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Why archaeology, in all of its components, is a social science

Boissinot, P. (2017) Why archaeology, in all of its components, is a social science. Palethnologie, 9. pp. 86-94.

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Abstract

It is often said that archaeology lies at the interface between the natural and social sciences, as demonstrated by its range of publications, the distribution of its research teams, and its varied theoretical propositions. By re-examining these theoretical propositions and suggesting a new object for this science, it becomes possible to find a unity and uniqueness specific to archaeology. Based on the idea of the aggregate, and then exploring the minimalist ontology of the philosopher F. Wolff (things, events, people), it is suggested that what is being referred to is a world at our own scale and within our own semantic field, but which is designed using concepts developed by the other social sciences. While the use of analyses (physico-chemical, biological) is increasingly common, these are not the determining aspect of archaeological discourse, which cannot present its constituent parts independently of all points of view, unlike the natural sciences.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Boissinot, P.philippe.boissinot@ehess.fr
Keywords: archaeology, ontology, epistemology, natural sciences, social sciences
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
٠ Out of Print ٠
Depositing User: Dr Philippe Boissinot
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2018 21:24
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2018 21:24
Item ID: 14282
Journal or Publication Title: Palethnologie
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Realism/Anti-realism
٠ Out of Print ٠
Date: December 2017
Page Range: pp. 86-94
Volume: 9
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14282

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