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 :: 1713-1784, French Philosopher

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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 - [Senses]

 

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When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.
~ Denis Diderot - [Superstition]

 

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

 

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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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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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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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We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.
~ Denis Diderot - [Truth]

 

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

 

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There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.
~ 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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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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Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.
~ Denis Diderot - [Poetry and Poets]

 

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

 

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

 

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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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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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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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