The object of this study is effectively summarised in its title: An evaluation of the science-philosophical model applied by Van Seters to the Abraham traditions in his book Abraham in history and tradition. The following method was employed. The first step was to ascertain what Van Seters had in mind with his book, particularly the historiographic section. The factors which might have contributed to his interest in the subject, and which underlie the convictions embodied in the book, had to be identified. This required a survey of the academic climate that prevailed in biblical archaeology, in Syro-Palestinian archaeology and in American archaeology in general (“New Archaeology”) during and shortly before the publication of the book. I moreover called for an enquiry into the chief models of rationality that occur in the history of the philosophy of science. This enabled me to identify the rationality models of the Albright school and the “New Archaeologists”. This background study made it possible to place Van Seters in a science-philosophical perspective. I conclude that his researches into the Abraham traditions, like those of the Albright school, fall into a logical-positivist intellectual framework which leaves him no alternative but to deal inductively with archeological data. Despite the fact that he accuses the Albright school of a particular bias, which he attempts to avoid in his own book, this study indicates that he too is subject to a bias which is inherent in his model of rationality. This study therefore concludes that Van Seters has stressed the untenability of the “Old Archaeology” model. It is no longer possible to practise science without stating assumptions in the form of explicitly defined hypotheses. Van Seters’s work has demonstrated anew that the inductive method will always produce widely divergent results without making it possible to distinguish between effective and less effective solutions.
|Author||Scheepers CL Van W|
|Alternative Title||Archaeology and the abraham traditions : a science philosophical appraisal of the methodology of John van Seters|
|Degree Type||Doctoral degree|
|Degree Description||D Th|