Diderot

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) by John Morley This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) Author: John Morley Release Date: February 18, 2005 [EBook #15098] Language: English Character set encoding:
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  The Project Gutenberg EBook of Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of2)by John MorleyThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: Diderot and the Encyclopaedists (Vol 1 of 2) Author: John MorleyRelease Date: February 18, 2005 [EBook #15098]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: UTF-8*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK DIDEROT ***Produced by Paul Murray, LN Yaddanapudi, Leonard Johnson and the PGOnline Distributed Proofreading Team athttp://www.pgdp.net. DIDEROT AND THEENCYCLOPÆDISTS BY JOHN MORLEY VOL. I. LONDONMACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED  NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY1905  First published elsewhere New Edition 1886. Reprinted 1891, 1897, 1905 PREFACE. The present work closes a series of studies on the literary preparation forthe French Revolution. It differs from the companion volumes on Voltaireand Rousseau, in being much more fully descriptive. In the case of thosetwo famous writers, every educated reader knows more or less of their per-formances. Of Diderot and his circle, such knowledge cannot be taken forgranted, and I have therefore thought it best to occupy a considerablespace, which I hope that those who do me the honour to read these pageswill not find excessive, with what is little more than transcript or analysis.Such a method will at least enable the reader to see what those ideas reallywere, which the social and economic condition of France on the eve of theconvulsion made so welcome to men. The shortcomings of the ency-clopædic group are obvious enough. They have lately been emphasised inthe ingenious and one-sided exaggerations of that brilliant man of letters,Mr. Taine. The social significance and the positive quality of much of theirwriting is more easily missed, and this side of their work it has been one of my principal objects, alike in the case of Voltaire, of Rousseau, and of Diderot, to bring into the prominence that it deserves in the history of opinion.The edition of Diderot's works to which the references are made, is that intwenty volumes by the late Mr. Assézat and Mr. Maurice Tourneux. Theonly other serious book on Diderot with which I am acquainted is Rosenk-ranz's valuable  Diderot's Leben , published in 1866, and abounding in full  and patient knowledge. Of the numerous criticisms on Diderot by Raumer,Arndt, Hettner, Damiron, Bersot, and above all by Mr. Carlyle, I need notmake more particular mention.  May, 1878. NOTE.Since the following pages were printed, an American correspondent writesto me with reference to the dialogue between Franklin and Raynal, men-tioned on page 218, Vol. II.:— I have now before me Volume IV. of the  American Law Journal  , printed at Philadelphia in the year 1813, and atpage 458 find in full, 'The Speech of Miss Polly Baker, delivered before acourt of judicature in Connecticut  , where she was prosecuted.' Raynal,therefore, would have been right if instead of Massachusetts he had saidConnecticut; and either Franklin told an untruth, or else Silas Deane. September, 1878. CONTENTS OF VOL. I. CHAPTER I.PRELIMINARY.The Church in the middle of the centuryNew phase in the revoltThe Encyclopædia, its symbolEnd of the reaction against the EncyclopædiaDiderot's position in the movementCHAPTER II.YOUTH.Birth and birthplace (1713)His familyMen of letters in ParisDiderot joins their company  His life in Paris: his friendly characterStories of his good-natureHis tolerance for social reprobatesHis literary strugglesMarriage (1743)CHAPTER III.EARLY WRITINGS.Diderot's mismanagement of his own talentsApart from this, a great talker rather than a great writerA man of the Socratic typeHack-work forthe booksellersThe Philosophical Thoughts (1746)Shaftesbury's influenceScope of the Philosophical ThoughtsOn the Sufficiency of Natural Religion (1747)Explanation of the attraction of Natural ReligionPolice supervision over men of lettersTwo pictures of the literary hackSeizure of the Sceptic's Walk (1747)Its driftA volume of stories (1748)Diderot's view of the fate and character of womenCHAPTER IV.THE NEW PHILOSOPHY.Voltaire's account of Cheselden's operationDiderot publishes the Letter on the Blind (1749)Its significanceCondillac andDiderotAccount of theLetter on the BlindThe pith of it, an application of Relativity to the conceptionof GodSaunderson of CambridgeArgument assigned to him
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