Monday, July 23, 2012
Spengler reviews Why Does the World Exist?
In the first pages of his new book, Jim Holt misquotes my old professor, Columbia University philosopher Sidney Morgenbesser: "Professor Morgenbesser, why is there something rather than nothing?" a student asked him one day. To which Morgenbesser replied, "Oh, even if there was nothing, you still wouldn't be satisfied."
Morgenbesser actually said: "If there was nothing, you'd also complain." There's a world of difference, as we shall see, between "not being satisfied" and "complaining". Part of the difference, of course, is the unmistakably Jewish irony directed at the German philosopher Martin Heidegger, a member of the Nazi party. Heidegger's famous question, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" is the opening challenge of the German philosopher's famous essay "What is Metaphysics?"
The opening challenge of the "What is Metaphysics?" lecture is: What is Metaphysics? "Why is there something instead of nothing?" starts the Introduction to Metaphysics. More misconstrual about nothing follows.
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