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Of Records & Ruins: Metaphors about the Deep Past

Currie, Adrian (2023) Of Records & Ruins: Metaphors about the Deep Past. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Consideration of evidence and data in historical science is dominated by textual metaphor: we reconstruct the past on the basis of various incomplete records. I suggest that although textual metaphors are often apt, they also lead philosophers and scientist to think about historical evidence in particular ways, and that other perspectives might be fruitful. Towards this, I explore the notion of natural historical evidence being thought of as ‘ruins’. This has several potential benefits. First, the architectural aspect of the metaphor emphasizes the contingency of historical subjects and the coherency of design-based reconstruction. Second, historical data, like ruins, are co-constructed, involving intimate interaction with materials.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Currie, Adrian
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
Specific Sciences > Historical Sciences
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Depositing User: Dr Adrian Currie
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2023 13:31
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2023 13:31
Item ID: 21878
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Earth Sciences
Specific Sciences > Historical Sciences
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Date: 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/21878

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