Diderot and other authors, in famous articles such as "Political Authority", emphasized the shift of the origin of political authority from divinity or heritage to the people. This Enlightenment ideal, espoused by Rousseau and others, advocated that people have the right to consent to their government in a form of social contract.
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Articles such as "Natural Rights" by Diderot explained the relationship between individuals and the general will. The natural state of humanity, according to the authors, is barbaric and unorganized. To balance the desires of individuals and the needs of the general will, humanity requires civil society and laws that benefit all persons.
BY JOHN MORLEY
Writers, to varying degrees, criticized Thomas Hobbes ' notions of a selfish humanity that requires a sovereign to rule over it. Articles concerning economics or markets, such as "Economic Politics", generally favored free competition and denounced monopolies. Articles often criticized guilds as creating monopolies and approved of state intervention to remove such monopolies.
The writers advocated extending laissez-faire principles of liberalism from the market to the individual level, such as with privatization of education and opening of careers to all levels of wealth. These articles applied a scientific approach to understanding the mechanical and production processes, and offered new ways to improve machines to make them more efficient.
The encyclopedians successfully argued and marketed their belief in the potential of reason and unified knowledge to empower human will and thus helped to shape the social issues that the French Revolution would address. The editors also refused to treat the decisions of political powers as definitive in intellectual or artistic questions. Some articles talked about changing social and political institutions that would improve their society for everyone.
Historian Dan O'Sullivan compares it to Wikipedia :.
As do Wikipedians today, Diderot and his colleagues needed to engage with the latest technology in dealing with the problems of designing an up-to-date encyclopedia. These included what kind of information to include, how to set up links between various articles, and how to achieve the maximum readership. Print run : 4, copies note: even single-volume works in the 18th Century seldom had a print run of more than 1, copies.
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Readex Microprint Corporation, NY The full text and images reduced to four double-spread pages of the original appearing on one folio-sized page of this printing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the 18th-century French encyclopedia. Annual Report of the Regents, Volume Books: a living history.
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Jugemens sur quelques ouvrages nouveaux. Vol 8. Luneau de Boisjermain av. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, New Haven: Yale University Press, New York: Cambridge University Press, Oxford: Oxford University Press, Princeton: Princeton University Press, Goodman, John trans. Diderot on Art, the Salon of and Notes on Painting. London: T.
Cadell, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Rodman, Robert. Hyams, Nina. An Introduction to Language, 7th edition. Boston: Thomson Corporation, Amsterdam: Peter Lang, Of the Standard of Taste and Other Essays. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, Cataract: a Study in Diderot.
New York: Columbia University Press, The Triumph of the Baroque, Architecture in Europe, Baroque and Rococo, Art and Culture. London: Calmann and King Ltd, Renaissance and Renascences. New York: George Braziller, Inc, New York: Bantam Books, Landscape and Western Art. Bazin, Germain. Baroque and Rococo. Boime, Albert. Art in an Age of Revolution, Borys, Stephen D. Brookner, Anita. London: Elek, Don't have an account? Sign in via your Institution Sign in. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.
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Related The Discourse of Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France: Diderot and the Art of Philosophizing
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