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The Use and Abuse of Biology: An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology
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The Use and Abuse of Biology: An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  28 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
A criticism of sociobiology by one of the world's foremost anthropologists
Paperback, 120 pages
Published December 3rd 1976 by University of Michigan Press
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David Gerstle
May 23, 2011 David Gerstle rated it really liked it
Published in the thick of the Sociology debates in the late 70s, Sahlins argues that that particular redition of cultural evolutionary theory suffers from some glaring problems. Specifically, he points to the broad assumptions about kinship made in 'kin selection' models and the explanations of trade, labor, and symbols that sociobiologists were crafting, which bore an uncanny resemblance to market capitalism.

The book is an artifact of its time, but still a clearer examination of evolutionary r
...more
Orde
Although a little dated inasmuch as he deals with sociobiology in the wake of E.O.Wilsons book by the same name (in 1975) and its claim to finally unify the social sciences by annexing them into the truly scientific scheme of biological measurements and grounding, thereby dropping the purely phenomological notion of culture in favor of the actual core of (human)things. It seems to me that Wilson's Sociobiology is the last stage of this kind of approach before evolutionary psychology enters the s ...more
Joseph Sverker
When I saw that this book was written in the late seventies I was at first slightly disappointed because I thought it might be somewhat dated. However, I was soon proved otherwise. Sahlins shows very clearly how social sciences not necesserily have to rely on biology. And futhermore, how biology makes mistakes in interpreting nature with anthropological terminology and then projecting it again on humanity. This is a well argued and well researched critique on sociobiology and really and critique ...more
Evan
Aug 28, 2008 Evan rated it liked it
Sahlins does a good job of showing the influence of capitalist ideology on the theory of natural selection. Sociobiology sure is bogus.
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