Horoscopy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Reflections on Astrology and Divination in Relation to Fate, Freedom, and Their Scientific Status

This abstract has open access
Abstract Summary
In this talk, I will explore some of the causal foundations for understanding and evaluating astrological practices in medieval and Renaissance Europe. I will do so in order to approach a topic that has been bothering me for a few years now, namely, whether or not we should call astrology and its various horoscopic practices a type of mantic art or divination, and to probe—or begin to probe—what is ideologically at stake in that terminological decision. Towards this end, I will explore influential texts by Thomas Aquinas (Summa theologiae II.II.92-95), Albertus Magnus (De fato) and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (Disputationes adversus astrologiam divinatricem). My focus here will be on the more philosophical issues that, on the one hand, frame, legitimate and authorize—and on the other, attack and attempt to undermine—the many practical uses, for both individuals and society, of the broad range of horoscopic techniques in medieval and early modern Europe.
Abstract ID :
HSS697
Submission Type
Chronological Classification :
Medieval
Self-Designated Keywords :
History of Medieval and Renaissance Astrology

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