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Ending Midlife BiasNew Values for Old Age$
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Nancy S. Jecker

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190949075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190949075.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 July 2021

Values Across the Lifespan

Values Across the Lifespan

(p.3) 1 Values Across the Lifespan
Ending Midlife Bias

Nancy S. Jecker

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 introduces the chief claim and main argument of the book, which we call the life stage relativity of values. This is the claim that different values matter more at different stages of our lives. During early life, caring, trust, and nurturing ought to figure prominently, due to the vulnerabilities and needs that characterize infancy and childhood. By young adulthood, the capacity to develop greater physical and emotional independence makes autonomy a focal value. During later life, we face heightened risk for chronic disease and disability, which makes maintaining capabilities central, and, in the face of loss, keeping dignity intact. Chapter 1 raises the concern that moral theories reflect life stage bias, in particular, midlife bias. Midlife bias consists of applying the values central during midlife to all life stages. Countering it requires addressing empirical, conceptual, and psychological naïveté and situating values within the context of life stages.

Keywords:   life stage values, life stage bias, midlife bias, implicit bias, dignity, autonomy, caring, vulnerability, capability, disability

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