Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

Category: Book
By (author): Holt, Jim
Subject:  PHILOSOPHY / General
  PHILOSOPHY / Metaphysics
  SCIENCE / General
  SCIENCE / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Publisher: WW Norton
Published: April 2013
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 8.25in x 5.46in x 0.85in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*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.
Review Quote*"Holt has a religious temperament, if not a religion, and he thinks the notion of God is a possible explanation of the mystery of being rather than the reverse or the refusal of one... [He] is an expert juggler of the paradoxes that go with so many kinds of negation...the fun of his quest has to do not only with what he wants to know but with his eagerness for live dialogue." - Michael Wood (London Review of Books (UK))

"The author takes on the origin of everything in this wonderfully ambitious book encompassing mathematics, theology, physics, ethics and more." - Michael S. Roth (The Washington Post)
Biographical NoteJim 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.