DIDEROT, DENIS


DIDEROT, DENIS
   a French philosopher, born at Langres, the son of a cutler there; a zealous propagator of the philosophic ideas of the 18th century, and the projector of the famous "Encyclopédie," which he edited along with D'Alembert, and which made a great noise in its day, but did not enrich its founder, who was in the end driven to offer his library for sale to get out of the pecuniary difficulties it involved him in, and he would have been ruined had not Catharine of Russia bought it, which she not only did, but left it with him, and paid him a salary as librarian. Diderot fought hard to obtain a hearing for his philosophical opinions; his first book was burnt by order of the parlement of Paris, while for his second he was clapped in jail; and all along he had to front the most formidable opposition, so formidable that all his fellow-workers were ready to yield, and were only held to their task by his indomitable resolution and unquenchable ardour. "A deist in his earlier writings," says SCHWEGLER, "the drift of his subsequent writings amounts to the belief that all is God. At first a believer in the immateriality and immortality of the soul, he peremptorily declares at last that only the race endures, that individuals pass, and that immortality is nothing but life in the remembrance of posterity; he was kept back, however, from the materialism his doctrines issued in by his moral earnestness"; that Diderot was at heart no sceptic is evident, as Dr. Stirling suggests, from his "indignation at the darkness, the miserable ignorance of those around him, and his resolution to dispel it" (1713-1784).

The Nuttall Encyclopaedia. . 1907.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • DIDEROT, DENIS° — (1713–1784), French man of letters. He was editor in chief of the celebrated Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers (1751–80), to which he also contributed many articles. His article Juifs (Philosophie des)… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Diderot, Denis — born Oct. 5, 1713, Langres, France died July 31, 1784, Paris French man of letters and philosopher. Educated by Jesuits, Diderot later received degrees from the University of Paris. From 1745 to 1772 he served as chief editor of the 35 volume… …   Universalium

  • Diderot, Denis — (1713 1784)    writer, philosopher    Born in Langres to a well to do bourgeois family, Denis Diderot, a major figure of the enlightenment, studied theology, philosophy, and law at the sorbonne, while living a bohemian existence. There he spent… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Diderot, Denis — (1713–1784) The principal editor of the Encyclopédie , and together with Voltaire the leading figure of the 18th century Enlightenment in France, enjoying a long and eventful career dedicated to the acquisition and dissemination of learning.… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Diderot, Denis — ► (1713 84) Filósofo francés. Asumió la dirección de la Enciclopedia (1747). Defendió una moral que tuviese en cuenta la libertad individual y las exigencias sociales. Entre sus obras filosóficas destacan El sueño de d´Alembert (1769) y Ensayo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Diderot,Denis — Di·de·rot (dēʹdə rō , dē drōʹ), Denis. 1713 1784. French philosopher and writer whose supreme accomplishment was his work on the Encyclopédie (1751 1772), which epitomized the spirit of Enlightenment thought. He also wrote novels, plays, critical …   Universalium

  • Diderot, Denis — See Enlightenment I (The French): science, materialism and determinism and Enlightenment II (The French): deism, morality and politics …   History of philosophy

  • Diderot, Denis —  (1713–1784) French encyclopedist and philosopher …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Diderot — Diderot, Denis …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Diderot's — Diderot, Denis …   Philosophy dictionary


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