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Theory in Gerontology, Part I

Theory in Gerontology, Part I The customary title for a review of this topic is the plural form, "Theories of Aging," and the variant form used here was chosen deliberately to signal a departure from the conventional approach to the discussion of gexontolo@caI theory. The manifold aspects of the phenomenology of aging make it possible for investigators with different disciplinary back- grounds to perceive many diverse growing points for the development of theories about the aspects of aging that are most apposite to their own research interests. Theories of this kind wiII be called aspect-theories. The impstance of the aspect-theory approach for the motivation and guidance of experiment a1 research is undeniable, but an unfortunate concomitant is that each aspect-theory somehow becomes transformed from a theory about an aspect of aging into a general, all-comprehending theory of aging. In one recent monograph on theory in gerontology, for example (Rockstein, 19741, there are chapters on "The programmed theory of aging" (Wilson, 1974), "The mutation theory of aging" (Sinex, 1974), "An autoimmune theory of aging" ( Adler, 1974), "Physiological theories of aging" (Shock, 1974), and others. This reasoning process, whereby a part becomes equated to the whole, so that each aspect- theory pretends to be a http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Annual Review of Gerontology & Geriatrics Springer Publishing

Theory in Gerontology, Part I

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Publisher
Springer Publishing
ISSN
0198-8794
eISSN
1944-4036
DOI
10.1891/0198-8794.1.1.3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The customary title for a review of this topic is the plural form, "Theories of Aging," and the variant form used here was chosen deliberately to signal a departure from the conventional approach to the discussion of gexontolo@caI theory. The manifold aspects of the phenomenology of aging make it possible for investigators with different disciplinary back- grounds to perceive many diverse growing points for the development of theories about the aspects of aging that are most apposite to their own research interests. Theories of this kind wiII be called aspect-theories. The impstance of the aspect-theory approach for the motivation and guidance of experiment a1 research is undeniable, but an unfortunate concomitant is that each aspect-theory somehow becomes transformed from a theory about an aspect of aging into a general, all-comprehending theory of aging. In one recent monograph on theory in gerontology, for example (Rockstein, 19741, there are chapters on "The programmed theory of aging" (Wilson, 1974), "The mutation theory of aging" (Sinex, 1974), "An autoimmune theory of aging" ( Adler, 1974), "Physiological theories of aging" (Shock, 1974), and others. This reasoning process, whereby a part becomes equated to the whole, so that each aspect- theory pretends to be a

Journal

Annual Review of Gerontology & GeriatricsSpringer Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 1980

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