The Long Life
By (author) Helen Small
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Long Life by Helen Small
Book DescriptionThe Long Life invites the reader to range widely from the writings of Plato through to recent philosophical work by Derek Parfit, Bernard Williams, and others, and from Shakespeare's King Lear through works by Thomas Mann, Balzac, Dickens, Beckett, Stevie Smith, Philip Larkin, to more recent writing by Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and J. M. Coetzee. Helen Small argues that if we want to understand old age, we have to think more fundamentally about what it means to be a person, to have a life, to have (or lead) a good life, to be part of a just society. What did Plato mean when he suggested that old age was the best place from which to practice philosophy - or Thomas Mann when he defined old age as the best time to be a writer - and were they right? If we think, as Aristotle did, that a good life requires the active pursuit of virtue, how will our view of later life be affected? If we think that lives and persons are unified, much as stories are said to be unified, how will our thinking about old age differ from that of someone who thinks that lives and/or persons can be strongly discontinuous? In a just society, what constitutes a fair distribution of limited resources between the young and the old? How, if at all, should recent developments in the theory of evolutionary senescence alter our thinking about what it means to grow old? This is a groundbreaking book, deep as well as broad, and likely to alter the way in which we talk about one of the great social concerns of our time - the growing numbers of those living to be old, and the growing proportion of the old to the young.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199229932
(242mm x 165mm x 25mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 20-Sep-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Helen Small
Value of the Humanities, Paperback (July 2016)
In The Value of the Humanities prize-winning critic Helen Small assesses the value of the Humanities, eloquently examining five historical arguments in defence of the Humanities.
Vanity Fair, Paperback (June 2015)
Set during the Napoleonic wars, Vanity Fair follows Becky Sharp as she cuts a swathe through Regency society. War, money, and national identity are the themes of Thackeray's great satirical novel, as it exposes a world on the make. In Becky, Thackeray created one of the most memorable female characters in Victorian fiction.
Eustace Diamonds, Paperback (May 2011)
Lizzie Eustace's determination to hold on to a fabulous diamond necklace entangles her in a web of deceit that involves her cousin and his fiancee in a story that is part sensation fiction, part detective novel, part political satire and part romance. Hugely engaging, the novel is also a highly revealing study of Victorian Britain.
Long Life, Paperback (September 2010)» View all books by Helen Small
The first major consideration of old age in Western philosophy and literature since Simone de Beauvoir's The Coming of Age, Helen Small ranges widely from Plato through to recent work by Derek Parfit, Bernard Williams and others, and from King Lear through Balzac, Dickens, Beckett, Stevie Smith, Bellow, Roth, and Coetzee.
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Author Biography - Helen Small
Helen Small was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and studied at Victoria University of Wellington and at the University of Cambridge. She taught English Literature at the University of Bristol from 1993 to 1996, and since 1996 has been Fellow in English at Pembroke College, Oxford. From 2001 to 2004 she held a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship, and was a Visiting Scholar at New York University. The Long Life was primarily written during that period.
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