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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Sadi Carnot Quotes

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Sadi Carnot
(1 Jun 1796 - 24 Aug 1832)

French engineer and physicist who spent much of his life investigating the design of steam engines. His work led to the development of thermodynamics.


Science Quotes by Sadi Carnot (87 quotes)

Portrait of Sadi Carnot in military jacket, upper body, facing front
1814 (source)
Recherché pleasures cause simple pleasures to lose all their attractions.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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A religion suited to the soul and preached by men worthy of respect would exercise the most salutary influence upon society and customs.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 217.
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A tax on the farms would then result in the proprietors themselves working the lands, and this would mean better cultivation, and improvements which would yield returns indeed, but at too remote a period for the tenant. It would tend to a division of landed property, men of small fortune uniting in the purchase with capitalists who seek only the rent or payment for the land.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 212-213.
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A tax on the rent of a farm would be much better than a tax on the land itself. Proprietors then could only avoid taxes by themselves improving their property. As it is, they merely collect the rents, and usually employ their surplus in unproductive expenditure, while the proprietary farmers voluntarily devote theirs to the improvement of the land.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 212.
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Abstain from all pleasantry which could wound.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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According to the doctrine of the church, God resembles a sphinx proposing enigmas, and devouring those who cannot guess them.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 216.
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According to the system of modern economists, it would be desirable that the government should interfere as little as possible in the commerce and industry of the country. Nevertheless we cannot deny that in certain circumstances this intervention is very useful.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 211.
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Adopt good habits when I change my method of life.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206.
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Already the steam-engine works our mines, impels our ships, excavates our ports and our rivers, forges iron, fashions wood, grinds grain, spins and weaves our cloths, transports the heaviest burdens, etc. It appears that it must some day serve as a universal motor, and be substituted for animal power, waterfalls, and air currents.
— Sadi Carnot
'Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu' (1824) translated by R.H. Thurston in Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, and on Machines Fitted to Develop that Power (1890), 38.
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At present, light is generally regarded as the result of a vibratory movement of the ethereal fluid. Light produces heat, or at least accompanies the radiating heat, and moves with the same velocity as heat. Radiating heat is then a vibratory movement. It would be ridiculous to suppose that it is an emission of matter while the light which accompanies it could be only a movement.
Could a motion (that of radiating heat) produce matter (caloric)?
No, undoubtedly; it can only produce a motion. Heat is then the result of a motion.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 222.
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Carry when walking a book, and a note-book to preserve the ideas, and a piece of bread in order to prolong the walk if need be.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 205.
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Do nothing that all the world may not know.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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Egotism is the most common and most hated of all vices. Properly speaking, it is the only one which should be hated
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208.
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Employ only expressions of the most perfect propriety.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Form resolutions in advance in order not to reflect during action. Then obey thyself blindly.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206.
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God cannot punish man for not believing when he could so easily have enlightened and convinced him.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 216.
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Great capitalists could not themselves cultivate vast extents of land, and not wanting to diminish their revenues by renting them, would be induced to sell portions suitable for cultivation by their new owners, and would then carry their money into new industrial and commercial enterprises.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 213.
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Heat can evidently be a cause of motion only by virtue of the changes of volume or of form which it produces in bodies. These changes are not caused by uniform temperature but rather by alternations of heat and cold.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated in Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop Power (1890, Rev. 1897), 49. Edited by R. H. Thurston, from the original French, Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu (1824).
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Hope being the greatest of all blessings, it is necessary, in order to be happy, to sacrifice the present to the future.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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How much modesty adds to merit! A man of talent who conceals his knowledge is like a branch bending under a weight of fruit.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208
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I do not know why these two expressions, good sense and common sense, are confounded. There is nothing less common than good sense.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208.
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I rejoice for all the misfortunes which might have happened to me, and which I have escaped.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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If Christianity were pruned of all which is not Christ, this religion would be the simplest in the world.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 216
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If God is absolutely good, why should He punish the sinner for all eternity, since He does not lead him to good, or give him an example?
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 216.
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If human reason is incapable of discovering the mysteries of Divinity, why has not Divinity made human reason more clear-sighted?
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 216.
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If one could continually satisfy his desires, he would never have time to desire. Happiness then is necessarily composed of alternatives. It could not exist at a constant level.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 210.
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In order to consider in the most general way the principle of the production of motion by heat, it must be considered independently of any mechanism or any particular agent. It is necessary to establish principles applicable not only to steam engines but to all imaginable heat-engines, whatever the working substance and whatever the method by which it is operated.
— Sadi Carnot
In Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop Power (1890, Rev. 1897), 43-44. Edited by R. H. Thurston, from the original French, Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu (1824).
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In some respects medicine is directly opposed to the will of nature, which tends to perpetuate the strongest and best of the species, and to abandon the delicate to a thousand forms of destruction. This is what occurs among animals and savage men. Only the most robust attain the adult age, and these only reproduce the species. Medicine and the aids of the social state prolong the lives of feeble creatures whose posterity is usually equally feeble. Among the Spartans, barbarous regulations put an end to the existence of mal-formed infants, that the strength and beauty of the race might be preserved. Such regulations are antipathetic to our customs; nevertheless it might be desirable that we should devote ourselves to the preservation of the human race from the causes of weakness and degeneracy
