The Rationality of Renaissance Magic

@article{Dawes2013TheRO,
  title={The Rationality of Renaissance Magic},
  author={Gregory W. Dawes},
  journal={Parergon},
  year={2013},
  volume={30},
  pages={33 - 58}
}
  • G. Dawes
  • Published 1 July 2013
  • Psychology
  • Parergon
Belief in magic is widespread both in history and in contemporary cultures. Can such belief be regarded as rational? If so, in what way? An examination of the magic of Renaissance Europe enables us to distinguish three ways in which a belief can be rational. It can be (a) rationally defensible, given a particular set of background beliefs, (b) formed by some reliable means, or (c) the result of procedures that are collectively rational. Distinguishing these different forms of rationality not… 

The Sacred, the Occult and the Distinctiveness of Religion

Is there a distinctively religious attitude? Durkheim suggested there was: it was that of regarding certain beliefs, persons, institutions, practices, or places as sacred. The idea of the sacred also

Jordanus Ruffus and the late-medieval hippiatric tradition: Animal-care practitioners and the horse

It is argued that horse and human medicine were overlapping systems, broadly similar in form, method, and theory and that the only way to understand horse-medicine is within the context of ideas about both human and animal biology and health.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 60 REFERENCES

The problem of the rationality of magic.

The thesis in this study can be formulated so: magic is rational in the weak sense, but not in the strong sense; this demarcates it from science which is rational on the basis of rationally held beliefs.

The Notion of Magic

Social science contains two main traditions as to the nature of magic: With Tylor and Frazer, magic is superstition-an evolutionarily early stage of science, inadequate and misleading. With Durkheim,

Are creationists rational?

The best way to understand why individual learners settle on any mature set of beliefs is to see that as the developmental outcome of a series of "fast and frugal" boundedly rational inferences rather than as a rejection of reason.

Magic and rationality again

The previous paper has created some controversy, and has been labelled both absurd and obvious. We would not deny the charge of obviousness. For if the basic question here is how to understand

The specific rationality of medieval magic.

IN HER IMPORTANT RECENT STUDY OF EARLY MEDIEVAL MAGIC, Valerie Flint argues that the sheer nonrationality of magic, kept within bounds, gave it positive value: "There are forces better recognized as

A History of Magic and Experimental Science

1923. Volume 11 of 14. The 16th Century: Mystic Philosophy, Words and Numbers through Summary and By-Products. The aim of this set is to treat the history of magic and experimental science and their

The Meanings of Magic

establishment of a new journal titled Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft begs the what do these mean? In what sense do they comprise a academic category or field of inquiry? of magic and the cultural

Review of Kitcher: "The Advancement of Science: Science without Legend, Objectivity without Illusions"

Philip Kitcher's book begins with a familiar historical overview. In the 1940s and 50s a confident, optimistic vision of science was widely shared by philosophers and historians of science. The goal

The Logic of Scientific Discovery.

Each of these stages of a research project are evaluated to clarify the sources of ambiguities and uncertainties and suggestions are offered for reducing errors and speeding scientific progress.

What Happened to Occult Qualities in the Scientific Revolution?

N THIS ESSAY I seek to re-evaluate current conceptions of the role of occult qualities in the Scientific Revolution. In Renaissance science "occult" qualities were commonly characterized as
...