What's In A Name: Diderot

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Diderot | racingfotos.com

Diderot (GB), g, 3, Bated Breath (GB)–Modern Look (GB) (MGSW-Fr & SP-US, $281,388), by Zamindar. Dundalk, 3-12, 8f (AWT), 1:39.24. B-Juddmonte Farms Ltd (GB). *1/2 to Grand Jete (GB) (Dansili {GB}), GSW & MGISP-US, $335,759.

by Andreas Branchini
“Raced freely, led early, kept on well,” reads the racing commentary about the victory of 3-year-old Diderot, who came out on top in a competitive maiden at Dundalk last week. That same narrative could also be applied to the career of the horse's 18th century namesake, the great philosopher of the Enlightenment Denis Diderot (1713-1784), who started the revolutionary Enyclopedie project and authored two masterpiece novellas: “Rameau's Nephew” and “Jacques The Fatalist.” When you go on Youtube to learn how to repair your immersion heater or your printer, think that this is exactly what Denis Diderot and his partner in crime D'Alembert tried to do three centuries ago in print–using communicative reason to solve a problem, help to build something, teach a craft. To really believe in the Enlightenment (and in the instructions from Youtube) you have also to believe that the so-called “Natural Lights of Reason” are given to anyone. Yes, anyone: me, you, the neighbor, and so on. So be for yourself what you are in yourself: be rational. This is the message from Diderot, a lovely philosopher, and an optimist. A modern look indeed.

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