Student - May 1, 2013

Twenty somethings spoiled for choice

Text:
Suzanne Overbeek

Twenty somethings are suffering from choice overload, says philosopher Joel Vos, who kicked off the Student Platform & Chaplaincy's Grand Philosophy Tour on Thursday 18 April.

Vos explained to an audience of about 150 students at KSV Franciscus Student Society that the twenty somethings of today have more freedom of choice than those of 50 or 60 years ago. 'Today's twenty someĀ­thing has a choice of 20 different kinds of rice,' he joked. But in Vos's view, this is a false freedom. 'You might be free to smoke a cigarette but if you do you will get dirty looks from other people. Of course you know that you are committing slow suicide, but it is still your choice to make.' So how free are you really to choose who you want to be?
Vos advises students facing choices to distinguish between things you must do, things you want to do and things you could do. 'Often there is an emphasis on one of these three. Perfectionists tend to have too many 'musts' in their lives, for instance, and they have a blind spot for what they could do or want to do.
The Grand Philosophy Tour consists of three lectures (in Dutch). Joke Hermsen is talking about the social media and relationships on 15 May, and Bas Haring closes the serious on 12 June with a talk on success and the urge to achieve.

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