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Definition of recapitulation (Meaning of recapitulation)
1 Definition found
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Recapitulation Re`ca*pit`u*la"tion
	     (r[=e]`k[.a]*p[i^]t"[-u]*l[=a]"sh[u^]n), n. [LL.
	     recapitulatio: cf. F. recapitulation.]
	     1. The act of recapitulating; a summary, or concise statement
	        or enumeration, of the principal points, facts, or
	        statements, in a preceding discourse, argument, or essay.
	        [1913 Webster]
	
	     2. (Zo["o]l.) That process of development of the individual
	        organism from the embryonic stage onward, which displays a
	        parallel between the development of an individual animal
	        (ontogeny) and the historical evolution of the species
	        (phylogeny). Some authors recognize two types of
	        recapitulation, {palingenesis}, in which the truly
	        ancestral characters conserved by heredity are reproduced
	        during development; and {cenogenesis} ({kenogenesis} or
	        {coenogenesis}), the mode of individual development in
	        which alterations in the development process have changed
	        the original process of recapitulation and obscured the
	        evolutionary pathway.
	        [PJC]
	
	              This parallel is explained by the theory of
	              evolution, according to which, in the words of
	              Sidgwick, "the developmental history of the
	              individual appears to be a short and simplified
	              repetition, or in a certain sense a recapitulation,
	              of the course of development of the species."
	              Examples of recapitulation may be found in the
	              embryological development of all vertebrates. Thus
	              the frog develops through stages in which the embryo
	              just before hatching is very fish-like, after
	              hatching becomes a tadpole which exhibits many
	              newt-like characters; and finally reaches the
	              permanent frog stage. This accords with the
	              comparative rank of the fish, newt and frog groups
	              in classification; and also with the succession
	              appearance of these groups. Man, as the highest
	              animal, exhibits most completely these phenomena. In
	              the earliest stages the human embryo is
	              indistinguishable from that of any other creature. A
	              little later the cephalic region shows gill-slits,
	              like those which in a shark are a permanent feature,
	              and the heart is two-chambered or fish-like. Further
	              development closes the gill-slits, and the heart
	              changes to the reptilian type. Here the reptiles
	              stop, while birds and mammals advance further; but
	              the human embryo in its progress to the higher type
	              recapitulates and leaves features characteristic of
	              lower mammalian forms -- for instance, a distinct
	              and comparatively long tail exists. Most of these
	              changes are completed before the embryo is six weeks
	              old, but some traces of primitive and obsolete
	              structures persist throughout life as "vestiges" or
	              "rudimentary organs," and others appear after birth
	              in infancy, as the well-known tendency of babies to
	              turn their feet sideways and inward, and to use
	              their toes and feet as grasping organs, after the
	              manner of monkeys. This recapitulation of ancestral
	              characters in ontogeny is not complete, however, for
	              not all the stages are reproduced in every case, so
	              far as can be perceived; and it is irregular and
	              complicated in various ways among others by the
	              inheritance of acquired characters. The most special
	              students of it, as Haeckel, Fritz M["u]tter, Hyatt,
	              Balfour, etc., distinguish two sorts of
	              recapitulation {palingenesis}, exemplified in
	              amphibian larvae and {coenogenesis}, the last
	              manifested most completely in the metamorphoses of
	              insects. Palingenesis is recapitulation without any
	              fundamental changes due to the later modification of
	              the primitive method of development, while in
	              coenogenesis, the mode of development has suffered
	              alterations which obscure the original process of
	              recapitulation, or support it entirely.
	                                                    --Encyclopedia
	                                                    Americana,
	                                                    1961.
	        [PJC]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
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The word recapitulation does not occur under any label/subject