THE CHARACTER OF HUMAN INSTITUTIONS


“This work of seventeen outstanding essays is a fitting tribute to Robin Fox, one of the most eminent anthropologists and polymaths of our time, a courageous warrior who declared war on mainstream social science almost 50 years ago. He renounced its cultural relativism and ideologically-driven social constructionism that claimed to explain everything, and hence nothing, in his 1971 book (with Lionel Tiger) The Imperial Animal. His clarion call in this and numerous other works calling for investigations into pancultural human nature set me and countless others on the quest for biosocial theory in the social sciences. As this book, and a cascade of other books and articles can attest, he has lived to see his dream come true. Biosocial science has breached the shoddy walls of twentieth century social science and is about to take the castle keep.”

Anthony Walsh, Professor of Criminal Justice, Boise State University (from the book jacket)
 
CONTENTS

Foreward
Robert Trivers

Dedication
David Jenkins: Antelope: On Reading 'Participant Observer'

Personal and Confidential
Michael Egan: Mainstream Maverick
Lionel Tiger: This Guy, Fox
Michael McGuire: A Tribute and Personal Thanks...

Popularity and Drinking
Kate Fox: Writing Popular Anthropology
Anne Fox: Drink and Duty: Extreme Drinking Rituals in the British Army

Laughter and Happiness
Sir Antony Jay: Understanding Laughter
Charles Macdonald: Joyous Equal and Free: Conditions of Felicity in Human Organizations

Kinship and Incest
Linda Stone: Kinship Constructed Us: The Implications of Primate Studies for Cultural Anthropology
Alexandra Maryanski and Jonathan Turner: Lighting the Red Lamp of Incest
Adam Kuper: Darwin and Cousin Marriage in England

Self and Epic

Alan Macfarlane: The Image of the Good Imperial Education
David Jenkins: The Ethnography of the Self: Anthropologists’ Autobiographies
Frederick Turner: The Universal Epic: A Research Challenge

Nature and Society
Bernard Chapais: From Human Nature to Human Society: Why Anthropology Cannot Ignore Biological Constants
Dieter Steklis: The Changing Nature of Human Nature
Mel Konner: Science and Anti-Science in Anthropology: A Look Back

Finale
Howard Bloom: The Consumerist Cosmos
Robin Fox: Last Word: The Razor's Edge
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________________________________

Charles Darwin and Emma Wedgwood
First cousins: see Adam Kuper's chapter





Bernard Chapais and friend
Sir Antony Jay, co-author of Yes, Minister and in this book "Understanding Laughter."
Linda Stone and friend, Nepal



 
                           Totem
Transaction Publishers: New Brunswick N.J.
www.transactionpub.com

AVAILABLE NOW! (Amazon or direct)
Robert Trivers recieves the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy from Queen Silvia of Sweden.

Kate Fox - popular anthropologist
Author of The Racing Tribe and Watching the English, and the chapter "Writing Popular Anthropology" in this book
Anne Fox, Director Galahad SMS LTD UK. Author of chapter "Drink and Duty" in this book.

Fred Turner
Mel Konner
Michael Egan, Editor

Alexandra Maryanski
David Jenkins
Dedication

 David Jenkins

 
      On Reading Participant Observer
 
Antelope 
 
Defies chronology as a master trope
Weaves tapestries of twisted rope
And bits of bone and air
And travels light.
Crooked warp, angled weft, Antelope

Breathes no noisome complaint
Nor ruined lament
Nor tale of otherworldly firmament.
 
Instead he puzzles through
The randomness of animals
Who, despite all odds surpass their kind
Invent language and divine
The meaning of their fate.  Antelope          braids
Mystery from human sociability.
 
With prolixity Antelope wends
No dance nor skate nor yeasty brew
Nor chart and skew of kinship terms
Beyond their ability to convey
Connections primordial and fey.
Still, without weave or trace
Or dreaded count of shuttled thread,
Without Trickster’s antlered mask,
His girls provide the point at last.
 
___________

Antelope(man)  (kütstiwa) was the name the Indians of Cochiti Pueblo in New Mexico gave to Robin Fox, because of his springy walk, they said.

 
 

Dieter Steklis, Director of the Diane Fossey Gorilla Foundation, and friends.
Author of chapter "The Changing Nature of Human Nature"
________________________________
Howard Bloom
"The Man Who Invented the Sixties"
by Sabine Allaeys
Jonathan Turner
Alan Macfarlane, Cambridge and Nepal
Charles Macdonald
Robin Fox circa 1982
 
Lionel Tiger co-author of The Imperial Animal, and in this book "This Guy, Fox"
"El Gringo Blanco"

Altamira de Coelho, Colombia, 1981
When Current Anthropology was doing an interview with me about "life and work" etc they asked for a photo of me in "a typical working situation." I sent the one of my excursion into amateur bullfighting in Colombia.* (Courtesy Lionel Tiger) The tender-minded editorial staff were horrified and told me to send a very different one. So I sent the one of me on my farm with a shotgun. (Courtesy Anne Fox) ** They were about to send another apalled letter but Adam Kuper,who was then editor, said "Oh for God's sake print it. Who knows what he'll send next." So they did (or one very like it - I sent several.) I know this because Adam told me.

The whole interview, with Alex Walter, was republished in Conjectures and Confrontations (1997).

*See "Bullfight at Altamira" in The Passionate Mind.
**See "New Jersey Landscapes" in The Passionate Mind.

The witty cartoon on the cover - based on the famous TIME cartoon of the stages of human evolution (in which I had a hand) is by Lindsey Burrows by courtesy of The American Interest. She based it on my contention that while non-human primates have kin, they don't have in-laws: the real human innovation.