A More Beautiful Question

Why Does the World Exist?
An Existential Detective Story
Jim Holt
Liveright, $27.95, 312 pp.

There is every reason in the world why this book should not exist. How can you write a breezy book about such a ponderous question? How can you do philosophy by interviewing philosophers? It seems an impossible task—like getting something from nothing—but author Jim Holt pulls it off with great verve and brio.

The premise of Why Does the World Exist? is as simple as it is maddening. Holt puts Leibniz’s famous question—“Why is...

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About the Author

Francis Kane is professor emeritus at Salisbury University and co-director of its Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. He is the author of Neither Beasts nor Gods (Southern Methodist University Press).