Creech, James. “‘Chasing After
Advances’: Diderot’s Article ‘Encyclopedia.’” Yale French Studies, no. 63, Yale University Press, 1982, pp. 183–97. JSTOR, JSTOR, doi:10.2307/2929839.
This article delves into Diderot’s lengthy article “Encyclopédie”, taking it part by part and discussing its meaning and implications in Diderot’s theory of creating an encyclopedia and the ideas of the Enlightenment in 18th century France. Creech touches on the issues and problems that Diderot faced, the shortcomings and failures of the Encyclopédie, and especially the system of cross-references and its connections to the tree of knowledge. Creech provides a complex argument relating Diderot’s comparison of the Encyclopédie and its readers to a man and a mirror (drawing off of Jacques Lacan’s psychological experiments of an infant in a mirror and the “mirror stage” of development) where the Encyclopédie must attend to the flaw of humankind and cannot be pure and perfect. This philosophical look and psychoanalysis of Diderot’s article can be quite heavy in material and language at times, but nevertheless provides a compelling analysis of regarding his claims and thoughts.
Country of Publication: United States
Main Classification: Encyclopédie, Cross-References
7/9/2020: Created page.