PhilSci Archive

Tales of Tools and Trees: Phylogenetic analysis and explanation in evolutionary archaeology

Houkes, Wybo (2010) Tales of Tools and Trees: Phylogenetic analysis and explanation in evolutionary archaeology. In: [2009] EPSA09: 2nd Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (Amsterdam, 21-24 October, 2009) > EPSA 2009 Contributed Papers.

WarningThere is a more recent version of this item available.
[img]
Preview
PDF
Download (199Kb) | Preview

    Abstract

    In this paper, I study the application of phylogenetic analysis in evolutionary archaeology. I show how transfer of this apparently general analytic tool is affected by salient differences in disciplinary context. One is that archaeologists, unlike many biologists, do not regard cladistics as a tool for classification, but are primarily interested in explanation. The other is that explanation is traditionally sought in terms of individual-level rather than population-level mechanisms. The latter disciplinary difference creates an ambiguity in the application and interpretation of phylogenetic analyses. Moreover, I argue that, while archaeologists have claimed that “cladistics is useful for reconstructing artefact phylogenies” (O’Brien et al. 2001), these reconstructions only contribute minimally to the explanatory research agenda of evolutionary archaeology.


    Export/Citation:EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
    Social Networking:

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: Phylogenetic analysis Evolutionary archaeology Technology
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Systematics
    General Issues > Technology
    Specific Sciences > Anthropology
    Conferences and Volumes: [2009] EPSA09: 2nd Conference of the European Philosophy of Science Association (Amsterdam, 21-24 October, 2009) > EPSA 2009 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: Wybo Houkes
    Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:19
    Item ID: 5212
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5212

    Available Versions of this Item

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads