How to use Diderot in a sentence
To Kant's lectures and conversations he further owed something of his large interest in cosmological and anthropological problems. Among the writers whom he most carefully read were Plato, Hume, Shaftesbury, Leibnitz, Diderot and Rousseau.
It is important to notice that Baumgarten's first work preceded those of Burke, Diderot, and P. Andre, and that Kant had a great admiration for him.
Alembert's association with Diderot in the preparation of the Dictionnaire Encyclopedique led him to take a somewhat wider range than that to which he had previously confined himself.
Within a few months of her accession, having heard that the publication of the famous French Encyclopedie was in danger of being stopped by the French government on account of its irreligious spirit, she proposed to Diderot that he should complete his great work in Russia under her protection.
He first visited Paris, where he saw a good deal of d'Alembert, Diderot, Barthelemy, Raynal, Helvetius, Baron d'Holbach and others of that circle, and was often a welcome guest in the saloons of Madame Geoffrin and Madame du Deffand.Advertisement
In Paris she secured the warm friendship and admiration of Diderot and Voltaire.
There was some revival of the art of the sermon at Versailles a century later, where the Abbe Maury, whose critical work has been mentioned above, preached with vivid eloquence between 1770 and 1785; the Pere Elisee (1726-1783), whom Diderot and Mme Roland greatly admired, held a similar place, at the same time, in Paris.
Fontenelle forms a link between two very widely different periods of French literature, that of Corneille, Racine and Boileau on the one hand, and that of Voltaire, D'Alembert and Diderot on the other.
But the gossip, not discouraged by Terence, lived and throve; it crops up in Cicero and Quintilian, and the ascription of the plays to Scipio had the honour to be accepted by Montaigne and rejected by Diderot.
When compared with such philosophic writing as Hume's, Diderot's, Berkeley's, then Comte's manner is heavy, laboured, monotonous, without relief and without light.Advertisement
In 1745 Diderot adapted or reproduced the Inquiry concerning Virtue in what was afterwards known as his Essai sur le Merite et la Vertu.
Hermann Hettner says that not only Leibnitz, Voltaire and Diderot, but Lessing, Mendelssohn, Wieland and Herder, drew the most stimulating nutriment from Shaftesbury.
To this period belongs Garrick's quarrel with Barry, the only actor who even temporarily rivalled him in the favour of the public. In 1763 Garrick and his wife visited Paris, where they were cordially received and made the acquaintance of Diderot and others at the house of the baron d'Holbach.
It was about this time that Grimm extolled Garrick as the first and only actor who came up to the demands of his imagination; and it was in a reply to a pamphlet occasioned by Garrick's visit that Diderot first gave expression to the views expounded in his Paradoxe sur le comedien.
It was edited in 1803 by Naigeon, the disciple of Diderot; but, according to later inquiries, considerable liberties were taken with it.Advertisement
From this time, however, he is more or less in view; and, though at least two events of his life - his quarrel with Diderot and his death - are subjects of dispute, its general history can be checked and followed with reasonable confidence.
Diderot, with whom from 1741 onwards he became more and more familiar, admitted him as a contributor to the Encyclopedie.
It is agreed that the idea was suggested when Rousseau went to pay a visit to Diderot, who was in prison at Vincennes for his Lettre sur les aveugles.
Diderot himself, who in such matters is almost absolutely trustworthy, does not claim the suggestion, but uses words which imply that it was at least partly his.
Here too arose the obscure triangular quarrel between Diderot, Rousseau and Frederick Melchior Grimm, which ended Rousseau's sojourn at the Hermitage.Advertisement
The quarrel with Madame d'Epinay, with Diderot, and through them with the philosophe party reversed this.
There is little doubt that for the last ten or fifteen years of his life, if, not from the time of his quarrel with Diderot and Madame d'Epinay, Rousseau was not wholly sane - the combined influence of late and unexpected literary fame and of constant solitude and discomfort acting upon his excitable temperament so as to overthrow the balance, never very stable, of his fine and acute but unrobust intellect.
Freron on the orthodox side had his share of it, as well as Voltaire, Helvetius, Diderot and Montesquieu on that of the innovators.
But Rousseau had not, like Montesquieu, a position which guaranteed him from serious danger; he was not wealthy like Helvetius; he had not the wonderful suppleness and trickiness which even without his wealth would probably have defended Voltaire himself; and he lacked entirely the "bottom" of Freron and Diderot.
This was followed up by other works, and in 1770 by a still more open attack in his most famous book, Le Systeme de la nature, in which it is probable he was assisted by Diderot.Advertisement
For further particulars as to his life and doctrines see Grimm's Correspondance litteraire, &c. (1813); Rousseau's Confessions; Morellet's Memoires (1, 821); Madame de Geniis, Les Diners du Baron Holbach; Madame d'Epinay's Memoires; Avezac-Lavigne, Diderot et la societe du Baron d'Holbach (1875), and Morley's Diderot (1878).
Between these dates Houdon had not been idle; busts of Catharine II., Diderot and Prince Galitzin were remarked at the Salon of 1773, and at that of 1775 he produced, not only his Morpheus in marble, but busts of Turgot, Gluck (in which the marks of small-pox in the face were reproduced with striking effect) and Sophie Arnould as Iphigeneia (now in the Wallace Collection, London), together with his well-known marble relief, "Grive suspendue par les pattes."
Diderot indeed is credited with a third of this work, which was characterized by Voltaire as "du rechauffe avec de la declamation."
See Diderot's Prospectus (Muvres, iii.) and d'Alembert's Discours (Ouvres,i.) The scheme should be compared with later attempts of the same nature by Ampere, Cournot, Comte and Herbert Spencer.
His father, Dimitri Alexeievich Gallitzin (1735-1803), Russian ambassador to Holland, was an intimate friend of Voltaire and a follower of Diderot; so, too, for many years was his mother, Countess Adelheid Amalie von Schmettau (1748-1806), until a severe illness in 1786 led her back to the Roman Catholic church, in which she had been reared.Advertisement
Diderot was for a time heartily in sympathy with deistic thought; and the Encyclopedie was in its earlier portion an organ of deism.
Other literary studies are Les Romanciers (1866) and Goethe et Diderot (1880).
Catherine of Russia, the friend of Voltaire and the benefactress of Diderot, sent her congratulations to the man who denounced French philosophers as miscreants and wretches.
When Romilly saw Diderot in 1783, the great encyclopaedic chief assured him that submission to kings and belief in God would be at an end all over the world in a very few years.
But this mission helped to make him an object of suspicion to the other members of the Committee of Public Safety, and especially to Robespierre, who as a deist and a fanatical follower of the ideas of Rousseau, hated Herault, the follower of the naturalism of Diderot.Advertisement
But in 1772 they were still important enough for Diderot to enter the field against them.
Voltaire said that it was full of commonplaces, and that what was original was false or problematical; Rousseau declared that the very benevolence of the author gave the lie to his principles; Grimm thought that all the ideas in the book were borrowed from Diderot; according to Madame du Deffand, Helvetius had raised such a storm by saying openly what every one thought in secret; Madame de Graffigny averred that all the good things in the book had been picked up in her own salon.
Diderot, too, in his varied intellectual activity, found time to speculate on the genesis of sensation and thought out of a combination of matter endowed with an elementary kind of sentience.
The Gazette litteraire (1764-1766), which had Voltaire, Diderot and SaintLambert among its editors, was intended to swamp the small fry by criticism; the Journal des dames (1759-1778) was of a light magazine class; and the Journal de monsieur (1776-1783) had three phases of existence, and died after extending to thirty volumes.
Rousseau says he thought of the paradox on his way down; Morellet and others say that he thought of treating the subject in the ordinary fashion and was laughed at by Diderot, who showed him the advantages of the less obvious treatment.Advertisement
Unfortunately for the consistency of historical writing, the view taken of Rousseau's biography affects those of Grimm, Diderot, Mme.
The philosophers and encyclopaedists who, by the mouth of Diderot, complimented Catherine on being superior to such female affectations as modesty and chastity, flattered her to some extent even here.
Is the ferment of the peoples of the west at the end of the eighteenth century and their drive eastward explained by the activity of Louis XIV, XV, and XVI, their mistresses and ministers, and by the lives of Napoleon, Rousseau, Diderot, Beaumarchais, and others?