Quotes by Jean Rostand

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Jean Rostand (October 30, 1894 - September 3, 1977), French biologist and philosopher.

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Stupidity, outrage, vanity, cruelty, iniquity, bad faith, falsehood -- we fail to see the whole array when it is facing in the same direction as we.

A man is not old as long as he is seeking something.
I should have no use for a paradise in which I should be deprived of the right to prefer hell.
To love an idea is to love it a little more than one should.
Certain brief sentences are peerless in their ability to give one the feeling that nothing remains to be said.
I still understand a few words in life, but I no longer think they make a sentence.
Truth is always served by great minds, even if they fight it.
One must credit an hypothesis with all that has had to be discovered in order to demolish it.
A few great minds are enough to endow humanity with monstrous power, but a few great hearts are not enough to make us worthy of using it.
The ideal, without doubt, varies, but its enemies, alas, are always the same.
Beauty in art is often nothing but ugliness subdued.
The only things one can admire at length are those one admires without knowing why.
To reflect is to disturb one's thoughts.
It is sometimes well for a blatant error to draw attention to overmodest truths.
Falsity cannot keep an idea from being beautiful; there are certain errors of such ingenuity that one could regret their not ranking among the achievements of the human mind.
We must watch over our modesty in the presence of those who cannot understand its grounds.
It takes a very deep-rooted opinion to survive unexpressed.
In politics, yesterday's lie is attacked only to flatter today's.
In order to remain true to oneself one ought to renounce one's party three times a day.
The least one can say of power is that a vocation for it is suspicious.
We are not na?ve enough to ask for pure men; we ask merely for men whose impurity does not conflict with the obligations of their job.
I prefer the honest jargon of reality to the outright lies of books.
It is not easy to imagine how little interested a scientist usually is in the work of any other, with the possible exception of the teacher who backs him or the student who honors him.
It is sometimes important for science to know how to forget the things she is surest of.
A body of work such as Pasteur's is inconceivable in our time: no man would be given a chance to create a whole science. Nowadays a path is scarcely opened up when the crowd begins to pour in.
Nothing leads the scientist so astray as a premature truth.
When a scientist is ahead of his times, it is often through misunderstanding of current, rather than intuition of future truth. In science there is never any error so gross that it won't one day, from some perspective, appear prophetic.
I think I am one of those who can manage not to take on a completely different appearance under their own glance.
To say of men that they are bad is to say they are worse than we think we are, or worse than the ideal man whose image we have built up on the basis of a certain few.
One must either take an interest in the human situation or else parade before the void.
Greatness, in order to gain recognition, must all too often consent to ape greatness.
I don't judge a regime by the damning criticism of the opposition, but by the ingenuous praise of the partisan.
God, that dumping ground of our dreams.
God, that checkroom of our dreams.
There are certain moments when we might wish the future were built by men of the past.
Renown? I've already got more of it than those I respect, and will never have as much as those for whom I feel contempt..
Take heed of critics even when they are not fair; resist them even when they are.
The books one has written in the past have two surprises in store: one couldn't write them again, and wouldn't want to.
Prerequisite for rereadability in books: that they be forgettable.
The nobility of a human being is strictly independent of that of his convictions.
The divine is perhaps that quality in man which permits him to endure the lack of God.
It may offend us to hear our own thoughts expressed by others: we are not sure enough of their souls.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.
Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.

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