Diderot’s Background for “Rameau’s Nephew” – group 5

Our group thought that it may be useful to understand Diderot as an author to get a better idea of his perspective on certain topics. After reading a quick biography we found Diderot was considered a brilliant student and was pushed to fulfill a career working for the church. Diderot abandoned this and focused on studying law and philosophy. His family strongly disagreed with his decision, and were  disappointed with him. This could be portrayed in some of his works showing the importance of individual choice and pride in one’s decisions. 

Diderot was a French philosopher and compiled information with a goal to further knowledge for all. He focused much of his time translating works, tutoring, and reading to expand his knowledge. He had this idea that he needed to give the world a general idea of everything. He created an encyclopedia so people knew a general idea of the capabilities we have as people and what we know. Diderot was known for his comedic writings and sarcastic tales. His sarcasm comes into “Romeau’s Nephew” and even though has a sarcastic tone, it still underlines some important lesson. Based on this reading he differs from other philosophers who write much more serious and focused on establishing laws rather than using a story or dialogue to convey something.

Overall we think the importance is that Diderot had an interesting life where he was able to learn and explore things on his own. His works are trying take some aspects of unique stories to describe new ways of thinking.

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