Welcome to my  latest website and my world of anthropological ideas: fascinating and fundamental. Who are we? Why are we the way we are? How did we get that way? Where are we going? How do we find out?

I'm an anthropologist, essayist, historian of ideas, and occasional versifier, currently University Professor of Social Theory at Rutgers University, where I founded the Department of Anthropology in 1967, and helped to establish the bio-social study of human society with Lionel Tiger and the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation..  (See "Guggenheim Foundation" under "Biographical")

Perhaps best known professionally for my work on human and primate kinship systems, especially the incest taboo and incest avoidance  (the "Westermarck Effect"), the evolution of the brain, and the relevance of both to the study of the origins of mind and human society.  Kinship and Marriage: An Anthropological Perspective (1967), in all its editions and translations, has been one of the most widely used anthropology texts in the world over the past fifty years.  The Red Lamp of Incest: An  Inquiry into the Origins of Mind and Society (1980 )  summed up my work and thought on that central issue in anthropological theory

Known to the public for  work with Lionel Tiger, especially The Imperial Animal (1970) on the significance of evolution for an understanding of human behavior and society, I explore the implications for the human future of our knowledge of the evolutionary past, using not only science but verse, drama, dialogue, satire, and more…

Don’t miss the politically incorrect Alpindians, the Verse and Art, the Videos , Interviews and Reviews (under Biographical)  including Chilean mine   rescue, democracy in Iraq), and People (Colin Turnbull, Margaret Mead, Ashley Montagu etc). Try "Fakery and Fame" at the end of  "Videos, Interviews and Reviews."

NEW: "Dad in India: Pictures from the Raj 1928-32"
under "Biographical"

See much new material added to "Courses/Wine Seminars" and "Forbidden Partners."

VIDEO! "The Puzzle of the Ten Commandments: An anthropologist looks for answers." - illustrated lecture by Robin Fox.  Go to "Biographical" then to "Videos/interviews/Reviews." Click on button. 
"All primates have kin: only humans have in-laws."
"In an ideal world we would all marry close cousins when young and then die at sixty-five."

(Conclusion of "Marry In or Die Out: Optimal Inbreeding and the Meaning of Mediogamy" in Handbook on Evolution and Society: Toward  an Evolutionary Social Science. Paradigm Press, 2015. For a pre-view of the argument see "Kissing Cousins" in "Tribal Blogs.")

The National Academy of Sciences
 Washington D.C.  
April 26 2014
Robin Fox has been  inducted into the  Academy:   the  highest honor the national scientific community can bestow.

Signing the Great Book at the Induction  Ceremony.

Go to  "Laws and Generalizations" for some  of his findings and conclusions over sixty years of research and ideas. Also to "Diagramaticon" - a history of his thinking in diagrams , in progress, as is "Virtual Books" (under Publications)

from: "Diagramaticon"


NEW BOOK ONE


NEW BOOK TWO

The other is an anthology titled:
The Character of Human Institutions: Robin Fox and the Rise of Biosocial Science, edited by Michael Egan.

There are 17 contributors: Robert Trivers, Lionel Tiger, Sir Antony Jay, Michael McGuire, Kate Fox, Anne Fox, Melvin Konner, Bernard Chapais, Frederick Turner, Alistair Macfarlane, Linda Stone, Johnathan Turner, Alexandra Maryanski,  Dieter Steklis, David Jenkins  Howard Bloom, Charles Macdonald and  Adam Kuper. Available now: Transaction Publishers
 (transactionpub.com) (or Amazon.com)

(Go to  Publications/New Book Two)
 

The  latest anthropological book is The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind (Harvard UP 2011.)

Studies on time, politics, religion, incest, marriage, the Ten Commandments, the literature of male bonding, history, the perennial appeal of the tribal, and the origin and fragility of civilization. For details go to "Publications" and look under "Tribal Imagination".

"How does one follow a lifetime of writing?  By writing, perhaps, as though there were a lifetime ahead."  Marilyn Strathern on The Tribal Imagination in Common Knowledge 19:1 2013

(See review by Bradley Thayer under "Books/Tribal Imagination" and those by Peter Wood and Roger Sandall under "Videos/ Reviews...")

For earlier books click on "Publications/Previous Books."
___________________________

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a cultural construction of a duck."

from: Encounter with Anthropology and
The Challenge of Anthropology: (see "Publications/Previous Books"")
_____________________________

The virtues of the  questing mind
Are not as they are billed,
For in the country of the blind
The one-eyed man is killed.

The democratic roundabout
Makes sure the people never win,
For if they throw the rascals out
They put the other rascals  in.

from: Participant Observer 
The (young) author on Tory Island, Co. Donegal, Ireland, circa 1965. "Publications/Participant Observer."




Dad in India  

"The Red Fort at Agra" 1930
 With Mohamed Sanu, who now plays for the Atlanta Falcons. My favorite all-time Rutgers football player.