Growing Old Together: A Shared Achievement

John Carvalho


In this essay, I account for what we mean by old, what it means to grow old, and what we might mean by a shared achievement in the case of growing old together. I turn to the phenomenology of Alfred Schutz for some early insights on the shared time embodied in growing older together and how a ‘werelationship’ shored up by this temporal structure is the foundation for constituting the social world. I follow Schutz’s attempt to use this temporality to describe the case of making music together and conclude that what Schutz calls growing older together is not the same as growing old together which is necessarily embodied in a way his account of making music together is not. I give an embodied, enactivist account of making music together as a performance and, drawing on recent work by Shaun Gallagher, offer an aesthetics of growing old together as a performance enacted by individuals whose intimate engagements in that performance accomplish the shared achievement of growing old together.


Anonymity; Love; Schutz; Gallagher; Performance

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ESPES. The Slovak Journal of Aesthetics (ISSN 1339-1119) is published biannually by University of Presov, Slovakia and the Society for Aesthetics in Slovakia. Registration number of the journal in the Register of Periodical Publications of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic: EV173/23/EPP.

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