40 Denis Diderot Quotes On Philosophy, Art And Language

Diderot quotes are thought-provoking.
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Denis Diderot is a renowned name when it comes to French Philosophy and Art criticism.

As the Chief Editor of 'Encyclopédie', Denis Diderot was one of the pioneers who existed during the Age of Englightenment. One of his most famous personal works, 'Pensées Philosophiques' or 'Philosophic Thoughts', dealt with volatile anti-Christian ideas.

Apart from writing on philosophy, Diderot also took a keen interest in prose works, 'Jacques Le Fataliste Et Son Maître' being a remarkable novel. Diderot holds importance because of his work as a ‘scientific theorist’. Quotes from Denis Diderot help us to understand the importance of science and the act of documenting it in encyclopaedias.

If you find the Denis Diderot quotes illuminating, also check out Rousseau quotes and Schopenhauer quotes to further dip your toes into philosophy.

Denis Diderot Famous Quotes

Denis Diderot quotes are inspiring for scientists.

As your first step in reading Diderot check out these Denis Diderot famous quotes that are revered by all philosophers.

1. “We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

2. “All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

3. “Scepticism is the first step towards truth.”

‒ Denis Diderot, ‘Pensées Philosophiques’.

4. “Happiest are the people who give most happiness to others.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

5. “Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

6. “The best order of things, as I see it, is the one that includes me; to hell with the most perfect of worlds, if I'm not part of it.”

‒ Denis Diderot, ‘Rameau's Nephew’.

7. “The first step towards philosophy is incredulity.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

8. “There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

9. “Evil always turns up in this world through some genius or other.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

10. “There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

Denis Diderot Quotes About Government

Denis Diderot quotes remain relevant.

One of the passions of Diderot was to see men live in a world of freedom. Here are some Diderot quotes about government along with quotes about the way one shouldn’t rule people.

11. “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

12. “No man has received from nature the right to command his fellow human beings.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

13. “From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

14. “A nation which thinks that it is belief in God and not good law which makes people honest does not seem to me very advanced.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

15. “What is a monster? A being whose survival is incompatible with the existing order.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

16. “Power acquired by violence is only a usurpation, and lasts only as long as the force of him who commands prevails over that of those who obey.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

17. “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.

18. “The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

19. “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.

20. “We are far more liable to catch the vices than the virtues of our associates.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

Denis Diderot Quotes About Art

As an art critic, Denis Diderot was known for being cutthroat about his opinions. Here are some key quotes about art from Diderot.

21. “Poetry must have something in it that is barbaric, vast and wild.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

22. “Appeal made to artists. First of all move me, surprise me, rend my heart; make me tremble, weep, shudder; outrage me; delight my eyes afterwards if you can.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

23. “What a fine comedy this world would be if one did not play a part in it!”

‒ Denis Diderot.

24. “Good music is very close to primitive language.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

25. “Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

26. “Two qualities essential for the artist: morality and perspective.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

27. “All abstract sciences are nothing but the study of relations between signs.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

28. “You can be sure that a painter reveals himself in his work as much as and more than a writer does in his.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

29. “Distance is a great promoter of admiration.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

30. “Doctors are always working to preserve our health and cooks to destroy it, but the latter are the more often successful.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

Thought-Provoking Quotes From Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot always had the charm of observing things in a slightly different way. In this section you will find some unique Denis Diderot quotes from the philosopher.

31. “I discuss with myself questions of politics, love, taste, or philosophy. I let my mind rove wantonly, give it free rein to follow any idea, wise or mad that may present itself.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

32. “There are cats and cats.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

33. “Superstition is more injurious to God than atheism.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

34. “One composition is meagre, though it has many figures; another is rich, though it has few.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

35. “Give, but, if possible, spare the poor man the shame of begging.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

36. “If you disturb the colors of the rainbow, the rainbow is no longer beautiful.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

37. “At an early age, I sucked up the milk of Homer, Virgil, Horace, Terence, Anacreon, Plato and Euripides, diluted with that of Moses and the prophets.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

38. “The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

39. “Posterity for the philosopher is what the other world is for the religious man.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

40. “To describe women, the pen should be dipped in the humid colors of the rainbow, and the paper dried with the dust gathered from the wings of a butterfly.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

41. “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.

42. “When we know to read our own hearts, we acquire wisdom of the hearts of others.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

43. “Does anyone really know where they're going to?”

‒ Denis Diderot.

44. “To say that man is a compound of strength and weakness, light and darkness, smallness and greatness, is not to indict him, it is to define him.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

45. “No matter how much a man may study, reflect and meditate on all the books in the world, he is nothing more than a minor scribe unless he has read the great book.”

‒ Denis Diderot.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Denis Diderot quotes then why not take a look at John Locke quotes, or Sartre quotes.

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