"Astrological Contingency: Between Ontology and Epistemology (1300-1600)" by Steven Vanden Broecke
Published in the edited volume Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science, this paper argues that the change from medieval to early modern Latin astrology involved, among other things, a shift in dominant interpretations of the relation between celestial influence and sublunary life, as well as of the precise nature of astrology’s inherent contingency as a conjectural art. The Latin astrological tradition of the late middle ages, we argue, approached astrology as an “art of embodiment,” in which anagogy and self-governance were considered more fundamental than self-protection and utilitarian knowledge. These priorities also shaped attitudes toward the contingency of astrological prediction. The uptake of astrology as an art that operated within an ontological domain circumscribed by the presence of matter entailed a fairly relaxed attitude about astrological contingency as an inevitable ontological phenomenon.
Steven Vanden Broecke, “Astrological Contingency: Between Ontology and Epistemology (1300-1600),” in Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science, ed. Pietro Daniel Omodeo and Rodolfo Garau (Cham: Springer, 2019), 137–55. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67378-3_7
Sapientia Astrologica: Astrology, Magic and Natural Knowledge, ca. 1250-1800 by H. Darrel Rutkin