ARCHY 574 A: Meta-Archaeology: Philosophy And Archaeology

Meeting Time: 
T 5:30pm - 7:20pm
Location: 
SAV 157
SLN: 
20640

Syllabus Description:

Weekly readings and assignments

ME = Chapman & Wylie, Material Evidence: textbook available from the bookstoreView in a new window
ER = Chapman & Wylie (eds.), Evidential Reasoning in Archaeology: manuscriptView in a new window
Background = these are optional readings intended as resources for in-class presentations and term papers.

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Week 1 | March 29: Introduction to the seminar

  • Review of the introductions to ME and ER

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Week 2 | April 5: Framing the issues archaeologically

    Background:

Round-robin assignment: everyone post a response to these questions: What is the most hotly debated issue about evidence (or, evidential reasoning) in your area of research interest? What’s at stake, and why does it matter?  Post your responses HERE.

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Week 3 | April 12: Philosophical and historical contexts

  • Toulmin, S. E. (1958) “The Layout of Arguments,” in The Uses of Argument, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 87-131.View in a new window Focus on pp. 87-118.
  • Godfrey-Smith, P. (2003) “Logic Plus Empiricism,” and “Induction, Deduction, Confirmation,” Theory and Realitypp. 19-37 and 40-46, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

PPT slides: 'Logical Positivism/Empiricism'

   Background:

  • Chang, H. (2004) “Keeping the Fixed Points Fixed,” in Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress, pp. 8-56,View in a new window Oxford: Oxford University Press. Focus on pp. 39-53.
  • Daston, L. (ed.) (2008), “Speechless,” in Things That Talk: Object Lessons from Art and Science, pp. 9-24, New York: Zone Books.
  • Reiss, J. (2015) “A Pragmatist Theory of Evidence,” Philosophy of Science, 82(3): 341-362.View in a new window
  • Norton, J. D. (2003) “A Material Theory of Induction,” Philosophy of Science, 70(4): 647-670.View in a new window

Reading responses: post your comments HERE.

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Week 4 | April 19: Capturing data

  • ER: chapter 2, “The Field Practice of Archaeology: Scaffolding in Practice”
  • ME: Bradley, “Repeating the Unrepeatable Experiment”
          Farid, “Proportional Representation: Multiple Voices in Archaeological Interpretation”
  • Daston, L. (1992) “Objectivity and the Escape from Perspective,” Social Studies of Science 22: 597- 618.View in a new window.

   Background:

  • Lopes, D. M. (2009) “Drawing in a Social Science: Lithic Illustration,” Perspectives on Science 1: 5-25View in a new window
  • Hodder, I. (1997) “Always Momentary, Fluid and Flexible: Towards a Reflexive Excavation Methodology,” Antiquity, 71(273): 691-700View in a new window.
  • Chippindale, C. (2002) “Capta and Data.” American Antiquity 65(4): 605-612.View in a new window

Reading responses: post your comments HERE.

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Week 5 | April 26: Recapturing data

  • ER: chapter 3, “Working with Old Evidence”
  • ME: Boozer, “The Tyranny of Typologies”

   Background:

  • Wimsatt, W. C. (2014) “Entrenchment and Scaffolding,” in L. R. Caporael, J. R. Griesemer and W. C. Wimsatt (eds.), Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition, pp. 77-105,View in a new window Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Wylie, A. (2011) “Archaeological Facts in Transit: The ‘Eminent Mounds’ of Central North America,” in Howlett and Morgan (eds.), How Well Do Facts Travel, pp. 301-322,View in a new window Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reading responses: post your comments HERE.

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Week 6 | May 3: Multiple lines of evidence

  • ER: chapter 4, “External Resources: Archaeology as a Trading Zone”
  • ME: Manning, “Radiocarbon Dating and Archaeology: History, Progress and Present Status”
            Bayliss and Whittle, “Uncertain on Principle: Chronologies”

   Background:

  • Hacking, I. (1981), 'Do We See Through a Microscope?', Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 18: 305-322.View in a new window

 Reading responses: post your comments HERE.

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Week 7 | May 10: Robustness reasoning

  • ME: Bogaard, “Lessons from Modeling Neolithic Farming Practices: Methods of Elimination”
           Pollard and Bray, “The Archaeological Bzaar”
  • Soler, L. (2014) “Against Robustness? Strategies to Support the Reliability of Scientific Results,” International Studies in Philosophy of Science, 28(2): 203-215.View in a new window

    Background:

  • Norton, J. D. (2013) “A Material Dissolution of the Problem of Induction,” manuscript online. (Links to an external site.) Focus on pp. 19-25.View in a new window
  • Soler, L. (2012), 'The Solidity of Scientific Achievements: Structure of the Problem, Difficulties, Philosophical Impilcations', in L. Soler, E. Trizio, T. Nichles and W. C. Wimsatt (eds.), Characterizing the Robustness of Science: After the Practice Turn in Philosophy of Science, pp. 1-60,View in a new windowNew York: Springer. Focus on pp. 1-34.
  • Wimsatt, W. C. (1981) “Robustness, Reliability, and Overdetermination,” in M. B. Brewer and B. E. Collins (eds.), Scientific Inquiry and the Social Sciences, pp. 124-163,View in a new windowSan Francisco: Josey-Bass.

 Reading responses: post your comments HERE.

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Week 8 | May 17: Trading zones and expertise

  • ME: Perry, “Crafting Knowledge with (Digital) Visual Media in Archaeology”
            Llobera, “Working the Digital: Some Thoughts from Landscape Archaeology”
  • Collins, H., Evans, R. and Gorman, M. E. (2007) “Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 38: 657-666.View in a new window

    Background:

  • Galison, P. (2010) “Trading With the Enemy,” in M. E. Gorman (ed.), Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise, pp. 25-52,View in a new window Cambridge MA: MIT Press.

Reading responses: post your comments HERE.

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Week 9 | May 24: Procedural objectivity

  • ER: conclusions, “Reflexivity Made Concrete”
  • ME: Nicholas and Markey, “Traditional Knowledge, Archaeological Evidence, and Other Ways of Knowing”
  • Gero, J. (2007) “Honoring Ambiguity/Problematizing Certitude,” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 14: 311-327.View in a new window
  • Longino, H. E. (2002), “Socializing Knowledge,” in The Fate of Knowledge, pp. 124-144, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Background:

  • Chamberlin, T. C. (1965), 'The Method of Multiple Working Hypotheses', Science, 148(7 May): 745-759. Originally published: (1890) Science (old series), 15: 92-96View in a new window
  • Wylie, A. (2015) “A Plurality of Pluralisms: Collaborative Practice in Archaeology,” in Padovani, Richardson and Tsou (eds.) Objectivity in Science, pp. 189-210View in a new windowDordrecht: Springer.

 Reading responses: post your comments HERE.

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Week 10 | May 30: Final thoughts

  • ME: Lucas, “Evidence of What: On the Possibilities of Archaeological Interpretation”
           Jones, “Meeting Pasts Halfway: The Ontology of Material Evidence in Archaeology”
           Werrett, “Matter and Facts: Material culture and the History of Science”

Round-robin assignment: everyone post a response to this question: Revisit your answer to the round-robin question posed at the beginning of the quarter. How would you now characterize the issues raised by the controversy about evidence you cited then? And how are they best addressed? Post your responses HERE.

Catalog Description: 
Examines philosophical issues raised in and by archaeology, including theories of explanation and model building, analyses of evidential reasoning and hermeneutic interpretation, debates about ideals of objectivity and about science and values. Offered: jointly with PHIL 574.
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:50pm