is a philosophy discussion group meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of every month
from 7.30 to 9.30pm
in the The Bull
in Tanners Street. We cover a large range of topics
. If you have an idea for a topic that you would like us to cover why not drop us a line
? There's no charge for membership and everyone is welcome to drop in. Just bring your brain and some beer money!
Ageing, Old Age and Ageism
Our topic is old age and ageism. Here are some statistics to mull over before the discussion:
- Global life expectancy has doubled in the last 140 years: 2/3 of that increase has been since 1900
- In 1901 37% deaths were between ages 0-4; 12% deaths over 75.
- In 1999 0.8% deaths were between ages 0-4; 64% deaths over 75.
- 100,000 people currently in their 40s will live to over 100.
The medical historian, the late Roy Porter, reflecting on these trends worried that the “ignominious destiny” of medicine in the future would be “bestowing meagre increments of unenjoyed life”.
are we all set for a long, drawn-out process of decline or can most of us look forward to a long period of healthy, active retirement a predicted by Ray Tallis?
Is The Ageing Population a Threat To Sustainable Health Care?
- Paper by Pofessor Raymond Tallis, Professor of Geriatric Medicine,
University of Manchester British Association for the Advancement of Science.
Are we destined for a frail old age?
- Most people would jump at the chance of living longer. After spending
40 years working the thought of a long, relaxing retirement seems appealing.
Experts predict health care costs are going to rise over the coming years.
But if a longer life meant an increase in the length of ill health would people
still feel the same?
Replacement body parts offer active old age for future pensioners
- A generation set to live to 100 will benefit from from £50m bio-technology
research project. Expect not only a ripe old age but a fit old age, scientists
said yesterday at the launch of a research initiative on replacing worn-out body
parts and allowing everyone to be as active in their second half-century as they
were in their first. More than half of all babies born today in rich nations will
live to be 100, according to research published recently in the Lancet. But as
joints begin to crumble, arteries fur up and teeth fall out, the prospect may not
always be a happy one. (Guardian.co.uk – 20 Oct 2009)
Old age begins at 27: Scientists reveal new research into ageing
- Old age is often blamed for causing us to misplace car keys, forget a
word or lose our train of thought. But new research shows that many well-known
effects of ageing may start decades before our twilight years. According to scientists,
our mental abilities begin to decline from the age of 27 after reaching a peak at 22.
(15 Mar 2009)
Old faces, new lives
- Why do we think old age is a burdensome, debilitated state?
Raymond Tallis says it is because we cannot conceive of life beyond
children and careers. Last week came the news that an estimated 100,000
people in Britain now in their thirties will live to be 100. In the United States,
most middle-aged Americans have more living grandparents than children, and
senior citizens outnumber teenagers. (Raymond Tallis – 9 July 1999)
Raymond Tallis – Living longer, healthier lives
- Given that most people think that it is better to be alive than dead,
one might expect that the increased longevity of the population would have been
greeted with universal joy. (The Times – 22 Oct 2005)
Biology & Philosophy of Growing Old
- The human race has spent millennia celebrating, damning and defying old age.
But understanding it, from a scientific standpoint, has long proved elusive.
Why does the body alter so dramatically with time? In the past decade,
new tools and fresh ideas have started to give researchers a grip on the
‘what’ of ageing - the complex changes that go on within the
body‘s cells over time. They even have some inkling as to the ‘how’
of ageing, the biochemical processes which may trigger these cellular phenomena.
But why the body should become more prone to these pressures in the first place
is much debated. Ageing is one of nature‘s almost universal phenomena
– virtually all multicellular creatures, if given a
chance, will go through the process -- but still one of its most mysterious.
Evolutionary theories of aging
- Before the theory of evolution, the process of aging was seen
in the same way that moving parts wear out, machines break down,
and all things seem to slowly deteriorate over time. After the development
of evolutionary theory, scientists began to wonder why evolution had produced
such complex and well-adapted creatures that were so successful at surviving
from conception through to adulthood, but which then fell into decay and died.
- Ageism is stereotyping and prejudice against individuals or
groups because of their age. The term was coined in 1969 by US gerontologist
Robert N. Butler to describe discrimination against seniors and patterned on
sexism and racism. The term has also been used to describe discrimination against
teens and children, by ignoring their ideas because they‘re young or by #
assuming that they should behave a certain way because of their age.
- Help the Aged website