Diderot had a lifelong preoccupation with different aspects of memory, including the ways in which memory may preserve the past and help to ensure the individuals posthumous survival. Diderot's long correspondence with him on the subject of 'le sentiment de l'immortalite ou le respect de la posterite' reveals his shock at the sheer mercantilism of Falconet's attitude, though the dialogue Le Reve de d'Alembert suggests that he was also able to view it ironically. He wrote this work in 1769, at the very moment when he was revising the Falconet correspondence in order to refute his friend's notions once and for all. Diderot's anti-scientism performs a further important function. It allows him to explore the factually oriented resource of memory and the fictively oriented resource of imagination at one and the same time, and so to explore the essential nature of artistic creativity—an explicit or implicit theme of much of his writing.