Justifying ageism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


The criterion of old age is what reasonable people would say about what age constituted a fair innings, and would necessarily be imprecise. The beauty of the ‘fair innings’ thesis is that it provides us with some sort of decision procedure for dealing with difficult cases, and without it we just will not know what to say when we have to chose between two individuals. Ageism is thus no less vicious a form of discrimination than racism or sexism, and there can be nothing ‘fair’ in its application to resource application. While many people would feel guilty at admitting to racist or sexist attitudes, ageist attitudes do not tend to gain the same opprobrium. It just seems natural that old people, with their greater tendency towards illness, dependency and inconvenience to others, should be expected to make way for younger people when this is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAgeing, Autonomy and Resources
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780429860799
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© A. Harry Lesser 1999. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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