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Encyclopedia > Prescience

Prescience is the ability to predict the future through vision. Throughout history a number of cultures have believed that oracles have possessed this ability. It is one of a number of alleged psychic phenomena studied by parapsychology. Although there is no scientific evidence for prescience, this has not prevented a huge number of people in the modern world from believing in astrology and visiting fortune tellers. An oracle is a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion; an infallible authority, usually spiritual in nature. ... Parapsychology is the study of mental awareness or influence of external objects without interaction from known physical means. ... Astrology refers to any of several systems, traditions or beliefs in which knowledge of the apparent positions of celestial bodies and related information is held to be useful in understanding, interpreting and organizing knowledge about personality, human affairs and terrestrial events. ... For prophecy in the context of revealed religions see Prophet. ...


Prescience is an important concept in many fictional universes. Works of fiction featuring prescience as a central theme generally tend to be some form of fantasy literature, but one very notable exception is the science fictional Dune universe, created by Frank Herbert. The Three Graces, here in a painting by Sandro Botticelli, were the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility in Greek mythology. ... // For other meanings see Fantasy (disambiguation) Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... The fictional Dune universe, or Duniverse is the political, scientific, and social setting of author Frank Herberts six-book Dune series of science-fiction novels. ... Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986) Frank Patrick Herbert (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American science fiction author. ...


Herbert treats prescience not simply as seeing the future, but rather as the ability to see all possibilities the future may hold, in a manner similar to those theorised about in the field of quantum physics. With each moment the stream of possibilities changes, or rather, some possibilities can change and some cannot change. The prescient person is aware of all quantum possibilities but finds that he himself is locked into a sequence of absolute probabilities; that his course of action is impossible to resist because the quantum nature of his own brain, once known to himself, creates a positive feedback loop wherein he loses his free will by realising that he never in fact had any to begin with. Herbert's prescient characters see the “Golden Path” that if followed will lead to mankind’s eternal continuance, while any other course will ultimately lead to man’s inevitable long-term extinction through entropy. As such, the prescient characters, by virtue of being locked into their own destinies, lock others into those destinies as well merely by interacting with them. Much of Herbert’s Dune saga is thus given to exploring the consequences of a society ruled by individuals who possess genuine prescience, and developing quite realistic hypotheses about the effects of the quantum nature of determinism on the process of social evolution. Herbert concludes that the existence of prescience would be a curse to those who possessed it, but a blessing to all others as it would ensure the long-term survival of mankind without the negative side-effects which may accompany not having any control over one's fate. Fig. ... Probability theory is the mathematical study of probability. ... Positive feedback is a type of feedback. ... Free will is the philosophical doctrine that holds that our choices are ultimately up to ourselves. ... The Golden Path is Leto IIs strategy to prevent humanitys destruction in Frank Herberts fictional Dune universe. ... In thermodynamics, entropy, symbolized by S, is a state function of a thermodynamic system defined by the differential quantity , where dQ is the amount of heat absorbed in a reversible process in which the system goes from the one state to another, and T is the absolute temperature. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ...


In Greek mythology, Cassandra, the legendary daughter of King Priam of Troy and Hecuba, was given prescience by Apollo, who later added a condition. Though Cassandra would always speak the truth, no one would ever believe her. // Greek mythology consists in part of a large collection of narratives that explain the origins of the world and detail the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines. ... Painting by Evelyn De Morgan. ... A legend (Latin, legenda, things to be read) is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. ... In Greek mythology, Priam (Greek Πρίαμος) was the king of Troy during the Trojan War, and son of Laomedon. ... Walls of the excavated city of Troy Troy (Ancient Greek Τροία Troia, also Ίλιον Ilion; Latin: Troia, Ilium) is a legendary city, center of the Trojan War, described in the Trojan War cycle, especially in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. ... Hecuba (also Hekuba or Hekabe) was a Trojan queen in Greek mythology, daughter of Dymas. ... Lycian Apollo, early Imperial Roman copy of a fourth century Greek original (Louvre Museum) In Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo (ancient Greek , Apóllōn; or Ἀπέλλων, Apellōn), the ideal of the kouros, was the archer-god of medicine and healing and also a bringer of death-dealing plague; as...


External links

  • A mask, The Curse of Prescience
  • Prescience and Free Will in Judaism
  • The definition of 'prescience' on dictionary.com

  Results from FactBites:
 
Dictionary.com/Word of the Day Archive/prescience (148 words)
Critics and historians have written admiringly of Dostoyevsky's acuity at forecasting the nature of the political turmoil that would envelop Russia over the next 100 years; Ms.
As a professor, he earned a reputation for prescience when he returned an examination to a student named John Grisham with the comment, "Although you missed most of the legal issues, you have a real talent for fiction."
Prescience is from Latin praescientia, from praescio, praescire, to know beforehand, from prae, before + scio, scire, to know.
Home - prescience.co.uk (409 words)
This core work has shaped how Prescience Communications seeks to work closely with all parties from management teams through to educators, external institutions and technical support services.
What we Do We, at Prescience look forward to the time when videoconferencing in the classroom will be an everyday occurrence.
We aim to work with people who have the prescience to see how much benefit can accrue from developing the needed tools and support to make classroom videoconferencing available for pupils and teachers alike.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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