DIDEROT, DENIS° (1713–1784), French man of letters. He was editor in chief of the celebrated Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers (1751–80), to which he also contributed many articles. His article Juifs (Philosophie des) constituted the major part of the article Juif in the encyclopedia (vol. 9 (1765), 24–51). In this Diderot writes with admiration about what he terms the two determining characteristics of the Jewish nation: its being the oldest nation still in existence and the only one which did not pass through the stage of polytheism. He also praises the "natural" religion of the patriarchs and the personality and ability of Moses. He later states, however, that all these attributes belong "more to the history of revelation than the history of philosophy." Diderot therefore provides a lengthy description of what he considers are the history and the principles of Jewish philosophy after the Babylonian captivity. The main points he made in his description of Jewish philosophy are that the Jews are a people almost unacquainted with science; and that "we cannot expect to find among the Jews exactitude of ideas or precision in style; in short, everything which characterizesa sound philosophy. On the contrary we find a confused mixture of principles of reason and of revelation, an affected and frequently impenetrable obscurity of principles, which cause fanaticism, a blind respect for the authority of the doctors and antiquity; in short, all the defects peculiar to an ignorant and superstitious nation." -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Assezat and M. Tourneaux (eds.), Oeuvres complètes de Diderot, 15 (1876), 318–400; 17 (1876), 431–3; Reinach, in: REJ, 8 (1844), 138–44; Dictionnaire de biographie française, 11 (1967), 266–9 (includes bibl.); A. Hertzberg, The French Enlightenment and the Jews (1968), 281–2, 310–2. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: L. Schwartz, Diderot and the Jews (1981); D. Bourel, "Les rasés et les barbus: Diderot et le judaïsme," in: Revue Philosophique (1984), 333–58. (Baruch Mevorah)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Diderot, Denis — born Oct. 5, 1713, Langres, France died July 31, 1784, Paris French man of letters and philosopher. Educated by Jesuits, Diderot later received degrees from the University of Paris. From 1745 to 1772 he served as chief editor of the 35 volume… …   Universalium

  • Diderot, Denis — (1713 1784)    writer, philosopher    Born in Langres to a well to do bourgeois family, Denis Diderot, a major figure of the enlightenment, studied theology, philosophy, and law at the sorbonne, while living a bohemian existence. There he spent… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Diderot, Denis — b. 1713 Lagnes, Champagne, France d. 1784 Paris, France [br] French editor of the thirty five volume Encyclopédie. [br] In spite of a Jesuit education, Diderot became a teacher and scholar instead of a lawyer or doctor. He then proceeded to write …   Biographical history of technology

  • Diderot, Denis — (1713–1784) The principal editor of the Encyclopédie , and together with Voltaire the leading figure of the 18th century Enlightenment in France, enjoying a long and eventful career dedicated to the acquisition and dissemination of learning.… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Diderot, Denis — ► (1713 84) Filósofo francés. Asumió la dirección de la Enciclopedia (1747). Defendió una moral que tuviese en cuenta la libertad individual y las exigencias sociales. Entre sus obras filosóficas destacan El sueño de d´Alembert (1769) y Ensayo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • DIDEROT, DENIS —    a French philosopher, born at Langres, the son of a cutler there; a zealous propagator of the philosophic ideas of the 18th century, and the projector of the famous Encyclopédie, which he edited along with D Alembert, and which made a great… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Diderot,Denis — Di·de·rot (dēʹdə rō , dē drōʹ), Denis. 1713 1784. French philosopher and writer whose supreme accomplishment was his work on the Encyclopédie (1751 1772), which epitomized the spirit of Enlightenment thought. He also wrote novels, plays, critical …   Universalium

  • Diderot, Denis — See Enlightenment I (The French): science, materialism and determinism and Enlightenment II (The French): deism, morality and politics …   History of philosophy

  • Diderot, Denis —  (1713–1784) French encyclopedist and philosopher …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Diderot — Diderot, Denis …   Philosophy dictionary

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