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Denis Diderot

1713-1784. French philosopher.

Books by Denis Diderot

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

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Only passions, great passions can elevate the soul to great things.

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There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.

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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.

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

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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.

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There is no kind of harassment that a man may not inflict on a woman with impunity in civilized societies.

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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.

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Gaiety, a quality of ordinary men. Genius always presupposes some disorder in the machine.

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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.

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