Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-58z7q Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-02T05:40:02.332Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

Primatology is Politics by Other Means

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 February 2022

Donna J Haraway*
History of Consciousness Department, University of California, Santa Cruz


Adam and Eve, Robinson Crusoe and Man Friday, Tarzan and Jane: these are the figures who tell white western people about the origins and foundations of sociality. The stories make claims about “human” nature, “human” society. Western stories take the high ground from which man — impregnable, potent, and endowed with a keen vision of the whole — can survey the field. The sightings generate the aesthetic-political dialectic of contemplation/exploitation, the distorting mirror twins so deeply embedded in the history of science. But the moment of origins in these western stories is solitary. Adam was alone, Robinson was alone, Tarzan was alone; they lacked human company. But each couple, each solution to the illogical insufficiency of a rational autonomous self, was fraught with the contradictions of domination that have provided the narrative materials of “the West's” accounts of its devastating collective history.

Part XI. New Directions in the Philosophy of Mathematics
Copyright © 1985 by the Philosophy of Science Association

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



Support for this paper was provided by an Academic Senate Faculty Research Grant from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Thanks especially to the primatologists who have allowed me to interview them. In this paper I am indebted to Jeanne Altmann, Stuart Altmann, Naomi Bishop, Dorothy Cheney, Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff, Irven DeVore, Phyllis Dolhinow, Robert Hinde, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Alison Jolly, Peter Marler, Nancy Nicolson, Suzanne Ripley, Thelma Rowell, Robert Seyfarth, Joan Silk, Barbara Smuts, Thomas Struhsaker, Shirley Strum, Jane Teas, Sherwood Washburn, Patricia Whitten, Richard Wrangham, and Adrienne Zihlman.


