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Prognostication (Prognosis)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Astrological prognostication refers to astrological prediction, although prognosis is more accurate for what astrologers actually do. If the future were rigidly fated, then, no matter what anyone did, only one future would be possible. Given this assumption, one should be able to predict the future. The term prognostication, however, does not imply a rigidly fated future. Instead, the term seems to suggest that human willpower can, within certain limits, change the future. Like a weather reporter, an astrologer can only predict upcoming conditions. Whether or not one chooses to go for a picnic on a day a meteorologist predicts rain—or on a day an astrologer advises staying at home—is a matter of personal will.



(also prognostics), in a broad sense, the theory and practice of forecasting; in a narrow sense, the science of the rules and methods for elaborating a forecast.

These definitions have been associated with the term “prognostication” since the mid-1960’s, when the first scientific reports appeared on the theoretical problems in the specific forecasting of social phenomena.

The foundation for the general methodology of prognostication was laid by K. Marx, F. Engels, and V. I. Lenin. Prognostic research developed in the natural sciences (initially in agrohydrometeorology). In the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, prognostic research was introduced in the social sciences (particularly economics), resulting in the development of prognostication as a special scientific discipline. The development of prognostication as the theory of forecasting has been interconnected with the development of theories of scientific prediction, goal setting, planning, programming, projecting, and management.

The main task of prognostication is the elaboration of a specific methodology of forecasting, in order to improve the effectiveness of the methods and techniques of working out forecasts. Among the problems studied by prognostication are the distinctive traits of forecasting as a specialized form of scientific research, the principles underlying the structure and optimum combination of various methods of forecasting, the methods of evaluating the reliability of forecasts, and the principles for using the results of probability theory, game theory, operations research, and decision-making theory in elaborating forecasts.

There are two branches of prognostication—general (theoretical) and specific (applied). The applied branches are components of both general prognostication and particular scientific disciplines (medical, biological, economic, and demographic forecasting, for example). Especially in the social sciences and in social forecasting, the applied branches of prognostication form intricately interrelated systems.

The discipline of prognostication, which is still developing, has played an important role in perfecting the methods of forecasting. However, many of the problems in prognostication have been insufficiently elaborated.


Gvishiani, D. M., and V. A. Lisichkin. Prognostika. Moscow, 1968.
Filosofiia i prognostika. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from German.)
Lisichkin, V. A. Teoriia i praktika prognostiki. Moscow, 1972.


References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, we are in agreement with others [16, 22] that while the Original and Revised Tokuhashi scoring systems are useful for prognostic grouping, their individual survival prognostication value is limited.
The third and final day 'Prognostication' day will be a screening of the 'Greenhouse' movie followed by a special video teleconference with 'Greenhouse' creator Joost Bakker.
However, using those improved criteria yielded only marginally more accurate prognostication. At best, 71% of the patients predicted to live less than 6 months did so, but only if the patients had progressed through the disease in an orderly fashion.
Knowing Bearskin as I do, I stayed at the airport until the bitter end when the prognostication went from "we check the weather on the hour and we'll make our decision then" to "not a chance."
"Even with hindsight, there is little to distinguish this subgroup from the other MCI subjects who did progress, clinicians must therefore be humble in the certainty of their prognostication."
Caprioli's group is nearing completion of a similar study of brain tumors with similar results in terms of the power of tissue protein profiling for prognostication. They're also looking at diabetes mellitus, cardiac and pulmonary diseases, and several other conditions.
To quote from a recent Medicare announcement: "As the governing statute says: 'The certification of terminal illness of an individual who elects hospice shall be based on the physician's or medical director's clinical judgment regarding the normal course of the individual's illness.' The statute further notes that 'making medical prognostication of life expectancy is not always exact.'" (4)
This means that in 20 years...hold on...before we get too deeply into prognostication about the future of recordable optical technology, let's conduct a brief survey of the current landscape.
The poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott remarked about the prognostication skills of physicians, "they are bad guessers." While it's true that specialists in oncology, critical care and traumatology probably have the most experience in prognostication, there are often large discrepancies in projected outcomes in identical cases.
At the same time, this is precisely the kind of prognostication that worries Fed policymakers.
Le Monde lamented "a new error in prognostication, after the initial error at the end of 1998, when the experts prematurely claimed the end of the dollar's hegemony on the international financial scene."