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Title: Destiny
Original Title: Destin
Volume and Page: Vol. 4 (1754), p. 896
Author: Unknown
Translator: Whitney Mannies [University of California, Riverside]; Laetitia de Lagasnerie [University of California, Riverside, ldelagasnerie@sbcglobal.net]
Subject terms:
Ethics
Metaphysics
Original Version (ARTFL): Link
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URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0003.114
Citation (MLA): "Destiny." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Whitney Mannies and Laetitia de Lagasnerie. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2015. Web. [fill in today's date in the form 18 Apr. 2009 and remove square brackets]. <http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0003.114>. Trans. of "Destin," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, vol. 4. Paris, 1754.
Citation (Chicago): "Destiny." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Whitney Mannies and Laetitia de Lagasnerie. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0003.114 (accessed [fill in today's date in the form April 18, 2009 and remove square brackets]). Originally published as "Destin," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 4:896 (Paris, 1754).

Destiny is, properly, the order, disposition, or chain of secondary causes, that, ordered by Providence, brings about an event’s infallibility. See Fatality.

According to some pagan philosophers, destiny was a secret, invisible virtue, that by incomprehensible wisdom leads to what seems to us to be fortuitous and unregulated, and that is what we call God . See God.

The Stoics understood destiny to be an unalterable chain wherein all things follow from one another, necessarily and eternally, and where nothing succeeds in disrupting the bonds between them. This idea conflates the necessary with the infallible. See Providence and Necessity.

They submitted the gods themselves to the necessity of this destiny. Yet the Stoics specify what destiny ought to mean—not its common meaning—because they had no distinct idea of the power to which they attributed events. They had only a vague and confused notion of who knows what kind of chimera, attributing to an unknown cause this unchanging disposition and eternal chain of all causes. There could be no such thing as the destiny of the Stoics. The pagan philosophers who made up this idea assumed that it existed without sorting out precisely what they meant by this inescapable fatality. Men do not dare fault Providence for the woes that they allege have so unjustly befallen them. Yet, not wanting to blame themselves, they form the phantom of destiny so as to charge it with every evil. See Fortune. Chambers. [1]

Note

1. Ephraim Chambers, Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (1728).