Denis Diderot - Co-Founder to the Encyclopedia

Denis Diderot - Co-Founder to the Encyclopedia

Denis Diderot - Co-founder to The Encyclopedia

A. Denis Diderot is most famous for his contributions to The Encyclopedia. Diderot is one of the more prominent figures in the Enlightenment period. He was co-founder, editor, and contributor to The Encyclopedia. This book included the works of many philosophers of this period because Diderot wanted to incorporate all of the world’s knowledge into one book. It included new and/or fixed ideas/views of religion, science, literature, and politics (or government) amongst many other topics. Other contributors to this famous piece of literature were Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Paul d'Holbach (also known as Baron).

B. Diderot’s Encyclopedia played a very important role in the French Revolution by inspiring people to acquire new ways of social thinking. The book helped the French Revolution shape the social classing and issues of France. Surprisingly, The Encyclopedia had no interest in reforming France, but the contributors Enlightened ideas helped the French come up with new forms of social justice, status, classes, and rule.

C. Diderot would be considered to be enlightened because he believed in the ideas of rationality and human progress - two ideas very important to the Enlightenment Era. With his lifework, The Encyclopedia, he gathered and collected information about a variety of different fields and topics ranging from religion to politics to science. In it he invites people to think and become knowledgeable and to change their way of thinking to be rational and full of reason, or in a general sense, more enlightened. Because educated people were thought to be better people in this time period, the fact that Diderot wanted to improve on people, their lives, and society, was very big.

D. Diderot’s contributions were more superior than other Enlightenment thinkers because of his many contributions to The Encyclopedia. The fact that Denis both co-found and edited this famous piece of Enlightened literature puts him on the top of the totem pole. Also, many philosophers thought of certain ideas but never put them down on paper. Diderot believed that every discovery and idea that was made during the Enlightenment should be recorded for everyone to see and learn.

“It cannot be denied that...we owe partly to dictionaries the general enlightenment that has spread in society and the germ of science that is gradually preparing men’s minds for more profound knowledge” - Prospectus for the Encyclopedia of Arts and Sciences

Nickname - Denis Encyclopiderot