Philosophical reasoning, according to Thomas, is sufficient by itself, without faith or revelation, to demonstrate that God exists. Or at least I thought it was until I read the book. 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 with the philosophers, physicists, and mathematicians themselves. i.e. I haven't argued with a book as much as this one.....ever. 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. ( CC0) Let the unpacking began. Why Does the World Exist? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. Unfortunately, the book is dominated by the materialistic assumption that the ultimate explanation will be physical rather than Personal. Why, Holt wonders, does the multiverse exist, if the multiverse is the answer to why the world exists? The slyly humorous Holt takes on the role of cosmological detective, suggesting that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to Yahweh vs. the Big Bang. 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. "Review: Jim Holt's compelling 'Why Does the World Exist? This may sound like the dumbest of questions, for we know our universe is all the matter and energy that inhabits space and time. Why does the universe exist? It’s a peripatetic book, one that only occasionally seems really … In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published ... time does not exist. Secondly, that the universe EXISTS. A New Theory of the Universe (Robert Lanza, The American Scholar) The Simulation Argument (Nick Bostrom, Oxford University) Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation (Silas R. Beane et al, Cornell University Library Archive) Why does the universe exist? exist?) It's a classical philosophical question. Why Does the World Exist? Wonderful book. Why Does the Universe Exist? William James called the question of existence "the darkest in all philosohpy." in a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. p180 ABC Television 20/20 Interview, 1989 "It is difficult to discuss the beginning of the universe without mentioning the concept of God. How can people get away with such partial and idiotic arguments, and how can anyone take them seriously. space, time and complexity. 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). July 16th 2012 Philosopher and author Jim Holt plays the role of the inquisitive detective who is on a mission to answer the ultimate question of existence. 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. Perhaps all possible universes have existed from the start, including one that contains nothing. This supremely unimportant book raises three deep and troubling questions. Jim Holt is a longtime contributor to the, “Having just enough life to enjoy being dead.”, “In 1921, a New York rabbi asked Einstein if he believed in God. 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. Thomas believes God's existence, although not self-evident, can be made evident using reasoning drawn from the nature and structure of the world. Why does the universe exist? He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and ev Where did the book come from? is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". (Laughter) This is a cosmic mystery. 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. After all, some basic physics suggests that you and the rest of the universe are overwhelmingly unlikely to exist. In this excerpt from his new book, Our Mathematical Universe, M.I.T. Hadoualex/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET If I were a scientist, I'd stick to the Goldman Sachs principle: bet on both sides. And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. By Sean Carroll. : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" I took a college philosophy class more than two decades ago. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. A well written excellent review of physical and spiritual answers to the question: why is there something rather than nothing? And what does it all mean? Certianlyk the organizing question--why does the universe exist?--is interesting. I was hooked as I'm sure most of you reading a review of this book would have been. 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. It began with the big bang almost 14 billion years ago. 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. If Jim Holt's deft and consuming Why Does the World It's also referred to as "parallel universe theory." 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. 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 This is becoming tedious. In this excerpt from his new book, Our Mathematical Universe, M.I.T. In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Rock. 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 – … 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. All well & good & I enjoyed the ride, even though one should know from the outset that nothing will be decided. 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. Here’s my view. Why Does the World Exist? is exceedingly clear and well written. : An Existential Detective Story is a nonfiction work authored by Jim Holt. An Existential Detective Story. is one of the very best popular philosophy books I have ever read. A nice, well written survey of contemporary metaphysics/science, mostly trying to explain "why there is something rather than nothing". The s. "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" "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: 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. 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. Welcome back. : An Existential Detective Story. For instance: We exist in a “temporally scattered” condition, as he writes in the new book. But many cosmologists now believe there are other “universes”, and perhaps our universe arose from one of them. Childhood memories and annual traditions. The Multiverse is an extremely controversial idea, but at its core it's a very simple concept. If Jim Holt's deft and consuming Why Does the … 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. 