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Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing Hardcover – April 8, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0199270507 ISBN-10: 0199270503

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199270503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199270507
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,997,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Bede Rundle has written what is perhaps the most thought-provoking contribution to atheistic philosophy of religion in recent times."--Philosophia Christi

"A valuable and...original contribution to metaphysics as a whole and, above all, a welcome contrast to much recent work of a more speculative nature."--Erik J. Olsson, Lund University

About the Author

Bede Rundle is at Trinity College, University of Oxford.

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19 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Jerome I. Weintraub on January 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Review of Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing

By Bede Rundle


Rundle answers the question on page 125: "...that there simply has to be something or other..."

And again on page 166: "...we can hold that if anything exists, matter exists, on the grounds that it is only in matter that the necessary independent existence is to be found."

And on page 183: "...since continuing in being is not something that requires explanation, the fact that the physical universe exists is not, it would appear, a fact in need of explanation."


On page 193 [the last page] he says "The resolution of our queries has been seen to come from philosophy rather than from science." And "The kinds of question which physicists address at this level overlap with those which can be reckoned philosophical, questions of meaning being inescapable for cosmologists as well as for philosophers, but showing how presuppositions behind a question have to be abandoned, that the question itself is to be rejected as resting on an illusion, is a distinctively philosophical task."

I cite this last quote to establish that Rundle's solution is based on philosophical reasoning.

Starting on page 96, Rundle covers St. Thomas Aquinas' logical proof of the existence of God. Of course, the theists claim that God created the universe out of nothing.

Rundle spends the rest of his book using logic to prove the theists are wrong. Philosophically [using logic], he covers topics such as math, future and past events, the infinite, grammar, mind, will, force, and equality [=].


I was fascinated by Rundle's arguments, although many of them are difficult to follow.
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5 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Metzner on April 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
A question-begging, circular, and ultimately confused argument. What a waste of paper. Trying to prove logically that the question is nonsensical, the author proves only that he does not understand the question. Dreary and silly.
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