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Safranski, Rüdiger


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Stuttgarter Zeitung - Germany | 18/03/2006

Rüdiger Safranski on a society of singles

In an interview with Roland Müller philosopher Rüdiger Safranski expresses his views on the subject of demographics, a subject that is highly controversial in Germany at present. "From an anthropological point of view, man is a family animal. Only recently has this begun to change. The 'single type', is beginning to evolve, and we can already make several observations about this kind of mentality. For example, in the past it wasn't possible to ignore death. Living in large families meant that people learned to deal with death as a matter of course. An atomised society of singles, on the other hand, will suppress thoughts of death, and this will create an underlying sense of panic. All this results in a dramatic lack of maturity in the way people choose to live their lives. Another example is that for childless singles, thinking in terms of the generations to come loses relevance. Therefore, they behave more and more as if they were the last and see themselves as standing at the end of the chain."

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