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 :: 1713-1784, French Philosopher

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All abstract sciences are nothing but the study of relations between signs.
~ Denis Diderot - [Symbols]

 

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Distance is a great promoter of admiration!
~ Denis Diderot - [Admiration]

 

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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 - [Revolutions and Revolutionaries]

 

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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 - [Science and Scientists]

 

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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 - [Dignity]

 

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Gaiety --a quality of ordinary men. Genius always presupposes some disorder in the machine.
~ Denis Diderot - [Happiness]

 

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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 - [Genius]

 

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Good music is very close to primitive language.
~ Denis Diderot - [Music]

 

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I have often seen an actor laugh off the stage, but I don't remember ever having seen one weep.
~ Denis Diderot - [Acting and Actors]

 

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Impenetrable in their dissimulation, cruel in their vengeance, tenacious in their purposes, unscrupulous as to their methods, animated by profound and hidden hatred for the tyranny of man -- it is as though there exists among them an ever-present conspiracy toward domination, a sort of alliance like that subsisting among the priests of every country.
~ Denis Diderot - [Women]

 

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In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice. Those who have money will display it in every imaginable way. If their ostentation does not exceed their fortune, all will be well. But if their ostentation does exceed their fortune they will ruin themselves. In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don't have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority, and a source of corruption for all.
~ Denis Diderot - [Money]

 

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In order to shake a hypothesis, it is sometimes not necessary to do anything more than push it as far as it will go.
~ Denis Diderot - [Theory]

 

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It is not human nature we should accuse but the despicable conventions that pervert it.
~ Denis Diderot - [Human Nature]

 

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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 - [Desire]

 

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Justice is the first virtue of those who command, and stops the complaints of those who obey.
~ Denis Diderot - [Leaders and Leadership]

 

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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 - [Morality]

 

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No man has received from nature the right to give orders to others. Freedom is a gift from heaven, and every individual of the same species has the right to enjoy it as soon as he is in enjoyment of his reason.
~ Denis Diderot - [Freedom]

 

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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 - [Theology]

 

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Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.
~ Denis Diderot - [Passion]

 

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Patriotism is an ephemeral motive that scarcely ever outlasts the particular threat to society that aroused it.
~ Denis Diderot - [Patriotism]

 

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