Denis Didro short biography

Denis Diderot A brief biography of the famous French writer and philosopher, an encyclopedist, is outlined in this article.

Denis Didro short biography

Denis Didro was born on October 5, 1713 in Langres, Champagne, France. His mother, nee Angelica Vigneron, was the daughter of a tanner, and his father, Didier Didro, was a hacksaw.
At the request of the family, young Denis prepared himself for a spiritual career. In 1723, 1728 he studied at the Langra Jesuit College, in 1726 he became an abbot.

In 1732, he received a master's degree at the Faculty of Arts, University of Paris.

In 1743, Didro married Anna Antoinette Champion, who contained a linen shop with her mother. The first time after marriage, Didro earned money by translations.

In 1747, together with his friend the philosopher and mathematician Jean Leron D'Alembert, he received an invitation to become the head of the publication Encyclopedia, or Explanatory Dictionary of Sciences, Arts and Crafts. Through the efforts of Didro and D'Alembert, the book turned into a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge in France. Didro studied the history of philosophy and crafts.

In 1772, the first edition of the Encyclopedia was completed. Work took 25 years. The Encyclopedia comprised 28 volumes - 17 volumes of articles and 11 volumes of illustrations. In addition to Didro, who wrote about six thousand articles, philosophers Jean Jacques Rousseau, Francois Marie Aruet Voltaire, Charles Louis Montesquieu, Paul Henri Golbach were involved in its creation.

In his first philosophical works Philosophical Thoughts (1746) and Alleys, or the Skeptic's Walk (1747), Didro adhered to deism. In the essay "Letter on the Blind for the Edification of the Sighted" (1749) he moved to the position of atheism and materialism. He contrasts the teleological proof of the existence of God with evolutionist views on nature. In July-October 1749, Diderot was arrested and imprisoned in Vincennes Castle for his freethinking writings.

Atheistic materialism was further developed in his writings, Thoughts on the Interpretation of Nature (1754), Conversation of D'Alembert and Didro (1769), Philosophical Principles on Matter and Motion (1770), etc.

Didro is the author of the plays “The Secondary Son or Trials of Virtue” (1757) and “Father of the Family” (1758).

The story “The Nun” (1760), the novel Dialogue “The Nephew of Rameau” (1762 1779), the novel “Jacques Fatalist and His Master” (1773) remained unknown to his contemporaries and was first published after the author’s death. They found expression of Didro's rejection of religion and the church, as well as a commitment to humanistic ideals.

In 1759 - 1781, as a critic of art, Didro wrote annual reviews of art exhibitions - “Salons”.

In 1765, Russian Empress Catherine II acquired the Didro Library. Having paid for the library, Catherine left the books for his lifelong use and appointed the philosopher an annual salary as a librarian, paying money for 50 years in advance.

From 1773 to 1774, Didro, at the invitation of Catherine II, traveled to Russia and lived in Petersburg.

In recent years, Didro continued to engage in literary projects.

On July 31, 1784, Denis Diderot passed away.

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