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Denis Diderot
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Philosopher
    (October 5, 1713-July 31, 1784)
    Chief editor of the 'Encyclopédie' (1750-1765)
    Wrote 'The Indiscreet Jewels,' 'An Essay on Blindness,' 'Philosophical Thoughts,' 'Rameau's Nephew,' 'The Nun,' 'Jacques the Fatalist and His Master' and 'Regrets on Parting with My Old Dressing Gown'
    Atheist
    He had affairs with several women.
    He was a very inconsistent thinker.
    His first novel told the odd story of a magic ring that made vaginas speak.
    He was forced to sell his library to pay a dowry on his daughter.
    His encyclopedia had a Protestant bias, and was banned by the Catholic Church.
    Although he himself was a nonbeliever, the encyclopedia's atheism article said that atheists should be executed.
    He was imprisoned for writing atheistic material.
    His 'Encyclopédie' project attempted to record all human knowledge of the arts and sciences.
    Many notables wrote for the encyclopedia, including Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Rousseau.
    When his friends abandoned the project, he wrote the last couple hundred articles himself.
    He suggested that the blind could be taught to read by touch, years before the braille system was created.
    He wrote: 'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.'
    Thomas Jefferson said he was 'among the most virtuous of men.'

Credit: Ratman


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