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What is the meaning of " having been anticipated in the design".

He had been prevented from finishing a translation of his " Theory of Morals"' into French, only by the knowledge of having been anticipated in the design.

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    Please add more details to your question. .1) who is "He"? 2) where did you see this text : can you provide a link to it?
    – JavaLatte
    Jul 18 at 4:06
  • Agreed. A link and more information about the source would have been considerate. Jul 18 at 4:13
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It helps to know this was published in 1835. Some words are being used in ways that are no longer common.

"Anticipate" here means something like, "Someone did it first."

"Design" means something like "goal" or "plan" and explains what was done first.

So I gather the whole meaning is something like this:

He chose not to translate his "Theory of Morals" into French because he learned that someone was already planning to do so (or had in fact done so).

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