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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: 05 August 2021

What Matters for Individuals in Later Life?

What Matters for Individuals in Later Life?

(p.26) 2 What Matters for Individuals in Later Life?
Ending Midlife Bias

Nancy S. Jecker

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 introduces the idea of dignity as species integrity. For human beings, respecting dignity requires making reasonable efforts to support human capabilities at a basic floor level. Human capabilities include the central kinds of things we can do and be as human beings, including capacities for a life narrative; health; bodily integrity; senses, imagination, and thought; emotions; practical reason; affiliation; relating to nature; play; and participating in the environment. Contrary to what “healthy aging” advocates claim, medical progress will not eliminate threats to these human capabilities. Chapter 2 compares dignity as species integrity with sub-Saharan African conceptions of Ubuntu, the Nguni word for “humanness.” Ubuntu prizes relational values and human capacities for harmonious relationship. The chapter concludes that to have global traction, capability lists must be balanced, life stage informed, and provisional.

Keywords:   dignity, human dignity, Ubuntu, African ethics, respect for persons, species integrity, human capabilities, healthy aging

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