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Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience

Paul R. Thagard
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1978, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1978), pp. 223-234
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/192639
Page Count: 12
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Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience
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Abstract

Using astrology as a case study, this paper attempts to establish a criterion for demarcating science from pseudoscience. Numerous reasons for considering astrology to be a pseudoscience are evaluated and rejected; verifiability and falsifiability are briefly discussed. A theory is said to be pseudoscientific if and only if (1) it has been less progressive than alternative theories over a long period of time, and faces many unsolved problems, but (2) the community of practitioners makes little attempt to develop the theory towards solutions of the problems, shows no concern for attempts to evaluate the theory in relation to others, and is selective in considering confirmations and disconfirmations. This criterion has the interesting consequence that a theory can be scientific at one time but pseudoscientific at another.

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