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Diderot, Denis

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Definition: Diderot ( noun) Denis (1713 - 1784) from

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French philosopher, noted particularly for his direction (1745-72) of the great French Encyclopédie.

Summary Article: Diderot, Denis from The Columbia Encyclopedia
Diderot, Denis (dәnē´ dēdәrō´), 1713-84, French encyclopedist, philosopher of materialism, and critic of art and literature, b. Langres. He was also a novelist, satirist, and dramatist. Diderot was enormously influential in shaping the rationalistic spirit of the 18th cent. Educated by the Jesuits, he rejected a career in law to pursue his own studies and writing. In 1745 he became editor of the Encyclopédie, enlisting nearly all the important French writers of the Enlightenment; they produced the most remarkable compendium up to that time. The best known of his plays is Le Père de famille (1758), which became the prototype of the "bourgeois drama." Other highly distinctive works by Diderot include La Religieuse [the nun] (1796), a psychological novel; Jacques le fataliste (1796), a rambling novel in the manner...    Continue Reading

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