Astrology (again) and skepticism

I have another post on the topic of “Astrology is rubbish, but…” thas has just appeared as a guest post on Martin Robbins’ The Lay Scientist. Very many thanks to Martin for agreeing to host, and offering his readers a different view to the one he put across a few says ago in “Astrologers angered by stars”. Comments are kicking off nicely – with some people evidently actually understanding what I was trying to say. Others not. Oh well – we try.

I had another thought – a pensée d’escalier – last night about the meaning of skepticism (though not, for the philosophers here, in the technical sense). It sometimes becomes confusing in such debates as to where skepticism sits and what it means. Being skeptical of astrology is good, being skeptical about climate change is bad. But let us remind ourselves that the etymology of skepticism implies enquiry and reflection, not dismissiveness. This may help sort out the real skeptics from the rubbishers!

About Rebekah Higgitt

Rebekah Higgitt completed a PhD in the history of science at Imperial College London in 2004 and did postdoctoral research at the University of Edinburgh. She was Curator of History of Science and Technology at the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory, Greenwich between 2008 and 2013 and is now a senior lecturer in the School of History at the University of Kent. Her research and publications have mainly focused on scientific institutions, scientific biography, history of science and the relationship between science, government and the public in 19th-century Britain. She became Principal Curator of Science at National Museums Scotland in August 2020 and is currently also Acting Keeper of Science & Technology.
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3 Responses to Astrology (again) and skepticism

  1. Rebekah Higgitt says:

    I should have added my thanks to Whewell’s Ghost’s very own Thony C. for his advice and suggestions (particularly astrology in Renaissance universities and a handy list of everyone’s favourite astronomer-astrologers). Thanks TC!

  2. Pingback: Astrology: Good and Bad - |

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