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Much water has flowed under the bridges of social and cultural theory since a famous physician notified all and sundry, in a more or less strabismic world, that every man of 40 was not, as Stevenson claimed, either a physician or a fool but definitely passé for effective thought or activity. Today one notes as an indication of progressive civilization a similarly advancing preoccupation with the physical and spiritual problems of the very young and the very old. Les extrèmes se touchent in a way which probably did not occur to the French commentator, and infancy as well as senility—sit venia verbo—especially the latter, is of interest to a large reading public of laymen, as well as physicians.
It was Stevenson, again, who said "Age cannot bring, it must find, the philosophic mind," and those who seek for this pium desiderium, a consummation devoutly to be wished,
Fridenberg P. New Goals for Old Age. Arch Ophthalmol. 1946;35(1):62. doi:10.1001/archopht.1946.00890200066016
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