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Denis Diderot — biography

Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot (this biography in Russian — Дени Дидро) (1713-1784) — French philosopher, educator, writer, and honorary member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1773). Founder and editor of the "Encyclopedia, or Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and crafts" (Volumes 1-35, 1751-1780). Zodiac sign — Libra.

In the philosophical works of Denis Diderot - "Letter on the Blind for the edification of seeing" (1749), "Thoughts on the explanation of nature" (1754), "The Dream of d'Alembert "(1769, edition of 1830)," The philosophical principles of matter and motion "(1770, edition 1798), a supporter of enlightened monarchy, acted with relentless criticism of absolutism of the Christian religion and the church, defended (relying on sensationalism) materialistic ideas. Maintained friendly relations Lopatkin Golitsyn, the genus Golitsyn.

Diderot's literary works written mostly in the tradition of realistic-domestic novel Enlightenment (imbued with the national love of life and wisdom of the novel "Jacques the Fatalist", 1773, edition of 1796; anticlerical novel "nun", 1760, edition of 1796; wit, dialectical, not without cynicism shade, a mind game - in the novel "Rameau's Nephew", 1762-79, edition 1823). Works on public education.

(C): the Greatest misunderstanding is to go into morality when it comes to historical facts.

Youth. School-time

Denis Diderot was born on 5 October 1713, Langres. His mother, born Angelica Vigneron, was the daughter of a tanner (and sister of the canon), and his father - Didier Diderot - Cutler. At the request of the family the young Denis prepared himself for the spiritual career, in 1723-28 he studied at the Jesuit college langrskom, and in 1726 became abbot. During this period he was religious, often fasted and wore a hair shirt. In 1728 or 1729 Diderot came to Paris to complete his education. According to some accounts, he studied there yansenistskom d'Arkur College, on the other - at the Jesuit college of Louis the Great. Also suggest that Diderot visited both of these institutions and what mutual attacks the Jesuits and Jansenists have turned away from his chosen path. In 1732 he received a master's degree at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Paris, thought to become a lawyer, but rather free lifestyle.

Marriage. Getting creative activity

In 1743, Denis Diderot, married Anne-Tuannete Shampon confined with his mother a linen store. The marriage did not prevent him to get involved with other women. The deepest feeling he experienced Vollan to Sophie, whom he met in the mid-1750s, the attachment to it, he retained until his death. The first time after marriage Diderot earned translations. In 1743-48 he translated from English "History of Greece" Steniana T., "The experience of the dignity and virtue" EE K. Shaftesbury, " Medical Dictionary "by R. James. Then have been written by the first of his work that established not so much about the maturity of many of the writers courage: "Philosophical Thought" (1746), "Walk, walk, or a skeptic" (1747, unpublished), "Indiscreet treasures" (1748), " Letters to the edification of the blind seeing '(1749). Judging by them to the 1749 Diderot had already been a deist, and then atheist and materialist. Freethinking works Diderot caused his arrest and imprisonment in Vincennes Castle (July - October 1749).

Diderot Encyclopedia

Denis DiderotIn the early 1740s a Parisian publisher AF Le Breton had the idea to translate into French "Encyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of arts and sciences," the Englishman E. Chambers. Le Breton and his companions (AK Briasson, MA David Durand) after a bad experience with the first editor - Abbe Jean Paul de Gua de Malva - decided in 1747 to entrust their undertaking Denis Diderot and d'Alembert . It is not known who exactly - Diderot, d'Alembert and the Abbe de Gua - idea to refuse to publish a slightly altered version of the English vocabulary and prepare independent publication. But it was Diderot gave the "Encyclopedia" that the scope and polemical passion, which made it a manifesto of the Enlightenment.

Over the next 25 years Diderot remained at the head enlarged to 28 volumes (17 volumes of articles and 11 volumes of illustrations) "Encyclopedia", which he was able to push through all the reefs. And there was not enough: the already mentioned imprisonment in 1749, and the suspension of the publication in 1752, and the crisis in 1757-59, which led to the departure d'Alembert and the temporary prohibition of publication, and the actual censorship last 10 volumes of the Le Breton. In 1772, the first edition of the "Encyclopedia" was basically completed; it worked, in addition to Diderot (he wrote about 6,000 articles) and d'Alembert, geniuses of the Enlightenment, as Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Holbach. In addition, articles on specific topics written masters and experts in their field by sculptor EM Falconet, architect JF Blondel, grammar, N. Bose and S. S. Du Mars, printmaker and draftsman JB Papillon, naturalists L. Dobanton and N. Desmarais, economist F. Quesnay. The result was a universal set of modern knowledge. In the articles on political issues of any of the forms of government do not favor, praise the Geneva Republic accompanied by the caveat that such an organization of power is good only country with a small territory. One article (or rather, their authors) supports a limited monarchy, the other - the absolute, seeing it as a guarantor of the welfare.

