Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

(1,140 words)

1. Definition

The term prognostics (from Greek prógnōsis, “foreknowledge”) denotes the practice of predicting future developments; its forms vary from culture to culture. In contrast to prophecy and soothsaying, it did not legitimate its knowledge of the future by appealing to a charismatically endowed visionary but developed a rationally comprehensible procedure based on the causes of change. Given its function of reducing the contingency of the future (Future, expectations of), prognostics met a…

Cite this page
Mader, Eric-Oliver, “Prognostics”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 April 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025961>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210107

▲   Back to top   ▲