The Individual and Society in Biological and Cultural Anthropology

Peer Reviewed

Essay Excerpt

The model of human agency that I have been developing here accepts the logic of sociobiology, but also sees its limits, and so gives back to us in reinvigorated terms the image of ourselves already entertained by the greatest of modern thinkers. [...] I suggest then, that the dual inheritance model provides us with a way of adding Darwin to this list, accepting the power of his thought without being forced to abandon the views we have inherited from our other great masters. It thus should be possible, following the ideas proposed here, to develop an anthropology that does justice to the biological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects of Homo sapiens without either excluding some aspects from consideration, or trying to reduce the genuine but partial autonomous agency proper to some realms to the explanatory hegemony of others. (Paul, 92)

About the Author

Robert A. Paul was educated at Harvard College ('63), where his field of concentration was history and literature, and at the University of Chicago, where he earned his M.A. in 1966 and his Ph.D. in 1970 in the field of cultural anthropology. His professional interests within anthropology include psychological anthropology, comparative religion, myth and ritual, and the ethnography of Nepal, Tibet, the Himalayas, and South and Central Asia. His extensive scholarly publications in these areas include The Tibetan Symbolic World (University of Chicago Press, 1982) and a special issue ofCultural Anthropology, "Biological and Cultural Anthropology at Emory University," which he edited. He served for many years as editor of ETHOS: Journal of the Society for Psychological Anthropology and was president of the Society for Cultural Anthropology from 1992-1994.After teaching appointments in anthropology at C.C.N.Y. and Queens College in the City University of New York, he came to Emory University in 1977 as associate professor in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts (I.L.A.), where he has now been a faculty member for twenty-four years. He helped establish Emory's Anthropology Department in 1979 and served as its first acting chair. He holds a joint appointment in that department. He has also served two separate terms as director of the I.L.A. In 1986, he was named Charles Howard Candler Professor of Anthropology and Interdisciplinary Studies.In 1987, Dean Paul began clinical training at the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute, located in the Psychiatry Department of Emory's School of Medicine. He graduated in 1992 and was certified by the Board on Professional Standards of the American Psychoanalytic Association in 1997. He maintains a private clinical practice and holds an appointment as associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In 1997, he established Emory's widely recognized Psychoanalytic Studies Program and, in 2000, received Emory's Crystal Apple Award for his graduate teaching in that program.His book, Moses and Civilization: The Meaning Behind Freud's Myth (Yale University press, 1996), received the Heinz Hartmann Award in Psychoanalysis, the L. Bryce Boyer Award in Psychological Anthropology, and the National Jewish Book Award in the area of Jewish Thought.In the fall of 2000, Robert A. Paul was selected, after a national search, to be dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Emory, and, in the spring of 2001, after an internal search, he was selected as interim dean of Emory College for a two-year term beginning in June 2001. After a national search, he was selected as dean of Emory College in May 2003 and held this position until May 2010.

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