How to make hard choices

Big decisions are agonizingly difficult. May be we think about them in wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang in her TED talk.

Here’s a talk that could change your life. Which career should you pursue? Should you break up with your partner—or get married?! What about having children—should you or should you not? Where should you live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that’s because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. “Understanding hard choices uncovers a huge power each of us possesses,” she says.

What makes a choice difficult is how the alternatives relate. In an easy easy choice, one alternative is clearly better than the other. In a hard choice, one alternative is better in some ways while the other alternative is better in other ways, but neither is better overall.

Watch the video as Chang offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

About the speaker

Ruth Chang is an American professor of philosophy at Rutgers University. She is known for her research on the incommensurability of values and on practical reason and normativity. She is also widely known for her work on ‘hard choices’ and decision-making, and her research has been the subject of radio, newspaper, and magazine articles in the United States, Brazil, Taiwan, Austria, Australia, Canada, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom.