I was wondering why it takes such a long time for the human species to mature. Apes and monkeys, our closest ancestral relatives, mature in only a few years time, while humans take many many years before they’re considered able and independent. Just a hundred or so years ago, humans matured as early as seven, as was in case in 18th century industrial Britain. That was considered the acceptable working age. At thirteen you get mitzvahed in the Jewish Culture. In Native American communities it was around the same age. In the Bible it was the age of twelve when you became accountable to God and your faith. In the US eighteen prevailed, but then college was introduced and soon it was extended to twenty one. Now it seems its mid twenties. Back in the day you graduated college at sixteen. What’s missing here?
I believe it has something to do with social reality, and the construction of that social reality. And the complexities of navigating and deciphering the meaning of an ever growing intricate complex social world and its convoluted language and expectations. The greater the social complexity, the greater time is required to adapt to the language in a way that allows you to contribute functional value to society. In earlier times this occured much much earlier because much of the functional value could be fulfilled with tasks requiring little knowledge of a specialized vocabulary. The most that was expected was some training which was acquired by adopting the trade of your family, or via apprenticeship for those pursuing a craft of skill. But it was basic, procedural knowledge. Not so much propositional knowledge.
Apes and monkey’s don’t need long periods of time to mold and shape their psyche to reflect the intricacies of language and social reality.
I wonder if the age of maturity will grow increasingly slower as time moves on and our cultural becomes more complex? Perhaps the age where people begin their lives extends to the thirties?
Everything is language. Every institution has its own language, and each language is derived from a unique set of problems in which is seeks to describe and address.
Another reason why I think its taking people so long to mature is that companies profit off of dependents, like children still being dependent.
Too many thoughts.