Virtue and Age

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Elderhood—or old age, if one prefers—is a stage of life without much cultural meaning. It is generally viewed simply as a time of regrettable decline. Paying more attention to it, to its special pleasures and developmental achievements, will be helpful not only to elders but to those younger as well. I will argue that three existential tasks are central in elderhood, but also important at every other stage of adult life. I identify three: cherishing the present, accepting the past, and investing in a future broader than one’s own. Articulating these tasks is intellectually interesting, useful to elders, and should be enlightening (as well as reassuring) to younger adults.
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Archival date: 2014-01-26
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