History of the Human Sciences 31 (3):105-121 (2018)

In recent years some archaeological commentators have suggested moving away from an exclusively anthropocentric view of social reality. These ideas endorse elevating objects to the same ontological level as humans – thus creating a symmetrical view of reality. However, this symmetry threatens to force us to abandon the human subject and theories of meaning. This article defends a different idea. It is argued here that an archaeology of the social, based on human intentionality, is possible, while maintaining an ontology that does not involve dualistic conceptions of reality. Building upon the philosophical work of Vincent Descombes, it is contended that humans are intentional actors and society is predicated on triadic relations that involve humans, objects and meanings. These relations can only be understood holistically, given that these relations are merely parts of a meta-narrative. These meta-narratives contain specific historical and social settings, and it is only within these settings that social relations are intelligible.
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DOI 10.1177/0952695117752017
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References found in this work BETA

We Have Never Been Modern.Bruno Latour - 1993 - Harvard University Press.
The Metaphysics Within Physics.Tim Maudlin - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
Realism, Mathematics and Modality.Hartry Field - 1988 - Philosophical Topics 16 (1):57-107.

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