The Character of Human Institutions: Robin Fox and the Rise of Biosocial Science

1st Edition

Michael Egan

Published November 14, 2017
Reference - 382 Pages
ISBN 9781412865548 - CAT# Y332520

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This collection of essays by seventeen outstanding scientists and scholars celebrates the life and work of Robin Fox, and the idea of a biosocial science. From early studies of kinship, primates, the brain, evolution, the incest taboo and aggression, to later work on literature, politics, civilization, law, the bible, Shakespeare, and the history of ideas, Fox has inspired many with his evolutionary vision of humanity that goes beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries and embraces the “Universal History of Mankind,” including the possible human future. Fox’s work encompasses sociobiology but is not limited by it. He preceded it and is both influenced by it and helped to foster it. But his work represents an independent “biosocial science” stream of thinking that accepts the Darwinian mandate while avoiding reductionism by recognizing culture as a natural phenomenon. His contribution has recently been recognized by election to the National Academy of Sciences.

This book is not only a tribute to one remarkable thinker but a brilliant, entertaining and diverse summary of the state of play in current biosocial science and the thought of those influenced by it across the whole intellectual spectrum. It is that rare academic book where high thinking and good humor share the field, as they do in the life of its honoree.


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