[1][2][3][4], A central question of the book is 'Why is there something rather than nothing? 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. Wonderful book. But that's to be expected & doesn't diminish the pleasure of the quest. Why does the universe exist? 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. Why did he write it? To his credit, Holt does interview one theistic philosopher, Richard Swinburne, but his report on the interview seems biased strongly in favor of naturalism. He is an atheist. Welcome back. :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? It's also referred to as "parallel universe theory." The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. 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. 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. He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. Stephen Hawking comes right out and says it. 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. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. It's also referred to as "parallel universe theory." Too much belly button lint in here for my taste. In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published ... time does not exist. An advaita vedantic perspective. is exceedingly clear and well written. All told, Why Does the World Exist? Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. You also can read online Why The Universe Exists and write the review about the book. Why Does the World Exist? professor Max Tegmark explores the possibility that math does not just describe the universe, but makes the universe … why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? I wish I'd read Freeman Dyson's review in the New York Review of Books first and saved my time. Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. : An Existential Detective Story” as Want to Read: Error rating book. Actually more like 4.5. The author seems very willing to travel, since he crossed the Atlantic to Paris & London several times. A Physicist Explains Why Parallel Universes May Exist … Cleveland Plain Dealer. 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. Holt's existential detective story checks off every one of my pet peeves about contemporary mainstream nonfiction. Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. 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. How can people get away with such partial and idiotic arguments, and how can anyone take them seriously. He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. It began with the big bang almost 14 billion years ago. I was hooked as I'm sure most of you reading a review of this book would have been. So, he wasn't forced by lack of funds, time, or physical disability from seeking answers further afield. Such thoughts did spoil the fun a bit, I must admit. I haven't argued with a book as much as this one.....ever. Nor would it make a difference if there is a God, who caused the rest of the Universe to exist. Cleveland Plain Dealer. 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. The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. Most people have heard of the possibility of more than one universe from science fiction stories and movies. God did not create the universe, the man who is arguably Britain's most famous living scientist says in a forthcoming book. Why does the universe exist? The universe shouldn't exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter. The question of being itself, as Updike and Holt agree, can seem profound in one mood, vacuous in another. I've decided not to finish this book. I found the discussion in this book on why there is something rather than nothing utterly charming and totally befuddling. Existence, as we know it in this universe, consists of a what, a where and a when. Time spent with an old friend. 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. 10 mysteries of the universe: Why does anything exist at all? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and everything else. The reference to invisible things (plural) are natural because they are indeed natural things, not yet in the visible spectrum. Philosopher and author Jim Holt plays the role of the inquisitive detective who is on a mission to answer the ultimate question of existence. Download Full Why The Universe Exists Book in PDF, EPUB, Mobi and All Ebook Format. 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? i.e. 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. Theoretical physicist Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, explains how that's possible in the new book, The Hidden Reality. : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" their properties like charge, mass, spin etc are also just indicative of certain interaction they engage with. So the universe should be capable of making its own space, time and complexity. (Why else would "Why Does the World Exist?" An Existential Detective Story. 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. The book was also a 2012 National Book Critics Award finalist for nonfiction. In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? William James called the question of existence "the darkest in all philosohpy." Midway through the book, however, I began to wonder why all the philosophers, scientists or simply very smart peop. 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). It is philosophically engaging and highly informative. Secondly, that the universe EXISTS. A comforting balm. In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published ... time does not exist. p180 ABC Television 20/20 Interview, 1989 "It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. Why Does the World Exist? "National Book Critics Circle Names 2012 Award Finalists", "Review of Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist? 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. 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. Lewis’s point is that religion and philosophy study the abstract question of why humans do things, while … Updike felt that the universe had “a color, a quiet but tireless goodness that things at rest, like a brick wall or a small stone, seem to affirm.” Surely this was a mood, even a quirk of biochemistry, but it opens a perspective on the universe, too. This may sound like the dumbest of questions, for we know our universe is all the matter and energy that inhabits space and time. A well written excellent review of physical and spiritual answers to the question: why is there something rather than nothing? "The Basic Question 'Why Does the World Exist?' Why is there something rather than nothing? : An Existential Detective Story is a nonfiction work authored by Jim Holt. 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. 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. Profssor Parfit is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford He is the author of … is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World 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. 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. 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. Why is there something instead of nothing? 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. Why Does the Universe Exist? An intriguing and hopeless search for the meaning of existence. Anyhow, it's fascinating stuff. Why Does the Universe Exist and Other Things We Cannot Know. The New York Review of Books - What Can You Really Know? Here’s my view. Jim Holt’s recent book, Why Does the World Exist? 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. Similar remarks apply to all suggestions of these kinds. 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. 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. A nice, well written survey of contemporary metaphysics/science, mostly trying to explain "why there is something rather than nothing". 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). Be solemn. 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. July 16th 2012 Already, I've started a list of folk who will find it gift-wrapped from me at the holidays.— Karen R. Long. ", Books of the Times - Into the Nothing, After Something. See the article here: 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. 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. 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. By Sean Carroll. Why is there — Okay. “The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. Where did the book come from? Sadly, the book sheds no light on the question. ( CC0) Let the unpacking began. All told, Why Does the World Exist? is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". Rock. Jocaxian's Trains refutes Especial Relativity: Why Does the World Exist? The context of this scripture is the creation of the universe in which we live and can observe. by Liveright Publishing Corporation. October 11, 2016 by David James. 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 Does the Universe Exist?” could have used more moments that slyly build to something like awe. It's a classical philosophical question. Because he wanted to, silly. Along the way, Jim Holt also introduces the reader to the philosophy of mathematics, theology, physics, ontology, epistemology, and other subjects.[1][2][5]. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was the first to publish the question in 1714. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. 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. Why is there something instead of nothing? Okay. Why Does the World Exist? Engaging and thoughtful and deftly told (probably all these adjectives are used in the blurbs, but in this case they're accurate). 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. And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. 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. 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 – … The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. their properties like charge, mass, spin etc are also just indicative of certain interaction they engage with. 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. is one of the very best popular philosophy books I have ever read. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free … Why Does the World Exist? A fine study of the laws of the universe interrogates what, if anything, came before the Big Bang same goes for quark as well. Far from being an imaginary idea, multiple universes can exist, according to … This review of contemporary thinking on the question of existence represents the best of North American intellectual journalism where the writer tries to represent the intelligent 'ordinary joe' in his search for knowledge. so the question wo. Why Does the World Exist? Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published exist?) – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. it was taught by a complete asshole whose only pleasure was ridiculing and tormenting others. Adam J. in a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. 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? I was furious, outraged, bombastic. 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. An intriguing and hopeless search for the meaning of existence. 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 … why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? professor Max Tegmark explores the possibility that math does not just describe the universe, but makes the universe … Jim Holt is an excellent writer who can explain philosophical, scientific and existential themes with skill. I have to assume that an exclusionary principle operated at the level of personal inclination, or disinclination, as it were. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. 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. 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. William James called the question of existence "the darkest in all philosohpy." 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. Because the universe also began as a singularity, time itself could not … And writer Jim Holt ’ s true is commonly called the question introduction to the mystery of why exists. The visible spectrum things ( plural ) are natural because they are indeed natural things not... Sure most of you reading a review of books first and saved my time we think the. Get to the bottom of what exists and what it means to Exist it 's also referred as... Charge, mass, spin etc are also just indicative of certain they! 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