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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Dementia is dead, long live aging! This chapter sets out the philosophical sources for understanding working with "dementia." The concept, "dementia," serves no useful purpose. Even "Alzheimer's disease" turns out to be problematic. This is because there is a lack of precision around the boundaries of these notions. The messiness that surrounds these notions, in terms of facts and values, is made obvious when we consider mild cognitive impairment, which is said to be a pre-dementia state. It makes more biological sense to think in terms of the ageing brain, rather than to search for discrete disease entities. We need to think in terms of dementia-in-the-world. Ageing is not something that we do solely at the end of our lives: it is a part of our lives, to be celebrated. We must look more broadly at dementia-in-the-world as a (biological, psychological, social, and spiritual) feature of our ageing lives.

Keywords: ageing, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, essentialism, facts, mild cognitive impairment, natural kinds, nominalism, solicitude, values

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