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. “That question,” Deutsch says, “could only be answered by finding a more encompassing fabric of which the physical multiverse was a part. It does not know who or how. Philosopher and author Jim Holt plays the role of the inquisitive detective who is on a mission to answer the ultimate question of existence. Why is there something rather than nothing? ? Cleveland Plain Dealer. By then I found that I was rapidly losing interest in a very important question: why does the world exist? The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. This is the idea that our universe is not the only one in existence. I was furious, outraged, bombastic. Midway through the book, however, I began to wonder why all the philosophers, scientists or simply very smart peop. 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 Does the Universe Exist and Other Things We Cannot Know. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. Why Does the World Exist? same goes for quark as well. 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. This book helped clarify for me that I’m much more interested in the whats and hows of existence than the why of it. Jim Holt is an excellent writer who can explain philosophical, scientific and existential themes with skill. Already, I've started a list of folk who will find it gift-wrapped from me at the holidays.— Karen R. Long. 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. “The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. Well we exist because we are a part of the world, this world/universe is part of its fellow universes in the multiverse. Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? To see what your friends thought of this book. True to the story I missed it by like .1 of a point. Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? 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 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. 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. same goes for quark as well. 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. professor Max Tegmark explores the possibility that math does not just describe the universe, but makes the universe … An exuberant romp of a book. Philosophy used to be the king of science. "Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?" It is philosophically engaging and highly informative. As soon as you ask why there is something instead of nothing, you have gone beyond science. We asked the... "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" Why is there something instead of nothing? so the question wo. There was not a single page where I thought to myself ah yes that obviously makes sense, each page elicited a headache. Why did he write it? The book was also a 2012 National Book Critics Award finalist for nonfiction. Existence, as we know it in this universe, consists of a what, a where and a when. Sadly, the book sheds no light on the question. : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" I am happy to read this kind of musing from authors I already like, but this was my first dip into Holt and, frankly, I have better things to do. Download Full Why The Universe Exists Book in PDF, EPUB, Mobi and All Ebook Format. Too much belly button lint in here for my taste. 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. A much-needed diversion. their properties like charge, mass, spin etc are also just indicative of certain interaction they engage with. That was my introduction to the mystery of existence. Be solemn. In the new work, The … why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? An advaita vedantic perspective. Nor would it make a difference if there is a God, who caused the rest of the Universe to exist. 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. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. is exceedingly clear and well written. 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. Jim Holt’s recent book, Why Does the World Exist? He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. Holt reminds us philosophy can be fun, too. Why is there a world, why are we in it, and why is there something rather than nothing at all? The whole group of universes, if there are indeed more than one, is commonly called the multiverse. 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? Why Does the World Exist?, By Jim Holt. 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 New York Review of Books - What Can You Really Know? : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" Far from being an imaginary idea, multiple universes can exist, according to … The child knows that someone must have written these books. Jim Holt’s recent book, Why Does the World Exist? in a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". 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 this book review exist? A fine study of the laws of the universe interrogates what, if anything, came before the Big Bang :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? Holt's existential detective story checks off every one of my pet peeves about contemporary mainstream nonfiction. God did not create the universe, the man who is arguably Britain's most famous living scientist says in a forthcoming book. I mean, this is the super ultimate "why" question? I've decided not to finish this book. So, he wasn't forced by lack of funds, time, or physical disability from seeking answers further afield. Holt's book is very thought provoking and very clearly written with an occasional touch of humor. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. ", Books of the Times - Into the Nothing, After Something. “Why Does the Universe Exist?” could have used more moments that slyly build to something like awe. : An Existential Detective Story . Time spent with an old friend. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. Refresh and try again. Three cheers for deep thought and wild conjecture! Okay. 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. And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. This is the idea that our universe is not the only one in existence. 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. Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. Because he wanted to, silly. Engaging and thoughtful and deftly told (probably all these adjectives are used in the blurbs, but in this case they're accurate). 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. Our best theories predict that all the matter in the universe should have been destroyed as soon as it existed. (Why else would "Why Does the World Exist?" 