This paper addresses the question whether gerontology can profit by relying on developments in theoretical physics and insights from the foundations of physics. After giving a brief overview on various aspects of the nature of time and age as discussed in the literature on the philosophy of physics, I critically examine an approach in gerontology (Schroots and Birren 1988, Yates 1988) that advocate the idea that aging is to be explained on a physical basis, by means of the second law of thermodynamics, and to be explicated by introducing an "intrinsic" time variable. I argue, however, that thermodynamics does not provide the desired basis for a concept of aging. Indeed I argue that the only lesson the gerontology might profitably take over from the philosophy of physics is to make a sharper conceptual distinction between the choice of a time scale and the conception of age as a dynamical variable.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||25|
|Journal||Mind and Matter|
|State||Published - Oct 31 2013|