Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt (Liveright 2012) takes up the history and contemporary thinking about what is arguably the most profound question of all in physics and its philosophy. Thompson will lead a discussion of Holt’s accessible, thought-provoking, occasionally funny, and quite well-written explication of this very difficult problem. An informal lunch will be provided.
Frank Thompson is a social scientist (Ph.D., Economics, Michigan, 1998) with a broad background in the humanities (Ph.D., Philosophy, Harvard, 1973). His teaching in the Residential College, centered in political economy including normative matters, complements his courses in the LSA Economics Department devoted to economic development, inequality, and philosophical questions arising in social science, especially in economics.
Thompson’s articles have been published in both philosophy and economics journals. A current focus of his research is intergenerational justice, i.e., how much should we save and how fast should we deplete nonrenewable natural resources.