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Philosophy - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science | Material Agency - Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Approach

Material Agency

Towards a Non-Anthropocentric Approach

Knappett, Carl, Malafouris, Lambros (Eds.)

2008

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  • Brand new viewpoint on a long-held belief
  • Contributions from a wide variety of social scientists

Agency is a key theme that cross-cuts a wide raft of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences and beyond; yet it is invariably discussed separately behind closed disciplinary doors.

Within archaeology, agency has been characterized as a uniquely human attribute, and a means of incorporating individual intentionality into theoretical discourse. In other domains, however, notions of non-human and ‘material’ agency have been finding currency, and it is our aim to introduce some of these themes into archaeology and develop a non-anthropocentric approach to agency.

It is anticipated that such a perspective will not only help us achieve more convincing interpretations of the past, giving a more active role to material culture, but also throw new light on the changing role of artifacts in the present and the future.

This book is a groundbreaking attempt to address questions of non-human and material agency from a wide range of perspectives and disciplines: archaeology, anthropology, sociology, cognitive science, philosophy, and economics. The editors and authors demostrate that a distributed, relational approach to agency, incorporating both humans and artifacts, has important ramifications for how we understand material culture.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Archaeology - Material Culture - Pierre Bourdieu - Skill Studies - Sociology - archaeology of memory - artifacts - cognitive science - intelligent artefacts - material agency - material entities - science - social theory - symbiotic relationships

Related subjects » Anthropology & Archaeology - Epistemology & Philosophy of Science

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