Advertisement

Conclusion

  • James E. Christie
Chapter
Part of the International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées book series (ARCH, volume 228)

Abstract

The concluding chapter begins with a line from Edward Young’s poem Night Thoughts: ‘Thus, have we found a true astrology/Thus, have we found a new, and noble sense/In which alone stars govern human fates.’ After summarising the book’s key findings, restating the two main theses, and suggesting areas for further research, the chapter turns to the topic of astrobiology. The question is posed: ‘Is Astrobiology a New Astrology?’ Arguments are made that a belief or interest in extraterrestrial life replaced astrology in several important dimensions. The conclusion then debates whether it is useful to think of this in terms of a Kuhnian shift from a paradigm of celestial influence to one of celestial inhabitation, and what such a theory might entail for the histories of astrology and the extraterrestrial life debate.

Keywords

Astrology Extraterrestrial life Plurality of worlds Astrobiology Anthropology Paradigm shift 

References

  1. Aldiss, Brian Wilson. 1973. Billion year spree: The history of science fiction. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bozzetto, Roger, and Arthur B. Evans. 1990. Kepler’s “Somnium”; or, science fiction’s missing link (“Le Songe” de Kepler, ou le chaînon manquant de la science fiction). Science Fiction Studies 17: 370–382.Google Scholar
  3. Brake, Mark. 2006. On the plurality of inhabited worlds: A brief history of extraterrestrialism. International Journal of Astrobiology 5: 99–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Briot, Danielle. 2013. Elements for the history of a long quest: Search for life in the universe. International Journal of Astrobiology 12: 254–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brooke, John Hedley. 1977. Natural theology and the plurality of worlds: Observations on the Brewster--Whewell debate. Annals of Science 34: 221–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. ———. 2000. “Wise men nowadays think otherwise”: John Ray, natural theology and the meanings of anthropocentrism. Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 54: 199–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Campbell, Mary B. 1999. Wonder & science: Imagining worlds in early modern Europe. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Christianson, Gale E. 1976. Kepler’s Somnium: Science fiction and the renaissance scientist. Science Fiction Studies 3: 79–90.Google Scholar
  9. Christie, James E. 2018. Stepping sideways on the scala naturae: Confronting the extraterrestrial in early modern literature. In Cultural encounters: Cross-disciplinary studies from the late middle ages to the Enlightenment, ed. Désirée Cappa et al., 127–144. Wilmington: Vernon Press.Google Scholar
  10. Crowe, Michael J. 1986. The extraterrestrial life debate, 1750–1900: The idea of a plurality of worlds from Kant to Lowell. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dick, Steven J. 1982. Plurality of worlds: The origins of the extraterrestrial life debate from Democritus to Kant. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2006. Anthropology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence: An historical view. Anthropology Today 22: 3–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dooley, Brendan Maurice, ed. 2014. A companion to astrology in the Renaissance. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  14. Eade, J.C. 1984. The forgotten sky: A guide to astrology in English literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  15. Farman, Abou. 2012. Re-enchantment cosmologies: Mastery and obsolescence in an intelligent universe. Anthropological Quarterly 85: 1069–1088.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de. 1683. Nouveaux dialogues des morts, 2 vols. 2nd ed. Lyon: Thomas Amaulry.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 1809 [1686]. Conversations on the plurality of worlds. London: Printed for Lackington Allen & co.Google Scholar
  18. Hallyn, Fernand. 1990. The poetic structure of the world: Copernicus and Kepler. New York/Cambridge, MA: Zone Books/Distributed by MIT Press.Google Scholar
  19. Helsing, Daniel. 2016. Uses of wonder in popular science: Cosmos: A personal voyage and the origin of life. International Journal of Astrobiology 15: 271–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holton, Gerald. 1988 [1973]. Thematic origins of scientific thought: Kepler to Einstein. Revised ed. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Horne, William C. 1983. Curiosity and ridicule in Samuel Butler’s satire on science. Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660–1700 7: 8–18.Google Scholar
  22. Kant, Immanuel. 1981. Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens. Trans. Stanley L. Jaki. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kears, Carl, and James Paz, eds. 2016. Medieval science fiction. London: King’s College.Google Scholar
  24. Kuhn, Thomas S. 1957. The Copernican revolution: Planetary astronomy in the development of Western thought. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Losch, Andreas. 2016. Kant’s wager: Kant’s strong belief in extra-terrestrial life, the history of this question and its challenge for theology today. International Journal of Astrobiology 15: 261–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Malmgren, Carl D. 1993. Self and other in SF: Alien encounters. Science Fiction Studies 20: 15–33.Google Scholar
  27. Matytsin, Anton. 2013. Scepticism and certainty in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century speculations about the plurality of worlds. Science et Esprit 65: 359–372.Google Scholar
  28. Messeri, Lisa. 2016. Placing outer space: An earthly ethnography of other worlds. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Packer, Joseph. 2015. Alien life and human purpose: A rhetorical examination through history. Lanham: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  30. Reeves, Eileen. 2014. Astrology and literature. In A companion to astrology in the Renaissance, ed. Brendan Maurice Dooley, 287–331. Leiden: Brill.Google Scholar
  31. Roberts, Adam. 2006. The history of science fiction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rogers, Brett M., and Benjamin Eldon Stevens, eds. 2015. Classical traditions in science fiction. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Roos, Anna Marie Eleanor. 2001. Luminaries in the natural world: The sun and the moon in England, 1400–1720. New York/Oxford: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  34. Suvin, Darko. 2016 [1979]. Metamorphoses of science fiction: On the poetics and history of a literary genre. Oxford: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  35. Vermij, Rienk, and Hiro Hirai. 2017. The marginalization of astrology: Introduction. Early Science and Medicine 22: 405–409.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Whewell, William. 1853. Of the plurality of worlds: An essay. London: J.W. Parker and Son.Google Scholar
  37. Wolloch, Nathaniel. 2000. Christiaan Huygens’s attitude toward animals. Journal of the History of Ideas 61: 415–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. ———. 2002. Animals, extraterrestrial life and anthropocentrism in the seventeenth century. The Seventeenth Century 17: 235–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wood, Chauncy. 1970. Chaucer and the country of the stars: Poetic uses of astrological imagery. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Young, Edward. 1813. Works, 3 vols. London: F. C. and J. Rivington.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • James E. Christie
    • 1
  1. 1.SydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations