Why grow up?

  • Susan Neiman
  • Philosophical words of cheer
  • Lecture

In our culture, childhood and youth are idealised more than Peter Pan himself would ever have dared to imagine. And everything which comes after this period of “youth” is seen as an unstoppable decline.

Susan Neiman takes offence to the widespread attitude of resignation which seems to exist in regard to adulthood. She presents new readings of the works of the great philosophers and argues, on the basis of the philosophies of Rousseau and Kant, that we must allow ourselves the freedom to want something more from life. Maturity after all doesn’t mean the end of our dreams, rather, it should be seen as a subversive ideal; maturity gives us the chance to grasp life, along with all of its contradictions, and to live it to the full.

Susan Neiman, born in 1955 in Atlanta, Georgia, taught philosophy at the University of Yale and at the University of Tel Aviv before taking over as director of the Einstein Forum in Potsdam in 2000. She lives in Berlin.

Language: German

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