Denis Diderot - Philosophy

Philosophy

As a philosopher Diderot speculated on free will and held a completely materialistic view of the universe; he suggested all human behavior is determined by heredity. He therefore warned his fellow philosophers against an overemphasis on mathematics and against the blind optimism that sees in the growth of physical knowledge an automatic social and human progress. He rejected the Idea of Progress. In his opinion, the aim of progressing through technology was doomed to fail. He founded his philosophy on experiment and the study of probabilities. He wrote several articles and supplements concerning gambling, mortality rates, and inoculation against smallpox for the Encyclop├ędie. There he discreetly but firmly refuted d'Alembert's technical errors and personal positions on probability.

In his youth Diderot was originally a follower of Voltaire and his deist Anglomanie, but gradually moved away from this line of thought towards materialism and atheism, a move which was finally realised 1747 in the philosophical debate in the second part of his La Promenade du sceptique (1747).

Read more about this topic:  Denis Diderot

Famous quotes containing the word philosophy:

    The fact is, mental philosophy is very like Poverty, which, you know, begins at home; and indeed, when it goes abroad, it is poverty itself.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    If mass communications blend together harmoniously, and often unnoticeably, art, politics, religion, and philosophy with commercials, they bring these realms of culture to their common denominator—the commodity form. The music of the soul is also the music of salesmanship. Exchange value, not truth value, counts.
    Herbert Marcuse (1898–1979)

    In philosophy if you aren’t moving at a snail’s pace you aren’t moving at all.
    Iris Murdoch (b. 1919)