Natural Philosophy or Science in Premodern Epistemic Regimes? The Case of the Astrology of Albert the Great and Galileo Galilei

Scott E. Hendrix



Scholarly attempts to analyze the history of science sometime suffer from an imprecise use of terms. In order to understand accurately how science has developed and from where it draws its roots, researchers should be careful to recognize that epistemic regimes change over time and acceptable forms of knowledge production are contingent upon the hegemonic discourse informing the epistemic regime of any given period. In order to understand the importance of this point, I apply the techniques of historical epistemology to an analysis of the place of the study of astrology in the medieval and early modern periods alongside a discussion of the “language games” of these period as well as the role of the “archeology of knowledge” in uncovering meaning in our study of the past. In sum, I argue that the term “science” should never be used when studying approaches to knowledge formation prior to the seventeenth century.


history of science; astrology; Albert the Great; Galileo; epistemic regime

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: /// email: