Denis Diderot Essay

Denis Diderot Essay-21
Diderot's art theory combines Materialism and Idealism.

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He now made his living through translations, and the translation of the Inquiry Concerning Virtue by the 3rd Earl of Shaftsbury, published in 1745, caused him to write his own Pensées Philosophiques ("Philosophic Thoughts"), which he published in 1746.

The translation of Shaftsbury's work had shown Diderot as a capable translator, and soon after its publication the publisher André Le Breton asked Diderot to prepare a translation of Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia.

It was essentially the same idea followed by Louis Braille a century later.

But for Diderot it was also an example of the idea of survival through adaptation, and his materialist atheism got him into prison for three months.

Little is known about Diderot's life during the next ten years.

He was obviously more interested in literature, philosophy and the sciences than law, considered a theatrical and a church career but survived through teaching and writing sermons for missionaries on demand.Diderot was interested in the complexity and variety of Nature and its dynamics.He praises the purposeful and adaptive qualities of art as well as its creative powers.The newsletter was read by a very small elite of Europen society such as the Tsar of Russia, the King of Poland and other members of the aristocracy.Because it was so exclusive, Diderot's writings in the escaped censorship and he was thus able to express himself freely on the works of the artists of his time.The French Revolution was still more than 40 years away, but Diderot and his co-editor the distinguished mathematician Jean Le Rond d'Alembert managed to gather a circle of enthusiastic writers, scientists and even priests, most of them yet unknown, who were prepared to put together a document of rationalism and faith in the progress of human thought.The planned Encyclopédie faced problems from its beginnings.He was assisted by empress Catherine the Great of Russia, who initially bought his library under the condition that he could keep it until she required it and later gave him an annual salary for life as librarian of his own collection. Petersburg in 1773 to thank her and wrote a Plan d'une université pour le gouvernement de Russie ("Plan of a University for the Government of Russia") but left again for Paris after five months, disillusioned with a society under enlightened despotism.Diderot died in a house provided to him by Catherine the Great.He was educated by Jesuits and entered the University of Paris, which awarded him a master of arts in 1732.Diderot then took up the study of law and made a living as a clerk.


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