PROFESSOR GUERRERO'S BLOG
Articles about Human Interest, Current Events, and Book Reviews. A little knowledge is not a dangerous thing--it is life!
Friday, February 22, 2013
Diderot's Determinism in Jacques the Fatalist
While Jacques firmly believes that “everything
which happens to us on this earth, both good and bad, is written up above,” loosely
and rarely does he give his reasons for his belief. And since Diderot —the
author— seems to be more concerned with satirizing rather than criticizing
Jacques determinism, let’s use Jorge Luis Borges —the Argentinian writer—
thoughts to glimpse what Jacques did not clearly articulate:
"A writer, or any man, must believe that whatever happens to him is
an instrument; everything has been given for an end. This is even
stronger in the case of the artist. Everything that happens, including
humiliations, embarrassments, misfortunes, all has been given like clay, like
material for one's art. One must accept it. For this reason I speak
in a poem of the ancient food of heroes: humiliation, unhappiness,
discord. Those things are given to us to transform, so that we may make
from the miserable circumstances of our lives things that are eternal, or
aspire to be so."
Two great writers --Diderot and Borges-- can not only entertain you but also challenge you to ponder the foibles of humanity.