Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Coincidence - J. W. Ironmonger

The perfect book to take on a cruise; philosophical yet not too heavy. A young woman comes to a professor who analyzes the probability of what seem to be coincidences, to assert her belief that she is predetermined to die based on the coincidences that have aligned in her life.

The professor takes on her case to disprove coincidences as a case for predetermination and the existence of a God.  The book explores the meaning of serendipity, luck, miracles and our tendency to look for non-randomness in a random world.

The woman advocates coincidences as evidence of someone being in control claiming that "everything happens for a reason but not always a good reason"and argues that he "can't dismiss my views simply because they make no sense to you".

The professor points out the lazy logic of claiming something was caused by something that happened before it just because the result occurred after the initial event; the Latin being "post hoc ergo propter hoc" literally "after this, therefore because of this".

There's a lot of strange happenings in the woman's life and the story gets messy and runs down some dead ends making for a sloppy path to the end.  The professor falls in love; he confesses that someone must be in control of everything but finds it hard to believe.

My take away was that we are all responsible for our own problems or at least the attitude we take toward them.

Published: 2014  Read: October 2015  Genre: Fiction, Philosophy

ISBN-13: 978-0062309891

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