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Denis Diderot Quotes

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

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.


Only a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things.


To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly. What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!


Skepticism is the first step on the road to philosophy.


We are all instruments endowed with feeling and memory. Our senses are so many strings that are struck by surrounding objects and that also frequently strike themselves.


Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.


There is no good father who would want to resemble our Heavenly Father.


It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley, but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.


My ideas are my whores.


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


You have to make it happen.


There is no kind of harassment that a man may not inflict on a woman with impunity in civilized societies.


The God of the Christians is a father who makes much of his apples, and very little of his children.


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.


His hands would plait the priest's guts, if he had no rope, to strangle kings.


In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.


Gaiety is a quality of ordinary men. Genius always presupposes some disorder in the machine.


Good music is very close to primitive language.


Every man has his dignity. I'm willing to forget mine, but at my own discretion and not when someone else tells me to.


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