This book explores the question of why there is something instead of nothing. Several responses to this question are possible, but only some of them address the question seriously, respecting its emotional aspects as well as its cognitive dimension. The author carefully distinguishes those answers that are truly satisfactory, in both respects, from those that are inadequate. It can be argued that the existence of the world has no explanation at all, or that there is a necessary being whose existence is self-explanatory, or that the world exists because it has value. Each kind of response is defensible to some degree, and it is argued that where they are defensible, they have a common content. Incorporating aspects of both the 'analytical' and 'continental' traditions, this book also responds to several historical philosophers concerned with these questions, including Plato, Leibniz, Kant and Nietzsche.
Contents: The fundamental question of metaphysics; The deflationary response; Necessitarian answers; Ultimate values; The gift of being; Index.