Sunday, November 30, 2008

Denis Diderot

My name is Denis Diderot. I was born on October 15th, 1713 in Langres, France. I grew up in an avid bourgeoisie household, and my father being a very strict religious man through me into the Jesuit Boarding school. Thanks to my smarts I excelled as a student and was thought of as brilliant. I aced everything. I became a writer after trying to become a preacher which I loathed, and failing to become a lawyer. My father rarely talked to me at that point. The one thing most people know me for is the Encyclopédie. I was selected as the general editor for the project and spent the next 26 years devoting my genius, and writing talents into publishing the 10 volume encyclopedia. My goal in creating the Encyclopédie was to assemble the knowledge scattered across the earth so everyone can have access and discover what man was made to be. Other works I am known for is my book Philosophical Thoughts, and Letters on the Blind. I play a huge role in the progress of mankind because my Encyclopedia spreads, teaches, and connects cultures and all of mankind in ways nothing else has before. It is based on science and fact, not religion. I was exposed to new technology and crafts when I was editing it and now the people who possess my 10 volumes can have that same experience. I most relate my self to René Descartes. He and I are both true philosophers. I agreed with Descartes in that the world was created by God but is based on fact and science, and everything on earth is sustained by a force that is distinct from all physical forces but life is self-determined. Censorship has caught up to me in my life. In my book Philosophical Thoughts, I wrote with a controversial voice. I was beginning to move away from my father’s wishes and was becoming an atheist… one of the first. The church saw it as a threat and used their power to put me in prison for 3 months. After that I didn’t publish any more of my writings (my daughter did after I died). It is definitely important to see and experience other parts of the world and other cultures. This is how I wrote my Encyclopédie, traveling and experiencing what other people have perfected and using more productive ways as substitute for yours. You learn much more from other cultures than you do from your own. I do not believe there is a god. A person who should rule over others should be smart, skilled in many fields and should use his power for the greater good. I have done what can be to promote human knowledge. Spreading and sharing knowledge is the best tool to maximizing progress to man. I like French music and I am a fan of Rousseau.

1 comment:

Gordon Webster Ellinwood said...

The idea of an "encyclopedie" is great. A collection of books that houses some of the most interesting knowledge in the world, it is genius. I do wonder though, how you think you brain child has turned out. Do you think the encyclopedias of today fulfill your original intentions? Are you happy with what they have become?