Tag: Sissela Bok

  • Exercise for the Elderly

    The past year has seen mounting evidence of the strong cumulative benefits from physical activity at every age, not least for persons over 65. Yet as the time for New Year’s resolutions rolls around once again, we see the same bleak media predictions of how few people, among all those who resolve to begin a […]

  • Seamus Heaney

    Learning, today, of the death of Seamus Heaney, I first thought of his magnificent essay  contrasting two views of dying, “Joy or Night: Last Things in the Poetry of W. B. Yeats and Philip Larkin,” in his 1995 volume The Redress of Poetry.  Heaney speaks of Larkin’s stark poem “Aubade” as “treating as mystification any […]

  • Unreasonable Health Choices

    Long before reaching 65, most people know all too well the costs of decades of going against their own best interests by engaging in practices they knew carried risks for their health – as with smoking or overeating. In at least some respects, they resonate to Oscar Wilde’s “I can resist everything except temptation.” Even […]

  • Aging, Autonomy, and Social Determinants of Health

    A few weeks ago I came across notes I had written five decades ago on the subject of aging. I had been struck by a distinction drawn by David Riesman, in an essay on “Clinical and Cultural Aspects of Aging,” between the different ways in which aging takes place for three types of people.