When we get older… – Ideals and Standards of Ageing

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) invite PhD candidates and ReMa students to register for the Summer School When we get older… – Ideals and Standards of Ageingto take place in Summer 2023.

Organizing university

Erasmus University Rotterdam


August 22-26, 2023


Erasmus University Rotterdam

Type of activity

5-day Summer school

Primary target group

PhD candidates, 1st / 2nd year ReMa students

If places available, also open to


Application/registration deadline

The registration deadline is on August 1st 2023.

About the topic

How do we want to grow old? What standards and ideals of good ageing should be pursued in health care and health policies? These questions are becoming increasingly relevant in the context of ageing societies. A particular challenge is the increase in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – both as a societal challenge and as an individual challenge raising questions of one’s own identity and autonomy. In general, ageing is a challenge for our own self-image, our self-ideals, and our ideals of a good life. In this summer school, we will discuss and explore ideals, experiences, and artistic imaginaries of ageing from ethical, phenomenological and interdisciplinary perspectives – with a focus on the aging brain, mental health issues and neurodiversity.

Aim / objective

In this course we will, inter alia, gain a deeper understanding of the following questions:

  • What should we accept or value as phenomena of the normal ageing process? What interventions and enhancements shall be made with regard to which aspects of ageing?
  • Is there an optimal process of ageing or even the option to overcome ageing at all? To what extent should we try to prevent or slow down ageing?
  • What is the relation between physical and cognitive symptoms of ageing and mental health with regard to ideals of ageing well?
  • How can we make room for a greater diversity of desires, self-images, and life plans in the process of ageing?


This is a preliminary program. The exact order and titles of the presentations may change.

Tuesday, August 22

13:00 – 13:15 Walk in

13:15 – 13:45 Welcome & Introduction (Katharina Bauer & Maren Wehrle)

13:45 – 15:45 Student introductions & Group Work

15:45-16:00 Coffee Break

16:00 -17:30 Lectures & Discussion: Mark Schweda: “A season to everything? The role of life course perspectives in medical ethics”

18:00 Borrel

Wednesday 23

10:30-12:00 Lecture & Discussion: Rozemarijn van Bruchem-Visser: t.b.a. (ethics in geriatrics)

12:00-13:00 Lunch Break

13:00-16:00 Student Presentations

Thursday 24

10:30-12:00 Lecture & Discussion: Maartje Schermer: t.b.a. (Healthy Ageing, anti-ageing)

12:00-13:00 Lunch Break

13:00-16:00 Artistic Explorations with Sijben Rosa

Friday 25

10:30-12:00 Lecture & Discussion: Annemie Halsema: t.b.a. (Simone de Beauvoir on ageing; feminist perspectives)

12:00-13:00 Lunch Break

13:00-14:30 Lecture & Discussion: Marli Huijer: t.b.a. (ageing & the end of life)

14:30- 15:00 Coffee Break

15:00-17:00 Student Presentations / Group Work

Saturday 26

10:30-12:00 Final Discussion & Evaluation


Katharina Bauer & Maren Wehrle (Erasmus School of Philosophy)

Key note speakers

Rozemarijn van Bruchem-Visser (Erasmus MC, Geriatrics)
Annemie Halsema (University Leiden, Faculty of Philosophy, Socrates Professor; VU Amsterdam, Faculty of Humanities)
Marli Huijer (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Philosophy)
Sijben Rosa (Visual Artist, https://rosasijben.nl/)
Maartje Schermer (Erasmus MC, Medical Ethics, Philosophy and History of Medicine)
Mark Schweda (School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg)
t.b.a. (Neurlogist / Neuroscientist)

Required preparations

Participants are expected to:

  • Do a short interview in preparation of the course.
  • Read the assigned literature.
  • Prepare questions for each session.
  • Actively participate in discussions and group work.
  • Give a presentation about their (potential) research project on / specific research interest in the topic of ageing.
  • Write a short essay (2000 words) discussing philosophical and artistic explorations of ageing, to be submitted before the end of September.

In preparation of the course:

  • we ask you to do a short interview with ‘an older person’ of your own choice (a relative, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour…) about their perception and experience of getting older;
  • you will be required to read some introductory papers;
  • you are required to prepare a short presentation (10 minutes) about your research project on / research interest in the topic of ageing.

More precise guidelines and questions for the interview, specifications about the presentation as well as the literature and guiding questions for the reading will be sent to you after your registration.

Last updated on February 27, 2023

Certificate / credit points

For this course participants can earn a certificate after successful completion. Please note, however, that the OZSW is not accredited to reward students with credits/ECTS directly. The study load is mentioned on the certificate, which can usually be exchanged for ‘real’ credits (ECTS) at your home university. For more info please see https://www.ozsw.nl/request-certificate/.

The study load for this activity is: 5 ECTS.


The summer school is free for:

Others pay a tuition fee of 300 euro.

Participants from abroad are welcome, but are themselves responsible for arranging their travel and accommodation.

How to apply / register

Please register for the course through this link here.

If registration has been closed because the maximum amount of participants has been reached, you can submit your name to the waiting list by sending an email to Fenanda Jacobs assistant.director@ozsw.nl.

Cancellation and registration policy


Katharina Bauer (bauer@esphil.eur.nl) & Maren Wehrle (wehrle@esphil.eur.nl)