Why Does the World Exist?

| August 18, 2012 | 0 Comments

“Why Does the World Exist?: Existential Detective Story” is a book tackling the great problem of existence. Why does something exists rather than nothing? Was it god that created the universe or was it some kind of physical process? If it was god, then what was before god? And so on… These questions seem to be impossible to answer, but the search for the answer itself gives great dividends for both science and philosophy. So here’s a short review of the book.


Book Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (July 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871404095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871404091
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2 in Cosmology (Top 100 in Cosmology)


About the Author

Jim Holt is a prominent essayist and critic on philosophy, mathematics, and science. He is a frequent contributor to the “New York Times Book Review” and the “New York Review of Books”.


Short Review

“Why Does the World Exist?: Existential Detective Story” tries to answer perhaps the hardest question — why is there something rather than nothing. This question can be tackled from various point of views and that’s exactly what the author does. Jim Holt has a long experience of writing on the topics of philosophy, mathematics and science and this book is no exception. Even though this question might seem as only philosophical, don’t get fooled, we can get quite far by using science. Following in the footsteps of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose, and even Stephen Hawking, Jim Holt emerges with an engrossing narrative that traces our latest efforts to grasp the origins of the universe.

Here are some quotes from some well known reviewers:

“There could have been nothing. It might have been easier. Instead there is something. The universe exists, and we are here to ask about it. Why? 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. …There is no way to do justice to any of these theories in a brief review, but Holt traces the reasoning behind each one with care and clarity—such clarity that each idea seems resoundingly sensible even as it turns one’s brain to a soup of incredulity…. I can imagine few more enjoyable ways of thinking than to read this book.” (Sarah Bakewell – New York Times Book Review )

“Starred review. Winding its way to no reassuringly tidy conclusion, this narrative ultimately humanizes the huge metaphysical questions Holt confronts, endowing them with real-life significance. A potent synthesis of philosophy and autobiography.” (Booklist )

Have you read this book? If so feel free to comment on it in the comment section below.


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Category: General Science Books, Physics Books

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