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Title: Denouncer, Accuser, Delator
Original Title: Dénonciateur, Accusateur, Délateur
Volume and Page: Vol. 4 (1754), p. 830
Author: Denis Diderot
Translator: Benn Williams [University of Illinois at Chicago, bwilli7@uic.edu]
Subject terms:
Synonyms
Original Version (ARTFL): Link
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URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0000.408
Citation (MLA): Diderot, Denis. "Denouncer, Accuser, Delator." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Benn Williams. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2004. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0000.408>. Trans. of "Dénonciateur, Accusateur, Délateur," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 4. Paris, 1754.
Citation (Chicago): Diderot, Denis. "Denouncer, Accuser, Delator." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Benn Williams. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2004. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0000.408 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Dénonciateur, Accusateur, Délateur," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 4:830 (Paris, 1754).

Denouncer, Accuser, Delator, terms relative to a same action done for different motives; that of revealing to a superior something which will injure him, and which he must punish. Strict attachment to the law seems to be the motive of the denouncer ; an honorable sentiment, or a reasonable gesture of revenge, or of some other passion, that of the accuser ; a base devotion, mercenary and servile, or a maliciousness wherein he takes pleasure in causing harm without the delator receiving any benefit in return. One is brought to believe that the delator is a traitorous man; the accuser , an irritated man; the denouncer an indignant man. Although these three figures are equally odious in the eyes of the people, there are occasions where the philosopher cannot help but to exalt the denouncer and to approve of the accuser ; the delator meanwhile appears despicable in every case. It was necessary that the denouncer surmount the prejudice to denounce; the accuser needed to overcome his enthusiasm and sometimes the prejudice in order not to accuse; one is not a delator so long as one has in one's soul a hint of elevation, of honesty, of dignity. See Delator.