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  1. M. Ashraf Adeel (2015). Evolution of Quine’s Thinking on the Thesis of Underdetermination and Scott Soames’s Accusation of Paradoxicality. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):56-69.
    Scott Soames argues that interpreted in the light of Quine's holistic verificationism, Quine's thesis of underdetermination leads to a contradiction. It is contended here that if we pay proper attention to the evolution of Quine's thinking on the subject, particularly his criterion of theory individuation, Quine's thesis of underdetermination escapes Soames' charge of paradoxicality.
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  2. M. Ashraf Adeel (2015). Evolution of Quine's Thinking on the Thesis of Underdetermination and Scott Soames's Accusation of Paradoxicality. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):56-69.
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  3. Michael Baumgartner (2008). The Causal Chain Problem. Erkenntnis 69 (2):201-226.
    This paper addresses a problem that arises when it comes to inferring deterministic causal chains from pertinent empirical data. It will be shown that to every deterministic chain there exists an empirically equivalent common cause structure. Thus, our overall conviction that deterministic chains are one of the most ubiquitous (macroscopic) causal structures is underdetermined by empirical data. It will be argued that even though the chain and its associated common cause model are empirically equivalent there exists an important asymmetry between (...)
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  4. Michael Baumgartner & Alrik Thiem (forthcoming). Model Ambiguities in Configurational Comparative Research. Sociological Methods & Research.
    For many years, sociologists, political scientists and management scholars have readily relied on Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) for the purpose of configurational causal modeling. However, this article reveals that a severe problem in the application of QCA has gone unnoticed so far: model ambiguities. These arise when multiple causal models fare equally well in accounting for configurational data. Mainly due to the uncritical import of an algorithm that is unsuitable for causal modeling, researchers have typically been unaware of the whole (...)
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  5. Delia Belleri (2014). Why Semantic Unspecificity is Not Indexicality. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (1):56-69.
    In this paper, I address the idea that certain sentences suffer from what is generally called semantic unspecificity: their meaning is determinate, but their truth conditions are not. While there tends to be agreement on the idea that semantic unspecificity differs from phenomena such as ambiguity and vagueness, some theorists have defended an account which traces it to indexicality, broadly construed. Some authors have tried to vindicate the distinction between unspecificity and indexicality and, in this paper, I pursue the same (...)
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  6. Gordon Belot (forthcoming). Objectivity and Bias. Mind.
    The twin goals of this essay are: (i) to investigate a family of cases in which the goal of guaranteed convergence to the truth is beyond our reach; and (ii) to argue that each of three strands prominent in contemporary epistemological thought has undesirable consequences when confronted with the existence of such problems. Approaches that follow Reichenbach in taking guaranteed convergence to the truth to be the characteristic virtue of good methods face a vicious closure problem. Approaches on which there (...)
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  7. Lars Bergström (2004). Underdetermination of Physical Theory. In Roger F. Gibson (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Quine. Cambridge University Press 91--114.
  8. Lars Bergström (1993). Quine, Underdetermination, and Skepticism. Journal of Philosophy 60 (7):331-358.
  9. Lars Bergström (1984). Underdetermination and Realism. Erkenntnis 21 (3):349 - 365.
  10. Alexander Bird (2007). Underdetermination and Evidence. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press
    I present an argument that encapsulates the view that theory is underdetermined by evidence. I show that if we accept Williamson's equation of evidence and knowledge, then this argument is question-begging. I examine ways of defenders of underdetermination may avoid this criticism. I also relate this argument and my critique to van Fraassen's constructive empiricism.
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  11. Jacob Busch (2011). Indispensability and Holism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 42 (1):47-59.
    It is claimed that the indispensability argument for the existence of mathematical entities (IA) works in a way that allows a proponent of mathematical realism to remain agnostic with regard to how we establish that mathematical entities exist. This is supposed to be possible by virtue of the appeal to confirmational holism that enters into the formulation of IA. Holism about confirmation is supposed to be motivated in analogy with holism about falsification. I present an account of how holism about (...)
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  12. Tulodziecki Dana (2007). Breaking the Ties: Epistemic Significance, Bacilli, and Underdetermination. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C.
  13. Finnur Dellsén (forthcoming). Realism and the Absence of Rivals. Synthese:1-20.
    Among the most serious challenges to scientific realism are arguments for the underdetermination of theory by evidence. This paper defends a version of scientific realism against what is perhaps the most influential recent argument of this sort, viz. Kyle Stanford’s New Induction over the History of Science. An essential part of the defense consists in a probabilistic analysis of the slogan “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. On this basis it is argued that the likelihood of a theory (...)
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  14. Forrai (1999). Are Quine’s Two Indeterminacy Theses Compatible? Acta Analytica 14 (23.):89-99..
    The paper seeks to show that Quine’s theses concerning the underdetermination of scientific theories by experience and the indeterminacy of reference cannot be reconciled if some of Quine’s central assumptions are accepted. The argument is this. Quine holds that the thesis about reference is not just a special case of the other thesis. In order to make sense of this comment we must distinguish between factual and epistemic indeterminacy. Something is factual indeterminate if it is not determined by the facts. (...)
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  15. Greg Frost-Arnold & P. D. Magnus (2010). The Identical Rivals Response to Underdetermination. In P. D. Magnus Jacob Busch (ed.), New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave Macmillan
    The underdetermination of theory by data obtains when, inescapably, evidence is insufficient to allow scientists to decide responsibly between rival theories. One response to would-be underdetermination is to deny that the rival theories are distinct theories at all, insisting instead that they are just different formulations of the same underlying theory; we call this the identical rivals response. An argument adapted from John Norton suggests that the response is presumptively always appropriate, while another from Larry Laudan and Jarrett Leplin suggests (...)
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  16. Greg Frost-Arnold, J. Brian Pitts, John Norton, John Manchak, D. Tulodziecki, P. D. Magnus, David Harker & Kyle Stanford, Synopsis and Discussion. Workshop: Underdetermination in Science 21-22 March, 2009. Center for Philosophy of Science.
    This document collects discussion and commentary on issues raised in the workshop by its participants. Contributors are: Greg Frost-Arnold, David Harker, P. D. Magnus, John Manchak, John D. Norton, J. Brian Pitts, Kyle Stanford, Dana Tulodziecki.
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  17. Thor Grünbaum (forthcoming). The Perception-Action Model: Counting Computational Mechanisms. Mind and Language.
    Milner and Goodale’s Two Visual Systems Hypothesis (TVSH) is regarded as common ground in recent discussions of visual consciousness. A central part of TVSH is a functional model of vision and action (a functional perception-action model, PAM for short). In this paper, I provide a brief overview of these current discussions and argue that PAM is ambiguous between a strong and a weak version. I argue that, given a standard way of individuating computational mechanisms, the available evidence cannot be (...)
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  18. Spencer Phillips Hey (2015). Judging Quality and Coordination in Biomarker Diagnostic Development. Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 30 (2):207-227.
    What makes a high-quality biomarker experiment? The success of personalized medicine hinges on the answer to this question. In this paper, I argue that judgment about the quality of biomarker experiments is mediated by the problem of theoretical underdetermination. That is, the network of biological and pathophysiological theories motivating a biomarker experiment is sufficiently complicated that it often frustrates valid interpretation of the experimental results. Drawing on a case-study in biomarker diagnostic development from neurooncology, I argue that this problem of (...)
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  19. Daniel J. Hicks (2015). Epistemological Depth in a GM Crops Controversy. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:1-12.
    This paper examines the scientific controversy over the yields of genetically modified [GM] crops as a case study in epistemologically deep disagreements. Appeals to “the evidence” are inadequate to resolve such disagreements; not because the interlocutors have radically different metaphysical views (as in cases of incommensurability), but instead because they assume rival epistemological frameworks and so have incompatible views about what kinds of research methods and claims count as evidence. Specifically, I show that, in the yield debate, proponents and opponents (...)
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  20. Daniel J. Hicks (2015). Epistemological Depth in a GM Crops Controversy. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 50:1-12.
    This paper examines the scientific controversy over the yields of genetically modified [GM] crops as a case study in epistemologically deep disagreements. Appeals to “the evidence” are inadequate to resolve such disagreements; not because the interlocutors have radically different metaphysical views (as in cases of incommensurability), but instead because they assume rival epistemological frameworks and so have incompatible views about what kinds of research methods and claims count as evidence. Specifically, I show that, in the yield debate, proponents and opponents (...)
