Advertisement

The Logicist Analysis of Explanatory Theories in Archaeology

  • Jean-Claude Gardin
Chapter
Part of the Methodos Series book series (METH, volume 1)

Abstract

All the products of archaeological research can be regarded as theories in the etymological sense of the word: namely points of view concerning events or ways of life in ancient societies, inferred from the analysis of material remains. This is fairly obvious when archaeologists embark upon explanations of complex historical phenomena about which written texts offer little or no evidence, such as the emergence of agriculture at different times in various parts of the world (the so-called Neolithic revolution), the decline and fall of the Maya empire, etc. Ideas differ regarding the weight of various factors in such phenomena—climatic, economic, demographic, etc. We are clearly dealing then with alternative theories of a complex process; but the same is true of the more modest products of archaeological research. Assigning a function to an object of unknown use, for instance, is a way to “explain” it, from a utilitarian or any other viewpoint (social, religious, magical, etc.). More basically still, the attribution of space and time coordinates to archaeological finds is an inevitable component of any explanation in which those finds play a part. Thus, it is impossible to account for the sudden abundance of coarse hand-made pottery in ancient Hellenistic sites of the Black sea unless we are able to demonstrate first that those unexpected potsherds belonged to the traditional ware of the Scytho-Sarmatian tribes that roamed through Eurasia in the last centuries of the 1st millennium B.C. and eventually mixed or traded with Greek settlers in that area. The generality of this process stands out in the interpretation of iconographical monuments; in order to make sense of prehistoric paintings, for instance, one needs to put forward a number of arguments by analogy which are in fact different ways of looking at the painted caves—in other words, different viewpoints, different theories meant to explain the motivations of prehistoric artists or the destination of their works.

