Lee Holz's Reviews > The Art of Choosing

The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar
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's review
Dec 06, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 06 to 09, 2011

The Art of Choosing is an interesting, entertaining and useful book. It focuses heavily on the, psychology of making choices and psychological effects of being faced with and making choices. This focus is understandable because the author is a psychologist. However, she also examines the biological, sociological, economic, cultural and political aspects of choosing. The book is practical rather than philosophical in its approach and purpose. However, profound philosophical and theological premises underlie the work. Author Iyvengar says on more than one occasion that the course of one’s life is determined by chance, destiny and choices. Unfortunately, she never examines the first two elements. Her inclusion of destiny may or may not have something to do with her Indian background. Some western readers might argue whether there is any such thing as destiny (karma?). More importantly assuming we have any real ability to make choices assumes free will, one of the most fundamental of theological and philosophical issues. The nature of chance is also unexamined. Some of us would argue, on scientific grounds, that randomness is built in the very nature and foundations of the universe, of reality, and that the interaction of chance and the limitations it places on choice and what the tension between these elements means for a coherent world view are questions worth exploring in any discussion of choice and choosing.


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