Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely

Author: Andrew S. Curran

Publisher: Other Press (2019-01-15)

9781590516720

Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely ebook cover
A vivacious biography of the prophetic and sympathetic philosopher who along with Voltaire and Rousseau built the foundations of the modern world, and traveled as far as Russia to enlighten Catherine the Great.

Denis Diderot is often associated with the decades-long battle to bring the world's first comprehensive Encyclopédie into existence. But his most compelling and personal writing took place in the shadows. Thrown into prison for his atheism in 1749, Diderot decided to reserve his most daring books for posterity—for us, in fact. In the astonishing cache of unpublished writings left behind after his death, Diderot dreamed of natural selection before Darwin, the Oedipus complex before Freud, and genetic manipulation centuries before Dolly the Sheep. Even more audaciously, the writer challenged virtually all of his century's accepted truths, from the sanctity of monarchy, to the racial justification of the slave trade, to the complications of...