Robert L. Carneiro

  Biography   My Works    


Division of Anthropology
American Museum of Natural History
New York, NY 10024
e-mail address:

- Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of Michigan, 1957
- M.A. in Anthropology, University of Michigan, 1952
- B.A. in Political Science, University or Michigan, 1949

- Curator of South American Ethnology, American Museum of Natural History
- Adjunct Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University

- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Hunter College of the City University of New York
- Pennsylvania State University
- University of Victoria
- Fordham University

- Kuikuru of the Upper Xing˙ region of central Brazil, 1953-54, 1975
- Amahuaca of eastern Peru, 1960-1961;
- Yanomam÷ of southern Venezuela, 1975

History of anthropology, ethnological theory, cultural evolution, political evolution, origin of chiefdoms and states, Herbert Spencer; Amazonian ethnology and culture history, cultural ecology, slash-and-burn agriculture, manioc cultivation


Evolutionism in Cultural Anthropology: A Critical History.
Westview Press, Boulder, CO, 2003.
Presents a panoramic overview of the study of cultural evolution, from its beginnings in the late 19th century, up to the present day. It discusses in detail the vicissitudes this approach has undergone over the course of more than a century, including various episodes of anti-evolutionism.

The Muse Of History And The Science Of Culture
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York, 2000.
Examines at great length many of the major issues that historians have traditionally been concerned with: contingency in history, moral judgments in history, the determinants of history, the possibility of history becoming a science, etc. It also attempts to show how an anthropologist would deal with the data that historians have accumulated, especially how they seek to transcend the uniqueness of events, and search for regularities and even laws of history.

Ethnological Essays, by Leslie A. White.(Co-editor, with Beth Dillingham)
University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, 1987.

The Evolution of Society; Selections from Herbert Spencer's Principles of Sociology. (Editor)
University of Chicago Press. Chicago, 1967.

Essays in the Science of Culture in Honor of Leslie A. White. (Co-editor, with Gertrude E. Dole)
Thomas Y. Crowell. New York, 1960.


"Can Anthropology be Made a Science? A Retrospective Glance."
In Ethnos (Sweden), Vol. 69, pp. 268-288, 2004.

"Stellar Evolution and Social Evolution: A Study in Parallel Processes."
In Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society, Vol. 28, pp. 1-23, 2000.

"A Theory of the Origin of the State."
In Science, Vol. 169, pp. 733-738, 1970.

"The Chiefdom: Precursor of the State."
In The Transition to Statehood in the New World, ed. by Grant D. Jones and Robert R. Kautz, pp, 37-79. Cambridge University Press. New York, 1981.

"From Autonomous Villages to the State, a Numerical Estimation."
In Population Growth: Anthropological Implications, ed. by Brian Spooner, pp. 64-77.
The MIT Press. Cambridge, MA, 1972.

"Point Counterpoint: Ecology and Ideology in the Development of New World Civilizations."
In Ideology and Pre-Columbian Civilizations, ed. by Arthur A. Demarest and Geoffrey W. Conrad, pp. 175-203.
School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, NM, 1992.

"War and Peace: Alternating Realities in Human History."
In Studying War, Anthropological Perspectives, ed. by Stephen P. Reyna and R. E. Downs, pp. 3-27. Gordon and Breach,Langhorne, PA. 1994.

"The Role of Natural Selection in the Evolution of Culture."
In Cultural Dynamics, Vol. 5, pp. 113-140, 1992.

"What Happened at the Flashpoint? Conjectures on Chiefdom Formation at the Very Moment of Conception."
In Chiefdoms and Chieftaincy in the Americas, ed. by Elsa M. Redmond, pp. 18-42.
University Press of Florida. Gainesville, FL, 1998.

"The Transition from Quantity to Quality: A Neglected Causal Mechanism in Accounting for Social Evolution."
In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 97, pp. 12926-12931, 2000.

"On The Relationship Between Size of Population and Complexity of Social Organization.
In Southwestern Journal of Anthropology,Vol. 23, pp. 234-243, 1967.

"Ascertaining, Testing, and Interpreting Sequences of Cultural Development."
In Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 24, pp. 354-374, 1968.

"Structure, Function, and Equilibrium in the Evolutionism of Herbert Spencer."
In Journal of Anthropological Research, Vol. 29, pp. 77-95, 1973.

"The Measurement of Cultural Development in the Ancient Near East and in Anglo-Saxon England."
In Transactions of the New York Academy of Sciences, Series II, Vol. 31, pp. 1013-1023, 1969.

"Scale Analysis, Evolutionary Sequences, and the Rating of Cultures."
In A Handbook of Method in Cultural Anthropology, ed. by Raoul Naroll and Ronald Cohen, pp. 833-871.
The Natural History Press. Garden City, NY, 1970.

"The Four Faces of Evolution."
In Handbook of Social and Cultural Anthropology, ed. by John J. Honigmann, pp. 89-110. Rand McNally & Company. Chicago, 1974.

"The Evolution of Complexity in Human Societies and Its Mathematical Expression,"
In International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Vol. 28, pp. 111-128, 1987.

"Process vs. Stages: A False Dichotomy in Tracing the Rise of the State."
In Alternatives of Social Evolution, ed. by Nikolay N. Kradin, et al., pp. 52-58. FEB RAS (Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences) Vladivostok, 2000.

"Slash-and-Burn Cultivation Among the Kuikuru and Its Implications for Cultural Development in the Amazon Basin."
In Native South Americans, ed. by Patricia J. Lyon, pp. 122-132. Little, Brown and Company. Boston, 1974. (Originally published in 1961)

"Factors Favoring the Development of Political Leadership in Amazonia."
In Leadership in Lowland South America, ed. by Waud Kracke. South American Indian Studies (Bennington, VT), No. 1, pp 4-8, 1993. (Originally published in 1981)

"The History of Ecological Interpretations of Amazonia: Does Roosevelt Have It Right?"
In Indigenous Peoples and the Future of Amazonia, ed. by Leslie E. Sponsel, pp.45-70.
University of Arizona Press. Tucson, 1995.

"The Evolution of the TipitÝ: A Study in the Process of Invention."
In Cultural Evolution, Contemporary Viewpoints, ed. by Gary Feinman and Linda Manzanilla, pp. 61-93.
Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. New York, 2000.

"Godzilla Meets New Age Anthropology: Facing the Post-Modernist Challenge to a Science of Culture." Europaea (Italy), Vol. 1, pp. 3-22, 1995.

"The Political Unification of the World: Whether, When, and How--Some Speculations."
In Cross-Cultural Research, Vol. 38, pp. 162-177, 2004.

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