Research Papers on Denis Diderot
Research Papers on Diderot generally focus on his creation of one of the first encyclopedias. Paper Masters can outline the many accomplishments of Diderot in a comprehensive research paper for any course and at any level of writing you need. Get help today on all your writing needs from Paper Masters.
Denis Diderot produced a comprehensive account of current thinking, including severe attacks on the Church. Indeed, the work was designed so that the reader, and indeed the whole world, could gain access over human progress, to “control its environment, to control nature, and to prepare for the future happiness of its descendants”. The multi-volume work included such articles, aided by contributions from Quesnay, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau and Turgot, among others, as:
- “Naturally Equality”
- “Natural Rights”
- “Political Authority”
According to the Encyclopedia, the main concern of government should be the satisfaction of the citizenry. However, the people had the right to choose the form of government, since “the sovereign power returns to the society from which it emanates”. As a result of the Social Contract theory, “society can dispose of it [sovereign power] again at will, placing it in the hands of those they find suitable in the manner they judge appropriate, and thus erect a new form of government”. This is exactly what the leaders of the National Assembly did.
Diderot and the First Encyclopedias
Diderot attacked tradition and promoted a social order that would involve all the people. And Rousseau contributed by expounding the thought that the purpose of civil law was to bring about general good will for all the people. He had great faith in the goodness of mankind and called for extreme action against those who were against it: “If anyone, after publicly recognizing these dogmas, behaves as if he does not believe them, let him be punished by death: He has committed the worst of all crimes, that of lying before the law.” In general, the writings of the Enlightenment promoted the equality and commonality of all mankind. Not only were their ideas often banned (e.g. Diderot’s Encyclopedia was banned in the 1750’s), but sometimes the authors were as well.