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From Things to Thinking: Cognitive Archaeology

Currie, Adrian and Killin, Anton (2019) From Things to Thinking: Cognitive Archaeology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Cognitive archaeologists infer from material remains to the cognitive features of past societies. We characterize cognitive archaeology in terms of trace-based reasoning, which in the case of cognitive archaeology involves inferences drawing upon background theory linking objects from the archaeological record to cognitive (including psychological, symbolic, and ideological) features. We analyse such practices, examining work on cognitive evolution, language, and musicality. We argue that the central epistemic challenge for cognitive archaeology is often not a paucity of material remains, but insufficient constraint from cognitive theories. However, we also argue that the success of cognitive archaeology does not necessarily require well-developed cognitive theories: Success might instead lead to them.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Currie, Adrian
Killin, Anton
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology
Specific Sciences > Archaeology
Depositing User: Dr Adrian Currie
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2019 18:24
Last Modified: 25 May 2019 17:06
Item ID: 15676
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology
Specific Sciences > Archaeology
Date: 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15676

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