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Essai d'une Distribution Genealogique des Sciences et des Arts Principaux
Robert Benard, Direxit
University of Chicago Library - Special Collections
Project Description:
This graph represents a genealogical distribution of Knowledge based on the French Encyclopedie from 1780. Measuring 985 x 635 mm, this piece was published as a fold-out frontspiece in volume 1 of Pierre Mouchon, Table analytique et raisonnee des matieres contenues dans les XXXIII volumes in-folio du Dictionnaire des sciences, des arts et des metiers, et dans son supplement, (Paris, Panckoucke, 1780). This taxonomy of human knowledge based on Diderot's Encyclopedie has also been represented by Jean le Rond d'Alembert and Diderot himself in what's called the "Figurative system of human knowledge". An interactive version of it has been produced by Christophe Tricot and can be seen here.

Encyclopedie, ou dictionnaire raisonne des sciences, des arts et des metiers (that is, "Encyclopedia, or a systematic dictionary of the sciences, arts, and crafts") was an early encyclopedia, published in France beginning in 1751, with the goal of gather the whole of human knowledge to date. This massive effort took over 30 years and included a list of notable contributors from the French enlightenment, such as Voltaire, Montesquieu and Rousseau.

The work comprised 35 volumes, with 71,818 articles, and 3,129 illustrations. The first 28 volumes were published between 1751 and 1772 and were edited by Diderot.

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