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Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story (originale 2012; edizione 2013)
di Jim Holt (Autore)
Perché il mondo esiste? Una detective-story filosofica di Jim Holt (2012)
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The question, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" plagues many people, but finding its answer usually results in either accepting that there really is no answer to the question, or accepting an answer that is one of belief rather than of fact: you can BELIEVE you understand why there is something rather than nothing, but no matter how much you believe your explanation, it cannot be seen as "proven fact."
Holt does a thorough job of exploring the question. He examines the answers provided throughout history by thinkers of all sorts, and meets with contemporary thinkers from a variety of fields to examine current thinking on the question. Theologians provide one set of explanations, physicists provide another, philosophers provide yet another. And the reasoning each thinker utilizes to come to his conclusions is often complex and difficult to follow, but Holt does a good job of boiling down the experts' explanations and making them accessible to readers.
Still, this is not an "easy read" or "light summer reading." Following the thinking of those Holt includes in the book is difficult work and requires a high level of concentration by the reader, yet the result is worth it. The satisfaction of completing a book that truly makes you think, that makes you examine the things you had thought before reading the book and comparing them to what you think after reading the book, is very worthwhile. As university students, we expect to read and struggle to understand the information in our textbooks. As adults readers, we rarely get the chance or find the right book that can make us think, make us learn, and makes us examine our own ideas. For me, this book did that.
I have to say, this book fascinated me, start to finish. I've never been a real student of philosophy, so I loved this "why is there something instead of nothing?" examination, and the fact that it slid into religion as well as science.
Having said that, I'm not smart enough to fully process this book. But I absolutely walked away from it with a richer understanding of the complexity and importance of the question.
Worth the read. But yeah, my brain hurts a little bit.
Existence is awe inspiring; this universe is awe inspiring! To me, the point of this book is not really to find the one true answer to the question why all this is here, but the joy in being able to ask it in the first place. The way different human minds go about finding a possible answer is fascinating. Yes, some are very convoluted or circulatory; others brilliant in their cold logic; others again warm and fuzzy (loved the John Updike episode!). To me Jim Holt provided a light-hearted but good sample of the thinking going on. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Filled with facile analogies, stoner arguments, and philosophical word games, this was definitely not a book for me.
But if the title strikes you as a question worth pondering outside the confines of a college dorm room, then perhaps you’ll like it better than I did.
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Wikipedia in inglese (2)
'Why is there a world rather than nothing at all?' remains the most curious and most enduring of all metaphysical mysteries. Moving away from the narrower paths of Christopher Hitchens, Roger Penrose and Stephen Hawking, the celebrated essayist Jim Holt now enters this fascinating debate with his broad, lively and deeply informed narrative that traces all our efforts to grasp the origins of the universe.With sly humour and a highly original personal approach Holt takes on the role of cosmological detective. Suggesting that we might have been too narrow in limiting our suspects to God and the Big Bang, he tracks down, among others, an eccentric Oxford philosopher, a Nobel Laureate physicist, a French Buddhist monk, and John Updike just before he died, to pursue this cosmic puzzle from every angle. As he pieces together a solution - while offering useful insights into time, consciousness, and eternity - he sheds fascinating new light on the meaning of existence.A New York Times bestseller on first publication, this new paperback edition provides a much-needed new take on history's greatest conundrum, in the vein of previous bestsellers like Michael Brooks' 13 Things that Don't Make Sense.
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Sistema Decimale Melvil (DDC)113 — Philosophy and Psychology Metaphysics Life And Nature
Diventa un autore di LibraryThing.
Una edizione di quest'opera è stata pubblicata da W.W. Norton.
Not a book you can read for more than 30-40 pages at a sitting and one you may have to read a couple times to absorb. A question everyone has wondered about at some time or another -- would recommend this as a guide. It may have you asking more questions by the time you're done with it.