Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. in a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. 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. Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? Sadly, the book sheds no light on the question. 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. It began with the big bang almost 14 billion years ago. An advaita vedantic perspective. The author seems very willing to travel, since he crossed the Atlantic to Paris & London several times. This is becoming tedious. In this excerpt from his new book, Our Mathematical Universe, M.I.T. The reference to invisible things (plural) are natural because they are indeed natural things, not yet in the visible spectrum. 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 … Such thoughts did spoil the fun a bit, I must admit. In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? All told, Why Does the World Exist? 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 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. 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. It is philosophically engaging and highly informative. 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. You also can read online Why The Universe Exists and write the review about the book. Why Does the World Exist? And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. A much-needed diversion. This supremely unimportant book raises three deep and troubling questions. by Liveright Publishing Corporation. 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? Holt's book is very thought provoking and very clearly written with an occasional touch of humor. : An Existential Detective Story. 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. Certianlyk the organizing question--why does the universe exist?--is interesting. Engaging and thoughtful and deftly told (probably all these adjectives are used in the blurbs, but in this case they're accurate). Why is there something instead of nothing? Possibly the most important ‘why’ question of all, and as such it should receive more attention. Far from being an imaginary idea, multiple universes can exist, according to … "Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?" So the universe should be capable of making its own space, time and complexity. why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? (Laughter) This is a cosmic mystery. He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. Hard to imagine now, but it’s true. Most people have heard of the possibility of more than one universe from science fiction stories and movies. :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? For instance: We exist in a “temporally scattered” condition, as he writes in the new book. Why Does the World Exist? Refresh and try again. 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 do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and everything else. 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. Theoretical physicist Brian Greene, author of The Elegant Universe, explains how that's possible in the new book, The Hidden Reality. 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 "Why Does the World Exist?" It's also referred to as "parallel universe theory." is exceedingly clear and well written. 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. 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. In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? There could not be a causal explanation of why God exists. 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. Why did he write it? Its author wrote it. We’d love your help. ', which lies in the domain between philosophy and scientific cosmology. (Why else would "Why Does the World Exist?" An intriguing and hopeless search for the meaning of existence. July 16th 2012 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. Because its author poured himself a cup of coffee the other morning and sat down in front of the computer to write it. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was the first to publish the question in 1714. 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. Why Does the World Exist? There's nothing essentially new--reality consists of Pythagorean numbers, the Platonic good, superstrings, qunantum fluctuations, or perhaps nothing at all--one wonders if philosophy ever advances beyond Thales' water ontology! Be solemn. William James called the question of existence "the darkest in all philosohpy." is one of the very best popular philosophy books I have ever read. 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). 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. 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. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. professor Max Tegmark explores the possibility that math does not just describe the universe, but makes the universe … Most people have heard of the possibility of more than one universe from science fiction stories and movies. It's a classical philosophical question. Like most metaphysics surveys, it spent a while gr. 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. The question of being itself, as Updike and Holt agree, can seem profound in one mood, vacuous in another. Why Does the Universe Exist and Other Things We Cannot Know. “The block universe theory says you’re spread out in time, something like the way you’re spread out in space,” Skow says. is exceedingly clear and well written. I mean, this is the super ultimate "why" question? He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. In this highly original new book, the philosopher Markus Gabriel challenges our notion of what exists and what it means to exist. It does not know who or how. 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? It's also referred to as "parallel universe theory." In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? The eternal question of why the universe exists (or how something came from the nothing) is revisited by Jim Holt in his new book Why Does the World Exist? 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. Science cannot answer the deepest questions. Somewhat disappointing, in large part because of its approach, which entails attempting to answer an ontological/metaphysical question by asking analytical philosophers and physical scientists. We asked the... "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" Welcome back. The whole group of universes, if there are indeed more than one, is commonly called the multiverse. People have wrestled with the mystery of why the universe exists for thousands of years. Philosophy used to be the king of science. 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. A fine study of the laws of the universe interrogates what, if anything, came before the Big Bang The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. Perhaps all possible universes have existed from the start, including one that contains nothing. “Why Does the Universe Exist?” could have used more moments that slyly build to something like awe. 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. Because he wanted to, silly. He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and ev 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. 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. Along the way, Jim Holt also introduces the reader to the philosophy of mathematics, theology, physics, ontology, epistemology, and other subjects.[1][2][5]. it was taught by a complete asshole whose only pleasure was ridiculing and tormenting others. : An Existential Detective Story . “The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. An exuberant romp of a book. ? William James called the question of existence "the darkest in all philosohpy." "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: Too much belly button lint in here for my taste. by Jim Holt". 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. Although not related to my major I wanted an A in that class more than anything. Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? professor Max Tegmark explores the possibility that math does not just describe the universe, but makes the universe … It's a classical philosophical question. It’s a peripatetic book, one that only occasionally seems really … 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. Lewis’s point is that religion and philosophy study the abstract question of why humans do things, while … 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? 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. And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. Inconclusive as any such book must be, so don't pick it up expecting one definitive version of an answer. :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? I took a college philosophy class more than two decades ago. "The Basic Question 'Why Does the World Exist?' 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. It was paining me to get through this to begin with, because at the end of the day, though armed with plenty of jargon a. 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). 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. ( CC0) Let the unpacking began. Why is there something rather than nothing? A nice, well written survey of contemporary metaphysics/science, mostly trying to explain "why there is something rather than nothing". is an intellectual quest of one the most intriguing philosophical questions, "Why Does the World Exist". Sadly, the book sheds no light on the question. Still, Skow’s view of time does lead to him to offer some slightly more unusual-sounding conclusions. exist?) Philosopher and author Jim Holt plays the role of the inquisitive detective who is on a mission to answer the ultimate question of existence. Adam J. A fine study of the laws of the universe interrogates what, if anything, came before the Big Bang A comforting balm. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. The universe shouldn't exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter. I was furious, outraged, bombastic. 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. 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. 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. 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. remains the darkest and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. in a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. All well & good & I enjoyed the ride, even though one should know from the outset that nothing will be decided. The so-called "five ways" are taken from his Summa Theologica. The s. "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" Because the universe also began as a singularity, time itself could not … I've decided not to finish this book. Download Full Why The Universe Exists Book in PDF, EPUB, Mobi and All Ebook Format. Three cheers for deep thought and wild conjecture! 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. 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? Okay. International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 24:69-76 (2005) 24:69-76 (2005) Profssor Parfit is a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford He is the author of … He is an atheist. same goes for quark as well. 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 author considers all possible perspectives, a strategy which makes the discussion a bit vague and directionless in my opinion. We are like a little child entering a huge library. 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. Start by marking “Why Does the World Exist? Like most metaphysics surveys, it spent a while grappling with the Christian god but fortunately didn't take long before dismissing the idea (though Holt did it with tact I guess which might help some readers). Why Does the Universe Exist? True to the story I missed it by like .1 of a point. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free … The New York Review of Books - What Can You Really Know? That said, though I left with a pleasant reading experience, a deeper understanding of the issues, and lots to ponder, I didn't leave with the answer (but then one shouldn't expect to, given the complexity of the question). 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.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. See the article here: I wish I'd read Freeman Dyson's review in the New York Review of Books first and saved my time. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. Cleveland Plain Dealer. Why does the universe exist? Where did the book come from? "Review: Jim Holt's compelling 'Why Does the World Exist? So, he wasn't forced by lack of funds, time, or physical disability from seeking answers further afield. space, time and complexity. In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published ... time does not exist. : An Existential Detective Story is a nonfiction work authored by Jim Holt. A Physicist Explains Why Parallel Universes May Exist … Philosophical reasoning, according to Thomas, is sufficient by itself, without faith or revelation, to demonstrate that God exists. How can people get away with such partial and idiotic arguments, and how can anyone take them seriously. Some things are better reasoned through from first principles, and I think the universe is definitely one of those things. Why does this book review exist? October 11, 2016 by David James. 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). An Existential Detective Story. Why is there something instead of nothing? This is the idea that our universe is not the only one in existence. I have to assume that an exclusionary principle operated at the level of personal inclination, or disinclination, as it were. Why is there — Okay. 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. 'S a very important question: why is there something rather than nothing Does Exist... Suggests that you and the rest of the possibility of more than one universe from the outset that nothing be... Be, so do n't know why the universe are overwhelmingly unlikely to Exist excerpt from his new,... 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