Michel de Montaigne

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Michel de Montaigne
Portrait of Michel de Montaigne, circa unknown.jpg
Portrait of Michel de Montaigne.
Born
Michel de Montaigne

28 February 1533
Died13 September 1592(1592-09-13) (aged 59)
Château de Montaigne, Guyenne, Kingdom of France
Alma mater College of Guienne
Collège Royal
University of Toulouse
Era Renaissance philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School Renaissance humanism Renaissance skepticism
Notable ideas
The essay,
Montaigne's wheel argument [1]
Public opinion [2]
Signature
Unterschrift des Michel de Montaigne.png

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Lord of Montaigne ( /mɒnˈtn/ ; [4] French:  [miʃɛl ekɛm də mɔ̃tɛɲ] ; 28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592 [5] ) was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes [6] and autobiography with intellectual insight. His massive volume Essais contains some of the most influential essays ever written.

French Renaissance

The French Renaissance was the cultural and artistic movement in France between the 15th and early 17th centuries. The period is associated with the pan-European Renaissance, a word first used by the French historian Jules Michelet to define the artistic and cultural "rebirth" of Europe.

<i>Essays</i> (Montaigne) collection of works by Michel de Montaigne

The Essays of Michel de Montaigne are contained in three books and 107 chapters of varying length. They were originally written in Middle French and were originally published in the Kingdom of France. Montaigne's stated design in writing, publishing and revising the Essays over the period from approximately 1570 to 1592 was to record "some traits of my character and of my humours." The Essays were first published in 1580 and cover a wide range of topics.

Literary genre category of literary composition

A literary genre is a category of literary composition. Genres may be determined by literary technique, tone, content, or even length. The distinctions between genres and categories are flexible and loosely defined, often with subgroups.

Contents

Montaigne had a direct influence on Western writers, including Francis Bacon, René Descartes, [7] Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albert Hirschman, William Hazlitt, [8] Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, [9] Isaac Asimov, and possibly on the later works of William Shakespeare.

Francis Bacon English philosopher and statesman

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban, was an English philosopher and statesman, who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method, and remained influential through the scientific revolution.

René Descartes 17th-century French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist

René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–49) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. He is generally considered one of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age.

Blaise Pascal French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, and Christian philosopher

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Catholic theologian. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalising the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defence of the scientific method.

During his lifetime, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, "I am myself the matter of my book", was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne came to be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt which began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, "Que sçay-je?" ("What do I know?", in Middle French; now rendered as Que sais-je? in modern French).

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. In democratic countries, politicians seek elective positions within a government through elections or, at times, temporary appointment to replace politicians who have died, resigned or have been otherwise removed from office. In non-democratic countries, they employ other means of reaching power through appointment, bribery, revolutions and war. Some politicians are experienced in the art or science of government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Skepticism or scepticism is generally any questioning attitude or doubt towards one or more items of putative knowledge or belief. It is often directed at domains, such as the supernatural, morality, religion, or knowledge. Formally, skepticism as a topic occurs in the context of philosophy, particularly epistemology, although it can be applied to any topic such as politics, religion, and pseudoscience.

Middle French is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from the 14th to the early 17th centuries. It is a period of transition during which:

Life

Château de Montaigne, a house built on the land once owned by Montaigne's family. His original family home no longer exists, though the tower in which he wrote still stands. St Michel de Montaigne Château01.jpg
Château de Montaigne, a house built on the land once owned by Montaigne's family. His original family home no longer exists, though the tower in which he wrote still stands.
Portrait of Michel de Montaigne by Dumonstier around 1578 Michel-eyquem-de-montaigne 1.jpg
Portrait of Michel de Montaigne by Dumonstier around 1578
The Tour de Montaigne (Montaigne's tower), mostly unchanged since the 16th century, where Montaigne's library was located St Michel de Montaigne Tour03.jpg
The Tour de Montaigne (Montaigne's tower), mostly unchanged since the 16th century, where Montaigne's library was located

Montaigne was born in the Aquitaine region of France, on the family estate Château de Montaigne, in a town now called Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne, close to Bordeaux. The family was very wealthy; his great-grandfather, Ramon Felipe Eyquem, had made a fortune as a herring merchant and had bought the estate in 1477, thus becoming the Lord of Montaigne. His father, Pierre Eyquem, Seigneur of Montaigne, was a French Catholic soldier in Italy for a time and had also been the mayor of Bordeaux. [5]

Aquitaine Region in France

Aquitaine, archaic Guyenne/Guienne, is a traditional region of France, and was an administrative region of France until 1 January 2016. It is now part of the region Nouvelle-Aquitaine. It is situated in the south-western part of Metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It is composed of the five departments of Dordogne, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes and Gironde. In the Middle Ages, Aquitaine was a kingdom and a duchy, whose boundaries fluctuated considerably.

