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Transcript
Chapter 2
Archaeology,
Anthropology, Science,
and the Humanities
Chapter Outline
• So What’s An Anthropological
Approach?
• The Culture Concept in Anthropology
• Scientific and Humanistic Approaches in
Archaeology
• Conclusion: Scientist or Humanist?
An Anthropological
Approach
• Anthropologists believe the best
understanding of the human condition
arises from a global, comparative, and
holistic approach.
• Archaeologists are anthropologists who
specialize in the deceased.
• Archaeologists draw upon each of the
sub-fields of anthropology.
Kinds of Anthropologists
• Anthropology embraces four primary
fields of study:
– Biological anthropology
– Cultural anthropology
– Linguistic anthropology
– Archaeology
Kinds of Anthropologists
Culture
• Integrated system of beliefs, traditions, and
customs that govern or influence a person’s
behavior.
• Culture is
– Learned
– Shared by members of a group
– Based on the ability to think in terms of
symbols
How Anthropologists
Study Culture
• Ideational perspective
– Focus on ideas, symbols, and mental
structures as driving forces in shaping
human behavior.
• Adaptive perspective
– Isolates technology, ecology, demography,
and economics as the key factors defining
human behavior.
Culture as Ideas
• This perspective emphasizes ideas, thoughts,
and shared knowledge and sees symbols and
their meanings as crucial to shaping human
behavior.
• According to the ideational view of culture,
one cannot comprehend human behavior
without understanding the symbolic code for
that behavior.
Culture as Adaptation
• An adaptive perspective is primarily
concerned with “culture as a system.”
• Social and cultural differences are viewed as
responses to the material parameters of life,
such as food, shelter, and reproduction.
• Human behaviors are seen as linked
systemically, such that change in one area
(technology) will result in change in another
area (social organization).
Characteristics of Science
1.
2.
3.
4.
Science is empirical, or objective.
Science is systematic and explicit.
Science is logical.
Science is explanatory and,
consequently, predictive.
5. Science is self-critical and based on
testing.
6. Science is public.
The Scientific Method
1. Define a relevant problem.
2. Establish one or more hypotheses.
3. Determine the empirical implications of the
hypotheses.
4. Collect appropriate data.
5. Test the hypothesis by comparing these data
with the expected implications.
6. Reject, revise and/or retest hypotheses as
necessary.
• Inductive reasoning
– Working from specific observations to
more general hypotheses.
• Deductive reasoning
– Reasoning from theory to account for
specific observational or experimental
results.
• Multiple working hypotheses
– A set of hypotheses that are tested against
the empirical record from the simplest to
the most complex.
• Bridging arguments
– Logical statements linking observations on
the static archaeological record to the
dynamic behavior or natural processes that
produced it.
• Testability
– The degree to which one’s
observations and experiments can be
reproduced.
• Objectivity
– The attempt to observe things as they
are, without prejudging or falsifying
observations in light of some
preconceived view of the world.
The Scientific Cycle
Science Is Not Infallible
•
Although philosophers of science
rarely agree on many points, they do
generally agree that:
1. There is no single right way to do
science.
2. A scientific approach cannot
guarantee truth.
A Humanistic Approach
• Humanists tend to emphasize the
dignity and worth of the individual.
• Humanistic-style inquiry begins with the
premise that all people possess a
capacity for self-realization through
reason.
Humanism
• A doctrine, attitude, or way of life that
focuses on human interests and values.
• In general, a humanistic approach tends
to reject a search for universals and
stress instead the importance of the
individual’s lived experience.
Scientist or Humanist?
• When archaeologists wish to seek and
understand patterns and regularities in
prehistoric cultures, they are scientists.
• When they wish to understand the
history and culture of particular past
societies, they are humanists.
Scientist or Humanist?
• When archaeologists wish to test their
ideas about the past, they are scientists.
• When they wish to present their results
in a way that will be meaningful to the
public, they are humanists.
Scientist and Humanist
• The scientific method is critical for checking
whether the conclusions derived from
humanistic approaches are correct.
• A humanistic approach is good at generating
ideas, but less useful for testing those ideas.
• Good archaeologists know they need a
humanist in their hearts, and a scientist in
their hands.
Quick Quiz
1. Which of the following is a field of
anthropology:
A. Biology
B. Languages
C. Linguistics
D. Archaeology
E. None of the above.
Answer: D
• Archaeology is a field of anthropology.
• Others include: Biological anthropology,
Cultural anthropology, and Linguistic
anthropology.
2. The ideational perspective of
anthropology:
A. Focuses on ideas, symbols, and mental
structures as forces in human behavior.
B. Considers the ideas of technology,
ecology, demography, and economics as
factors that define behavior.
C. Is primarily concerned with “culture as a
system”.
D. All of the above.
Answer: A.
•
The ideational perspective of
anthropology focuses on ideas,
symbols, and mental structures as
forces in human behavior.
3. Which of the following are
characteristics of science?
A. Objective, logical, explanatory.
B. Objective, subjective and
processural.
C. Based on an untested idea.
D. Objective, logical, explanatory,
unproven.
E. All of the above.
Answer: A
• Science is objective, logical, and
explanatory.