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Quotations From DENIS DIDEROT

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  • 11.
    The general interest of the masses might take the place of the insight of genius if it were allowed freedom of action.
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Observations on the Drawing Up of Laws (1921). Written 1774 for Catherine the Great.

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  • 12.
    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 (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). On Dramatic Poetry (1758).
  • 13.
    Shakespeare's fault is not the greatest into which a poet may fall. It merely indicates a deficiency of taste.
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). On Dramatic Poetry (1758).
  • 14.
    Bad company is as instructive as licentiousness. One makes up for the loss of one's innocence with the loss of one's prejudices.
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher, encyclopedist, dramatist, novelist, art critic. First published in French retranslation from Goethe's German translation (1821). Rameau's Nephew (Le Neveu de Rameau), p. 90, Paris, Garnier Flammarion (1983). Dialogue between Me (alias Diderot) and Him (nephew of composer). Him is making this statement.

    Read more quotations about / on: loss, innocence
  • 15.
    Every man has his dignity. I'm willing to forget mine, but at my own discretion and not when someone else tells me to.
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Rameau's nephew, in Rameau's Nephew (written 1762, published 1821).
  • 16.
    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 (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Observations on the Drawing Up of Laws (1921). Written 1774 for Catherine the Great.
  • 17.
    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 (1713-1784), French philosopher. (Written 1774, first published 1921). Observations on the Drawing Up of Laws, Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Advice for Catherine the Great.

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  • 18.
    Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Observations on the Drawing Up of Laws (first published 1921). Written in 1774 for Catherine the Great.
  • 19.
    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 (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Observations on the Drawing Up of Laws (1774, first publ. 1921). Written for Catherine the Great.
  • 20.
    The wisest among us is very lucky never to have met the woman, be she beautiful or ugly, intelligent or stupid, who could drive him crazy enough to be fit to be put into an asylum.
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher, encyclopedist, dramatist, novelist, art critic. Narrator, in This Is No Tale (Ceci n'est pas un conte) (1796), p. 133, Paris, Garnier Flammarion (1977).

    Read more quotations about / on: crazy, beautiful, woman
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