The World Itself – Världen Själv

By Ulf Danielsson

THERE IS A wonderfully weird but real world out there, and we are a part of it. It is time for physics to take life seriously.

CAN WE EVER truly comprehend the universe before we fully understand consciousness and the wonders, and limits, of the mind?
Ulf Danielsson, an acclaimed theoretical physicist who has dedicated his career to probing the deepest mysteries of nature, thinks not. As he dismantles the arguments of esteemed mathematicians and scientists, who would substitute their mathematical models for reality and equate the mind to a computer, he makes a lucid and passionate case that it is nature, full of beauty and meaning, which must compel us. In challenging established worldviews, he also takes a fresh look at major philosophical debates, including the notion of free will.

FEARLESS, PROVOCATIVE, AND witty, The World Itself is essential reading for anyone curious about the profound questions surrounding life, the universe, and everything.

First published by Fri tanke, April 2020

China, Liaoning Wanrong Book Industry Development
Germany, Klett Cotta
Italy, Einaudi
Korea, East-Asia Publishing
Portugal, Guerra e Paz
US, Bellevue Literary Press

“Engrossing. . . . Danielsson’s clarity of thought and expression and his use of illuminating literary and historical references are equal to the quality of his writing. Science ‘popularizing’ doesn’t get much more comprehensible, or provocative, than this.”
– Kirkus Review 

“The World Itself offers a bold perspective on mathematics, physics, and the nature of reality. There’s much I agree with and less that I don’t, but Ulf Danielsson, a leading theoretical physicist, proves himself an insightful and patient guide through some of the universe’s deepest mysteries.”
Brian Greene, author of The Fabric of the Cosmos and Until the End of Time

“Danielsson is Sweden’s most important public writer on the implications of natural science. His lucid, powerful, passionate, and engaging work advances original arguments of great importance. The World Itself is destined to become a modern classic as it upends many of the received wisdoms about the scientific worldview.”
– Martin Hägglund,
author of This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom

“Danielsson displays a remarkably broad understanding of science and philosophy, and dispenses with false notions about the world in this brief, yet provocative book. I hope it stimulates lots of discussion and debate, as it should. For those who have thought about these issues, there is much of interest here. For those who haven’t, this is a great place to start.”
– Lawrence M. Krauss, author of A Universe from Nothing and The Known Unknown

“In this accessible and beautifully written book, Danielsson argues for views diametrically opposite to mine on the nature of intelligence, consciousness, and physical reality—I highly recommend it!”
– Max Tegmark, author of Our Mathematical Universe and Life 3.0: Being Human In the Age of Artificial Intelligence

“We do not know if the Universe is finite or infinite (…) knowledge about the Universe, however, seems to have no end in sight, as this book so aptly suggests. Reality is real, and we are faced with it..”
– Carlos Fiolhais, theoretical physicist and author

“His words are beautiful and his sentences are overflowing with all the poetic details of the universe.”
– Göteborgs Posten (Sweden)

“This criticism of the unthinking use of mathematical models should be widely discussed, especially when it comes to living organisms.”
– Falter (Germany)

“This Swedish author establishes interesting insights about the earth. His arguments are very inspiring (…) this short, coherent and very entertaining essay provides real food for thought.”
– Deutschlandfunk Kultur (Germany)