One of the most prominent French philosophes and the author of "L'Encyclopédie", Diderot was born in 1713, the son of a cutler. An ardent student of classical literature, he attended the University of Paris, from which he received a master of the arts degree in 1732. A radical freethinker, Diderot rejected conventional dogma and associated himself with some of the most enlightened philosophers of his age. His books were burned and Diderot himself served three months in Vincennes prison in retaliation for his attacks on the conventional morality of the day. Some of his books were considered so radical that they were banned until after his death.
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