Why Does The World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

Paperback | April 16, 2013

byJim Holt

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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.

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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 effo...

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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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.46 × 0.73 inPublished:April 16, 2013Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0871403595

ISBN - 13:9780871403599

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mind-Blowing! Awesome whirlwind tour of the ultimate question of why is there something and not nothing? Why does the universe exist instead of nothing? This is a great book that should be savoured and discussed with friends after each chapter. The concepts are truly mindbending as we all search for the spark that started it all. Prior background in some of the main theories of quantum mechanics is helpful.
Date published: 2013-04-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Why Does The World Exist I purchased this for my son-in-law as an xmas gift.
Date published: 2013-01-14

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Editorial Reviews

“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)