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Literary and Philosophical Quotes -- Philosophers -- Denis Diderot


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Quotes by Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot, 1713-1784. French philosopher and writer whose supreme accomplishment was his work on the Encyclopédie (1751-1772), which epitomized the spirit of Enlightenment thought. He also wrote novels, plays, critical essays, and brilliant letters to a wide circle of friends and colleagues.

  • The blood of Jesus Christ can cover a multitude of sins, it seems to me.
  • The arbitrary rule of a just and enlightened prince is always bad. His virtues are the most dangerous and the surest form of seduction: they lull a people imperceptibly into the habit of loving, respecting, and serving his successor, whoever that successor may be, no matter how wicked or stupid.
  • There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge available to us: observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. 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.
  • The most dangerous madmen are those created by religion, and . . . people whose aim is to disrupt society always know how to make good use of them on occasion.
  • 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!
  • Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.
  • More Quotes by Denis Diderot: Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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