In truth, knowledge is a great and very useful quality; those who despise it give evidence enough of their stupidity. Yet I do not set its value at that extreme measure that some attribute to it, such as the philosopher Herillus, who find in it the sovereign good and think it has the power to make us wise and happy.

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Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: French

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Man (in good earnest) is a marvellous vain, fickle, and unstable subject, and on whom it is very hard to form any certain and uniform judgment.

Even from their infancy we frame them to the sports of love: their instruction, behavior, attire, grace, learning and all their words azimuth only at love, respects only affection. Their nurses and their keepers imprint no other thing in them.

A wise man sees as much as he ought, not as much as he can.

There is nothing in the whole world madder than bringing matters down to the measure of our own capacities and potentialities.

I know nothing about education except this: that the greatest and the most important difficulty known to human learning seems to lie in that area which treats how to bring up children and how to educate them.

O Ruler of Olympus, why did it please thee to add more care to worried mortals by letting them learn of future slaughters by means of cruel omens! Whatever thou hast in store, do it unexpectedly; let the minds of men be blind to their future fate: let him who fears, still cling to hope!

There is not much less vexation in the government of a private family than in the managing of an entire state.

Writing does not cause misery, it is born of misery.

Happiness is a singular incentive to mediocrity.

No pleasure has any savor for me without communication.

Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being.

Any instruction which convince people that religious belief alone, without morality, suffices to satisfy God's justice is destructive of all government and is far more harmful than is ingenious and subtle. Men's practices reveal an extraordinary distinction between devotion and sense of right and wrong.

Folly never thinks it has enough, even when it obtains what it desires, but Wisdom is happy with what is to hand and is never vexed with itself.

Women are not entirely wrong when they reject the moral rules proclaimed in society, since it is we men alone who have made them.