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  The Encyclopedists were a group of French intellectuals who collaborated, between 1751 and 1776, in the production of the Encyclopedia edited by Denis Diderot. They believed that human beings were enchained by ignorance and superstition, and that the way to free them was to provide them with true knowledge. The 35-volume Encyclopedia was intended to be a compendium of all human knowledge up to that point, a rational survey of existence excluding opinion and dogma of every kind. Apart from Diderot himself, and his assistant d\'Alembert, the principal Encyclopedists were Buffon, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Turgot and Voltaire. KMcL

See also Enlightenment.



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