Denis Diderot was born in Langres, France in 1713. His father was a master cutler and his mother was devoted and religious. It is more than fair to say he grew up in a stable and fortunate family. He was in theory supposed to become a clergy man, but due to his sister who was a nun and died of being overworked his views on the catholic church changed rapidly. He refused to become part of the clergy and instead began to explore his interest in education and writing. In fact from 1729 to 1732 he studied in Paris at the Collège d’Harcourt and eventually he was rewarded a degree of a master of the arts from The University of Paris. He then moved onto law and rights when he became an articled clerk under Clément de Ris. Diderot of course had to pay for his studies and food, ironically in order to sustain himself would write sermons and speaches for clergy members for 50 Ecuse a piece. After writing various books and essays Diderot in coalition with Jean d' Alembert began work on The Encyclopedia, a collection of every piece of knowledge and information human kind had collected over the years. It was one of the true gems of the Scientific Revolution and symbolized the power and importance of knowledge. The church due to various reason halted the creation of said Encyclopedia but non the less D'Alembert and Diderot continued work on it in secret. Eventually Diderot was regranted permission to finish the Encyclopedia and later that year he published his works. On the non proffesional side of Diderot's life he was known as someone who was very frivoulous and had a reputation that depicted him as someone who constantly chased after women. While this is true it did not affect his proffesional life in a huge sense. In conclusion Diderot lived a long and productive life, while he had moments where he faltered and ultimately failed he never backed down from his humanistic responsability to the advancement of man and is now considered one of the supporting pillars for the age of enlightenment.

 

Fun Fact: Did you know that Diderot was a renowned womanizer and in his early age was seen as an avoidable bachelor?