Astrology as a Language Game

Author: Mike Harding
Abstract: Astrology is often referred to as a symbolic language. Does this make it different from an ‘ordinary’ language, and what are the implications of describing it as such? In short, what makes one form of language more ‘real’ than another? The talk will introduce Wittgenstein’s concept of ‘language games’ to explore how language can be used in various ways to describe our experience of the world. This will address many confusions regarding concepts of ‘causes’, ‘principles’, and ‘underlying laws’ which are often used to bolster the scientific, as well as the astrological paradigm, which is itself an increasing victim of psychologism. Also drawing on other ideas from the philosophy of language we shall place the language of astrology within a wider frame. This will raise the question as to the extent that astrology itself can usefully contribute to the debate that dominates much current philosophical thinking on the nature and experience of language.
Keywords: symbolic language, language games, psychologism, philosophy of language
Publication: Astrology and the Academy: papers from the inaugural conference of the Sophia Centre (published by C
Dated: 2004
Pages: 170 – 180

Posted in Free Research Abstract