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 210-211.
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It is to heat that should be attributed the vast movements observed on the Earth; the disturbances of the atmosphere are due to heat, the arising of clouds, the fall of rains and other aspects of weather, the currents of water crisscrossing the globe’s surface of which man manages to harness a small fraction; finally, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are also caused by heat.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated by Webmaster from the original French: “C’est à la chaleur que doivent être attribués les grands mouvements qui frappent nos regards sur la terre; c’est à elle que sont dues les agitations de l’atmosphère, l’ascension des nuages, la chute des pluies et des autres météores, les courants d’eau qui sillonnent la surface du globe et dont l’homme est parvenue à employer pour son usage une faible partie; enfin les tremblements de terre, les éruptions volcaniques reconnaissent aussi pour cause la chaleur.” From Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu et sur les Machines Propres a Développer cette Puissance (1824, 1878), 1-2. Also in N.-L.-S. Carnot and R. H. Thurston (ed.), Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop That Power (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 11 (in French), and 37-38 (in English) as: “To heat also are due the vast movements which take place on the earth. It causes the agitations of the atmosphere, the ascension of clouds, the fall of rain and of meteors*, the currents of water which channel the surface of the globe, and of which man has thus far employed but a small portion. Even earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are the result of heat.” [*Note the obsolete term “meteors” meaning atmospheric or meteorological phenomena, and does not refer here to rocks falling from space. —Webmaster]
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It may sometimes be necessary to yield the right, but how is one to recover it when wanted?
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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It must be that all honest people are in the galleys; only knaves are to be met with elsewhere.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208.
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Let us not be exacting; perfection is so rare.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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Life is a short enough passage. I am half the journey. I will complete the remainder as I can.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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Listen attentively to your interlocutor, and so prepare him to listen in the same way to your reply, and predispose him in favor of your arguments.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Love is almost the only passion that the good man may avow. It is the only one which accords with delicacy.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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̈Machines which do not receive their motion from heat, those which have for a motor the force of men or of animal, a waterfall, an air current, etc., can be studied even to their smallest details by the mechanical theory. All cases are foreseen, all imaginable movements are referred to these general principles, firmly established, and applicable under all circumstances. This is the character of a complete theory. A similar theory is evidently needed for heat-engines. A similar theory is evidently needed for heat-engines. We shall have it only when the laws of Physics shall be extended enough, generalized enough, to make known beforehand all of the effects of heat acting in a determined manner on any body.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated in Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop Power (1890, Rev. 1897), 44. Edited by R. H. Thurston, from the original French, Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu (1824).
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Make intimate acquaintances only with much circumspection; perfect confidence in those who have been thoroughly tested. Nothing to do with others.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206-207.
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Men attribute to chance those events of the causes of which they are ignorant. If they succeed in divining these causes, chance disappears. To say that a thing has happened by chance, is to say that we have not been able to foresee it. I do not myself believe that any other acceptation can be given to this word. What to an ignorant man is chance, cannot be chance to one better instructed.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 215-216.
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Men desire nothing so much as to make themselves envied.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208.
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Never direct an argument against any one. If you know some particulars against your adversary, you have a right to make him aware of it to keep him under control, but proceed with discretion, and do not wound him before others.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207-208.
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No one is unaware that heat can be the cause of movement, that it even has great driving power: steam engines, so widespread today, are a proof to all eyes.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated by Webmaster from the opening sentence, in the original French: “Personne n’ignore que la chaleur peut être la cause du mouvement, qu'elle possède même une grande puissance motrice : les machines à vapeur, aujourd’hui si répandues, en sont une preuve parlan à tous les yeux.” From Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu et sur les Machines Propres a Développer cette Puissance (1824, 1878), 1. Also translated in N.-L.-S. Carnot and R. H. Thurston (ed.), Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop That Power (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 37 (in English) as: “Every one knows that heat can produce motion. That it possesses vast motive-power no one can doubt, in these days when the steam-engine is everywhere so well known.”
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No useless discourse. All conversation which does not serve to enlighten ourselves or others, to interest the heart or amuse the mind, is hurtful.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Now it is by a fiction that the purchaser pays the mutation tax. In fact, it is always the seller who pays it. The buyer compares the money that he spends with the advantage that he gains, and this comparison determines it. If he did not make money out of it he would not buy it. When the registration tax did not exist, the purchaser had to pay the same sum for the same purpose, and this sum went into the pocket of the seller.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 214-215.
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One should never feign a character that he has not, or affect a character that he cannot sustain.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206.
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Perhaps it would be necessary to weaken their opposition by not subjecting the actual proprietors to the new tax, which might take effect only with the next change either by sale or by inheritance. A restriction of the right of transfer would also facilitate the passage from one situation to the other. All changes in taxes should, as a general thing, be made gradually, in order to avoid sudden changes of fortune.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 214.
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Plan in the morning the work of the day, and reflect in the evening on what has been done.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 205.
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Proprietors of lands, then, after all, have to bear the mutation taxes. All increase of these taxes is a loss for them, and these taxes are heavier on the small proprietors than on the large, because their changes are more frequent. The tax on the farms, on the contrary, would bear more heavily on large estates.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 215.
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Proprietors, becoming cultivators to escape the taxes, would settle in the country, where their presence would disseminate intelligence and comfort; their revenues, before spent unprofitably, would then pay expenses and improvements on their property.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 213.
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Question thyself to learn what will please others
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Self-possession without self-sufficiency. Courage without effrontery.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206
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Self-possession without self-sufficiency. Courage without effrontery.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206

