Epistemology, Expectation, and Aging

A Developmental Analysis of the Gerontological Curriculum
  • Robert Kegan
Part of the The Springer Series in Adult Development and Aging book series (SSAD)


While working on this chapter, I have also been shopping around for a Mazda Miata. I am about to be 50, and this handsomely designed but relatively inexpensive sports car, I had been thinking, might be just the special thing I would like to get myself for a present. Never having heard me express interest in owning such a car, my bemused wife sympathized with what she believed was my terror of growing old. She saw the gift I imagined for myself as a touching (or pathetic) effort to acquire externally the internal zip, flash, or grace I must feel was vanishing at 50. Psychologist though I might be, her depressing interpretation never occurred to me before she mentioned it. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar,” I told her Freud once said. “But this isn’t sometimes,” she said. “You’ve never been about-to-be-50. And a sleek, fancy-looking cigar is not just a cigar.”


Ofmental Complexity Hide Curriculum Meaning Making Mental Demand Empty Nest 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Kegan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts School of Professional PsychologyBostonUSA

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