Why Astrology Is Pseudoscience Paulthagard Essay

4383 words - 18 pages

Why Astrology Is a Pseudoscience
Paul R. Thagard
FROM P. Asquith and 1. Hacking, eds., Procceedings of the Philosophy of
Science Association Vol. 1 (East Lansing, Mich.: Philosophy of Science
Association, 1978), 223-34.

Most philosophers and historians of science agree
that astrology is a pseudoscience, but there is little
agreement on why it is a pseudoscience. Answers range
from matters of verifiability and falsifiability, to
questions of progress and Kuhnian normal science, to
the different sort of objections raised by a large panel of
scientists recently organized by The Humanist
magazine. Of course there are also Feyerabendian
anarchists and others who say that no ...view middle of the document...

The moon and
the planets (of which there are five or eight depending
on whether Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are taken into
account) are also located by means of charts on one of
the parts of the Zodiac. Each planet is said to exercise an
influence in a special sphere of human activity; for
example, Mars governs drive, courage and daring, while
Venus governs love and artistic endeavor. The immense
number of combinations of sun, ascendant, moon and
planetary influences allegedly determines human
personality, behavior and fate.
Astrology is an ancient practice, and appears to
have its origins in Chaldea, thousands of years B.C. By
700 B.C., the Zodiac was established, and a few centuries later the signs of the Zodiac were very similar to
current ones. The conquests of Alexander the Great
brought astrology to Greece, and the Romans were

exposed in turn. Astrology was very popular during the
fall of the Republic, with many notables such as Julius
Caesar having their horoscopes cast. However, there
was opposition from such men as Lucretius and Cicero.
Astrology underwent a gradual codification
culminating in Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos [20], written in the
second century A.D. This work describes in great detail
the powers of the sun, moon and planets, and their
significance in people's lives. It is still recognized as a
fundamental textbook of astrology. Ptolemy took
astrology as seriously as he took his famous work in
geography and astronomy; this is evident from the
introduction to the Tetrabiblos, where he discusses two
available means of making predictions based on the
heavens. The first and admittedly more effective of
these concerns the relative movements of the sun, moon
and planets, which Ptolemy had already treated in his
celebrated Almagest [19]. The secondary but still
legitimate means of prediction is that in which we use
the "natural character" of the aspects of movement of
heavenly bodies to "investigate the changes which they
bring about in that which they surround" ([20], p. 3). He
argues that this method of prediction is possible because
of the manifest effects of the sun, moon and planets on
the earth, for example on weather and the tides.
The European Renaissance is heralded for the rise of
modern science, but occult arts such as astrology and
alchemy flourished as well. Arthur Koestler has described
Kepler's interest in astrology: not only did astrology
provide Kepler with a livelihood, he also pursued it as a
serious interest, although he was skeptical of the
particular analyses of previous astrologers ([13], pp.
244-248). Astrology was popular both among
intellectuals and the general public through the
seventeenth century. However, astrology lost most of this
popularity in the eighteenth century, when it was attacked
by such figures of the Enlightenment as Swift [24] and
Voltaire [29]. Only since the 1930's has astrology again
gained a huge audience: most people today know at least
...

Other Essays Like Why Astrology Is Pseudoscience-Paulthagard

Cheaper by the Dozen Essay

551 words - 3 pages , and Germany. Mr. and Mrs. Gilbreth had twelve children, six girls and six boys. The names of the children are Anne, Ernestine, Frank, Bill, Lillian, Martha, Jack, Jane, Fred, Mart, Bob, and Dan. The older children's job is to take care of the youngest and the mother took care of the intermediate children and babies. Nothing was consider more a sin than wasting time, that is why the father, Frank, times himself trying to go as fast as

The Story of a Prince Essay

2177 words - 9 pages one, and so chose he to stay home at his palace. And for about two months he was able to partake in whatever it was he wanted, before his training as a prince truly began. The prince, knowing this, spent as much of his time doing what he wanted to as possible. Among this included many of his festivities being placed outdoors, in the sunshine and occasionally, in the moon glow. He found in this time that he grew to love astrology

Humanities

747 words - 3 pages popularly when the storyteller assumes what they were saying was supposed to be true because it is been told over and over again. “It’s a myth” means that it is not a fictional story, something like a rumor and no one truly knows if it really happened or not. In the academic context a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some human being or hero or event with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation. 2. Why

Mysteries of History

1032 words - 5 pages Nostradamus (Hogue 7), believed that his prophecies were evidently going to come true. He seemingly had a great affect on humankind, not only through prophecies, but also through his medicine. He was a practicing physician, astronomer and astrologer who lived in the mid 16th century who turned his hand to prophecy later in life (Sanghavi). After spending most of his time from 1521-1529 in school, studying medicine and astrology, he had gone to