Show neither passion nor weariness in discussion.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Speak little of what you know, and not at all of what you do not know
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Speak to every one of that which he knows best. This will put him at his ease, and be profitable to you
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Suffer slight disagreeables without seeming to perceive them, but repulse decisively any one who evidently intends to injure or humiliate you.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206.
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Taxes are a means of influencing production and commerce to give to them a direction which they would not naturally have taken. Such an influence may undoubtedly have disagreeable consequences if the taxes are imposed without discrimination or exclusively for a fiscal purpose, but it is entirely otherwise if wisdom and tact preside at their institution.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 212.
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Taxes are regarded by economists as an evil, but as a necessary evil, since they provide for public expenses. Consequently, economists think that if the government possessed sufficient revenues, in domains for example, the suppression of all taxes would be a desirable measure.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 212.
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The belief in an all-powerful Being, who loves us and watches over us, gives to the mind great strength to endure misfortune.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 217.
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The church attributes to God all human passions—anger, desire for vengeance, curiosity, tyranny, partiality, idleness.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 216
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The competition of the sellers would cause a momentary fall in the price of the lands, and would enable small farmers to become land-owners. The number of vast estates often badly managed would then be diminished, and considerable fortunes, changing hands more easily, would naturally pass into those which would be most likely to increase their value.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 213.
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The decadence of the Greeks and Romans without change of race proves the influence of institutions upon customs.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 211.
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The discovery of the steam-engine owed its birth, like most human inventions, to rude attempts which have been attributed to different persons, while the real author is not certainly known. … There is almost as great a distance between the first apparatus in which the expansive force of steam was displayed and the existing machine, as between the first raft that man ever made and the modern vessel.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated in Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop Power (1890, Rev. 1897), 41. Edited by R. H. Thurston, from the original French, Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu (1824).
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The establishment of such a tax would certainly find many opponents among proprietors, landed non-cultivators who form in fact the influential personnel in the state, for it is they who usually make the laws
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 213-214.
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The laws of war, do they say? As if war were not the destruction of all laws.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 210.
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The more nearly an object approaches perfection, the more we notice its slightest defects.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209
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The pleasures of self-love are the only ones that can really be turned into ridicule.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208.
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The production of heat alone is not sufficient to give birth to the impelling power: it is necessary that there should also be cold; without it the heat would be useless. And in fact, if we should find about us only bodies as hot as our furnaces, how can we condense steam? What should we do with it if once produced? We should not presume that we might discharge it into the atmosphere, as is done in some engines; the atmosphere would not receive it. It does receive it under the actual condition of things only because…it is at a lower temperature, otherwise it…would be already saturated.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated in Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop Power (1890, Rev. 1897), 46-47. Edited by R. H. Thurston, from the original French, Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu (1824).
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The production of motion in steam-engines is always accompanied by a circumstance on which we should fix our attention. This circumstance is the re-establishing of equilibrium in the caloric; that is, its passage from a body in which the temperature is more or less elevated, to another in which it is lower.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated in Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop Power (1890, Rev. 1897), 44-45. Edited by R. H. Thurston, from the original French, Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu (1824).
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The production of motion in the steam engine always occurs in circumstances which it is necessary to recognize, namely when the equilibrium of caloric is restored, or (to express this differently) when caloric passes from the body at one temperature to another body at a lower temperature.
— Sadi Carnot
In 'Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu et sur les Machines Propres a Développer cette Puissance' (1824). As translated by Robert Fox, Reflexions on the Motive Power of Fire (1986), 64.
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The promptitude of resolutions most frequently accords with their justice.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206.
