Ageing Like a Philosopher Publication date : January 14, 2015
François Galichet is a philosopher and a professor emeritus at the University of Strasbourg. A graduate of the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure, he has as agrégation in philosophy and a doctorat d’Etat.
Old age is rarely viewed as a new and enriching experience. We try to delay its onset; we don’t want to become familiar with it. And yet, what time of life is more congenial to philosophy than old age? And what subject lends itself better to philosophising than old age itself?
François Galichet shows us here how to deal philosophically with the major issues linked to old age and ageing, including the body, attitudes to death, human dignity, the significance of work, memories of the past, relations with other generations.
For example, would you describe old age simply as a progressive accumulation of illnesses, culminating in death? Or would you say that it initiates a specific relation to the body — a body that is different but not necessarily diminished or deteriorating? And what about retirement? Do you regard it as an imprescriptible right, or as an unimaginable state? Would you say that there is an age to die? In your opinion, what are the criteria that could help determine when life ceases to be dignified and worth living?
Together we should explore the significance of this stage in our lives and acknowledge its value in our journey from life to death.
• Rethinking ageing in a new, positive manner: old age offers new ways of perceiving, thinking, loving, dreaming, making choices, and of projecting oneself into the future or the past.
• An interactive work containing thought-provoking exercises based on a variety of texts, songs, videos, images, narratives and personal accounts.