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Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle

(1657—1757)

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Académie des Sciences

Académie des Sciences  

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Overview Page
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Literature
Learned body set up by Colbert in 1666 on the basis of previously existing informal meetings of scientists in circles such as those of Mersenne and the Dupuy brothers. It ...
Anthonie van Dale

Anthonie van Dale  

(1638–1708), Dutch Mennonite doctor and the author of De Oraculis. Van Dale was born into a Mennonite family in Haarlem. He studied medicine at Leiden; he wrote a dissertation, De ...
Antoine Houdar de La Motte

Antoine Houdar de La Motte  

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Overview Page
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Literature
(1672–1731).French playwright and poet. Educated by the Jesuits, he qualified as a lawyer but devoted himself to literature. His work includes fables, odes, opera, pastorals, and tragedies. The odes ...
Cartesianism

Cartesianism  

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Philosophy
The philosophical principles embodied in the teaching of R. Descartes.
Catherine Bernard

Catherine Bernard  

(1663–1712?), French novelist, playwright, and poet.Born in Rouen to a comfortable Huguenot family, she moved to Paris to pursue her literary interests. Bernard wrote four historical novels, a short ...
Claudine-Alexandrine Guérin Tencin, marquise de

Claudine-Alexandrine Guérin Tencin, marquise de  

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Overview Page
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Literature
(1681–1749).For decades this sometime nun was notorious for her sexual indiscretions, often documented (d'Alembert was the illegitimate son of her affair with a Chevalier Destouches) and more often ...
éloge

éloge  

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Overview Page
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Literature
[ay-lohzh]The French term for a eulogy or encomium, and in literary contexts especially for a solemn speech, usually published later as a kind of obituary tribute, given to one of the great French ...
Enlightenment

Enlightenment  

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History
[CP]The period from the last part of the 17th century through the 18th century when many important philosophical and scientific developments took place, some of which stimulated a new interest in the ...
fallacy of the ephemeral

fallacy of the ephemeral  

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Philosophy
The mistake made by a transitory being who believes in the immutability of things. The fallacy is so named in D'Alembert's Dream by Diderot, who gives the lovely illustration from Fontenelle of the ...
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz  

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Philosophy
(1646–1716),German philosopher and mathematician, and one of the chief forces leading to the German Enlightenment. He is chiefly remembered in a literary context for parodies of his ‘optimistic’ ...
Jean Le Rond D'Alembert

Jean Le Rond D'Alembert  

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Overview Page
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Philosophy
(1717–83)French mathematician and philosopher. Although he achieved his distinction as a mathematician, in philosophy d'Alembert is remembered as one of the greatest figures of the French ...
Jean-Baptiste Lully

Jean-Baptiste Lully  

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Subject:
Music
(b Florence, 1632; d Paris, 1687).It.‐born composer (Fr. nationality from 1661). At 14 went to Fr. and worked as page to cousin of Louix XIV until prowess as dancer and mime was noted. Entered ...
Le Journal des savants

Le Journal des savants  

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Literature
In a century when authors were beginning to produce scientific works in their native languages, but when the notion of independent criticism had yet to gain acceptance Louis XIV—encouraged by ...
Louise de Bourbon Maine, duchesse du

Louise de Bourbon Maine, duchesse du  

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Literature
(1676–1753).Granddaughter of Condé, wife of Louis XIV's legitimated son. Her court at Sceaux was a brilliant centre of social and cultural life, frequented by Voltaire and Fontenelle among others; it ...
Marie-Thérèse Geoffrin

Marie-Thérèse Geoffrin  

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Literature
(1699–1777).At the time of her marriage in 1713 to a wealthy older man, nothing indicated that Geoffrin would become the most powerful woman in the Republic of Letters. In ...
Marquis de Condorcet

Marquis de Condorcet  

(1743–94)French mathematician and social theorist. Condorcet was educated by Jesuits, and became the permanent Secretary of the Académie des Sciences, for which he was qualified by his mathematical ...
Newtonianism

Newtonianism  

Although Isaac Newton (1642–1727) wrote far more about theology, ancient chronology, and alchemy than about natural philosophy [34], by the late eighteenth century he was established as both a ...
Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux

Pierre Carlet de Chamblain de Marivaux  

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Overview Page
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Literature
(1688–1763),French dramatist, the dialogue of whose plays is characterized by a peculiarly paradoxical and sensitive style later known as marivaudage, first contemptuously, then in admiration of its ...
Querelle des anciens et des modernes

Querelle des anciens et des modernes  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
The name for the debate that took place in France from the mid-17th c. onwards is a convenient designation for similar, earlier developments in Italy, beginning in the first decades ...
Thomas Corneille

Thomas Corneille  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Literature
(1625–1709),French dramatist, usually known as Corneille de l'Isle to distinguish him from his elder brother (above). He wrote over 40 plays, mostly successful at the time, though all are ...

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