Recognized the right for citizens to resist despots and kings were obliged to obey the law, to defend tolerance and helping the poor. Criticizing life nobles "Encyclopedia" recognize, however, the need of the social hierarchy in society (article "Luxury" JF de Saint-Lambert). Bourgeois criticized for greed and the desire for the acquisition of office, and tax farmers and financiers recognized parasitic part of the Third Estate. Desiring to promote the plight of the common people, not encyclopedic called, however, to the establishment of democracy in France, and they applied it to the government, when they spoke of the need for equitable taxation, education reform, the fight against poverty.

Photo: Portrait of Denis Diderot by Louis Michel van Loo (1767)

Portrait of Denis Diderot by Louis-Michel van Loo (1767)

Philosopher Diderot

In 1751, Denis Diderot published a "Letter of the deaf and dumb as a warning to those who hear" considering it a problem of knowledge in the context of symbolic gestures and words. In "Thoughts on the explanation of nature" (1753), created in the image of the "New Organon" Francis Bacon, Diderot argued from the point of sensationalism with the rationalist philosophy of Descartes, Malebranche and Leibniz, in particular to the theory of innate ideas, seeing accumulated by the end of 18 a. scientific knowledge (opening Bernoulli, Euler, Maupertuis, d'Alembert, Buffon, etc.), the foundation of new, skilled interpretation of nature.

Diderot - writer and art critic

In 50 years, Denis Diderot published two plays - "Side tests son or virtue" (1757) and "father of the family" (1758). Refusing them the normative poetics of classicism, he tried to put the principles of the new ("bourgeois") drama depicting conflicts between people of the Third Estate in ordinary everyday circumstances. Major works of art Diderot - the story "Nun" (1760, ed. 1796), a novel, a dialogue "Rameau's Nephew" (1762-1779, published by Goethe on it. lang. in 1805, in French. lang. released in 1823), a novel "Jacques the Fatalist and his master" (1773, ed. on it. lang. in 1792, in French. lang. in 1796) - have remained unknown to many of his contemporaries. Despite the difference of genres, they share rationality, realism and clear transparent style, sense of humor and lack of verbal ornamentation. They found expression Diderot rejection of religion and the church, the tragic awareness of the power of evil, and a commitment to humanistic values, a high view of human duty.

Diderot proclaimed philosophical and aesthetic principles are manifested in its relation to the visual arts. Reviews of Paris Diderot put Salons from 1759 to 1781 in the "Literary Correspondence" his friend FM Grimm, handwritten newspaper, sent by subscription enlightened European monarchs and dukes. "Salons" Denis Diderot was also not printed during his lifetime, and they came out gradually in 1795-1857 and only in 1875-77 were first compiled in his collected works.

Denis Diderot

Diderot and Russia

Catherine II[ru], just ascended the throne, invited Diderot moved to Russia by the "Encyclopedia", is experiencing considerable difficulties in France. Empress motioned for hiding not only the desire to enhance its reputation, but the desire to satisfy the interest of Russian society to the "Encyclopedia". Russia[ru] has emerged over the past 18 centuries 25 collections of translations of "Encyclopedia".

Rejecting the offer of Catherine II, Diderot did not lose her favor. In 1765 it acquired its library, paying him 50 thousand francs and giving the right of life for keeping books in his house as a personal librarian Empress.

In 1773, Denis, at the invitation of Catherine II visited Russia. He lived in St. Petersburg from October 1773 to March 1774, was elected a foreign honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1773). On his return wrote a series of essays on the prospects of Russia's accession of the European civilization. Skeptical statements in his "Remarks" on the mandate of Catherine II (fully published in 1921) has infuriated Catherine (the manuscript was brought to St. Petersburg after the death of the philosopher).

Denis Diderot died on July 31, 1784, in Paris.

"It is possible to deceive some, or to deceive all in some place and at some time, but it is impossible to deceive all everywhere and in all ages". (C) D. Diderot, 1754.

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