Exegesis Volume 6 Issue #9

From: "Francis G. Kostella"
Subject: Testing Assertions

From: Patrice Guinard
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #7

Exegesis Digest Tue, 20 Feb 2001

Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 01:08:23 -0500
From: "Francis G. Kostella"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Testing Assertions

Dennis and Bill covered a lot of ground in their recent postings, but both replied to parts of my prior message and I'll attempt to respond to both here at once.

Bill wrote (in V6, I6) in response to my remarks about "testing":

 > [...]
 > but the point is that this sort of
 > testing requires some pretty strong
 > protocols to have any chance at being
 > meaningful. My assertion is that if
 > such protocols can be put in place and
 > effected, such tests as Fran suggests
 > can become only the tip of the
 > iceberg... no 'perhaps' about it!!....lol!!!

"Meaningful" to whom?

I believe that the folks who find "some pretty strong protocols" useful in deriving meaning are not astrologers, or at least not the typical astrologer. I contend that it is not meaningful to astrologers to talk about protocols nor statistics nor use arguments where any sort of indirect reasoning is taking place. I believe we are at the stage of pounding rocks together as a means of starting a fire and that we have a long way to go to reach a point where "some pretty strong protocols" can be contemplated.

Dennis wrote (in V6, I7), in parallel:

 > [me:] we should talk about how
 > to construct tests of
 > techniques such that
 > astrologers can use those
 > results, rather than constructing
 > tests to answer our critics.
 > Yes, proactive rather than reactive.
 > The tests of astrology have always
 > been based on the paradigm of old
 > science. Statistics, invariably. If
 > anything in astrology can be counted
 > in such a way as to show us how
 > astrology works, how come nobody has
 > been able to do it? Seems to me the
 > premise must be wrong. If your doctor
 > heals you, do you need to prove it by
 > trying to find something to count?

Yes, "proactive" is a good word to describe it, I believe we should be working toward reasoning to the astrologer not anyone else (yet, if at all). I'm not very concerned with convincing the critics of astrology about anything when I don't have a means of convincing astrologers!

If people make assertions then we should some way of dealing the assertion other than simply accepting everything. Do we need to "count" things? I do not assume that we must, but there has to be way to sometimes convince a "reasonable person" that an assertion is a good assertion or not. When I first started learning astrology I assumed that my elders knew what they were talking about but at some point I got lost in the muddle of competing ideas. Later I began to question what I was taught and to make my own tests, but I never bothered to think about how I might make tests that other astrologers might find useful or that could be used as arguments when debating techniques.

Bill wrote:

 > Astrology has no clinical data.
 > Astrology has no clinical protocols. These
 > lacks stand in front of the substance
 > of astrological experience and deny
 > all attempts to make any use thereof:
 > such attempts universally sink into
 > the quicksand of intermidable disagreement
 > of any and all particulars, there
 > to dissolve into nothingness.
 > My question here is: given this, how
 > do we proceed?

I imagine that some simple assertions can be tested on a small scale and that this is the only area which we have available to start an attempt like this. Beyond that, I'm very wary of even suggesting that "clinical data" and "clinical protocols" may ever exist the way you seem to envision it. I can imagine a number of scenarios where the bulk of astrology technique lives inside the subjective realms of knowing and are thus hard to test objectively. This territory has been trod over again and again, and I'm not willing to fight over the subjective/objective issues today, but I do think that we could come up with a bunch of things to test that are not too complex to answer and thus attempt to sidestep that whole issue. That is, I imagine that nativities are more complex and thus would be more subjective than, say, some mundane charts or horaries.

For example, I think that some sort of human-initiated mundane events might prove interesting areas of study. When a bill is introduced to a parliamentary body there might be some method to assert that the bill will pass or not, but I'm not deep enough to claim if that specific technique exists or what it might be, only that the tests have to have a very small scope. Yes/No, True/False, Did/Did Not.

My intuition on the whole matter of good reasoning is that the we need to be making arguments that a "reasonable" astrologer could digest. One can always find an extremist who will resist all attempts at convincing, but these are not the folks we should be worried about.

Perhaps a method for proceeding down this road would be to come up with a list of items we believe can be tested, and then discussing theory and technique. I believe we should steer away from nativities and any psychological waters in order to avoid getting bogged down and should look around for "simpler" areas to explore. At some point we might have a few simple assertions to test and can then develop some ideas about how to actually test them. Assuming we get that far we still have a lot of work talking about results, theory, and how to make arguments.



Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 18:59:33 +0100
From: Patrice Guinard
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V6 #7

Dennis wrote:

 > As Fran mentioned, there is an archive which is apparently
 > due to relocate. Very kind of Patrice to offer his hospitality for that.
 > It would be prudent for him to wait till Mercury goes direct before
 > implementing the relocation! Then he will advise the web address so you can
 > view prior contributions to Exegesis (well worth the effort if you are into
 > astrophilosophy).

I remain sceptic, if not skeptic, Dennis, about whatever meaning of a Mercury retrogradation (or not). Nevertheless EXEGESIS Archives (March 28, 1996 - November 25, 1999) are, since FEBRUARY 11th, 2001 at the address http://cura.free.fr/exegesis/exegesis.html, exactly as they were (still are?) at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~fgk/exegesis/exegesis.html

I've advertised that they are "temporarily hosted by C.U.R.A.". It means that: if Fran wants to get them out there, I will do when he tell me, AND ALSO that: if he wants to let them here, I assume that I will be able to keep them as long as necessary, and as long as C.U.R.A. will be alive.

The idea is to let Fran get some place for the following Exegesis Archives (after Nov. 1999) at the current BELLATLANTIC address.

 > It was certainly a welcome surprise to receive positive feedback
 > from Bill & Fran on my interpretation of the Exegesis chart!

As I've already suggested, interpreting charts is not necessarily doing astrology. I mean that it's an application, between others, of astrology. I know that here, it could be useful to do (& the same on CURA), but it appears to me that it's nothing else than an "exercise of style". Doing astrology is for me "using matricial thought", that is reasoning, at each moment, away from the current dualistic way of reasoning. I will give an exemple: I've received recently a mail from a French astrologer. He told me that the problem of astrology vis-a-vis Academia & University could be the fact of the ignorance and fright of astrologers. These 2 explanations are not sufficient: If he would have following a "matricial reasoning", he would have add, maybe 2 other traits, all depending of the human nature: I've suggested Laziness and Cowardice. Why? Because with these 4 Character Traits (Ignorance, Fear, Laziness, Cowardice), the reasoning could fit into an Astrological Paradigm, i.e., here, and for me (but never mind the details), the four zodiacal quadrants.

I would like also to know why some elements or operators, as Chiron (with an orbital excentricity of 0.38) or the Dragon's head (not a physical body)... are used, and not others. I suggest that using just the planets (which ones?), or using all you can eventually get from astronomy, is certainly not leading to the same model, or to the same "explanation" of astrology itself.

An other thing is to know why a chart of such a beginning association, i.e. Exegesis, would be significant. If Fran had cautiously chosen the moment (maybe he could tell us), this moment were significant for the reason that the signification he voluntarily would have put there, is the signification we could accept. Other thing to interpret the chart of any factory, which beginning isn't chosen by an astrologer. Does the meaning come after? And for who? For the only astrologers? If so: it's of none value -- I suggest.

I'm convinced that the astrological reason ought to get the better of modern an-astrological reason, and that astrologers ought to work for that.

Patrice Guinard


End of Exegesis Digest Volume 6 Issue 9

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