Denis Diderot

(1713-1784 / Langres)

Denis Diderot Quotes

  • ''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.
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  • ''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).
  • ''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.''
    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).
  • ''Man was born to live with his fellow human beings. Separate him, isolate him, his character will go bad, a thousand ridiculous affects will invade his heart, extravagant thoughts will germinate in his brain, like thorns in an uncultivated land.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher, encyclopedist, dramatist, novelist, art critic. Suzanne Simon, in The Nun (La Religieuse) (1796), p. 153, Paris, Garnier Flammarion (1968). Suzanne Simon is the narrator and heroine of the novel.
  • ''It is said that desire is a product of the will, but the converse is in fact true: will is a product of desire.''
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784), French philosopher. repr. In Selected Writings, ed. Lester G. Crocker (1966). "Will, Freedom," Elements of Physiology (written 1774-1780, published 1875).

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