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Denis Diderot Quotes

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Denis Diderot
October 5, 1713 - July 31, 1784
Nationality: French
Category: Editor

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


The infant runs toward it with its eyes closed, the adult is stationary, the old man approaches it with his back turned.


From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.


The best mannered people make the most absurd lovers.


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


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


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.


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


Sentences are like sharp nails, which force truth upon our memories.


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.


We are far more liable to catch the vices than the virtues of our associates.


The first step towards philosophy is incredulity.


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


There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.


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.


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.


One declaims endlessly against the passions; one imputes all of man's suffering to them. One forgets that they are also the source of all his pleasures.


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


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


Evil always turns up in this world through some genius or other.


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