Altmann, Jeann (1974). “Observational Study of Behavior: Sampling Methods.” Behaviour 40: 227-267.Google Scholar
Altmann, Jeanne (1980). Baboon Mothers and Infants. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Asquith, Pamela (1984). “Bases for Differences in Japanese and Western Primatology,” Paper delivered at the 12th Meeting of CAPA/AAPC, University of Alberta.Google Scholar
Baranga, Deborah (1978). “The Hole of Nutritive Value in the Food Preferences of the Red Colobus and Black-and-White Colobus in the Kibale Forest, Uganda.” Unpublished M.Sc. thesis. Makerere University, Uganda.Google Scholar
Baudrlllard, Jean (1981). Simulaores et simulation. Paris: editions galilee. (As reprinted as Simulation. (trans.) Paul Foss, Paul Patton, and Phillip Beitchman. New York: Semiotext(e), 1983.Google Scholar
Beer, Gillian (1983). Darwin's Plots. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
Burton, Frances (1971). “Sexual Climax in Female Macaoa mulatta.” Proceedings of the Third International Congress of Primatology 3: 180-191.Google Scholar
Callon, Miche and Latour, Bruno (1981). “Unscrewing the Big Leviathan or How Do Actors Microstruoture Reality?” In Advances in Social Theory and Methodology: Toward an Integration of Micro and Macro Sociologies. Edited by Knorr-Cetina, K and Cicourel, A. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
Cheney, Doroth; Seyfarth, Rober; Smuts, Barbar; Struhsaker, Thoma and Wrangham, Richar, (eds.). (N.d.) Primate Societies. In preparation.Google Scholar
Chevalier-Skolnikoff, Suzanne (1974). “Male-Female, Female-Female, and Male-Male Sexual Behavior in the Stumptall Monkey, with Special Attention to the Female Orgasm.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 3 (2): 95-116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chodorow, Nancy (1978). The Reproduction of Mothering. Los Angeles: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clifford, James (1983). “On Ethnographic Authority.” Representations, 1(2): 118-146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dawkins, Richard (1976). The Selfish Gene. London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Delaney, Carol (1985). “Virgin Birth, Once Again.” Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
DeVore, Irve (ed.). (1965). Primate Behavior; Field Studies of Monkeys and Apes. New York: Holt﹜ Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
Frans, de Waa (1982). Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex among the Apes. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
Douglas, Mary (1970). Natural Symbols. London: Cresset.Google Scholar
Elgin, Suzette Haden (1984). Native Tongue. New York: Daw.Google Scholar
Fabian, Johannes (1983). Time and the Other. New York: Columbia university Press.Google Scholar
Fedigan, Linda Marie (1982). Primate Paradigms: Sex Roles and Social Bonda. Montreal: Eden Press.Google Scholar
Fossey, Dian (1983). Gorillas in the Mist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel (1976). La Volonté de savior. Paris: Editions Gallimard. (As reprinted as The History of Sexuality, (trans.) Robert Hurley. New York: Pantheon, 1978.Google Scholar
Goodall, Jane van Lawaick (1971). In the Shadow of Man. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.Google Scholar
Goodall, Jane van Lawaic Bandora, Adrian; Bergmann, Emili; Busse, Curtj Matam, Hilali, Mpong; Esilom, Pierc Ann; and Riss, David (1979). “Intercommunity Interactions in the Chimpanzee Population of the Gombe National Park.” In The Great Apes. Edited by David A, Hamburg and Elizabeth R. McCown. Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin/Cummings. Pages 13-54.Google Scholar
Gubar, Susa and Gilbert, Sandra (1979). Madwoman in the Attic. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Haraway, Donna (1979). “The Biological Enterprise: Sex, Mind, and Profit from Human Engineering to Soolobiology.” Radical History Review 20: 206-237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haraway, Donna (1981). “In the Beginning Was the Word: The Genesis of Biological Theory.” Signs 6(3): 469-481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haraway, Donn (1981-2). “The High Cost of Information in Post World War II Evolutionary Biology.” Philosophical Forum XIII(2-3): 244-278.Google Scholar
Haraway, Donna (1983a). “Signs of Dominance: From a Physiology to a Cybernetics of Primate Society.” Studies in History of Biology 6: 129-219.Google Scholar
Haraway, Donna (1983b). “The Contest for Primate Nature: Daughters of Man the Hunter in the Field, 1960-1980.” In The Future of American Democracy. Edited by Mark Kann. Philadelphia: Temple. Pages 175-207.Google Scholar
Haraway, Donna (1985“A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s.” Socialist Review 80: 65-107.Google Scholar
Harding, Sandra (1983). “Why Has the Sex/Gender System Become Visible Only Now?” In Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology. Metaphysics. Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Edited by S. and M. Hintikka. Dordrecht: Reidel. Pages 311-324.Google Scholar
Hartsook, Nancy (1983a). Money, Sex and Power. New York: Longman.Google Scholar
Hartsook, Nancy (1983b). “The Feminist Standpoint: Developing the Ground for a Specifically Feminist Historical Materialism.” In Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. Edited by S. Harding and M. Hintikka. Dordrecht: Reidel. Pages 283-310.Google Scholar
Hausfater, Glen and Hrdy, Sara Blaffer. (eds.). (1984). Infanticide: Comparative and Evolutionary Perspectives. Chicago: Aldine.Google Scholar
Hinde, Rober (ed.). (1983). Primate Social Relationships. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer.Google Scholar
Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer (1979). “The Evolution of Human Sexuality: The Latest Word and the Last.” The Quarterly Review of Biology 54: 309-314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer (1981). The Woman That Never Evolved. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer and Bennett, William (1981). “Lucy's Husband: What Did He Stand For?” Harvard Magazine July-August: 7-9, 46.Google Scholar
Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer (1983). “Heat Lost.” Science 83 October: 73-78.Google Scholar
Jameson, Fredric (1981). The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Jameson, Fredric (1984). “Post Modernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.” New Left Review July/August: 53-94.Google Scholar
