The long road to adulthood

The long road to adulthood

Interview with Pierre-Henri Tavoy and Eric Deshavannom

Pierre-Henri Tavoy (Pierre-Henri Tavoillot) and Eric Deshavann (Eric Deschavanne) - Sorbonne university teachers, where they both teach in the College of Philosophy. They are authors of the book "The philosophy of the ages" ( "Philosophie des ages de la vie", Grasset, 2007).

According to Eric Deshavanna and Pierre-Henri Tavoy, in how we conceptualize our relationship with time, two scenarios prevail today. The first, optimistic, talking about "the disappearance of the age", that is most important - each to be himself, no matter how many years has run its "counter". The second, more pessimistic approach declares "war generation", in which the old and the young are called to fight against each other, just as in the caste society. But philosophers believe that the truth is outside of these two scenarios and is to rethink the idea of ​​coming of age, beginning to consider the maturity, not as a final state, but as a process.

In the face of this confusion of views and concepts of philosophy offered to each person (as well as political institutions) look at the problem from different periods of our lives differently. Redefined childhood, not to succumb to the dictates of "eternal youth", to take maturity and, finally, to continue with interest to live in old age - these are the area of ​​freedom, that they invite us to explore. Of course, everything in order.

to redefine childhood

Psychologies: Why is it necessary to revise the presentation of the first epoch in the life?

Pierre-Henri Tavoy: Consider a frequent phenomenon: parents want their children to develop ahead, as they say, "no data", but hardly put up with the fact that he grows up and moves away. We seemed to want to see the child's development was possible earlier, maturing and - later as possible. Modern education is constantly oscillates between two poles: on the one hand, the child is regarded as a special creature into a special world - the world of innocence, imagination and play; On the other hand, it from the beginning perceived as an adult, have a critical mind and full independence. In both cases, it is, in fact, there is no need to grow: it is either eternal child or an adult. How do you define childhood?

Eric Deshavann: We are repelled by such a question, "What is the opposite of the child" and came to the conclusion that the antipode of a child - it's not an adult and no longer young, but he who does not want to grow, such as Peter Pan . A child just more than anything else wants to grow. You do not need to protect the child, and it is his desire to grow. Meanwhile, all current legislation prevents him gain responsibility. The same is the problem of the child, which is very much like ... But if the parents "wishes kid" confident that they so passionately like a teenager or an adult? Therefore, the question of how and why to grow again rises sharply in adolescence.

The philosophy of childhood

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) It is considered the "inventor of the child" as a separate full-fledged life pores. Child - "There are actions and thought," which is necessary to allocate a special place and who is eligible for weakness. Rousseau distinguishes three phases: the first - a purely sensual, where the child lives, but not aware of this report; the second begins with the appearance of speech that speaks of openness "different" and therefore an awareness of itself; Finally, the third phase corresponds to the output from the age of weakness and the approach to adolescence.

This "Emile", 1762; JJ Rousseau's "Works," Amber tale of 2001.

I do not agree with the dictates of "eternal youth"

You describe the cult of youth that has engulfed our society. Where did this craze?

P.-A. T .: Early in the modern world - this age-symbol erected on a pedestal. This is the age of freedom, open possibilities, when a person has not become numb to any one role, when it seems that all the doors are open. But that's how today's humanism describes a man: he is able to self-improvement is not limited to any one state. For us, freedom - is the ability to consciously act within the limits of our finite existence, but because the youth becomes the embodiment of the ideals today. Mainly for the majority of our contemporaries, it becomes an idea of ​​what the young will change and transform our world. Probably because the youth is perceived as something pure, unspoiled ...

It is not that mature from now no one wants, and that is difficult to become an adult.

E. D .: Yes. And compared to the ideal of freedom of youth entry into adult life can be experienced as deprivation of her disappointment. Adult causes aversion: he parted with freedom, becoming isolated in their professional and family roles. Through the support of the adult way of inert existence in captivity social norms that interfere with a person to be himself. All these unpleasant consequences of the cult of youth. In addition, the young has become clear that becoming an adult is not so simple. Their adolescence lasts forever, and it's not so much in their desire to remain eternally young, but in the fact, that correspond to the image of the adult is difficult, it requires a lot of effort! Adulthood starts later today and is accompanied by greater uncertainty (because of family instability, threatening unemployment ...), but our desire for self-realization and the ambitions of going wild. All these contradictions make us a constant concern. Today, anyone, regardless of age, may feel that he is still far from mature, "I miss the culture, character, and I have so much still needs to do", etc. The crisis, therefore, is not that to grow from now on nobody.. He does not want, but the fact that it is difficult to become an adult.

The long road to adulthood

Take a maturity of

Have a family, work, financial independence - unless it is not meant to be an adult?

P.-A. T .: The novelty today is that you can enter into adulthood, and not as an adult. Previously considered an adult family man, a soldier, a citizen, which, incidentally, excluded women! These senses are gone, erased. Maturity we see now is not like an achievement, but as a permanent development. This horizon. And the nature of the horizon is that you can not reach it ... You mention Zinedine Zidane, who has reached 35 years of maturity of the ideal, which is currently scheduled as a teenager ...

P.-A. T .: When Zidane retired from the sport, another great football player Michel Platini said: "He is to be noted that, ceasing to play, you start to grow up." It turns out that the athletes - it nevyrosshie teenagers who immediately become younger pensioners. They jump through adulthood. Maybe that's why they and admire. Freud said that man becomes an adult when learns to love and to work, and I would add that when learns to do something, and another simultaneously. It is difficult, because the adult - is often "the one who does not have time." But our era does not abandon the ideal of maturity. Just his criteria have become very individual. Ask friends, when they become adults? Each line will be their first child, the first salary ... There is no more common rituals, and has a step which is part of personal destiny.

And yet there is the ideal of maturity?

E. D .: First, it is an experience which helps to cope with what you have not experienced before. Second, the responsibility when you are responsible not only for their own actions, but also for others who give without expecting anything in return. It is a form of parenting, even if you do not have children ... And, finally, the identity itself. We need a synthesis of these three dimensions: experience as a relationship to the world, as a relationship of responsibility to others, and authenticity as a relationship to himself. The purpose of man is a kind of supreme harmony, reconciliation with themselves, with others and with the world. This is a very difficult task, which was once a lot of sages, now becomes our common lot.

the young philosopher

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) Sartre appreciates the "age of opportunity" and describes the adult maturity as a little death. Youth - the age when we are destroying the conventions inherited from childhood. Sartre openly encourages the young to revolt, "not red because you want to reach the moon, we need it."

This J.-P. Sartre "Being and Nothingness", 1943; Terra 2002.

To live truly in old age

You say, in life there are times when there is a feeling of some kind of stability. At this point, it begins an old age?

P.-A. T .: Getting old is not the end of the "maturation", is the time when the maturity of becoming deeper and wider. Often you can hear that in our world, with its cult of the "effectiveness" of aging has become meaningless. This is not true. Look at the famous athletes, which the whole world admires: footballer Zinedine Zidane, boxer Muhammad Ali ... They're retired! People who live "life balance" and have no one to compete ... This status is very important in our consumer society, this condition for the preservation of social ties and confidence. In our opinion, one of the most successful models of this age - the model of traditional societies where aging, one becomes great in proportion as it approaches to the understanding of the meaning of the past.

Psychoanalyst Jean-Bertrand Pont Talis (Jean-Bertrand Pontalis) states that mental health - is the ability to internally back to my-child-teen myself, imagine an adult.

E. D .: This is close to the position of Victor Hugo: "One of the perks of old age - have also besides their age all the others." Retirement age paradoxically becomes the age of possibilities, you can travel back to the student's desk, to live another life. But it has a limit. Then comes the "second" old age, with her arrival everything slows down, narrows the horizon. Deprived of autonomy and the opportunity to develop, a person runs the risk of losing yourself. For others this is another reason not to cease to see it as a person. We all hope to die "on the run", but it is our duty - it is impossible to be prepared for independent life, both your own and our loved ones. Old age - is not a disease, and it is not necessary to think that it is enough care and treatment. The old man must be accompanied by - a complex, important task of society. Today, the age - this is not a social role, and frequently an existential crisis. And every such crisis the person needs help to rethink and survive.

The philosophy of old age

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) According to Montaigne, old age, - leisure time, entertainment, disappearances load of tasks and responsibilities. The old man, whose future contracts, knows the value of every moment. In old age, "we experience our human destiny as something integral, and not just any one, stripped-down part"; at this age can be "lawfully enjoy the fact that you live."

This Montaigne "experience", 1595; Eksmo, 2007.

mature philosophy of

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) According to Hegel, man has reached maturity of the pores, when he gave up his dreams and decided to accept the reality. Accept reality is a step towards wisdom and the necessary conditions in order to be happy. Entry into adulthood thus relates to the timing of the start of reconciliation with the world. This reconciliation takes place through a painful mourning for what Hegel calls the "moral view of the world."

This GWF Hegel "Phenomenology of Spirit", 1807; Science 2006.