Denis Diderot Quotes – Wisdom and Enlightenment

The greatest wisdom is to realize one’s own ignorance.

The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.

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

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

Skepticism is the first step towards freedom.

I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Genius is nothing more than childhood recaptured at will.

There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge: observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation.

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

One can only know oneself through others.

Better to perish in the struggle for freedom than live to see defeat.

To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.

There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.

The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.

The greatest pleasure of life is love.

Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for veracity.

The decisions of our youth are the architecture of our future.

We are all born mad. Some of us remain so.

A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it.

Legislators and revolutionaries who promise equality and liberty at once are either naive or charlatans.

Das Beste ist der Nachwelt unbekannt.

A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one.

True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary and nothing but what is necessary.

The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it.

Real merit is not affected by appearances.

In order to be a philosopher, one must be poor.

Individual versus Society: the eternal struggle

Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.

To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing.

In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.

By the work one knows the workman.

The greatest gifts in life are not material possessions, but intellectual pursuits and personal growth

The trouble with life isn’t that there is no answer, it’s that there are so many answers.

Life is too short to waste in the company of those who do not appreciate and respect you.

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.

The foundation of all morality is to have done, once and for all, with lying.

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to make a positive change in your life.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain.

Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success.

Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.

The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom is courage.

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

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