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Durham e-Theses
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Archaeological knowledge and its representation an inter-disciplinary study of the problems of knowledge representation

Webster, David S. (1992) Archaeological knowledge and its representation an inter-disciplinary study of the problems of knowledge representation. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis is a study of archaeology viewed from a perspective informed by (a) social constructionist theory and pragmatism; (b) techniques of Belief and Knowledge Representation developed by Artificial Intelligence research and (c) the conception of history and historical practice propounded by the philosopher, historian and archaeologist, R.G. Collingwood. It is argued that Gibsonian affordances and von Uexkull's notion of the Umwelt, recently discussed by Rom Harré, provide the basis for a description and understanding of human action and agency. Further, belief and knowledge representation techniques embodied in Expert Systems and Intelligent Tutoring Systems provide a means of implementing models of human action which may bridge intentionality and process and thereby provide a unifying learning environment in which the relationships of language, social action and material transformation of the physical world can be explored in a unified way. The central claim made by the thesis is that Collingwood's logic (dialectic) of Question & Answer developed in 1917 as a hermeneutic procedure, may be seen as a fore-runner of Newell and Simon's Heuristic Search, and thereby amenable to modem approaches to problem solving. Collingwood's own approach to History/ Archaeology is grounded on many shared ideas with pragmatism and a social constructionist conception of mind and is conducted within a problem solving framework. Collingwood is therefore seen as a three-way bridge between Social Psychology, Artificial Intelligence and Archaeology. The thesis concludes that Social Psychology, Artificial Intelligence and Archaeology can be integrated through the use of Intelligent Tutoring Systems informed by a Collingwoodian perspective on Archaeology, Mind and History - construed as Mind's self-knowledge.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1992
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:50

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