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Commencement Address |

And Leave for the Unknown

John Romano, MD
JAMA. 1964;190(4):282-284. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070170023006.
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WE HAVE LEARNED that human behavior is neither completely learned nor is it preformed, to be revealed during maturation. Accumulated evidence suggests that human growth and behavior develop according to a plan. Initially, this concept of epigenesis stemmed from observations in embryology during the 18th century, and maintained that there is progressive formation and differentiation of organs from a homogeneous germ. The theory is used now to help explain growth and development of the mind as well as the body.

Scholars in the fields of psychology, psychoanalysis, and the social sciences have evolved interesting and fruitful ideas about the unity of the human life cycle and the specific dynamics of each of its stages as determined by the laws of individual development and social organization. Erik Erikson's theory assumes an inborn coordination to an average expectable environment. His concept of mutuality emphasizes the crucial coordination between the developing individual and


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