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date: 28 June 2017

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, we discuss the relationship between the tradition of American philosophical pragmatism and contemporary archaeological theory. Our focus is on the work of G.H. Mead, whose social pragmatism has played an important role in the recent neo-pragmatist revival. We begin by explaining the reasons for the highly selective appropriation of his ideas in sociology. We then suggest an alternative reading of Mead. This alternative reading explores two fundamental categories in Mead’s thinking: his conception of agency and his theory of objects. We conclude by showing the fruitful intersections between these two aspects of Mead’s work and recent post-processual archaeology.

Keywords: G. H. Mead, pragmatism, meaning, objects, agency, self

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