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Over a thirty-year period, Denis Diderot tire-lessly undertook a bold endeavor; the philosopherand writer furthered technology education bycreating one of the most important books of the0518th century. He documented the Western world'scollective knowledge through a massive set ofvolumes called the Encyclopédie. Today, Diderot'sEncyclopédie remains one of the most accessibleprimary sources for the study of technology during10the Enlightenment, having received exposure inrecent times through the Internet.Since Diderot didn't know all there was toknow, he sought contributors, more than 150, andorganized their 72,000 articles into entries on15politics, economics, technology, and other topics.His goal was to create an intellectual work instruc-tionally useful to all, but soon, his Encyclopédiebecame mired in controversy, and this precursor tothe modern encyclopedia was seized after its incep-20tion, its publication banned by the French govern-ment. The encyclopedia, however, had alreadysparked mass interest in the secrets of manufactur-ing and more, and so this "how-to" compendiumwas widely circulated underground after eventually25being published in 1765 by a Swedish printer.Undoubtedly, the Encyclopédie served then as abeacon of free thought, and questions about controlof its content caused critics to boil over. For inbuilding a compilation of human knowledge, Di-30derot made a direct political statement. Essentially,the political statement was: You, the average person,can now know what only kings knew before.In particular, Diderot created an "encyclopedicrevolution" by integrating scientific discover-35ies with the liberal arts. He linked technology toculture when he divided the Encyclopédie into threecategories: history, philosophy, and poetry. Diderotthen assigned subjects to these three groupingssuch as industry, political theory, theology, agricul-40ture, and the arts and sciences.The execution was deceptively simple enoughbecause Diderot pursued everyday trade topicssuch as cloth dying, for example, accompanying hisexplanations with diagrams and illustrations. Thus,45Diderot elevated "unacademic" craft knowledgeto a scholarly status, challenging viewpoints abouterudition held by the aristocratic ruling class of thetime. More important, Diderot suggested that ev-eryone could have access to the rational, down-to-50earth truth, since he believed that knowledge aboutreality could be obtained by reason alone, ratherthan through authority or other means.Not surprisingly, such rationalist philosophywas considered radical. The new idea of showing in55amazing detail how the production techniques usedin tanning and metalwork were accomplished dis-pleased those in power. Trade guilds held control ofsuch knowledge, and so Diderot's Encyclopédie wasviewed as a threat to the establishment. Diderot's60ideology of progress by way of better qualitymaterials, technical research, and greater produc-tion speed was unprecedented in printed books.Royal authorities did not want the massesexposed to Diderot's liberal views such as this one:65"The good of the people must be the great purposeof government. By the laws of nature and of reason,the governors are invested with power to that end.And the greatest good of the people is liberty."But the opposition was too late. Despite an70official ban, the Encyclopédie's beautiful bookplatessurvived, recording production techniques dating tothe Middle Ages. Ironically, with the advent of boththe English Industrial Revolution and the FrenchRevolution, the trades shown in Diderot's work75changed significantly after the encyclopedia'spublication. Therefore, instead of becoming atechnical dictionary, the Encyclopédie rather servestoday as a history of technology, showing us whattrades were like before machines swept in to trans-80form industry.
1. Which choice expresses a central idea of the passage?
2. The passage most clearly reflects the author's
3. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
4. According to the passage, Diderot's main goal in developing the Encyclopédie was to
5. As used in line 24, "underground" most nearly means
6. In lines 26-27, the author most likely uses the phrase "a beacon of free thought" to suggest that Diderot's work
7. The passage most strongly suggests that during this time period
8. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?
9. As used in line 47, "erudition" most nearly means
10. Which choice best describes how the impact of the Encyclopédie changed over time?
11. Based on the passage and the graphic, which of the following is most likely to be true?
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