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The strain of suffering causes the mind to decay.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208.
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The tax on farms not affecting the owners of timber, would be made up by a tax on the felling, a very justifiable tax, for standing timber is landed property. Standing timber is often worth much more than the land on which it stands.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 215.
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The thermal agency by which mechanical effect may be obtained is the transference of heat from one body to another at a lower temperature.
— Sadi Carnot
'Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu' (1824) translated by R.H. Thurston in Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire, and on Machines Fitted to Develop that Power (1890), 139.
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The truly wise man is he who loves virtue for its own sake.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209.
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To each conqueror can be said, when he has ceased tormenting our poor globe, ‘Would you not have been able to tilt equally well against a little globe of pasteboard?
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 210.
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To neglect the opportunity of an innocent pleasure is a loss to ourselves. It is to act like a spendthrift.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 209
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Vary the mental and bodily exercises with dancing, horsemanship, swimming, fencing with sword and with sabre, shooting with gun and pistol, skating, the sling, stilts, tennis, bowls; hop on one foot, cross the arms, jump high and far, turn on one foot propped against the wall, exercise in shirt in the evening to get up a perspiration before going to bed; turning, joinery, gardening, reading while walking, declamation, singing, violin, versification, musical composition; eight hours of sleep; a walk on awakening, before and after eating; great sobriety; eat slowly, little, and often; avoid idleness and useless meditation.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 205-206.
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War has been represented as necessary to prevent the too rapid increase of the population, but war mows down the flower of the young men, while it spares the men disgraced by nature. Hence it tends to the degeneration of the species
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 210.
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We are led to establish this proposition. The driving power of heat is independent of the agents used to realize it; its value is uniquely fixed by the temperatures of the bodies between which the transfer of caloric is made.
— Sadi Carnot
As translated in Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat and on Machines Fitted to Develop Power (1890, Rev. 1897), 68. Edited by R. H. Thurston, from the original French, Réflexions sur la Puissance Motrice du Feu (1824).
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We may consider the renting of a property for several years as a sale of the usufruct during the time of the lease. Now nine years' possession, for example, is equal to more than a third of the value of the property, supposing the annual product to be one twentieth of the capital. It would then be reasonable to apply to this sort of sale the laws which govern that of landed property, and consequently the mutation tax. The person who cannot or will not cultivate his soil, instead of alienating the property itself, binds himself to alienate the usufruct for a time, and the price is paid at stated intervals instead of all at once. There is farm rent.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 214.
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We say that man is an egotist, and nevertheless his sweetest pleasures come to him through others. He only tastes them on condition of sharing them.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 210.
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What motives have influenced the writers who have rejected all religious systems? Is it the conviction that the ideas which they oppose are all injurious to society? Have they not rather included in the same proscription religion and the abuse of it?
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 216-217.
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When a hypothesis no longer suffices to explain phenomena, it should be abandoned. This is the case with the hypothesis which regards caloric as matter, as a subtile fluid.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 219.
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When discussion degenerates into dispute, be silent; this is not to declare yourself beaten.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208.
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Why not say more frequently, ‘I do not know’?
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 207.
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Why try to be witty? I would rather be thought stupid and modest than witty and pretentious.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 208
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Yield frequently to the first inspiration. Too much meditation on the same subject ends by suggesting the worst part, or at least causes loss of precious time.
— Sadi Carnot
From Appendix A, 'Extracts From the Unpublished Writings of Carnot', Reflections on the Motive Power of Heat (1890, 2nd ed. 1897), 206.
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Quotes by others about Sadi Carnot (1)

War and the steam engine joined forces and forged what was to become one of the most delicate of concepts. Sadi Carnot … formed the opinion that one cause of France’s defeat had been her industrial inferiority. … Carnot saw steam power as a universal motor. … Carnot was a visionary and sharp analyst of what was needed to improve the steam engine. … Carnot’s work … laid the foundations of [thermodynamics].
In The Second Law (1984), 1-2.
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See also:

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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