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the authors of the French Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des metiers (published 1751–80). The Encyclopédie was conceived and edited by D. Diderot and J. D’Alembert. Its contributors included Voltaire, E. de Condillac, C. Helvétius, P. Holbach, J.-J. Rousseau, A. Turgot, G. Raynal, G. Buffon, and various progressive scholars, scientists, writers, and engineers.

The Encyclopedists differed in their philosophical and sociopolitical views. They included deists as well as materialists and atheists, and adherents of “enlightened absolutism” as well as advocates of the republican form of government. They did, however, share such characteristics as the desire to overcome the conservative principles of feudal society, hostility toward the clerical ideology, and the need to substantiate their rational world view. The Encyclopedists played an important role in the ideological preparation for the French Revolution, and their work fostered social and scientific progress. As spokesmen for the progressive ideas of their age, the Encyclopedists were persecuted by the feudal authorities and the clergy.


Duprat, P. Les Encyclopédists, leurs travaux, leurs doctrines et leur influence. Paris, 1866.
Ducros, L. Les encyclopédistes. Paris, 1900.
Proust, J. Diderot et l’Encyclopédie. Paris, 1962.
Proust, J. L’Encyclopédie. Paris, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
As d'Alembert suggests, in the account of the Encyclopedists, the history of knowledge articulates itself forward and backward in relation to a central loss that functions, paradoxically, as its originary moment.
88) Precisely the same sense of the utility of creation underlies the work of the encyclopedists.
Yet the ultimate synthesis of the phenomenal and the noumenal sought by the Romantics, and anticipated by the Encyclopedists, was nearly undone by another Enlightenment figure--Immanuel Kant.
As the century wore on, spontaneous generation became increasingly associated with the encyclopedists, materialism, atheism, and revolution.
The question, for theatre historians, as for encyclopedists, is how to do this looking, and the various essays pose a variety of answers.
Again, this is the author's prerogative, but naive readers should be forewarned that even encyclopedists rightfully have their own take on history and ideas.
Yet the Encyclopedists follow in the Jesuit footsteps, echoing their dismissal of Lahontan's work because of his portrayal of American Indian critical views.
The image Newman repeated through much of his writing in order to communicate totality and perfection of knowledge--truly catholic knowledge--was one the Encyclopedists would find, initially, familiar: the "whole circle" of doctrines and knowledge.
Tan briefly traced the rise of the reformist party headed by Kang Youwei, likening them to the Encyclopedists of France because they "aimed at the regeneration of society, and provided and encouraged the study of knowledge in all its branches" (ibid.
While Roulin's analysis is structured around the debates waged by Voltaire and his contemporaries, the Encyclopedists, and the survivors of the Revolution, it ultimately reveals a major division in the eighteenth-century conception of the epic; a division that is linked to two distinct understandings of history and the nation.
He rejects the clear bigotry by which the encyclopedists called themselves "enlightened" and wrote off those on whose shoulders they stood as men of "the dark ages.
For Queneau, the misguided instincts of encyclopedists had also penetrated literary circles, inevitably causing contemporary literature's attempts at cultural production to be flawed.