Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Montagu, Ashley (1905–1999)
Leslie E. Sponsel
Some might consider Ashley Montagu to be the original sociobiologist, but either they misunderstand the subject or they misunderstand the man. Actually, many of his numerous publications were critical analyses exposing the pseudobiology underlying sociopolitical issues such as racism, sexism, and ageism as well as more general questions about human nature, the nature–nurture controversy, and war and peace. For example, Montagu edited a volume of critiques called Sociobiology Examined (1980). Likewise, he was critical of any attempt to rationalize inequality on biological grounds, including eugenics and ideas about the biological basis of criminality. He was a prolific author and/or editor of more than 80 books, and he wrote hundreds of articles. Moreover, many of these publications addressed a general audience as well as an academic one. Thus, he was a pioneer in the arena of public anthropology, often as a penetrating social critic. For instance, he contributed a regular Ladies ...