July 29, 2004

Youth and Age

One's life does not start over every morning. I was reminded of this last night, reading W.B. Gallie's An English School, an account of this philosopher's time at a British boarding school. Gallie is sensitive to the presence of the past. He is aware that his present energy is derived from quite early experiences, to which he must keep returning to draw inspiration and encouragement and illumination. Gallie generalizes Freud's point about early traumas to a general view about the presence of the past and the power of the past in the present.

Two suggestions from this: the impulse to preserve childhood is an impulse to preserve the later maturity of children, to give adulthood a foundation in memory and experience. Also, there is a natural alliance between adults and children: children are the reminders by which adults can recover the central examples for their concepts and the wellsprings of their energy.

There may be some absolute necessity to inter-generational education.

Posted by shea0017 at 9:00 AM