Penguin Book

Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

Leszek Kolakowski

Can nature make us happy? How can we know anything? What is justice? Why is there evil in the world? What is the source of truth? Is it possible for God not to exist? Can we really believe what we see?

There are questions that have intrigued the world's great thinkers over the ages that still touch a chord in all of us today. They are questions that teach us about the way we live, work, relate to each other and see the world. Here Leszek Kolakowski explores the essence of these ideas, introducing figures from Socrates to Thomas Aquinas, Descartes to Nietzsche and concentrating on one single important philosophical question from each of them.

Whether reflecting on good and evil, truth and beauty, faith and the soul, or free will and consciousness, Leszek Kolakowski shows that these timeless ideas remain at the very core of our existence.

Leszek Kolakowski grew up during the German occupation of Poland in the Second World War. Unable to attend school, he took his exams as a student in the underground school system, eventually studying philosophy and becoming professor at Warsaw University in 1959. A early supporter of Communism, a trip to Moscow in 1950 led him to become aware of 'the enormity of material and spiritual desolation caused by the Stalinist system.' Ultimately his philosophical works were banned, he was dismissed from the Communist party and eventually sent into exile, teaching in the United States and Britain. He became a senior research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford in 1970 and has remained there ever since. 

One of the most influential philosophers of his time, he has received numerous awards and in 2004 was awarded the first ever one million dollar Kluge Prize by the American Library of Congress - the Nobel Prize for Human Sciences.

Publication date
  • Philosophy and Religion
Format TPS
150 x 100mm
Hachette Book Group US (Basic Books) (PRH Rights)
Leszek Kolakowski
Leszek Kolakowski
Leszek Kolakowski
Audio (Unabridged)
Leszek Kolakowski
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