Biography Celebrates French Philosopher Denis Diderot, an 'Intellectual Beast' Before His Time

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A portrait of French philosopher Denis Diderot by Louis-Michel van Loo.  (Wikimedia Commons)

Despite a strict Catholic upbringing in 18th century France, philosopher Denis Diderot grew to question the established views of his era, including God's existence, the French monarchy, slavery and sexual mores. Diderot's life and thought are explored in a new book, "Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely," by Wesleyan University professor Andrew Curran. We'll talk to Curran about why Diderot was an "intellectual beast" ahead of his time, as well as the philosopher's fascination with American independence.


Andrew Curran, professor of the Humanities and professor of French, Wesleyan University; author, "Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely"