HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Diderot: A Critical Biography by P.N.…
Loading...

Diderot: A Critical Biography (edition 1992)

by P.N. Furbank

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
592298,672 (3.38)3
Member:Michael37
Title:Diderot: A Critical Biography
Authors:P.N. Furbank
Info:Knopf (1992), Edition: lst American ed, Hardcover, 524 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:just scanned 2/15 - need to study

Work details

Diderot: A Critical Biography by P. N. Furbank

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 3 mentions

Showing 2 of 2
This is a fine book about a wonderful mind; I found Diderot fascinating. Denis Diderot is known as a philosophe, and the major author of the French Encyclopedia, but I first encountered him through his books "Rameau's Nephew" and "D'alembert's Dream". Diderot was a provocative thinker, but always a voracious seeker of knowledge as well, and deeply involved as an agent of change in his society.

The ideas that Diderot helped circulate at the time were Materialism, Atheism, popular democracy, and other threats to the established order of God and State, but he managed to be only briefly confined and intermittently censored for his writings. Diderot worked his subversion in a number of ways, not so much intending to subvert, but also uncompromising in his free exercise of thought and expression. Some of his more famous works were not published or widely circulated until after his death, so it is difficult to assess their immediate impacts, but overall he seems to be a central if sometimes hidden force in continental philosophy in the 1700s.

Many of the people Diderot influenced (and was influenced by) have been grouped together as the French Enlightenment. It was clear from this book that Diderot was particularly close to Rousseau and large portions of it are dedicated to their changing relationship.

Friedrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm was a significant figure in Diderot's life, and I'd like to know more about this character who seems to be at work in a subtle and pervasive way in Europe's intellectual developments at that time.Mme d'Epinay, Baron d'Holbach and to an extent Julie de Lespinasse and Madame Helvetius were also important players in Diderot's overlapping circles through their Salons. d'Alembert was Diderot's main partner in the Encyclopedia, and at times his intellectual foil, though d'Alembert seemed to focus more narrowly than Diderot on mathematical and scientific interests.

There is a site dedicated to translating the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/d/did/ Decide for yourselves if it is a "confidence trick", as another reviewer characterized it. ( )
  BobCulley | Sep 8, 2013 |
My knowledge of Diderot, which was sketchy in the extreme at the outset, has not been greatly enhanced by this book. Mr. Furbank seems to hold Diderot in the very highest esteem but, his biography paints a picture of a rather unpleasant man.

Based solely upon this book, I would say that Diderot was an atheist and a believer in science in the same way that a spoilt child is convinced that sweeties and not vegetables are the best food. His legendary encyclopaedia seems more of a confidence trick and his novels of questionable value.

Not an enjoyable read. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Aug 31, 2010 |
Showing 2 of 2
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

No library descriptions found.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.38)
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5 1
3 1
3.5
4 2
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,549,227 books! | Top bar: Always visible