Harry R. Schwartz

Software engineer, nominal scientist, gentleman of the internet. Member, ←Hotline Webring→.

The Encyclopédie

Published 03 Sep 2009. Tags: books, history, old-dead-white-guys.

French writer/philosopher Denis Diderot is probably best known for editing the Encyclopédie, a series of collaboratively written books meant to compile all the knowledge of late-1700s Europe. I just learned that the University of Michigan hosts a hypertext-ed translation of the whole thing. You can read a blurb about the project here. Some highlights:

Aside from some offensively dated ideas about race, I’m really impressed with how modern most of the thinking is. Compare that with, say, the Pseudodoxia, written just a century earlier. Way to go, Enlightenment.