Denis Diderot Quotes

Most popular Denis Diderot Quotes

Staircase wit.


My ideas are my trollops.


From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step.
— Denis Diderot


Gratitude is a burden, and all burdens are made to be cast off.


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


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


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


What a fine comedy this world would be if one did not play a part in it.
— Denis Diderot


When we know how to read our own hearts, we acquire wisdom of the hearts of others.
— Denis Diderot
It has been said that love robs those who have it of their wit, and gives it to those who have none.


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


It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley, but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.
— Denis Diderot

atheist God

Every man has his dignity.  I'm willing to forget mine, but at my own discretion and not when someone else tells me to.


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


Anyone who takes it on himself, on his own authority, to break a bad law, thereby authorizes everyone else to break the good ones.
— Denis Diderot

revolt rebels

Anyone who takes it upon himself, on his private authority, to break a bad law, thereby authorizes everyone else to break the good ones.
— Denis Diderot


Mankind have banned the Divinity from their presence; they have relegated him to a sanctuary; the walls of the temple restrict his view; he does not exist outside of it.
— Denis Diderot


I like better for one to say some foolish thing upon important matters than to be silent. That becomes the subject of discussion and dispute, and the truth is discovered.
— Denis Diderot
Lost in an immense forest at night, I have only a little light to show me the way.  Along comes a stranger who says to me: "Friend blow out your candle, the better to find your way."  This stranger is a theologian.