Astrology and Science: a rejoinder to the Key Topic 2 (KT2) Discourse

Author: Irving, K., McPherson, M., Pierce, D.K., Urban-Lurain, M.
Abstract: Each of the authors addressed a subset of the issues raised by Dean and Loptson in Discourse for Key Topic 2: some philosophical problems of astrology (Correlation 14(2) pp32- 44). Among the points: (1) The metaphysical principle “as above, so below” can only be understood within a classical cosmology (Pierce). (2) We must be clear about our definitions of “astrology” when formulating criticisms of it. Is the critic addressing the “study of the relationships between the stars and human affairs” or the activities of astrologers? Use of the dichotomy of satisfaction versus accuracy as a way of differentiating astrology from established sciences results from blurring this distinction (Iriving). (3) As positivism became a dominant philosophy, the misapplication of the methods of natural science to other domains was a category error (Urban-Lurain) (4) The evaluation of a discipline on the basis of scientific evidence requires an understanding of the nature of such evidence and its proper interpretation. A lack of physical mechanism for phenomena in any given domain of inquiry does not preclude scientific status for the inquiry. Fate, as understood in the context of astrology, limits freedom to a lesser degree than determinism. Prediction in the context of science must not be confused with prognostication; the latter is irrelevant to evaluating the validity of scientific theories (McPherson).
Keywords: Key Topics 2 (KT2), philosophical, definitions of astrology, human affairs, positivism, determinism
Publication: Correlation: Astrological Association Journal of Research Into Astrology
Issue: Volume 14 Issue 2
Dated: 1995/1996
Pages: Pages 45 – 58

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