1932

Abstract

The philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, and in particular his theory of signs (semiotic), has seen increasing interest within archaeological theory over the past 20 years. This article reviews Peirce's most influential ideas within archaeology, directs readers to where in Peirce's voluminous works they can find these ideas, and discusses how each of them has been applied by archaeologists to a variety of different research topics. In addition to the semiotic, these ideas include Peirce's metaphysical doctrine of synechism; his methodological pragmatism; abductive logic; and the phenomenological concepts of firstness, secondness, and thirdness. Finally, I discuss two research areas—materiality and paleolithic archaeology—in which a combination of Peirce's ideas has led to important new insights.

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2021-10-21
2024-04-21
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