Denis Diderot, French Enlightenment, secular, children's song, biography, music


Early Childhood Education | Philosophy


David Eick, PhD.


My Honors Senior Project is a biography of Denis Diderot in the form of a children's song. MY understanding of Diderot's life is based on Andrew Curran's book, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely.

Songs help us memorize and retain information about the world, and singing songs together strengthens cultural and religious connections. Secular (nonreligious) people need songs, too. Diderot was a philosopher who didn't believe in God. He was an editor of L'Encyclopédie, one of the first encyclopedias, and he snuck in articles that challenged how people think. This was an important moment -- knowledge about the world could belong to everyone, it didn't only come from church or state control. Diderot was known to have many ideas, and to think quickly. He loved to talk and ask questions. Diderot is famous for helping people understand the world in a new way. My song seeks to capture the joyous curiosity that characterized much of Diderot's life.