By Jan Baars
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Additional resources for Ageing, meaning and social structure : connecting critical and humanistic gerontology
I wish to be a subject, not an object; to be moved by reasons, by conscious purposes, which are my own, not by causes which affect me, as it were, from outside. I wish to be somebody, not nobody; a doer – deciding, not being decided for, self-directed and not acted upon by external nature or by other men as if I were a thing, or an animal, or a slave incapable of playing a human role, that is, of conceiving goals and policies of my own and realising them. (Berlin, 1958, p 8) Because he feared paternalism from party, state and church, Berlin himself preferred a notion of freedom as non-interference.
In this way one becomes an autonomous person. This ideal stems from Romanticism and can be characterised with the following quote:‘There is a certain way of being human that is my way. I am called up to live my life in this way, and not in imitation of anyone else’s. But this gives a new importance to being true to myself. If I am not, I miss the point of my life, I miss what is being human for me’ (Taylor, 1991, p 28). Taylor, however, rejects pure self-centredness and the inner monologue. He claims that authenticity should have two qualities.
The virtues then served the practice, the participants and the tradition from which this practice sprang. In contrast to MacIntyre, most modern virtue ethicists are not anti-modernist (Slote, 1992; Ruddick, 1989; Sennett, 1998). The ethics of virtue is a modern form of moral education, directed at the formation of character with virtues such as discipline, integrity, openness, respect, responsibility, tolerance and care. Ethics of care Carol Gilligan’s book In a different voice (1982) is often mentioned as a starting point for the ethics of care.
Ageing, meaning and social structure : connecting critical and humanistic gerontology by Jan Baars