Jim Holt has a new book out with the provocative title Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story, featuring encounters with the mathematician Roger Penrose, author John Updike, physicist Steven Weinberg, philosopher Adolf Grünbaum, and theologian Richard Swinburne, among others.
David Ulin at the L.A. Times summarizes:
That question — "Why is there something rather than nothing?" — occupies the center of Holt's book, which is by turns a philosophical and scientific inquiry, written through a broadly personal lens. Beginning with his discovery of this "ultimate why question" as a teenager reading Heidegger, Holt frames his investigation as a series of conversations with luminaries from the academic and cultural worlds.