: An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" Hurray for Jim Holt, who cracks our formulaic stupor with his crisp, jolly new book, Why Does the World Exist? 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. space, time and complexity. Holt reminds us philosophy can be fun, too. I took a college philosophy class more than two decades ago. by Liveright Publishing Corporation. Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. 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. 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. (Why else would "Why Does the World Exist?" remains the darkest and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. 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. And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. It’s a peripatetic book, one that only occasionally seems really … 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. Existence, as we know it in this universe, consists of a what, a where and a when. 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 – … A much-needed diversion. Jim Holt is an excellent writer who can explain philosophical, scientific and existential themes with skill. He and the book were on the LA Times bestseller list during the last quarter of 2012, and the first quarter of 2013. 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. : An Existential Detective Story. (Laughter) This is a cosmic mystery. A nice, well written survey of contemporary metaphysics/science, mostly trying to explain "why there is something rather than nothing". Jocaxian's Trains refutes Especial Relativity: Why Does the World Exist? Why Does the World Exist? Already, I've started a list of folk who will find it gift-wrapped from me at the holidays.— Karen R. Long. Even with some limitations, this was a very stimulating book to read. “Why Does the Universe Exist?” could have used more moments that slyly build to something like awe. The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. And it artistically weaves together a personal narrative and quest with a deeply intellectual and highly abstract inquiry. 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 is philosophically engaging and highly informative. 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 The question of being itself, as Updike and Holt agree, can seem profound in one mood, vacuous in another. Still, Skow’s view of time does lead to him to offer some slightly more unusual-sounding conclusions. Such thoughts did spoil the fun a bit, I must admit. I found the discussion in this book on why there is something rather than nothing utterly charming and totally befuddling. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was the first to publish the question in 1714. Far from being an imaginary idea, multiple universes can exist, according to … The s. "Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?" 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? Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Unlike many, Jim is able to convey his reverence for some of the people he speaks with, and he does not put words in their mouths - far from it. “The block universe theory says you’re spread out in time, something like the way you’re spread out in space,” Skow says. That was my introduction to the mystery of existence. Holt's book is very thought provoking and very clearly written with an occasional touch of humor. The author seems very willing to travel, since he crossed the Atlantic to Paris & London several times. same goes for quark as well. An advaita vedantic perspective. To see what your friends thought of this book. why do we think that the universe is made of electron and quark? "Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing?" Too much belly button lint in here for my taste. Why Does the World Exist? He questions the idea that there is a world that encompasses everything like a container life, the universe, and ev The reference to invisible things (plural) are natural because they are indeed natural things, not yet in the visible spectrum. Why is there a world, why are we in it, and why is there something rather than nothing at all? What?! 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. Midway through the book, however, I began to wonder why all the philosophers, scientists or simply very smart peop. Hadoualex/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET If I were a scientist, I'd stick to the Goldman Sachs principle: bet on both sides. "National Book Critics Circle Names 2012 Award Finalists", "Review of Jim Holt's Why Does the World Exist? Holt's existential detective story checks off every one of my pet peeves about contemporary mainstream nonfiction. – why the universe exists, or why there is something rather than nothing [1, 2]. 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. In Stephen Hawking's final book "Brief Answers to Big Questions," published ... time does not exist. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free … Along the way, Jim Holt also introduces the reader to the philosophy of mathematics, theology, physics, ontology, epistemology, and other subjects.[1][2][5]. 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? The whole group of universes, if there are indeed more than one, is commonly called the multiverse. 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. The second law of thermodynamics, that most existentially resonant of … Why, Holt wonders, does the multiverse exist, if the multiverse is the answer to why the world exists? So, he wasn't forced by lack of funds, time, or physical disability from seeking answers further afield. i.e. Why Does the Universe Exist? 10 mysteries of the universe: Why does anything exist at all? Why Does the Universe Exist and Other Things We Cannot Know. Lewis’s point is that religion and philosophy study the abstract question of why humans do things, while … 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 … so the question wo. The universe shouldn't exist, scientists say after finding bizarre behaviour of anti-matter. Jim Holt’s recent book, Why Does the World Exist? Anyhow, it's fascinating stuff. You also can read online Why The Universe Exists and write the review about the book. Why Does the World Exist?, By Jim Holt. A comforting balm. In this excerpt from his new book, Our Mathematical Universe, M.I.T. Why is there something instead of nothing? In their new book, "The Grand Design," phyicists Stephen Hawking and Len Mlodinow tackle the ultimate meaning of life questions: why does the universe behaves the way it does and why do we exist? professor Max Tegmark explores the possibility that math does not just describe the universe, but makes the universe … 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). : An Existential Detective Story” as Want to Read: Error rating book. 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. I was furious, outraged, bombastic. 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. It's a classical philosophical question. Why is there — Okay. Three cheers for deep thought and wild conjecture! Most people have heard of the possibility of more than one universe from science fiction stories and movies. A nice, well written survey of contemporary metaphysics/science, mostly trying to explain "why there is something rather than nothing". This may sound like the dumbest of questions, for we know our universe is all the matter and energy that inhabits space and time. But many cosmologists now believe there are other “universes”, and perhaps our universe arose from one of them. Why is there something instead of nothing? Why does the universe exist? I was hooked as I'm sure most of you reading a review of this book would have been. How can people get away with such partial and idiotic arguments, and how can anyone take them seriously. 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 a precise sense, "electron" and "quark" are just names for human convenience, to indicate that they are two different stuff. Science cannot answer the deepest questions. Why does the universe exist? : An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt "Why Does the World Exist?" Okay. 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. ? Nor would it make a difference if there is a God, who caused the rest of the Universe to exist. 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