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Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot, 1713-1784, French critic and philosopher.

Diderot is best known for his work from 1745 to 1772 on the monumental Encyclopédie, one of the seminal works of Enlightenment thought. He and his fellow Encyclopedists were notorious, like David Hume, for their radical and often atheistical thought: Diderot in particular was a strict materialist and disbelieved in the idea of a divine plan for the universe, thoughts he develops in his Lettre sur les aveugles (1750) and his Pensées sur l'interpretation (1754). His most famous work, the satire Le neveu de Rameau, was published posthumously in 1805.