Diderot and an Open Source of Knowledge

Diderot (wikipedia)

Diderot and others wrote the Encyclopédie with a purpose that seems the same as the purpose of the Open Movement.

Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (English: Encyclopaedia or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts and Crafts) was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It was edited by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert.

  • Diderot omschreef het doel van de Encyclopédie als volgt. Het doel is
  • de kennis bijeen te brengen die verspreid is over de wereld;
  • er het algemene systeem van te laten zien aan onze tijdgenoten;
  • en dat door te geven aan de mensen die na ons komen;
  • opdat de werken uit voorbije eeuwen niet nutteloos geweest zullen zijn voor de komende eeuwen;
  • en opdat onze nakomelingen, beter onderlegd, tevens deugdzamer en gelukkiger worden; \
  • en opdat wij niet zullen sterven zonder ons verdienstelijk gemaakt te hebben jegens de mensheid.

Diderot on the purpose of the Encyclopédie.

Indeed, the purpose of an encyclopedia is to collect knowledge disseminated around the globe; to set forth its general system to the men with whom we live, and transmit it to those who will come after us, so that the work of preceding centuries will not become useless to the centuries to come; and so that our offspring, becoming better instructed, will at the same time become more virtuous and happy, and that we should not die without having rendered a service to the human race.

The purpose of copyright has been to improve the dissemination of knowledge. ( The Surprising History of Copyright and The Promise of a Post-Copyright World And now copyright is an obstacle in the dissemination of knowledge. The sole right of a printer to print a book was protected by the king in order not to loose money when other printers would copy his book. Now, when copying does not cost a dime, this protection must stop.

Zie  encyclopédie.
English translation: Philip Steward


4 thoughts on “Diderot and an Open Source of Knowledge

  1. Je tweetalige blog is de aanleiding om vaker in Het Nederlands en het Engels te schrijven. Helaas is mijn Frans niet zo goed als ik zou willen.

    Your bi-langual blog does inspire me to write mine in Dutch and English. I am sorry my French is not as good as it should be.

  2. You definitely should write in both languages, if only to not leave the few Dutches who might not speak English at the door. For us French, speaking another language besides our native one is nearly not as common as it is for you guys.
    As for your French, it seems to be far better than my Dutch will ever have a chance to be ^_^
    Thank you for the kind comment.

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