Born on October 5, 1713, Denis Diderot was a French philosopher and art critic. He also was a writer. Throughout the Enlightenment age he is known as a sponsor to the Encyclopedie. He wrote the discourse Le Neveu de Rameau which is the basis of articles about desires. He wrote La Religieuse abut a nun who is forced into slavery at the monastery where she served. He married Antoinette Champion in 1710 and they had one child who survived. Diderot was not faithful and had affairs with Madeleine de Puisieux and Sophie Volland. Letters to Sophie Volland are some of the most vivid of descriptions of the daily life of the philosophic circle of Paris.
Diderot never became wealthy and had to sell his library to Catherine the Great of Russia to produce enough money to provide a dowry for his daughter.
He translated Temple Stanyan's History of Greece in 1743 and also translated Robert James's Medicinal Dictionary in 1748. He wrote his first original work the Pensees philosphiques in 1745 and then composed a volume of questionable stories Les bijoux indiscrets in 1748. His Lettre sur les aveugles a l'usage de ceux qui voient or Letter on the Blind in 1749 presented him as an original thinker.
He wrote romantic plays, Le Fils naturel in 1757 and le pere de famille in 1758. Diderot wrote about free will and held a materialistic view of the universe. He suggested that human behavior is determined by heredity. Diderot died on July 31, 1784 in Paris France. He was 70.
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