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  21. Milena Ivanova (2011). 'Good Sense' in Context: A Response to Kidd. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):610-612.
  22. Milena Ivanova (2010). Pierre Duhem's Good Sense as a Guide to Theory Choice. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (1):58-64.
    This paper examines Duhem’s concept of good sense as an attempt to support a non rule-governed account of rationality in theory choice. Faced with the underdetermination of theory by evidence thesis and the continuity thesis, Duhem tried to account for the ability of scientists to choose theories that continuously grow to a natural classification. I will examine the concept of good sense and the problems that stem from it. I will also present a recent attempt by David Stump to link (...)
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  23. Marvin Kirsh (2013). Determining the Determined State : The Sizing of Size From Aside/the Amassing of Mass by a Mass. Philosophical Papers and Review 4 (4):49-65.
    A philosophical exploration is presented that considers entities such as atoms, electrons, protons, reasoned (in existing physics theories) by induction, to be other than universal building blocks, but artifacts of a sociological struggle that in elemental description is identical with that of all processes of matter and energy. In a universal context both men and materials, when stressed, struggle to accomplish/maintain the free state. The space occupied by cognition, inferred to be the result of the inequality of spaces, is an (...)
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  24. Christian List (1999). Craig's Theorem and the Empirical Underdetermination Thesis Reassessed. Disputatio 7:28-39.
    This paper reassesses the question of whether Craig’s theorem poses a challenge to Quine's empirical underdetermination thesis. It will be demonstrated that Quine’s account of this issue in his paper “Empirically Equivalent Systems of the World” (1975) is flawed and that Quine makes too strong a concession to the Craigian challenge. It will further be pointed out that Craig’s theorem would threaten the empirical underdetermination thesis only if the set of all relevant observation conditionals could be shown to be recursively (...)
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  25. Duncan Macintosh (1994). Partial Convergence and Approximate Truth. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (1):153-170.
    Scientific Realists argue that it would be a miracle if scientific theories were getting more predictive without getting closer to the truth; so they must be getting closer to the truth. Van Fraassen, Laudan et al. argue that owing to the underdetermination of theory by data (UDT) for all we know, it is a miracle, a fluke. So we should not believe in even the approximate truth of theories. I argue that there is a test for who is right: suppose (...)
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  26. P. D. Magnus (2005). Peirce: Underdetermination, Agnosticism, and Related Mistakes. Inquiry 48 (1):26 – 37.
    There are two ways that we might respond to the underdetermination of theory by data. One response, which we can call the agnostic response, is to suspend judgment: "Where scientific standards cannot guide us, we should believe nothing". Another response, which we can call the fideist response, is to believe whatever we would like to believe: "If science cannot speak to the question, then we may believe anything without science ever contradicting us". C.S. Peirce recognized these options and suggested evading (...)
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  27. P. D. Magnus & Jacob Busch (eds.) (2010). New Waves in Philosophy of Science. Palgrave Macmillan.
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  28. Jonathan D. Matheson (2010). Dealing with Disagreement: Uniqueness and Conciliation. Dissertation, Proquest
  29. Conor Mayo-Wilson (2014). The Limits of Piecemeal Causal Inference. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):213-249.
    In medicine and the social sciences, researchers must frequently integrate the findings of many observational studies, which measure overlapping collections of variables. For instance, learning how to prevent obesity requires combining studies that investigate obesity and diet with others that investigate obesity and exercise. Recently developed causal discovery algorithms provide techniques for integrating many studies, but little is known about what can be learned from such algorithms. This article argues that there are causal facts that one could learn by conducting (...)
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  30. Teru Miyake (2015). Underdetermination and Decomposition in Kepler's Astronomia Nova. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:20-27.
    This paper examines the underdetermination between the Ptolemaic, Copernican, and the Tychonic theories of planetary motions and its attempted resolution by Kepler. I argue that past philosophical analyses of the problem of the planetary motions have not adequately grasped a method through which the underdetermination might have been resolved. This method involves a procedure of what I characterize as decomposition and identification. I show that this procedure is used by Kepler in the first half of the Astronomia Nova, where he (...)
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  31. A. W. Moore (1997). The Underdetermination/Indeterminacy Distinction and the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction. Erkenntnis 46 (1):5-32.
    Two of W. V. Quine''s most familiar doctrines are his endorsement of the distinction between underdetermination and indeterminacy, and his rejection of the distinction between analytic and synthetic truths. The author argues that these two doctrines are incompatible. In terms wholly acceptable to Quine, and based on the underdetermination/indeterminacy distinction, the author draws an exhaustive and exclusive distinction between two kinds of true sentences, and then argues that this corresponds to the traditional analytic/synthetic distinction. In an appendix the author expands (...)
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  32. Joe Morrison (2011). Skepticism About Inductive Knowledge. In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge
    A survey of arguments and positions concerning the possibility of inductive knowledge, this piece covers: Hume's problem of induction; the underdetermination of theories by evidence; the method of hypothesis; the relationship between underdetermination and evidential holism; attempts to specify how some statements can be said to be evidentially (or justificatorily) relevant to other claims.
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  33. Seungbae Park (2009). Philosophical Responses to Underdetermination in Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):115 - 124.
    What attitude should we take toward a scientific theory when it competes with other scientific theories? This question elicited different answers from instrumentalists, logical positivists, constructive empiricists, scientific realists, holists, theory-ladenists, antidivisionists, falsificationists, and anarchists in the philosophy of science literature. I will summarize the diverse philosophical responses to the problem of underdetermination, and argue that there are different kinds of underdetermination, and that they should be kept apart from each other because they call for different responses.
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  34. Panu Raatikainen (2012). Ramsification and Inductive Inference. Synthese 187 (2):569-577.
    An argument, different from the Newman objection, against the view that the cognitive content of a theory is exhausted by its Ramsey sentence is reviewed. The crux of the argument is that Ramsification may ruin inductive systematization between theory and observation. The argument also has some implications concerning the issue of underdetermination.
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  35. Howard Sankey (2015). Constructively Engaging with Relativism. [REVIEW] Metascience 24 (2):265-269.
    Traditional epistemology is haunted by the spectre of scepticism. Yet the more pressing concern in the contemporary intellectual scene must surely be relativism rather than scepticism. This has been the case in the history and philosophy of science since the work of Thomas Kuhn and Paul Feyerabend, to say nothing of the emergence of the sociology of scientific knowledge.In Epistemic Relativism: A Constructive Critique, Markus Seidel comes firmly to grips with this modern spectre. Though Seidel devotes attention to other forms (...)
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  36. Markus Seidel (2014). Epistemic Relativism. A Constructive Critique. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Are our beliefs justified only relatively to a specific culture or society? Is it possible to give reasons for the superiority of our scientific, epistemic methods? Markus Seidel sets out to answer these questions in his critique of epistemic relativism. Focusing on the work of the most prominent, explicitly relativist position in the sociology of scientific knowledge – so-called 'Edinburgh relativism' or the 'Strong Programme' –, he scrutinizes the key arguments for epistemic relativism from a philosophical perspective: underdetermination and norm-circularity. (...)
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  37. Brendan Shea (2010). Three Ways of Getting It Wrong: Induction in Wonderland. In Richard Brian Davis (ed.), Alice in Wonderland and Philosophy: Curiouser and Curiouser. Wiley Blackwell 93-107.
    Alice encounters at least three distinct problems in her struggles to understand and navigate Wonderland. The first arises when she attempts to predict what will happen in Wonderland based on what she has experienced outside of Wonderland. In many cases, this proves difficult -- she fails to predict that babies might turn into pigs, that a grin could survive without a cat or that playing cards could hold criminal trials. Alice's second problem involves her efforts to figure out the basic (...)
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  38. Edward Slowik (2012). On Structuralism's Multiple Paths Through Spacetime Theories. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):45-66.
