Why does the world exist? by Jim Holt

The physical and natural sciences investigate how the world is, its contents and relations between them. Why, though, is there anything rather than just nothing? This is a perenniel question and many thinkers cite this fact to suggest that it is really unanswerable. It may be able to be framed grammatically, yet could still be nonsense like ‘how many pink wings has the Illurian Snark?’.

These hesitations have not deterred thinkers down to the present day and Jim Holt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Holt_(philosopher)) gives us a tour of some recent grapplings with the question. Assisting in the quest are 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. You could ask six impossible things before breakfast. Or you could ask just one. It helps to have an egghead, spectacles, and a gesticulatory manner.

. 320 pages in Profile Books paperback edition.

ISBN 978-1846682452

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