Les modèles logico-discursifs en archéologie

Gardin, J.-C. (2002) Les modèles logico-discursifs en archéologie. Archeologia e Calcolatori, 13. pp. 19-30. ISSN 1120-6861


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One of the tasks of cognitive archaeology according to C. RENFREW (1994) is «to use the well-established techniques of rational scientific inquiry, and to aim to develop these […] by explicit theoretical formulations». Such is the purport of the ongoing research program initiated in France in the ’70s on the logicist analysis and computational modelling of archaeological constructs (GARDIN 1979). A first assessment was presented to UISPP Commission 4 in 1990; the present paper describes advances of the program after that date in two directions, theoretical and pratical. 1. On the theoretical side, (a) new light has been shed on the position of the logicist analysis of archaeological papers (irrespective of their subject or denomination) in relation to recent work on natural logic or natural reasoning in the sciences of man; (b) further, the modelling function of the proposed ‘schematisations’ of argument has been brought out in the course of an ongoing debate on the respective part of Models and Narratives in the constitution of knowledge in the social sciences. The constraints to which mathematical models are currently subject are applicable to logico-discursive models as well: the same tests (formal coherence and empirical correspondence) are used to establish the validity of both; (c) lastly, as a logical follow-up of a and b, the case for a ‘séparation des genres’ has been strengthened, i.e. scientific models on the one hand, whether quantitative (mathematical) or qualitative (logicist), and/or imaginative amplifications of their findings on the other, both genres being however regarded as contributions to knowledge in a broad sense (BRUNER 1986). A large part of our discursive constructs belong to an intermediate or hybrid kind which tends to claim a distinct epistemological status, between or above the two genres. Doubt are raised about the future of this perspective in the long run; they found some unexpected support in Paul Ricoeur’s recent plea for a return to a stricter distinction between the cognitive and the rhetorical components in our «writing of history and representations of the past» (RICOEUR 2000). 2. On the pratical side, a new form of archaeological publication has been proposed (ROUX 2000), combining the principles of logicist analysis and new information technology. It consists in reformulating linear discursive constructs as tree-like structures of inference, expressed in computational terms (data base + rewrite formulas), and recording them on an electronic support, CD-ROM or web site, in order to take advantage of the navigational facilities of hypertext. No loss of cognitive substance is incurred in the process; and a partial answer is thereby offered to the ‘reading vs. consultation issue’ now widely acknowledged in scientific research, in the humanities as elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Djindjian F., Moscati P. (eds.), XIV UISPP Congress (Liège - Belgium 2001). Proceedings of Commission IV Symposia. Data Management and Mathematical Methods in Archaeology
Uncontrolled Keywords: History of applications and research projects; theoretical and methodological problems
Subjects: 900 Storia, Geografia e discipline ausiliarie > 930 Storia dei mondo antico fino al 499 ca. > 930.1 Archeologia (Classificare qui la Storia fino al 4000 a.C., l'Archeologia preistorica, le opere interdisciplinari sull'Archeologia) > 930.102 Archeologia - Opere miscellanee > 930.1028 Archeologia – Tecniche, metodologie, apparecchi e strumenti (comprende: Archeometria) > 930.10285 Archeologia – Applicazioni informatiche (comprende: tecniche di datazione)
Depositing User: Dott.ssa Paola Moscati
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2009
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 10:05
URI: http://eprints.bice.rm.cnr.it/id/eprint/819

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