The Coming of Age. Personal Identity, Well-Being, and Justice in an Ageing Society
San Raffaele School of Philosophy 2023
October 4th–6th, 2023
Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan
Faculty of Philosophy
Palazzo Arese-Borromeo – Cesano Maderno
Accepted papers will be published in a Special Issue of Phenomenology and Mind.
Population ageing is a central phenomenon of our contemporary age. It appears as a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon that, due to its existential, ethical, social, and political dimensions, offers a fruitful field for philosophical investigation.
For instance, the phenomenon of ageing societies requires new directions of research both on the peculiar existential aspects of the elderly’s lives and on the intergenerational relations that characterize the different types of social unities of our lifeworld. In this regard, a phenomenologically oriented ontology of the old person, which investigates the multifaceted ways in which one’s sense of oneself as an embodied person can change in aging, appears crucial. Correspondently, in the perspective of social ontology, interpersonal relations, as well as forms of we-agency and collective intentionality, should be reconsidered, taking aging and intergenerational issues into account, in order to outline an ontological, social, and normative model addressing age-based discrimination and inequality at the level of law, justice and health care.
When it comes to the elderly, moreover, a redefinition of the criteria for well-being and social solidarity seems to be necessary, considering that the specific vulnerabilities of the elderly change the perceived value of several capabilities, with respect to younger populations. Such a redefinition can be of inspiration for public policies aimed to provide sufficient levels of quality of life for the entire elderly population. Nonetheless, the social and economic differences among the elderly often create disparities of treatment for analogous diseases or conditions. These disparities constitute forms of inequality that must be corrected, so that issues of intra-generational justice, besides inter-generational ones, arise and require investigation.
Philosophically, it is also crucial to focus on the various specific vulnerabilities that ageing presents, from the likelihood of social isolation to ageism, to the vulnerabilities connected to health issues. In such a context, an investigation on the duty to care, be it grounded on empathy and solidarity or on justice, appears crucial.
The San Raffaele School of Philosophy 2023 seeks to investigate these and related issues by hosting lectures by invited scholars and contributions by PhD students, post-docs, and experienced researchers selected by a double-blind peer review process.
The School is organized within the “Ageing well in an ageing society” (Age-It) Research Project (Spokes 7 and 10) (code: PE00000015) funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR) and the European Union within the NextGenerationEU program.