Lucrèce vu en songe. Diderot, Le rêve de d'Alembert et le De rerum natura

Abstract
Diderot aimait le poème de Lucrèce, dont la lecture l'á tôt introduit à la philosophie des atomistes anciens. Avec le Rêve de d'Alembert, il semble avoir voulu écrire un De rerum natura moderne, exposant les hypothèses les plus audacieuses de sa philosophie naturelle. La manière dont il est influencé par son modèle apparaît toutefois complexe. S'il prend manifestement le contre-pied de certaines thèses atomistes; notamment en ce qui concerne l Origine des vivants, c'est sans doute par fidélité à un principe profondément épicurien, celui de l'autonomie radicale des forces naturelles, qu'il doit défendre sur de nouvelles bases. Au-delà de la lettre des énoncés, on peut retrouver ainsi dans le Rêve la trace des grands schemes d'intelligibilité caractéristiques du De rerum natura, ainsi qu'un mode d'écriture poétique propre à alimenter l'imagination spéculative inspiré de Lucrèce. Diderot appreciated Lucretius'poem which was an early introduction for him to the ancient atomists' philosophy. He probably intended the Rêve de d'Alembert to be a modern De rerum natura, positing the most daring hypotheses of his own philosophy of nature. However, the way the Encyclopedist was influenced by his model appears to be a complex one. If he clearly contradicts certain atomist theses, notably as they concerned the origin of living beings, this is doubtless due to his fidelity to a profound epicurean principle, that of the complete autonomy of natural forces, which, in his opinion, needs to be defended on new grounds. Beyond its literal statements, one can thus follow in the Rêve the principal intelligible frameworks characteristic of the DRN, as well as a poetic mode of writing inspired by Lucretius intended to arouse the speculative imagination.
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