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Why? The Purpose of the Universe

Philip (Professor of Philosophy, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Durham University) Goff
Format: Hardback
Publisher: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
Published: November 9, 2023
ISBN: 9780198883760
208 pages
Country of publication: United Kingdom

£14.99

Why are we here? What’s the point of existence? On the ‘big questions’ of meaning and purpose, Western thought has been dominated by the dichotomy of traditional religion and secular atheism. In this pioneering work, Philip Goff argues that it is time to move on from both God and atheism. Through an exploration of contemporary cosmology and cutting-edge philosophical research on consciousness, Goff argues for cosmic purpose: the idea that the universe is directed towards certain goals, such as the emergence of life.

In contrast to religious thinkers, Goff argues that the traditional God is a bad explanation of cosmic purpose. Instead, he explores a range of alternative possibilities for accounting for cosmic purpose, from the speculation that we live in a computer simulation to the hypothesis that the universe itself is a conscious mind. Goff scrutinizes these options with analytical rigour, laying the foundations for a new paradigm of philosophical enquiry into the middle ground between God and atheism. Ultimately, Goff outlines a way of living in hope that cosmic purpose is still unfolding, involving political engagement and a non-literalist interpretation of traditional religion.

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