Split Up Hr

2136 words - 9 pages with the global economy and e-enabled technologies, I suggest to take the Google route and rename ‘human resources’ as ‘People Operations’. Google has used this name to turn human decisions from a hunch-based pseudoscience to a data driven educated decision. (Devlin, 2014) References Andersen, Erika. (September 2013). 4 Ways To Become A Strategic Business Partner (And Why You Should Want To). Forbes. Retrieved from: http

The Ignorance of the Alien Theory

2123 words - 9 pages not be ignorant to think extraterrestrials only visited the United States or respective allies of the U.S.? This is all despite the fact that if aliens were visiting the Earth they are able to be covered up by the government. The same beings that supposedly have technology that makes ours seem archaic. If this is all true then why would the government go through so much trouble to try and contact and find evidence of other worldly life

Wanna Get Lucky!

1869 words - 8 pages the other hand, rich people who can afford vastushastra as they are rich will eventually get richer. What a terrible concept! MYTH 3: 'You can know your luck in advance' This is basically the psudoscience stuff that claims to predict the future so that we could work in advance to change the bad times that may occur in future. The stuff like Astrology, Numerology, Palmstry, Horoscopes, etc. are very famous in India also because most of the

The Book Of Job- Theological Issues And Doubts Through Each Verse

1868 words - 8 pages would later inspire Mark Twain's Letters From the Earth. This is in fact later contradicted in xxxiv.22.i.6: Again, who are these sons of God? Jesus therefore isn't the only one.i.7: Why would God ask Satan Whence comest thou if he's omniscient?i.7-12: God is voluntarily allowing himself to be tempted by Satan and permits the completely unjustified and undeserved calamities to fall upon the faithful Job as well as giving Satan everything Job

Finding Something to Believe in—Joy Luck

3038 words - 13 pages , another reason why Suyuan wanted to push her daughter to be successful is because during that time there were not many famous Chinese people in America. I think that she wanted Jing-Mei to use her full potential to make a name for herself and for her family. Traditional Chinese patriarchal views demand that children were industrious, obedient and respectful, especially towards their parents, and Suyuan believed in these values, and so she treated her

Ancient People and Thier Gods

2587 words - 11 pages science of man and his place on an Earth which is spinning through the universe." (Adamczewski, p. 156-7) Copernicus published the first outline on heliocentrism in his book Commentary on the Hypothesis of the Movement of Celestial Orbs, in 1514. It was the first of its kind, without all of the mathematics. (Adamczewski, p.114) The Copernican theory explained the Earth-Sun line and gave a more plausible reason as to why the Sun's role is

Flinder Case

2377 words - 10 pages exposure, dilution, and voting power. Questions for your report: 1. Using the case and the supplementary data in Appendices 1 and 2, how do you see FVC’s situation? What are the strengths and weaknesses of FVC and RSE? Why should the two companies want to negotiate? 2. What is FVC worth? What are the key value drivers? 3. What opening price do you think Flinder should offer to sell the company to RSE? At what price should he

Related Papers

In What Sense, If Any, Can Astrology Provide Insight Into The Human Condition?

2573 words - 11 pages they believe in astrology, or, indeed know anything about it at all: and nobody, however cynical, can resist turning to the 'stars' page in newspapers to see what it says about them. It is one of the commonest collective themes in life, and a day seldom passes without astrology, the zodiac, or the stars catching the attention - either as a design motif, in advertising, on TV or in conversation. (D, Barret (1994). Why would there be all this

How Can We Distinguish Between Science And Pseudo Science?

675 words - 3 pages processes on how stars are formed by the fusion of hydrogen and helium to create a sphere of plasma, and how these stars can shine together to form patterns that we see in the night sky as constellations. However, it seems scientifically implausible on the other hand in explaining how constellations can give people certain characteristics when they are born under a certain star sign. Astrology as a pseudo-science, compared to astronomy, which is

Science Study Guide Questions Essay

1298 words - 6 pages a. Control b. Hypothesis 2. What is known as a phenomenon about which competent observers can agree a. Pseudoscience b. Fact 3. Is an educated guess, or a reasonable explanation called c. Hypothesis d. A theory 4. A general hypothesis or statement about the relationship of natural quantities that has been tested multiple times and has not been contradicted is called e. A law f. A

Picture Of The Insight To Moral Issues

640 words - 3 pages ) social movement having a wide variety of forms, thus difficult to describe or define Allows individuals to belong to an involvement or a group Achieve on spiritual/psychological or personal fulfilment; transformation Individual experience; personal satisfaction People do this to fulfil their sense of emptiness; inner sense of meaning (this is why New Age religion is popular and get people’s attention and interest