Η διδασκαλία του Αριστοτέλους για το γήρας από κοινωνική άποψη
The paper begins with a brief study of the reasons for the creation of gerontology as a science in recent years – e.g. the relaxation of family institutions and the insistence on human rights – as well as its aims and branches. There follows an examination of Aristotle’s views on old age. Aristotle is convinced that the old have qualities of character opposite to those of the young. The old think that evil is the rule rather than the exception in the nature of human affairs. They claim nothing with persistence, they admire everything less than they should and they know nothing with certainty. This is the result, according to Aristotle, of the bitter experience which they have endured in the past. They are also malicious, suspicious, mean-spirited, illiberal, grasping cowardly, clinging to life, selfish, shameless, pessimistic and forgetful. The old prefer the useful to the enjoyable; for this reason their friendships are easily broken, since pleasure in company is indispensable for the formation of a secure friendship. Aristotle is of the opinion that the old should keep away from public affairs, because there is also an old age of the mind and because they accept bribes. However, he regards it as a duty of the young to give honour and reverence to their elders, who have gained valuable experience. Many of the views of Aristotle have been verified by contemporary gerontologists.