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September 10, 1932

The Wisdom of the Body.

JAMA. 1932;99(11):940. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740630066034

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Dr. Cannon's views on homeostasis have been repeatedly considered in the editorial columns of The Journal. There are within the human body numerous stabilizing devices tending to maintain and to restore normality. There is an automatic mechanism for maintaining a constant supply of water, salt, sugar, proteins and fat. There are, moreover, factors of safety and of defense, as well as mechanisms for repair. Most of the chapters of Dr. Cannon's book concern these mechanisms as they are involved in relationship to specific substances. His concluding chapter indicates similar forces in biology and in social life. The living human organism suggests that stability is of prime importance. Thus it teaches a lesson to the social organism. The volume represents a sound and philosophical summary of human physiology.