Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.


Volume 18 - 2

The Contextual Rationality of Galileo's Astrology

Scott Hendrix

Abstract

In order to understand the relationship between Galileo's work and his astrological interests, it is first necessary to understand the socio-historical contexts of the rationality of his astrological beliefs. Many modern people view a belief in predictive astrology as inherently irrational and in opposition to a scientific worldview, as evidenced by scholars such as Karl Popper and scientists such as Carl Sagan. However, drawing on the work of the anthropologist Steven Lukes, the philosopher Richard Swinburne, and the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, this article argues that the intellectual worldview that generations of European scholars created during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early modern periods created a context in which an acceptance of astrological principles was part of the rational fabric of the seventeenth century. Therefore, any evaluation of Galileo's work, including his astrological interests, should use that context as a starting point in order to avoid modernist biases.

Citation
Scott Hendrix, 'The Contextual Rationality of Galileo's Astrology', Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 18, no. 2, Spring/Summer 2014, pp. 71-103.

Contact Us

Dr. Nick Campion, n.campion@uwtsd.ac.uk, (University of Wales Trinity Saint David) Chair

For queries about technical issues or the website:
Dr. Frances Clynes, frances.clynes@sophia-project.net (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)



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