'Why is there something rather than nothing? I have to assume that an exclusionary principle operated at the level of personal inclination, or disinclination, as it were. Like most metaphysics surveys, it spent a while gr. In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Hawking's latest comments go beyond those laid out in his 2010 book, The Grand Design, in which he asserted that there is no need for a creator to explain the existence of the universe. Jim Holt’s recent book, Why Does the World Exist? : An Existential Detective Story” as Want to Read: Error rating book. 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 Multiverse is an extremely controversial idea, but at its core it's a very simple concept.

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