Lynn Hankinson Nelson
Alison Wylie, Thinking from
Things: Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology
Additional essays (provided electronically)
We will use issues and debates
in archaeology and the philosophy of archaeology to explore central issues in the philosophy of
the social sciences. These include, but are not limited to, the
different reactions social scientists have had to logical positivism and
the impact on their practices and cognitive values, foundations and
methodologies of the social sciences, objectivity, interpretation,
evidential relationships, and realism and social constructivism.
We will also consider current ethical dilemmas in archaeological practice.
Three 4-5 page papers (75%)
In class assignments (25%)
To insure informed and worthwhile
discussions, reading assignments need to be completed prior to class meetings
devoted to them. I will often begin the meeting by highlighting issues
and/or significant questions and/or relationships to earlier readings.
Discussion, usually guided by specific questions to start and then open,
follows. Lecture notes, in the form of overhead captions and content, are
provided weekly -- usually during the following weekend. The reading schedule
will be provided on this page via a link, as will paper topics and deadlines,
and links to lecture notes. We will have an e-mail list on which
you may post general questions, points of view, news of relevance, and so
forth. I will use the list to announce any changes in the schedule as well
as to provide links or information on relevant topics.