Theories of Fate among Present-day Astrologers

Brady, Bernadette (2011) Theories of Fate among Present-day Astrologers. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

Brady, Bernadette (2011) PhD Theories of Fate Among Present Day Astrologers thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License CC-BY-NC-ND Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (226MB) | Preview


The accepted view of the secondary 'outsider' literature on present-day astrology tends to argue that astrology's appeal is based on its determinism and the individual's surrender of personal responsibility to a larger external force. In contradiction to this is the primary, 'insider' literature which propounds the theory that astrology's appeal is based on its advocacy of personal responsibility, even if within a broader deterministic framework. This thesis examines this dichotomy through an investigation into the beliefs held by astrologers regarding the order that astrology is assumed to impose on their lives. The thesis establishes different classical theories of fate, from the early Greek literature of Homer through to the fate discussed by Saint Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century. These theories of fate consist of a collection of beliefs concerning the nature, source, and purpose of fate, and its role in human life. However, these theories of fate have, since the seventeenth century and the development of scientific rationalisation, been marginalised and the notion of fate itself has been replaced with the doctrine of universal determinism. This replacement of fate with determinism has resulted in a subsequent shift in philosophical debates, which having rejected fate are now focused on arguments concerning the influence of determinism on free will. The thesis also considers the modern arguments of Rene Descartes, Baruch de Spinoza, David Hume and Arthur Schopenhauer in their views on determinism, and then uses these views combined with the classical concepts of fate to investigate the nature of the 'determinism' adopted by astrologers. The field work reveals that, almost unanimously, astrologers have rejected determinism, and indicates that part of the appeal of astrology is that it provides a vehicle for the individual to adopt a life-style choice that embraces different versions of classical theories of fate and which encourages reflective knowledge of the self and personal responsibility.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Victoria Hankinson
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2024 14:11
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2024 11:30

Administrator Actions (login required)

Edit Item - Repository Staff Only Edit Item - Repository Staff Only