Moving the Soil

Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?
23 Questions from Great Philosophers
Leszek Kolakowski
Basic Books, $20, 223 pp.

Many books meant to serve as introductions to philosophy tend to have roughly the same effect as the average introductory undergraduate course in the subject: the student moves from puzzlement to confusion and then on to intellectual despair, all along growing more and more bewildered as to why anyone would have taken up this strange pursuit in the first place. Philosophy turns out to be a queer and unsettling enterprise: we demolish our most deeply held beliefs and...

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About the Author

John Schwenkler is a PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley.