Multiple analogies in archaeology

Philosophy of Science 66 (4):579-605 (1999)
Analogies have always had an important place in the reconstruction of past cultures by archaeologists. However, archaeologists and philosophers have objected on various grounds to the importance granted to analogy. Heider proposed the use of multiple analogies--analogies incorporating several sources--as a way of overcoming these objections. However, the merits and even the meaning of this proposal have not been explored adequately. This article presents an examination of instances of multiple analogies in the archaeological literature in order to motivate an adequate account of them in terms of the Multiconstraint theory of analogy, and in order to examine their role in archaeological inference. This article does not end the debate over analogies once and for all, but it does bring some needed clarity to this issue of central importance to the philosophy of archaeology
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DOI 10.1086/392756
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