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Denis Diderot Quotes

From Genius Comes Madness

Denis Diderot was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the Encyclop├ędie.

Philosopher | French

Born: 1713-10-05 in Langres, France

Died: July 31, 1784 in Paris, France

When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.

Denis Diderot
age

Genius is present in every age, but the men carrying it within them remain benumbed unless extraordinary events occur to heat up and melt the mass so that it flows forth.

Denis Diderot
age

When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for thousands of years.

Denis Diderot
art

The best doctor is the one you run to and can't find.

Denis Diderot

There are things I can't force. I must adjust. There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint.

Denis Diderot

People praise virtue, but they hate it, they run away from it. It freezes you to death, and in this world you've got to keep your feet warm.

Denis Diderot

Although a man may wear fine clothing, if he lives peacefully and is good, self-possessed, has faith and is pure and if he does not hurt any living being, he is a holy man.

Denis Diderot

The general interest of the masses might take the place of the insight of genius if it were allowed freedom of action.

Denis Diderot

Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

Denis Diderot

Morals are in all countries the result of legislation and government they are not African or Asian or European: they are good or bad.

Denis Diderot

Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.

Denis Diderot

The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.

Denis Diderot

There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.

Denis Diderot

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts reflection combines them experimentation verifies the result of that combination.

Denis Diderot

The possibility of divorce renders both marriage partners stricter in their observance of the duties they owe to each other. Divorces help to improve morals and to increase the population.

Denis Diderot

The best doctor is the one you run to and can't find.

Denis Diderot

Good music is very close to primitive language.

Denis Diderot

When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.

Denis Diderot

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts reflection combines them experimentation verifies the result of that combination.

Denis Diderot

No man has received from nature the right to command his fellow human beings.

Denis Diderot

It is not human nature we should accuse but the despicable conventions that pervert it.

Denis Diderot

Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.

Denis Diderot

Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.

Denis Diderot

When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.

Denis Diderot

Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.

Denis Diderot

Power acquired by violence is only a usurpation, and lasts only as long as the force of him who commands prevails over that of those who obey.

Denis Diderot

Disturbances in society are never more fearful than when those who are stirring up the trouble can use the pretext of religion to mask their true designs.

Denis Diderot

If there is one realm in which it is essential to be sublime, it is in wickedness. You spit on a petty thief, but you can't deny a kind of respect for the great criminal.

Denis Diderot

When science, art, literature, and philosophy are simply the manifestation of personality they are on a level where glorious and dazzling achievements are possible, which can make a man's name live for thousands of years.

Denis Diderot

Disturbances in society are never more fearful than when those who are stirring up the trouble can use the pretext of religion to mask their true designs.

Denis Diderot

Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.

Denis Diderot

We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.

Denis Diderot

Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.

Denis Diderot

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