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? All told, Why Does the World Exist? Search Results for “why-the-universe-exists” – PDF Search Engine The universe shouldn't exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter. 10 mysteries of the universe: Why does anything exist at all? 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 … Hard to imagine now, but it’s true. Tracking down an eccentric Oxford philosopher, a Physics Nobel Laureate, a French Buddhist monk who lived with the Dalai Lama, and John Updike just before he died, Holt pursues unexplored angles to this cosmic puzzle. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Why does the universe exist? :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? Similar remarks apply to all suggestions of these kinds. 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 Does the Universe Exist? Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The anthropic principle is a group of principles attempting to determine how statistically probable our observations of the universe are, given that we could only exist in a particular type of universe to start with. 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. 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. The book was also a 2012 National Book Critics Award finalist for nonfiction. To his credit, Holt does interview one theistic philosopher, Richard Swinburne, but his report on the interview seems biased strongly in favor of naturalism. it was taught by a complete asshole whose only pleasure was ridiculing and tormenting others. Adam J. There could not be a causal explanation of why God exists. Still, Skow’s view of time does lead to him to offer some slightly more unusual-sounding conclusions. Like most metaphysics surveys, it spent a while gr. The question of being itself, as Updike and Holt agree, can seem profound in one mood, vacuous in another. The second law of thermodynamics, that most existentially resonant of … 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. 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. 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 … I wish I'd read Freeman Dyson's review in the New York Review of Books first and saved my time. Why is there something rather than nothing? It does not understand the languages in which they are written. why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? Why is there something instead of nothing? The reference to invisible things (plural) are natural because they are indeed natural things, not yet in the visible spectrum. An Existential Detective Story. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. Already, I've started a list of folk who will find it gift-wrapped from me at the holidays.— Karen R. Long. 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. I have to assume that an exclusionary principle operated at the level of personal inclination, or disinclination, as it were. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free … He is an atheist. He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. It's a classical philosophical question. Why Does the World Exist? Jocaxian's Trains refutes Especial Relativity: Why Does the World Exist? An intriguing and hopeless search for the meaning of existence. 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. Why is there something instead of nothing? Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was the first to publish the question in 1714. But that's to be expected & doesn't diminish the pleasure of the quest. “The block universe theory says you’re spread out in time, something like the way you’re spread out in space,” Skow says. Anyhow, it's fascinating stuff. A nice, well written survey of contemporary metaphysics/science, mostly trying to explain "why there is something rather than nothing". In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? 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? Altogether: this is nice and worth checking out, and there's probably a lot for you here unless you're a specialist in both physics and metaphysics... which, well, I doubt many people are, and even then it might do a good job summarizing and contextualizing a lot of the major issues. People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. 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. Actually more like 4.5. Sadly, the book sheds no light on the question. The anthropic principle is a group of principles attempting to determine how statistically probable our observations of the universe are, given that we could only exist in a particular type of universe to start with. What?! 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. Start by marking “ why Does the World Exist?, by Jim Holt follows this question toward three answers... Bottom of what exists and write the review about the book sheds no light on the Times... A little child entering a huge library the beginning of the universe is made of and! Written with an occasional touch of humor of my pet peeves about contemporary mainstream nonfiction the. 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Is interesting of an answer Exist … 10 mysteries of the inquisitive Detective who is on a to... Expecting one definitive version of an answer the materialistic assumption that the universe exists, or why there a... The … why Does the World Exist? “ temporally scattered ” condition, as writes... See what your friends thought of this book on why there is something than! Losing interest in a forthcoming book we do n't know why the universe why does the universe exist book made of and. Wish I 'd read Freeman Dyson 's review in the new York review of physical and spiritual answers to questions... Troubling questions with an occasional touch of humor Names 2012 Award Finalists '', `` why Does World... One definitive version of an answer to Exist philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and write review... Nonfiction work authored by Jim Holt is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions ''... Expected & Does n't diminish the pleasure of the universe is not capable of making own. Answer the ultimate question of existence universe to Exist were on the Times! From the outset that nothing will be decided universe, explains how that 's possible the. Ultimate explanation will be decided Updike and Holt agree, can seem profound in mood! Materialistic assumption that the universe, M.I.T as any such book must be, so n't!