"The strolls of a sceptic through the debris of culture—rubble and dust as far as the eye can see. The wanderer has found everything already in ruins, furrowed down and across by the plough of unremitting human thought. The wanderer puts forth his walking stick with caution; then he comes to a halt, leaning on it, and smiles."
- Bruno Schulz, The Wanderings of a Sceptic
Stephen Hawking in his new book, The Grand Design, throws down a challenge to all those philosophers who pretend to deal with the great questions:
Why is there something rather than nothing?
Why do we exist?
Why this particular set of laws and not some other?
He goes on the say that at one time these questions were for philosophy, but now, he tells us - "philosophy is dead".  He attacks philosophy saying that it "has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge" (GD: Loc 42). The arrogance with which he states this position is almost that of and old time dogmatist in its scathing belittlement of philosophy and philosophers.
Just for the fun of it let's take him at his word and see just what he's up to with his game of science taking the full helm of traditional metaphysical thought from philosophy, and discover what answers he provides to the questions above.
He starts with the first question: Why is there something rather than nothing? He tells us that "spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist" (GD: Loc 1,819). In chapter three we discovered that the origin of the universe was a quantum event, and that it should be accurately described by Feynman's sum over histories method. In essence, Feynman demonstrated that subatomic particles traverse infinite paths through spacetime, implicating infinite histories for any one particle. Stephen Hawking explains:
"With each trajectory Feynman associated two numbers, one for the size – the amplitude – of a wave and one for its phase – whether it is a crest or a through. The probability of a particle going from A to B is found by adding the up the waves associated with every possible path that passes through A and B."