Wade, Ira O. “ORGANIC UNITY IN
THE ENCYCLOPÉDIE.” The Structure and Form of the French Enlightenment, Volume 2: Esprit Revolutionnaire, Princeton University Press, 1977, pp. 180–248. JSTOR,
Wade, in a lengthy yet compelling article, examines the idea of a united whole in the Encyclopédie, which Encyclopedists’ ideas referred to unity, and how they attempted to reach it. Their essential goal was to not only make knowledge more factual and scientific, but to contain all knowledge and unite all classifications in one work. The contributors themselves, despite their differences, were united, as Wade asserts, through a desire to be useful and productive and were driven by social interactivity and less by wealth. Moreover, Wade analyzes the “Preliminary Discourse”, “Prospectus”, and the article “Encyclopédie” to determine the editors’ theories on unity, especially in a common language and in a vast tree of knowledge. She also looks at articles in an attempt to see the contributors’ points of view on approaches to the Encyclopédie, claiming that each article must be examined in light of the whole work. Furthermore, each article contributes to the “esprit” (spirit/intellect) of the Encyclopédie which comes together and applies to the “esprit” of the Enlightenment.
Country of Publication: United States
Main Classification: Unity, Language
1. Contains a very detailed background on the Encyclopédie.
7/14/2020: Created page.