Jay, Phylli (ed.). (1968). Primates: Studies in Adaptation and Variability. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
Johanson, Donal and Edey, Maitland (1981). Lucv: The Beginning of Humankind, New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
Keller, Evelyn Fox (1983). A Feeling for the Organism. New York: Freeman.Google Scholar
Keller, Evelyn Fox (1985). Reflections on Gender and Science. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Lancaster, Jane (1979). “Sex and Gender in Evolutionary Perspective.” In Human Sexuality: A Comparative and DeyftlQPinftntSl Approach. Edited by H.A. Katohadourian. Los Angeles: University of California Press. Pages 51-80.Google Scholar
Lancaster, Jane (1984). “Introduction.” In Small (1984). Pages 1-10.Google Scholar
Landau, Misia (1984). “Human Evolution as Narrative.” American Scientist 72: 262-268.Google Scholar
Laporte, Leo F and Zihlman, Adrienne L (1983). “Plates, Climate.and Hominoid Evolution.” South African Journal of Science 79: 96-109.Google Scholar
Latour, Bruno (1978). “Observing Scientists Observing Baboons Observing….” Paper prepared for the Wenner Gren conference, “Baboon Field Research: Myths and Models.” Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Latour, Bruno and Strum, Shirley (1983). “Oh Please, Tell Us Another Story.” Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Latour, Bruno (1984). Les microbes, guerre et paix. suivi de irreduotions. Paris: Metaillie.Google Scholar
Lovejoy, C. Owen (1981). “The Origin of Man.” Science 211 (4480): 341-350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lovejoy, C. Owen (1984). “The Natural Detective.” Natural History October: 24-28.Google Scholar
Morris, Desmond (1967). The Naked Ape. New York: McGraw-Hill. Nash, Roderick. (1982). Wilderness and the American Mind. 3rd ed. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
Ortner, Sherry B (1972). “Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture?” Feminist Studies 1: 5-31. (As reprinted in Women, Culture, and Society. Edited by M.Z. Rosaldo and L. Lamphere. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1974. Pages 67-88.Google Scholar
Rosaldo, Michelle Z (1980). “The Use and Abuse of Anthropology: Reflections on Feminism and Cross-cultural Understanding.”. Signs 5: 389-417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rowell, Thelma (1974). “The Concept of Dominance.” Behavioral Biology 11: 131-154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rowell, Thelma (1984). “Introduction. Section I.” In Small (1984). Pages 13-16.Google Scholar
Ruddick, Sara (1982). “Maternal Thinking.” In Rethinking the Family. Edited by Thome, B and Yalom, M. New York: Longmann. Pages 76-94.Google Scholar
Said, Edward (1978). Orientalism. Hew York: Pantheon. Sandoval, Chela. (1984). “Disillusionment and the Poetry of the Future: The Making of Op positional Consciousness.” Unpublished Ph.D. qualifying essay. History of Consciousness Department, University of California at Santa Cruz.Google Scholar
Said, Edwar (n.d.). Women Respond to Racism. Oakland, CA: Center for Third World Organizing.Google Scholar
Sherfy, Mary Jane (1973). The Nature and Evolution of Female Sexuality. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
Shostak, Marjorle (1981). Nisa: The Life and Words of a I Kung Woman. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Small, Meredit (ed.). (1984). Female Primates: Studies by Women primatologists. New York: Allan Lisa.Google Scholar
Strathern, Marilyn (1980). “No Nature, No Culture: The Hagan Case.” In Nature Culture and Gender. Edited by C.P. MacCormack and M. Strathern. London: Oxford University Press: Pages 174-222.Google Scholar
Strathern, Marilyn (1984). “Dislodging a World View: Challenge and Counter-Challenge in the Relationship between Feminism and Anthropology.” Unpublished manuscript from lecture in the series, Changing Paradigms: The Impact of Feminist Theory on the World'of Scholarship. Research Centre for Women's Studies, Adelaide, Australia.Google Scholar
Symons, Donald (1979). The Evolution of Human Sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press:.Google Scholar
Tiger, Lione and Fox, Robin (1971). The Imperial Animal • New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
Tournier, Michel (1972). Vendredi ou lea limbes du Pacificue. Paris: Gaillmard.Google Scholar
Traweek, Sharon (1982). Uptime, Downtime, Spacetime, and Power; An Ethnography of the Particle Physics Community in Japan and the United States. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. History of Consciousness Board, University of California at Santa Cruz. University Microfilms Publication Number ADG83-23456.Google Scholar
Trescott, Martha (1984). “Women Engineers in History: Profiles in Holism and Persistence.” In Women in Scientific and Engineering Professions. Edited by V. Haas and C. Perruoci. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Pages 181-204.Google Scholar
Trivers, Robert (1972). “Parental Investment and Sexual Selection.” In Sexual Selection and the Descent of Man. Edited by B. Campbell. Chicago: Aldine. Pages 136-179.Google Scholar
Wasser, Samue (ed.). (1983). Social Behavior of Female Vertebrates. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Williams, George (1966). Adaptation and natural Seleotlon. Princeton: Princeton university Press.Google Scholar
Wilson, E.O (1975). Sociobiology. The New Synthesis. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Winner, Langdon (1980). “Do Artifacts Have Politics?” Daedalus 109(1): 121-136.Google Scholar
Winner, Langdon (1983). “Techne and Politeia: The Technical Constitution of Society.” In Philosophy and Technology. Edited by P.T. Durbin and F. Rapp. Dordrecht: Beidel. Pages 97-111.Google Scholar
Wrangham, Richard (1979). “On the Evolution of Ape Social Systems.” Social Science Information 18: 335-309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zaoharias, Kristin (1984). “The Owen-Huxley Debate on the Brain: A New Appraisal.” Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
Zihlman, Adrienne (1982). The Human Evolution Coloring Book. New York: Barnes and Noble.Google Scholar
Zihlman, Adrienne (1983). “A Behavioral Reconstruction of Australopithecus.” In Hominid Origins: Inquiries Past and Present. Edited by Reichs, K.J. Washington, DC: University Press of America. Pages 207-238.Google Scholar
Zihlman, Adrienne and Lowenstein, Jerrold (1983). “A Few Words with Ruby.” New Scientist 14 (April): 81-83.Google Scholar
Zuckerman, Solly (1932). The Social Life of Primates. London: Routledge.Google Scholar