Paula's Reviews > Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story

Why Does the World Exist? by Jim Holt
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Sep 12, 12

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in September, 2012

An exuberant romp of a book. Holt ponders that most enduring & impossible of questions: why is there something rather than nothing. All well & good & I enjoyed the ride, even though one should know from the outset that nothing will be decided. The author won't even get to the bottom of what exactly "nothing" IS. But that's to be expected & doesn't diminish the pleasure of the quest. 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). 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. The author seems very willing to travel, since he crossed the Atlantic to Paris & London several times. So, he wasn't forced by lack of funds, time, or physical disability from seeking answers further afield. 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. I have to assume that an exclusionary principle operated at the level of personal inclination, or disinclination, as it were. Such thoughts did spoil the fun a bit, I must admit.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy I wondered about this too. There must be non-white, non-male, non-American/British/French people with ideas about the origin of everything. At least Buddhism got a nod.


Qmmayer Excellent point that had not occurred to me when reading, sadly enough.


message 3: by Aaron (new)

Aaron Why are you so caught up on the fact he didn't interview women? Seems silly and pointless.


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