Last Updated: Nov 8, 2017
- Jean Alembert (1717 - 1783): Topic Page
French mathematician, encyclopedist, and theoretical physicist.
- Pierre de Beaumarchais (1732 - 1799)
From The Columbia Encyclopedia
- Pierre Corneille (1606 - 1684): Topic Page
In the course of a long association with the Parisian theatres he produced over 30 plays, and proved equally successful in tragedy and comedy.
- Rene Descartes (1596 - 1650): Topic Page
French philosopher and mathematician.
- Denis Diderot (1713 - 1784): Topic Page
French encyclopedist, philosopher of materialism, and critic of art and literature, b. Langres. He was also a novelist, satirist, and dramatist. Diderot was enormously influential in shaping the rationalistic spirit of the 18th cent.
- Jean Racine (1639 - 1699): Topic Page
French dramatist. Racine is the prime exemplar of French classicism.
- Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 - 1778): Topic Page
Swiss-French philosopher, author, political theorist, and composer. Few people have equaled Rousseau's influence in politics, literature, and education.
- Marquis de Sade (1740 - 1814): Topic Page
French writer and libertine.
- Voltaire (1694 - 1778): Topic Page
French philosopher and author. One of the towering geniuses in literary and intellectual history, Voltaire personifies the Enlightenment.
- Melodrama: Topic Page
J. J. Rousseau's melodrama Pygmalion (1762; first performed 1770) helped create a vogue for stage plays in which the action was generally romantic, full of violent action, and often characterized by the final triumph of virtue.
- Enlightenment: Topic Page
The scientific and intellectual developments of the 17th century fostered the belief in natural law and universal order and the confidence in human reason that spread to influence all of 18th-century society.
- Rationalism: Topic Page
In philosophy, a theory that holds that reason alone, unaided by experience, can arrive at basic truth regarding the world.
- Encyclopédie: Topic Page
The work of the French Encyclopedists, or philosophes. The full title was Encyclopédie; ou, Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts, et des métiers.
- Candide, ou l'Optisme
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide
Satire by Voltaire, published in 1759.