Keywords

Logicist Program Logicist Analysis Archaeological Research Explanatory Theory Archaeological Remains 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Borghetti, M. (1995). Studio di un caso: l’analisi di un testo di storia economica. In J.-C. Gardin & M. Borghetti, L’architettura del testi storiografici, un’ipotesi (pp. 111–205). Bologna: Cooperativa Libraria Universitaria Editrice.Google Scholar
  2. Clarke, D. (Ed.). (1972). Models in archaeology. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
  3. Djindjian, F. (1991). Méthodes pour l’archéologie. Paris: Armand Colin.Google Scholar
  4. Evrard, E. (1995). Horace, CI, 11. Les Etudes classiques, 63, 23–37.Google Scholar
  5. Francfort, H.-P. (1987). Un système expert pour l’analyse archéologique des sociétés proto-urbaines. Informatique et sciences humaines, 74, 73–91.Google Scholar
  6. Francfort, H.-P. (1992). The sense of measure in archaeology. In J.-C. Gardin & C. S. Peebles (Eds.), Representations in Archaeology (pp. 291–314). Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gallay, A. (1989). Logicism: a french view of archaeological theory founded in computational perspective. Antiquity, 53(238), 27–39.Google Scholar
  8. Gallay, A. (1998). Mathematics and logicism in archaeology. In S. Tabaczynski (Ed.), Theory and Practice of Archaeological Research, vol.3: Dialogue with the Data, the Archaeology of Complex Societies and its Social Context in the 90s (pp. 115–137). Warsaw: Scientia.Google Scholar
  9. Gallay, A., de Ceuninck, G. (1998). Les jarres de mariage décorées du Delta intérieur du Niger (Mali). Approche ethnoarchéologique d’un “bien de prestige”. In B. Fritsch, M. Maute, I. Matuschik, J. Müller, & C. Wolf (Eds.), Tradition und Innovation : Prähistorische Archäologie als Historische Wissenschaft, Festschrift für Christian Strahm (pp. 13–30). Rahden/Westf: Marie Leidorf.Google Scholar
  10. Gardin, J.-C. (1980). Archaeological constructs: and aspect of archaeological theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [French adaptation (1979/80), Une archéologie théorique, Paris: Hachette.]Google Scholar
  11. Gardin, J.-C. (1981). Vers une épistémologie pratique en sciences humaines. In J.-C. Gardin, M.-S. Lagrange, J.-M. Martin, J. Molino, & J. Natali (Eds.), La logique du plausible: essais d’épistémologie en sciences humaines (pp. 3–91). Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.Google Scholar
  12. Gardin, J.-C. (1991). Le calcul et la raison. Essais sur la formalisation du discours savant. Paris: Editions de l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.Google Scholar
  13. Gardin, J.-C. (1995). L’éloge de la littérature et ses ambiguïtés dans les sciences historiques. In A. Gallay (Ed.), Dans les Alpes, à l’aube du métal. Archéologie et bande dessinée (pp. 23–33). Sion: Musées cantonnaux du Valais.Google Scholar
  14. Gardin, J.-C. (1998a). Cognitive issues and problems of publication in archaeology. In S. Tabaczynski (Ed.), Theory and practice of archaeological research, vol.3: Dialogue with the data, the archaeology of complex societies and its social context in the 90s (pp. 65–113). Warsaw: Scientia.Google Scholar
  15. Gardin, J.-C. (1998b). Prospections archéologiques en Bactriane orientale (1974–1978), vol.3: Description des sites et notes de synthèse. Paris: Editions Recherches sur les Civilisations.Google Scholar
  16. Gardin, J.-C. (1999). Calcul et narrativité dans les publications archéologiques. Archeologia e Calcolatori, 10, 63–78.Google Scholar
  17. Gardin, J.-C. (2000). Entre modèle et récit: les flottements de la Troisième voie. In C. Grignon et al. (Eds.), Le Modèle et le Récit. Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.Google Scholar
  18. Gardin, J.-C. (2001). Modèles et récits. In J.-M. Berthelot (Ed.), L’épistémologie des sciences sociales. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  19. Gardin, J.-C, & Borghetti, M. (1995). L’architettura dei testi storiografici, un’ipotesi. Bologna: Cooperativa Libraria Universitaria Editrice.Google Scholar
  20. Gardin, J.-C, Guillaume, O., Herman, P., Hesnard, A., Lagrange, M.-S., Renaud, M., & Zadora-Rio, E. (1987/88). Systèmes experts et sciences humaines: le cas de l’archéologie. Paris: Eyrolles. [English translation (1988), Artificial intelligence and expert systems: Case studies in the knowledge domain of archaeology, Chichester: Ellis Horwood.]Google Scholar
  21. Grize, J.-B. (1974). Logique mathématique, logique naturelle et modèles. Jahresbericht der Schweizerischen Geisteswissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft, 201–207.Google Scholar
  22. Hodder, I. (1999). The archaeological process: an introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  23. Lagrange, M.-S., & Bonnet, Ch. (1978). Les chemins de la Memoria: nouvel essai d’analyse du discours archéologique. Paris: Editions du C.N.R.S.Google Scholar
  24. Lagrange, M.-S., & Renaud, M. (1984). Deux expériences de simulation du raisonnement en archéologie au moyen d’un système expert. Informatique et sciences humaines, 59–60, 161–168.Google Scholar
  25. Renfrew, C. (1994). Towards a cognitive archaeology. In C. Renfrew & E. Zubrow (Eds.), The ancient mind. Elements of cognitive archaeology (pp. 3–12). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Roux, V. (Ed.). (2000). Cornalines de l’Inde : des pratiques techniques à Cambay aux techno-systèmes de VIndus. [A hypertext on CD ROM is included, by V. Roux & Ph. Blasco.] Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.Google Scholar
  27. Stoczkowski, W. (1994). Anthropologie naïve, anthropologie savante. De l’origine de l’homme, de l’imagination et des idées reçues. Paris: CNRS Editions.Google Scholar
  28. Toulmin, S. (1958). The uses of arguments. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Claude Gardin

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations