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Henri Frédéric Amiel


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Henri Frédéric Amiel (27 September 1821 – 11 May 1881) was a Swiss philosopher, poet and critic.
Born in Geneva in 1821, he was descended from a Huguenot family driven to Switzerland by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.

After losing his parents at an early age, Amiel travelled widely, became intimate with the intellectual leaders of Europe, and made a special study of German ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''Thought is a kind of opium; it can intoxicate us, while still broad awake; it can make transparent the mountains and everything that exists.''
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for Feb. 3, 1857 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphry Ward (1892).
  • ''In every loving woman there is a priestess of the past—a pious guardian of some affection, of which the object has disappeared.''
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for December 11, 1872 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1892).
  • ''It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well.''
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for Oct. 27, 1853 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphry Ward (1892).
  • ''Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender.''
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for Dec. 17, 1856 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1892).
  • ''An error is the more dangerous in proportion to the degree of truth which it contains.''
    Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881), Swiss philosopher, poet. Journal Intime, entry for November 12, 1852 (1882), trans. by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (1892).
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