Can There be a Philosophy of Archaeology?: Processual Archaeology and the Philosophy of Science

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Lexington Books, 2006 - Philosophy - 145 pages
Can There Be a Philosophy of Archaeology? provides a historical and philosophical analysis of the rise and fall of the philosophical movement know as logical positivism, focusing on the effect of that movement on the budding science of archaeology. Significant problems resulted from the grafting of logical positivism onto what became known as processual, or new archaeology, and as a result of this failure, archaeologists distanced themselves from philosophers of science, believing that archaeology would be best served by a return to the dirt. By means of a thorough analysis of the real reasons for failures of logical empiricism and the new archaeology, as well as a series of archaeological case studies, Krieger shows the need for the resumption of dialogue and collaboration between the two groups. In an age where philosophers of science are just beginning to look beyond the standard examples of scientific practice, this book demonstrates that archaeological science can hold its own with other sciences and will be of interest to archaeologists and philosophers of science alike.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Logical Positivism and Scientific Explanation
5
The Nature of Hempelian Explanation
14
Explanation and the Social Sciences
21
The New Archaeology
31
The Origins of New Archaeology
33
The Need for Change
37
The Aims Features and Methods of New Archaeology
39
Laws and the Philosophy of Science
74
Disunified Science and the Future of Archaeology
95
Philosophical Problems Archaeological Responses
99
Science Values and Archaeology
110
A Call for Reevaluation
116
Future Studies Archaeological Explanation and the Philosophy of Science
119
Moving Forward
126
Bibliography
129

The New Archaeologys New Archaeologists
47
Problems and Issues
62
Philosophical Accounts of Archaeological Explanation
66
Philosophy and Archaeology PostPositivism
69

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About the author (2006)

William H. Krieger serves as a field director for Tell el Far'ah South excavation in Southern Israel, and is an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Rhode Island.

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