I bring you a collection of thoughts and phrases by Denis Diderot, a great theoretician of literature and Aesthetics.
Denis Diderot was a famous French art critic, writer and philosopher who played a vital role during the age of “The Enlightenment” . He is also known for being the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the “Encyclopedie”, a great universal exposition project of the lore of his time with Jean le Rond d’Alembert.
His first original work was entitled “The philosophical thoughts” where certain deist thought stands out. Some of his famous works include, “La Religiosa” , “Jacques the Fatalist” and “The Nephew of Rameau” , however, all of these were published after his death.
Table of Contents
- Denis Diderot Quotes
Denis Diderot Quotes
Here is a summary of some of the famous thoughts, views and opinions of the eminent philosopher that have been drawn from the vast sea of his works.
Here are the best quotes from Denis Diderot:
1. “From fanaticism to barbarism there is only one step.”
2. “Skepticism is the first step towards truth.”
3. “The happiest people are the ones who bring the most happiness to others.”
4. “We greedily swallow any lie that flatters us, but we only sip little by little the truth that makes us bitter.”
5. “Indifference makes wise men and insensitivity makes monsters.”
6. “Those who fear the facts will always try to discredit those who find them.”
7. “Everyone wants to have friends and nobody wants to be.”
8. “All things must be examined, debated and investigated without exception and regardless of anyone’s feelings.”
9. “The martyr awaits death; the fanatic runs to look for her.”
10. “A nation that thinks it is belief in God and not good laws that makes people honest does not seem very advanced to me.”
11. “Poetry must have something barbaric, vast and wild.”
12. “Whether God exists or does not exist, he has come to rank among the most sublime and useless truths.”
13. “Thank you is a burden and everyone tends to get rid of it.”
14. “There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.”
15. “There is no moral precept that does not have some inconvenience.”
16. “Superstition is more harmful to God than atheism.”
17. “You should beware of the man who talks about putting things in order. Putting things in order always means putting things under his control.”
18. “Life is nothing but a series of misunderstandings.”
19. “What is a monster? A being whose survival is incompatible with the existing order.”
20. “Only the passions, the great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.”
21. “There are three ways to acquire knowledge, observation of nature, reflection and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; Experimentation verifies the result of that combination.”
22. “The person who talks to you about the defects of others, with others will talk about yours.”
23. “People stop thinking when they stop reading.”
24. “Work has, among other advantages, that of shortening days and prolonging life.”
25. “Concise sentences are like sharp nails that drive the truth into our memory.”
26. “The woman’s motives are three: interest, pleasure and vanity.”
27. “The philosopher has never killed any priest, while the priest has caused the death of a great number of philosophers.”
28. “It is as risky to believe everything as it is to believe in nothing.”
29. “The theater is the place where the tears of virtuous and evil men mingle alike.”
30. “Love deprives those who have it of spirit, and gives it to those who lack it.”
31. “Luxury ruins the rich and increases the misery of the poor.”
32. “There is only one virtue, justice; there is only one duty, to be happy; just a corollary, don’t overvalue life and don’t fear death.”
33. “The first step towards philosophy is disbelief.”
34. “If possible, you must spare the poor man the shame of begging.”
35. “It is very important not to confuse hemlock with parsley, but believing or not believing in God is not important at all.”
36. “The most dangerous lunatics are those created by religion, and people whose goal is to disrupt society always know how to put them to good use on occasion.”
37. “In any country where talent and virtue do not produce advancement, money will be the national god.”
38. “There are two essential qualities for the artist: morality and perspective.”
39. “The enjoyment of freedom that could be exercised without any motivation would be the true hallmark of a maniac.”
40. “It is better to reveal a weakness than to be suspected of a vice.”
41. “I like someone to say something silly about important matters better than to keep quiet. That becomes a topic of discussion and dispute, and the truth is discovered.”
42. “Doctors are always working to preserve our health and cooks to destroy it, but the latter are the most successful.”
43. “You cannot do without a good education, nor, unfortunately, a bad one, which is often because they have not wanted to cover the costs of a good one.”
44. “We are constantly ranting against the passions; we attribute to them all the afflictions of man, and forget that they are also the source of all his pleasures.”
45. “Trying to destroy our passions is the height of madness. What a lofty goal is that of the fanatic who tortures himself like a madman to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!”
What do you think of these Denis Diderot phrases?
His numerous writings and plays range from short stories and comedies that departed from the rigid classical style of French drama to the most daring ethical and metaphysical speculations.
What were your favorite phrases? Let us know in the comments section below.