We all age differently, but we can learn from shared experiences and insights. The conversations, or paired essays, in Aging Thoughtfully combine a philosopher's approach with a lawyer-economist's.
Here are ideas about when to retire, how to refashion social security to help the elderly poor, how to learn from King Lear - who did not retire successfully - and whether to enjoy or criticize anti-aging cosmetic procedures. Some of the concerns are practical: philanthropic decisions, relations with one's children and grandchildren, the purchase of annuities, and how to provide for care in old age. Other topics are cultural, ranging from the treatment of aging women in a Strauss opera and
various popular films, to a consideration of Donald Trump's (and other men's) marriages to much younger women.
These engaging, thoughtful, and often humorous exchanges show how stimulating discussions about our inevitable aging can be, and offer valuable insight into how we all might age more thoughtfully, and with zest and friendship.
Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Love's Knowledge, Sex and Social Justice, Animal Rights (edited with Cass Sunstein), From Disgust to Humanity, and Philosophical Interventions, among many. Saul Levmore is Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School. He is the co-author of American Guy: Masculinity in American Law and Literature.
IntroductionChapter 1. Learning from King Lear: What can we learn about aging from Shakespeare's Lear?Chapter 2. Must We Retire?: Is mandatory retirement a good idea?Chapter 3. Aging with Friends: How are friendships different as we age?Chapter 4. Aging Bodies: Are cosmetic surgeries good or bad?Chapter 5. Looking Back: What is gained from regret, or from living in the moment?Chapter 6. Romance and Sex beyond Middle-Age: Does age matter?Chapter 7. Inequality and an Aging Population: To what are the elderly entitled?Chapter 8. Giving it Away: How should we part with wealth and time?