Greek Philosophy and Encyclopedic Knowledge

Diogenes 45 (178):33-47 (1997)
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What does “encyclopedic knowledge” mean to us today? I believe that, as in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, what we mean by this term is a knowledge that strives to embrace in detail the greatest possible number of sciences and bodies of knowledge. As Sainte-Beuve said in 1850 regarding Madame de Genlis:All these tastes, all these diverse talents, all these pleasurable arts, all these trades (for she didn't even omit the trades), made her a living Encyclopedia that prided itself upon being the rival and the antagonist of the other Encyclopedia.



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