Reem Fakhoury – Diderot’s Natural Law

I chose Diderot’s excerpts because when originally going over them in class, I could not find myself being able to understand his purpose. Therefore, when originally reading Diderot’s Natural Law excerpts, I found myself caught in his distinguishing between man and animal. Through one of his excerpts he focuses in on the difference between man and animal, and if these supposed characteristics are not applied to man, then he is therefore not man/human. After reading and focusing in on this excerpt I found myself sticking to this overall claim I believe Diderot was making which was defining whom he believed was actually human and ultimately, who he believed was worthy of Natural Law/Natural Rights. When allowing myself to focus in on this, I found myself allowing the belief that this was the main idea he was trying to prove, however in reality after re-reading and simplifying some of the sentences on my own, I began to realize in reality Diderot was validating those whom he believed were seen as less human or less worthy of Natural Law and rights being applied to them. After allowing myself to open up to the idea that Diderot wanted to redefine human and explain that the distribution of Natural Law and Natural Rights, his last statement in these excerpts began making sense, as he believed that these laws were for everyone and not a select group. This helped me connect to a question posed regarding Natural Law and who actually has them versus, who is supposedly granted them. 

Overall, in these excerpts Diderot’s purpose was to advocate for the use and application of the Natural Law and Natural Rights to all humans, as they are not and should not be exclusive.

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