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(äNsēklôpādē`), the work of the French Encyclopedists, or philosophes. The full title was Encyclopédie; ou, Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts, et des métiers. This work was originally planned as a translation of Ephraim Chambers's Cyclopedia (1st ed. 1728), and the first editor was the Abbé Gua de Malves. The project was abandoned because of disagreements, and Le Breton, the publisher, agreed to let Denis DiderotDiderot, Denis
, 1713–84, French encyclopedist, philosopher of materialism, and critic of art and literature, b. Langres. He was also a novelist, satirist, and dramatist. Diderot was enormously influential in shaping the rationalistic spirit of the 18th cent.
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 and Jean le Rond d'AlembertAlembert, Jean le Rond d'
, 1717–83, French mathematician and philosopher. The illegitimate son of the chevalier Destouches, he was named for the St. Jean le Rond church, on whose steps he was found. His father had him educated.
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 edit an entirely new work. With the aid of QuesnayQuesnay, François
, 1694–1774, French economist, founder of the physiocratic school. A physician to Louis XV, he did not begin his economic studies until 1756, when he wrote the articles "Fermiers" [farmers] and "Grains" for the Encyclopédie.
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, MontesquieuMontesquieu, Charles Louis de Secondat, baron de la Brède et de
, 1689–1755, French jurist and political philosopher. He was councillor (1714) of the parlement of Bordeaux and its president (1716–28) after the death of an uncle, whom he succeeded in both title
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, VoltaireVoltaire, François Marie Arouet de
, 1694–1778, French philosopher and author, whose original name was Arouet. One of the towering geniuses in literary and intellectual history, Voltaire personifies the Enlightenment.
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, J. J. RousseauRousseau, Jean Jacques
, 1712–78, Swiss-French philosopher, author, political theorist, and composer. Life and Works

Rousseau was born at Geneva, the son of a Calvinist watchmaker.
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, TurgotTurgot, Anne Robert Jacques
, 1727–81, French economist, comptroller general of finances (1774–76). The son of a rich merchant, he showed precocious ability at school and at the Sorbonne.
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, and others, the two editors produced the first volume in 1751, with a famous "preliminary discourse" signed by Alembert. The discourse indicated the aims of the project and then presented definitions and histories of science and the arts. The rational, secular emphasis of the whole volume infuriated the Jesuits, who attacked the work as irreligious and used their influence to convince the government to withdraw (1759) the official permit. Alembert resigned as editor. The project was able to continue, however, as a result of Diderot's perseverance and the support he received from the statesman Malesherbes. With the help of the chevalier de Jaucourt, Diderot brought the clandestine printing of the work to completion in 1772. Of the 28 volumes, 11 were devoted to plates illustrating the industrial arts; Diderot compiled this information and made the drawings. When the work was in page proof, Diderot discovered that deletions made by the printer had mutilated many articles containing liberal opinions. Despite this unofficial censorship the Encyclopédie championed the skepticism and rationalism of the EnlightenmentEnlightenment,
term applied to the mainstream of thought of 18th-century Europe and America. Background and Basic Tenets

The scientific and intellectual developments of the 17th cent.
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. By 1780 a five-volume supplement and a two-volume index were added, compiled under other editors. The success of the Encyclopédie was immediate, and its influence was incalculable. Through its stress on scientific determinism and its attacks on legal, juridical, and clerical abuses, the Encyclopédie was a major factor in the intellectual preparation for the French Revolution.


See selections ed. by N. S. Hoyt and T. Cassirer (tr. 1965); R. N. Schwab et al., Inventory of Diderot's Encyclopédie (1971); J. Lough, The Encyclopédie (1971).

References in periodicals archive ?
The Gift is characterized by the same encyclopedism and metaphysical aspect as Eugene Onegin.
Chapter 2, "The idea of a theatre," describes the impact that the appearance of purpose-built theaters in London during the sixteenth century had on the script of encyclopedism.
Of all the problems generated by the supershow scale, the curatorial ambition as such is less pertinent than the almost inevitable urge to create effects of evidence through the matic clustering: Archive, city, model, border, textuality, encyclopedism, violence, postcolonialism, carnival, labyrinth, and so many other classificatory aids tend to support a narrative of contiguities and seamlessness rather than one of disruptions and constructions (in Ranciere's sense of the political).
To be All-American is to know nothing; to be Jewish is to aspire, if not to omniscience, at least to self-knowledge; and to be Jewish-American is to take an ironic stance towards both ignorance and encyclopedism.
The Palaeologan revival of elements of Greek Classicism, especially in encyclopedism, history, literature, philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy, was transmitted to a rarefied audience of Italian scholars and Greek residents of Italy.
For a discussion of the changes in the interpretation of the Enlightenment at the expositions Universelles, from a positivist, authoritarian encyclopedism in the nineteenth century, to a democratic, Voltairian vision in 1937, see Danilo Udovicki-Selb, "The Elusive Faces of Modernity: The Invention of the 1937 Paris Exposition and the Temps Nouveaux Pavilion" (Ph.
Eliot claimed, was to find an aesthetic replacement for the lost social ordering principles and structures of the past (in the extended Homeric parallels and formal encyclopedism of Joyce's Ulysses, in the rejuvenated High-Church Anglicanism of Eliot's Four Quartets, or in the ironic redeployment of Frazer's fertility myths in Woolf's Mrs.
Few philosophers have possessed Leibniz's encyclopedism, and no cautious scholar would claim that any one element of his system provides the final key to the whole.
Encyclopedism is that moment when a culture reflects on itself, its memory, and its outer limits.
Remembering how his own father, a proponent of a scientific "truthless / Encyclopedism," "would point to the / Anomalous forsythia," whose flowers appear before its leaves, the poet unfavorably contrasts the notion of a totalizing, clinically "objective" empiricism with Daniel's attitude of absorption in each natural particular.
13) Though exceptions exist (an article on Harold Bloom has him reading "perhaps 500 pages an hour, Bloom says, with almost complete retention"),(14) the cult of encyclopedism possible in a once-manageable database has gone the way of typewriters and V8 cars with fins.
This encyclopedism may distract some readers, but it underscores the fantastic's insistence upon la lettralite in all its forms: paratextual material, the found manuscript, the fictional journal, the fictional grimoire, coded messages, translations, self-referentiality, self-parody, mise en abyme, narrative frames, and so on.