Denis Diderot And The French Revolution

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The encyclopedia was chiefly by Denis Diderot, along with contributions from Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, Voltaire and Montesquieu, published between 1751 and 1772 in France, during the period of the Enlightenment, when governments were arbitrary. It was a collective publication which presented the contemporary knowledge gained from enlightenment thinking and the scientific revolution. Diderot used empirical knowledge about science, machines and technology to matters of politics, legislation, social order, economics and even religion indirectly. These new ideas about rights, reasoning and toleration were seen as an affront to the power of the French government, and this caused its publishing permit to be revoked. And yet, it sold extremely well:

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