Analyzing Predictions: An Anthropological View of Anti-Aging Futures

Chapter

Abstract

“Anti-aging medicine” is largely built upon predictions for the future. While there are ongoing debates about the feasibility of an effective anti-aging therapy, the notion that aging can and should become a target of biomedical and scientific intervention is gaining ground in scientific and popular circles. The hopes for the future of this field are driving its pursuit and are critical to its success. Predictions are significant “players” in as much as they foster intellectual, cultural, and financial investment. To be influential, predictions must convey a sense of feasibility and morality. Anti-aging predictions invoke feasibility by outlining a history in which science is ultimately powerful and successful in contending with biological and societal problems. Moreover, these predictions depend upon a sense of aging as a biological decline that carries with it both personal and societal pain that anti-aging medicine seeks to mitigate. Thus, the future of anti-aging medicine, can be one of scientific triumph and moral good. I engage with anti-aging predictions from an anthropological perspective that treats predictions themselves as objects of analysis. This allows for an exploration of the diverse anti-aging field with an eye toward the stakes of its pursuits, the hopes it draws upon and engenders, and the cultural context in which it is emerging.

Keywords

Average Life Span Biomedical Intervention Anthropological Perspective Moral Mandate Negligible Senescence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Highland ParkUSA

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