Andrew S. Curran

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Andrew Curran is the author of Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely (Other Press, 2019), named one of the best biographies of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews. Curran is also the author of The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Era of Enlightenment, which was A Choice Outstanding Academic Title and also received the 2018 Louis Marin Prize from the French l’Académie des sciences d’outre-mer). He has also published in the New York Times, The Guardian, Time Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal. He is currently working on a project on the birth of race that is under contract with Harvard University Press.

Curran lives in Connecticut where he is the William Armstrong Professor of the Humanities and Professor of French at Wesleyan University
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Andrew S. Curran I've gone back to a more academic project, on the subject of a contest on "blackness" organized by the Royal Academy of Sciences in Bordeaux in 1741. …moreI've gone back to a more academic project, on the subject of a contest on "blackness" organized by the Royal Academy of Sciences in Bordeaux in 1741. (less)
Average rating: 4.11 · 339 ratings · 61 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
Diderot and the Art of Thin...

4.11 avg rating — 327 ratings — published 2019 — 7 editions
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The Anatomy of Blackness: S...

4.09 avg rating — 11 ratings — published 2011 — 5 editions
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Sublime Disorder: Physical ...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2001
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“From Bacon, Diderot learned that science need not bow down before a Bible-based view of the world; it should be based on induction and experimentation, and, ideally, used to further humankind’s mastery of nature. Locke delivered two related concepts. The first was a theory of mind that rejected the long-standing belief that humans were born with innate ideas (and, therefore, with an inborn understanding of the divine). In Locke’s view, the mind is a blank slate at birth, and our understanding of the exterior world comes about solely through sensation and reflection. This entirely nonspiritual view of cognition set up a second critical lesson. Since, according to the English philosopher, true knowledge is limited to what we can learn through our senses, anyone involved in seeking out nature’s secrets must rely on observation and experiment — on a so-called empirical approach — and avoid building huge systems based on fantasy.”
Andrew S. Curran, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely

“The forty-seven-year-old Diderot had been an ideal model for Garand, having been confined to a chair after running into a shin-level metal bar while chasing swans around the château’s fountain.”
Andrew S. Curran, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely

“Diderot’s effusive art criticism inspired Stendhal, Balzac, and Baudelaire. Émile Zola credited Diderot’s “vivisections” of society as the foundation of the naturalism that characterized his and Balzac’s novels.8 Social theorists, too, were spellbound by Diderot’s prescient thought.”
Andrew S. Curran, Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely




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