Article ID: CBB174175518

Gassendi's Critique of Astrology (2020)


This paper focuses on Gassendi’s anti-astrological writings in Animadversiones (1649) and Syntagma philosophicum (1658). It shows that, though his texts present several similarities with traditional anti-astrological writings, Gassendi puts greater stress on the issue of experience, and emphasises the impossibility of establishing astrology on such a basis. Invoked by both supporters and antagonists of astrology, the issue of experimentation was traditionally a contested field. However, I argue that, considering Gassendi’s prominent role in the development of modern empiricism and, more generally, the attention paid to epistemological issues by early modern inquirers, the issue of experience acquires greater significance here. I offer further support to this claim by showing that Jean-Baptiste Morin, too, paid specific attention to the role of experience in his Astrologia Gallica. I conclude by suggesting that the increasing early modern emphasis on epistemological issues (of which Gassendi provides a good example), might have contributed to the marginalisation of astrology.

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Authors & Contributors
Ariew, Roger
Grene, Marjorie Glicksman
Marion, Jean-Luc
Verbeek, Theo
Armogathe, Jean-Robert
Dear, Peter Robert
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Perspectives on Science
Lias: Sources and Documents Relating to the Early Modern History of Ideas
Biology and Philosophy
Revue roumaine de philosophie
University of Chicago Press
Peter Lang
Palgrave Macmillan
Prometheus Books
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
Philosophy of science
Controversies and disputes
Gassendi, Pierre
Morin, Jean Baptiste
Descartes, René
Mersenne, Marin
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Time Periods
17th century
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
Copenhagen (Denmark)

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