Denis Diderot (1713-1784)

Best known as an encyclopedist, Diderot was also a philosopher and literary author. Together with D’Alembert, Diderot edited, contributed to and published the first Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisoné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Like other writers of his time, his writing straddled various genres. He also was similar to his contemporaries in that he did not sign his works which, for the modern reader, can be problematic. The list below is arranged as much as possible by date of redaction and provided direct links to the texts from external digital libraries. I hope to supplement some of the original French texts with translations where possible. There is also a wonderful list of digital images and HTML files of Diderot’s works at wikisource.

1745. Essai sur le mérité et la vertu. Digitized by Google Books. “Traduit de l’anglais de Milord Shaftsbury.” This edition published in Paris by J.L.J. Brière, 1821. From Oeuvres de Diderot: Philosophie, Tome I. See also the 1745 edition, digitized by Google Books, published in Amsterdam by Zacharie Chatelain.  Shaftesbury’s original English text, published as a treatise in the Characteristicks of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times. Digitized by Google Books.

1746. Pensées philosophiques. Digitized by Google Books. Published in the Hague, 1746. Burned by the parliament of Paris for its anti-Christian views.

1747. La promenade du sceptique, ou les Allées. Digitized by Gallica. This ed. Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : rev. sur les éd. originales comprenant ce qui a été publié à diverses époques et les ms. inédits conservés à la Bibliothèque de l’Ermitage par J. Assézat. Tome premier. Published in Liechtenstein by Kraus (reprint), 1875-1877.

1747. De la suffisance de la religion naturelle. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : rev. sur les éd. originales comprenant ce qui a été publié à diverses époques et les ms. inédits conservés à la Bibliothèque de l’Ermitage par J. Assézat. Tome premier. Liechtenstein: Kraus (reprint), 1875-1877.

1748. Les bijoux indiscrets. Digitized by Google Books. Published in 1753. Tomes I – III. Here is an English translation published in 1749.

1748. L’oiseau blanc: conte bleu. Digitized by Google Books. Originally written in 1748, but published only in 1798. This edition from Oeuvres de Denis Diderot, Tome X. Published in Paris by Desray et Deterville.

1748. Mémoires sur différens sujets de mathématiques. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Paris by Durand & Pissot.

1749. Lettre sur les aveugles. Digitized by Google Books. Published in London, 1749.

1751. Lettre sur les sourds et muets. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Amsterdam, 1772.

1752. Suite de l’apologie de M. l’Abbé de Prades, ou Réponse à l’instruction pastorale de Mgr. L’Évêque d’Auxerre. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome 1. Paris: Garnier, 1875-1877.

1753. Pensées sur l’interpretation de la Nature. Digitized by Google Books. Published in 1754. Here Diderot argues that motion is inherent in matter.

1757. Le fils naturel, ou les épreuves de la vertu: comédie en cinq actes et en prose, avec l’histoire véritable de la pièce. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres de Denis Diderot. T. 4. Paris: Deterville, 1800. This 1761 edition includes an essay on the play. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Brussels by J.J. Boucherie.

1758. Le père de famille: comédie en 5 actes et en prose; avec un discours sur la poésie dramatique. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Amsterdam, 1758.

1758. Plan d’une université pour le gouvernement de Russie. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome 3 / par J. Assézat [et Maurice Tourneux] Paris: Garnier frères, 1857-1877.

1760. La religieuse. Digitized by Google Books. This edition published in 1831 by A. Hiard in Paris.

1761. Éloge de Richardson, auteur des romans de Paméla, de Clarisse, et de Grandisson. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome 5. Published in Paris by Garnier frères, 1875-1877.

1762. Lettres à Mlle. Sophie Volland. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome 19. Paris: Garnier, 1875-1877.

1763. Mélanges de littérature, d’histoire et de philosophie. Digitized by Google Books. Nouvelle édition. Tome premier. Published in Amsterdam, by Chatelain & Fils, 1763.

1762. De l’éducation publique. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Amsterdam, 1762.

1766. Lettres angloises ou Histoire de Miss Clarisse Harlove. Vol. 5-6. Vol. 7. Digitized by Google Books. Nouvelle éd. Published in Paris by Les Libraires Associés, 1766.

1768. Salon de 1767. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot: Beaux Arts II, Arts du dessin, Salons. Republished in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome onzième. Reprinted in 1966 by Kraus.

1769. Entretien entre d’Alembert et Diderot. This play was the first part of a trilogy also consisting of part two: Le rêve d’Alembert and part three: Suite de l’entretien. Text links provided by the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Published in Paris by Garnier frères in 1875, in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot, Éd. Assézat Tourneux.

1770. Additions aux pensées philosophiques, ou objections diverses contre les écrits de différents théologiens. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome 1. Paris: Garnier, 1875-1877.

1770. Les deux amis de Bourbonne. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome 5. Paris: Garnier, 1875-1877.

1770. Baron d’Holbach published Le système de la Nature, his most influential work. In a later edition, Denis Diderot provided notes.  Vol. 1, Vol. II for this English translation. Digitized by Google Books. Published in 1836 by Matsell in New York.

1772. Regrets sur ma vielle robe de chambre. Digitized by Google Books.

1772. Oeuvres philosophiques et dramatiques de M. Diderot. Tome premier. Tome  sixième. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Amsterdam, 1772.

1772. Pensées sur l’interprétation de la nature: Traité du beau. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Amsterdam, 1772.

1773. Entretiens d’un père avec ses enfants, ou du danger de se mettre au-dessus des lois. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Oeuvres complètes de Diderot : revues sur les éditions originales…. Etude sur Diderot et le mouvement philosophique au XVIIIe siècle. Tome 5. Paris: Garnier, 1875-1877.

1776. Entretien d’un philosophe avec la maréchale de ***. Digitized by Gallica. Published in 1905 by au bureau des “Temps nouveaux” in Paris.

1779. Le neveu de Rameau. Digitized by Gallica. This edition published in Paris by Plon, Nourrit et Cie, 1891. Satirical dialogue.

1765-1780. Jacques le Fataliste et son Maître. Tomes I- III. Digitized by Google Books. Published posthumously in Paris by Gueffier and Knapen, 1797.

date? Essais sur la peinture. Digitized by Gallica. Published in Paris by Fr. Buisson, 1795. Note that the “avertissement aux lecteurs” does not insist on the authenticity of these two essays as having been written by Diderot. However, they do claim that “Ceux qui savent distinguer les Écrivains qui ont un charactère, reconnaîtront Diderot dès la première page…” which puts the legitimacy of these essays squarely in the realm of the reader.

1782. Essai sur les règnes de Claude et de Néro, et sur les moeurs et les écrits de Séneque. Tome premier. Digitized by Google Books. Published in London, 1782.

1753-1790. Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique (a private journal written by Diderot and Grimm, which was not published until 1813.) This new edition has been digitized by Gallica.

Tome I (1753-1756), Tome II (1756-1760), Tome III (1761-1764), Tome IV (1764-1765), Tome V (1766-1768), Tome VI (1768-1770), Tome VII (1770-1772), Tome VIII (1772-1776), Tome IX (1776-1778), Tome X (1778-1781), Tome XI (1782-1783), Tome XII (1784-1785), Tome XIII (1786-1787), Tome XIV (1788-1789), Tome XV (1790 – Opuscules).

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Other correspondence

Historical & literary memoirs and anecdotes. Selected letters of Diderot and Baron de Grimm to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha and “other distinguished persons,” between the years 1753-1790. Digitized by Google Books. 2nd ed., translated from the French, printed for Henry Colburn, 1815. Volume 1.

Mémoires, correspondance et ouvrages inédits de Diderot. Tome premier. Tome second. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Paris by Garnier frères & H. Fournier aîné, 1841.

Correspondance inédite de Grimm et Diderot: recueil de lettres, poésies, morceaux et fragmens. Digitized by Google Books. Published in Paris by H. Fournier, 1829.

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I would like to credit ARTFL for the identification of many of these works by Diderot.

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See also the Denis Diderot bibliography online.

See also “Denis Diderot (1713-1784),” sur la page “Collections des auteurs classiques,” au site de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

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