Different philosophical underpinnings to the way in which archaeological problems are approached carry with them specific implications for the way in which the results or outcomes are presented. Positivist approaches, seen for example in processual archaeology, favour the development of explanations. The relativist approaches axiomatic to most post‐processual archaeology seek instead to develop understandings; the articulation of a set of perceived meanings or knowledge which together form a discourse that is situated within a particular set of circumstances. In this sense an understanding carries with it the idea of contradiction and an acceptance that what is being presented is neither the ‘truth’ nor a complete picture that everyone agrees with. See also multivocality.
Subjects: Philosophy — Archaeology.