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About the Author: Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer. He was a prominent persona during the Enlightenment and is best known for serving as co-founder and chief editor of and contributor to the Encyclopédie.

Diderot also contributed to literature, notably with Jacques le fataliste et son maître (Jacques the Fatalist and his Master), which emulated Laurence Sterne in challenging conventions regarding novels and their structure and content, while also examining philosophical ideas about free will. Diderot is also known as the author of the dialogue, Le Neveu de Rameau (Rameau's Nephew), upon which many articles and sermons about consumer desire have been based. His articles included many topics of the Enlightenment.

As a philosopher Diderot speculated on free will and held a completely materialistic view of the universe; he suggested all human behavior is determined by heredity. He therefore warned his fellow philosophers against an overemphasis on mathematics and against the blind optimism that sees in the growth of physical knowledge an automatic social and human progress. He rejected the Idea of Progress. In his opinion, the aim of progressing through technology was doomed to fail. He founded his philosophy on experiment and the study of probabilities. He wrote several articles and supplements concerning gambling, mortality rates, and inoculation against smallpox for the Encyclopédie. There he discreetly but firmly refuted d'Alembert's technical errors and personal positions on probability.

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Goodreads rating: 3.61

Paperback, Published in Aug 2001 by Livre de Poche

ISBN10: 2253149977 | ISBN13: 9782253149972

Œuvre cruciale, Le Neveu de Rameau a permis à Diderot de trouver son propre en se libérant de son rôle un peu guindé de philosophe dans le dialogue qu'il imagine avec ce fou de Jean-François Rameau, musicien raté mais comédien génial, l'écrivain règle bien des comptes avec ses adversaires, fait une satire virulente de la société de son temps et s'interroge sur la postérité. Puzzle truqué à plusieurs figures, inapte à renvoyer une image simple de l'auteur, ce texte bizarre et fulgurant qui éclata comme une bombe au beau milieu de la littérature française, selon l'expression de Goethe, est aussi un manifeste de l'art nouveau.

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