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Desiderius Erasmus (1466 – 1536)


Dutch philosopher, humanist and theologian.
Desiderius Erasmus
Erasmus’s Moria ... sees through the madness of those who see themselves as reasonable and self-possessed while in reality giving themselves over to rivalry.
Erasmus quotes
As a representative of both the feminine and the parodic, Moria does not set out to expose or destroy social conventions: her wisdom lies in working with them, without being ruled by them.
Erasmus
of how much more passion than reason has Jupiter composed us? putting in, as one would say, "scarce half an ounce to a pound."




Erasmus Desiderius quotes
Dulce bellum inexpertis.
Erasmus Desiderius
I doubt if a single individual could be found from the whole of mankind free from some form of insanity. The only difference is one of degree. A man who sees a gourd and takes it for his wife is called insane because this happens to very few people.
Desiderius Erasmus quotes
Do not be guilty of possessing a library of learned books while lacking learning yourself.
Desiderius Erasmus
What is the position of someone who sees behind the masks, but refuses to expose them violently? ... The Praise of Folly marks out such a position, ‘prudently disarming itself in advance, keeping its phallus the size of the woman’s, steering clear of the play of power, clear of politics.’
Erasmus Desiderius quotes
I am a citizen of the world, known to all and to all a stranger.
Erasmus
What is unique about Folly’s mode of truth is its positionality: it comes “not from ‘the wise man’s mouth’ but from the mouth of the subject assumed not to know and speak the truth.” Folly’s truth entails “a kind of ek-stasis, a being outside oneself, being beside oneself, a state in which truth is known (and spoken) from a position that does not know itself to be the position of truth.”
Erasmus Desiderius
There are monasteries where there is no discipline, and which are worse than brothels — ut prae his lupanaria sint et magis sobria et magis pudica. There are others where religion is nothing but ritual; and these are worse than the first, for the Spirit of God is not in them, and they are inflated with self-righteousness. There are those, again, where the brethren are so sick of the imposture that they keep it up only to deceive the vulgar. The houses are rare indeed where the rule is seriously observed, and even in these few, if you look to the bottom, you will find small sincerity. But there is craft, and plenty of it — craft enough to impose on mature men, not to say innocent boys; and this is called profession. Suppose a house where all is as it ought to be, you have no security that it will continue so. A good superior may be followed by a fool or a tyrant, or an infected brother may introduce a moral plague. True, in extreme cases a monk may change his house, or even may change his order, but leave is rarely given. There is always a suspicion of something wrong, and on the least complaint such a person is sent back.
Desiderius Erasmus
For what is life but a play in which everyone acts a part until the curtain comes down?




Desiderius Erasmus quotes
The most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.
Desiderius Erasmus
I am a lover of liberty. I will not and I cannot serve a party.
Erasmus quotes
Bis dat, qui cito dat.
Erasmus Desiderius
This type of man who is devoted to the study of wisdom is always most unlucky in everything, and particularly when it comes to procreating children; I imagine this is because Nature wants to ensure that the evils of wisdom shall not spread further throughout mankind.
Erasmus Desiderius quotes
A constant element of enjoyment must be mingled with our studies, so that we think of learning as a game rather than a form of drudgery, for no activity can be continued for long if it does not to some extent afford pleasure to the participant.
Desiderius Erasmus
I have no patience with those who say that sexual excitement is shameful and that venereal stimuli have their origin not in nature, but in sin. Nothing is so far from the truth. As if marriage, whose function cannot be fulfilled without these incitements, did not rise above blame. In other living creatures, where do these incitements come from? From nature or from sin? From nature, of course. It must borne in mind that in the apetites of the body there is very little difference between man and other living creatures. Finally, we defile by our imagination what of its own nature is fair and holy. If we were willing to evaluate things not according to the opinion of the crowd, but according to nature itself, how is it less repulsive to eat, chew, digest, evacuate, and sleep after the fashion of dumb animals, than to enjoy lawful and permitted carnal relations?
Desiderius Erasmus quotes
There is nothing I congratulate myself on more heartily than on never having joined a sect.
Desiderius Erasmus
There is no doubt about Martin Luther's marriage, but the rumour about his wife's early confinement is false; she is said however to be pregnant now. If there is truth in the popular legend, that Antichrist will be born from a monk and a nun (which is the story these people keep putting about), how many thousands of Antichrists the world must have already!
Erasmus Desiderius
No Man is wise at all Times, or is without his blind Side.


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