    This essay examines the underdetermination problem that plagues structuralist approaches to spacetime theories, with special emphasis placed on the epistemic brands of structuralism, whether of the scientific realist variety or not. Recent non-realist structuralist accounts, by Friedman and van Fraassen, have touted the fact that different structures can accommodate the same evidence as a virtue vis-à-vis their realist counterparts; but, as will be argued, these claims gain little traction against a properly constructed liberal version of epistemic structural realism. Overall, a (...)
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  39. Paul Taborsky (2014). Is Complexity a Scientific Concept? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:51-59.
    Complexity science has proliferated across academic domains in recent years. A question arises as to whether any useful sense of ‘generalized complexity ’ can be abstracted from the various versions of complexity to be found in the literature, and whether it could prove fruitful in a scientific sense. Most attempts at defining complexity center around two kinds of notions: Structural, and temporal or dynamic. Neither of these is able to provide a foundation for the intuitive or generalized notion when taken (...)
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  40. D. Tulodziecki (2013). Underdetermination, Methodological Practices, and Realism. Synthese 190 (17):3731-3750.
    In this paper, I argue (i) that there are certain methodological practices that are epistemically significant, and (ii) that we can test for the success of these practices empirically by examining case-studies in the history of science. Analysing a particular episode from the history of medicine, I explain how this can help us resolve specific cases of underdetermination. I conclude that, while the anti-realist is (more or less legitimately) able to construct underdetermination scenarios on a case-by-case basis, he will have (...)
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  41. D. Tulodziecki (2012). Epistemic Equivalence and Epistemic Incapacitation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):313-328.
    One typical realist response to the argument from underdetermination of theories by evidence is an appeal to epistemic criteria besides the empirical evidence to argue that, while scientific theories might be empirically equivalent, they are not epistemically equivalent. In this article, I spell out a new and reformulated version of the underdetermination argument that takes such criteria into account. I explain the notion of epistemic equivalence which this new argument appeals to, and argue that epistemic equivalence can be achieved in (...)
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  42. D. Tulodziecki (2007). Breaking the Ties: Epistemic Significance, Bacilli, and Underdetermination. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (3):627-641.
    One premise of the underdetermination argument is that entailment of evidence is the only epistemic constraint on theory-choice. I argue that methodological rules can be epistemically significant, both with respect to observables and unobservables. Using an example from the history of medicine—Koch’s 1882 discovery of tuberculosis bacteria—I argue that even anti-realists ought to accept that these rules can break the tie between theories that are allegedly underdetermined. I then distinguish two types of underdetermination and argue that anti-realists, in order to (...)
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  43. Maarten Van Dyck (2007). Constructive Empiricism and the Argument From Underdetermination. In Bradley John Monton (ed.), Images of Empiricism: Essays on Science and Stances, with a Reply From Bas C. Van Fraassen. Oxford University Press
    It is argued that, contrary to prevailing opinion, Bas van Fraassen nowhere uses the argument from underdetermination in his argument for constructive empiricism. It is explained that van Fraassen’s use of the notion of empirical equivalence in The Scientific Image has been widely misunderstood. A reconstruction of the main arguments for constructive empiricism is offered, showing how the passages that have been taken to be part of an appeal to the argument from underdetermination should actually be interpreted.
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  44. Ioannis Votsis (2007). Review of Kyle Stanford’s Exceeding Our Grasp: Science, History and the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives. [REVIEW] International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):103 – 106.
    In recent years, two challenges stand out against scientific realism: the argument from the underdetermination of theories by evidence (UTE) and the pessimistic induction argument (PI). In his book, Kyle Stanford accepts the gravity of these challenges, but argues that the most serious and powerful challenge to scientific realism has been neglected. The problem of unconceived alternatives (PUA), as he calls it, is introduced in chapter one and refined in chapter two. In short, PUA holds that throughout history scientists (...)
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  45. Alison Wylie & Robert Chapman (eds.) (2015). Material Evidence. Routledge.
    How do archaeologists make effective use of physical traces and material culture as repositories of evidence? Material Evidence is a collection of 19 essays that take a resolutely case-based approach to this question, exploring key instances of exemplary practice, instructive failures, and innovative developments in the use of archaeological data as evidence. The goal is to bring to the surface the wisdom of practice, teasing out norms of archaeological reasoning from evidence. -/- Archaeologists make compelling use of an enormously diverse (...)
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