You have to make it happen.

Denis Diderot

Denis Diderot

Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: French


You have to make it happen. Denis Diderot

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There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.

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!

One declaims endlessly against the passions; one imputes all of man's suffering to them. One forgets that they are also the source of all his pleasures.

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

Gratitude is a burden, and every burden is made to be shaken off.

The infant runs toward it with its eyes closed, the adult is stationary, the old man approaches it with his back turned.

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.

If there is one realm in which it is essential to be sublime, it is in wickedness. You spit on a petty thief, but you can't deny a kind of respect for the great criminal.

Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.

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.

What has not been examined impartially has not been well examined. Skepticism is therefore the first step toward truth.

It is said that desire is a product of the will, but the converse is in fact true: will is a product of desire.

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

The first step towards philosophy is incredulity.