Denis Diderot

(1713-1784 / Langres)

Denis Diderot Quotes

  • ''Only a very bad theologian would confuse the certainty that follows revelation with the truths that are revealed. They are entirely different things.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Apology for the Abbé de Prades (1752).
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  • ''Do you see this egg? With this you can topple every theological theory, every church or temple in the world.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). "Conversation Between d'Alembert and Diderot," D'Alembert's Dream (written 1769, published 1830).
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  • ''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.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-84), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). "Conversation Between D'Alembert and Diderot," D'Alembert's Dream (written 1769, published 1830).
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  • ''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.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Conversations with a Christian Lady (1777).
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  • ''Good music is very close to primitive language.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). "Correspondence of Ideas with the Motion of Organs," Elements of Physiology (written 1774-1780, published 1875).
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  • ''Gaiety—a quality of ordinary men. Genius always presupposes some disorder in the machine.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). "Diseases," Elements of Physiology (notes written 1774-1780, first published 1875).
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  • ''There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Elements of Physiology, "Will, Freedom," (notes written 1774-1780, originally published 1875-1877).
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  • ''The infant runs toward it with its eyes closed, the adult is stationary, the old man approaches it with his back turned.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (c. 1966). Elements of Physiology, "Death," (written 1774-1780, published 1875).
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  • ''The world is the house of the strong. I shall not know until the end what I have lost or won in this place, in this vast gambling den where I have spent more than sixty years, dicebox in hand, shaking the dice.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). Elements of Physiology, "Conclusion," (written 1774-1780, publ. 1875).
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  • ''From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. in Complete Works, eds. J. Assézat and M. Tourneux (1875-1877). Essay on Merit and Virtue (1745). Diderot's essay is a translation of Shaftesbury's Essay on the Merit of Virtue (1699).
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