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Voluptuous PhilosophyLiterary Materialism in the French Enlightenment$
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Natania Meeker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226962

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823226962.001.0001

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Dynamism and Disinterest: the Materialist Reader and Diderot's Dream

Dynamism and Disinterest: the Materialist Reader and Diderot's Dream

(p.155) 5. Dynamism and Disinterest: the Materialist Reader and Diderot's Dream
Voluptuous Philosophy

Natania Meeker

Fordham University Press

If there is one eighteenth-century materialist whose work appears to stand at the juncture of literature and philosophy—a writer who most impressively seems to occupy the space where the pleasures of figure intersect with a dynamic and hedonic materialist science—it is Denis Diderot. Not coincidentally, Diderot has also often been read as an exemplary Enlightenment inheritor of the Lucretian legacy, as well as perhaps the most crucial translator of a potentially archaic materialism that he animates anew with playfulness and flexibility. On the other hand, Diderot regularly turns, in his literary works, to Lucretius as the originator of an intricate and richly poetic materialist thematics.

Keywords:   Enlightenment, materialism, Denis Diderot, Lucretius, materialist science, eighteenth century

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