© 2016

The Palgrave Handbook of the Philosophy of Aging

  • Geoffrey Scarre

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Geoffrey Scarre
    Pages 1-10
  3. The Meaning of Aging

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Christine Overall
      Pages 13-30
    3. Jan Baars
      Pages 69-86
    4. Geoffrey Scarre
      Pages 87-99
    5. Charles Taliaferro, Meredith Varie
      Pages 101-113
    6. Audrey L. Anton
      Pages 115-134
    7. Kristana Arp
      Pages 135-148
  4. The Experience of Aging

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 169-169
    2. Christopher Cowley
      Pages 187-206
    3. Michael Bavidge
      Pages 207-224
    4. Russell Woodruff
      Pages 225-245
    5. Charles Taliaferro, Meredith Varie
      Pages 247-260
    6. Helen Small
      Pages 261-281
    7. Julian C. Hughes
      Pages 283-303

About this book


This comprehensive handbook presents the major philosophical perspectives on the nature, prospects, problems and social context of age and aging in an era of dramatically increasing life-expectancy. Drawing on the latest research in gerontology, medicine and the social sciences, its twenty-seven chapters examine our intuitions and common sense beliefs about the meaning of aging and explore topics such as the existential experience of old age, aging in different philosophical and religious traditions, the place of the elderly in contemporary society and the moral rights and responsibilities of the old. This book provides innovative and leading-edge research that will help to determine the parameters of the philosophy of aging for years to come.


Key Features

•       Structured in four parts addressing the meaning, experience, ethics and future of aging

•       Comprehensive ethical coverage including of the retirement age, health-care for the elderly and the transhumanist life-extending project

•       Focused treatment of the dementia ‘epidemic’ and the philosophy of the mind and self


The Palgrave Handbook of the Philosophy of Aging is an essential resource for scholars, researchers and advanced students in the philosophy of the self, moral and political philosophy, bioethics, phenomenology, narrative studies and philosophy of economics. It is also an ideal volume for researchers, advanced students and professionals in gerontology, health care, psychology, sociology and population studies.  


age aging old age philosophy reigion death gerontology dementia health care transhumanism filial duties retirement children developmental psychology ethics moral phenomenology politics psychology social philosophy

Editors and affiliations

  • Geoffrey Scarre
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PhilosophyDurham UniversityDurhamUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Geoffrey Scarre is Professor of Philosophy at Durham University, UK.  In recent years he has taught and published mainly in moral theory and applied ethics.  His books include Utilitarianism (1996), After Evil: Responding to Wrongdoing (2004), Death (2007) and On Courage (2010). He is a director of the Durham University Centre for the Ethics of Cultural Heritage. 

Bibliographic information


“The Palgrave Handbook of the Philosophy of Aging is well executed and remedies a fault in the literature. I recommend it for scholars in aging studies, regardless of whether they are psychologists, sociologists, geriatricians, or other. Among its uses are as a general text for philosophy of aging courses and as a reference for persons who work in research or a profession associated with aging.” (Lauren S. Seifert, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 62 (26), June, 2017)