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 :: 1713-1784, French Philosopher

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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 - [Virtue]

 

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Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.
~ Denis Diderot - [Maxim]

 

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Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.
~ Denis Diderot - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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Sentences are like sharp nails, which force truth upon our memories.
~ Denis Diderot - [Justice]

 

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The arbitrary rule of a just and enlightened prince is always bad. His virtues are the most dangerous and the surest form of seduction: they lull a people imperceptibly into the habit of loving, respecting, and serving his successor, whoever that successor may be, no matter how wicked or stupid.
~ Denis Diderot - [Despotism]

 

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The best doctor is the one you run to and can't find.
~ Denis Diderot - [Doctors]

 

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The blood of Jesus Christ can cover a multitude of sins, it seems to me.
~ Denis Diderot - [Jesus Christ]

 

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The decisions of law courts should never be printed: in the long run, they form a counter authority to the law.
~ Denis Diderot - [Law and Lawyers]

 

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The following general definition of an animal: a system of different organic molecules that have combined with one another, under the impulsion of a sensation similar to an obtuse and muffled sense of touch given to them by the creator of matter as a whole, until each one of them has found the most suitable position for its shape and comfort.
~ Denis Diderot - [Animals]

 

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The general interest of the masses might take the place of the insight of genius if it were allowed freedom of action.
~ Denis Diderot - [Masses]

 

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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 - [Death and Dying]

 

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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 - [Fanatics and Fanaticism]

 

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The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.
~ Denis Diderot - [Philosophers and Philosophy]

 

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The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.
~ Denis Diderot - [Theater]

 

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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 - [Divorce]

 

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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 - [Gambling]

 

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There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge available to us: observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination. Our observation of nature must be diligent, our reflection profound, and our experiments exact. We rarely see these three means combined; and for this reason, creative geniuses are not common.
~ Denis Diderot - [Knowledge]

 

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There is no kind of harassment that a man may not inflict on a woman with impunity in civilized societies.
~ Denis Diderot - [Men and Women]

 

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There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.
~ Denis Diderot - [Passion]

 

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To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly. What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!
~ Denis Diderot - [Asceticism]

 

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