Château de Montaigne

The Château de Montaigne is a castle mansion situated on the borders of Périgord and Bordelais, near Bergerac and Saint-Émilion, in the small commune of Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne in the Dordogne département of France. The structure originated in the 14th century and was the family residence of the Renaissance philosopher and thinker Michel de Montaigne.

Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne is a commune in the Dordogne department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France.

Although there were several families bearing the patronym "Eyquem" in Guyenne, his father's family is thought to have had some degree of Marrano (Spanish and Portuguese Jewish) origins, [10] while his mother, Antoinette López de Villanueva, was a convert to Protestantism. [11] His maternal grandfather, Pedro Lopez, [12] from Zaragoza, was from a wealthy Marrano (Sephardic Jewish) family who had converted to Catholicism. [13] [14] [15] [16] His maternal grandmother, Honorette Dupuy, was from a Catholic family in Gascony, France. [17]

Marrano Jews forcibly converted to Catholicism in Spain

Marranos were Jews living in the Iberian Peninsula who converted or were forced to convert to Christianity during the Middle Ages, yet continued to practice Judaism in secret.

Zaragoza Place in Aragon, Spain

Zaragoza is the capital city of the Zaragoza province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. It lies by the Ebro river and its tributaries, the Huerva and the Gállego, roughly in the center of both Aragon and the Ebro basin.

Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews or Sephardim, originally from Sepharad, Spain or the Iberian peninsula, are a Jewish ethnic division. They established communities throughout areas of modern Spain and Portugal, where they traditionally resided, evolving what would become their distinctive characteristics and diasporic identity, which they took with them in their exile from Iberia beginning in the late 15th century to North Africa, Anatolia, the Levant, Southeastern and Southern Europe, as well as the Americas, and all other places of their exiled settlement, either alongside pre-existing co-religionists, or alone as the first Jews in new frontiers. Their millennial residence as an open and organised Jewish community in Iberia began to decline with the Reconquista and was brought to an end starting with the Alhambra Decree by Spain's Catholic Monarchs in 1492, and then by the edict of expulsion of Jews and Muslims by Portuguese king Manuel I in 1496, which resulted in a combination of internal and external migrations, mass conversions and executions.

The coat of arms of Michel Eyquem, Lord of Montaigne ArmoiriesMichelDeMontaigne.svg
The coat of arms of Michel Eyquem, Lord of Montaigne

His mother lived a great part of Montaigne's life near him, and even survived him, but is mentioned only twice in his essays. Montaigne's relationship with his father, however, is frequently reflected upon and discussed in his essays.

Montaigne's education began in early childhood and followed a pedagogical plan that his father had developed, refined by the advice of the latter's humanist friends. Soon after his birth, Montaigne was brought to a small cottage, where he lived the first three years of life in the sole company of a peasant family, in order to, according to the elder Montaigne, "draw the boy close to the people, and to the life conditions of the people, who need our help". [18] After these first spartan years, Montaigne was brought back to the château. The objective was for Latin to become his first language.

Pedagogy the study of education

Pedagogy refers more broadly to the theory and practice of education, and how this influences the growth of learners. Pedagogy, taken as an academic discipline, is the study of how knowledge and skills are exchanged in an educational context, and it considers the interactions that take place during learning. Pedagogies vary greatly, as they reflect the different social, political, cultural contexts from which they emerge. Pedagogy is the act of teaching. Theories of pedagogy increasingly identify the student as an agent, and the teacher as a facilitator. Conventional western pedagogies, however, view the teacher as knowledge holder and student as the recipient of knowledge.

Humanism is a philosophical and ethical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively, and generally prefers critical thinking and evidence over acceptance of dogma or superstition. The meaning of the term humanism has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have identified with it. The term was coined by theologian Friedrich Niethammer at the beginning of the 19th century to refer to a system of education based on the study of classical literature. Generally, however, humanism refers to a perspective that affirms some notion of human freedom and progress. It views humans as solely responsible for the promotion and development of individuals and emphasizes a concern for man in relation to the world.

The intellectual education of Montaigne was assigned to a German tutor (a doctor named Horstanus, who could not speak French). His father hired only servants who could speak Latin, and they were also given strict orders always to speak to the boy in Latin. The same rule applied to his mother, father, and servants, who were obliged to use only Latin words he himself employed, and thus acquired a knowledge of the very language his tutor taught him. Montaigne's Latin education was accompanied by constant intellectual and spiritual stimulation. He was familiarized with Greek by a pedagogical method that employed games, conversation, and exercises of solitary meditation, rather than the more traditional books.

The atmosphere of the boy's upbringing, although designed by highly refined rules taken under advisement by his father, created in the boy's life the spirit of "liberty and delight" to "make me relish... duty by an unforced will, and of my own voluntary motion...without any severity or constraint"; yet he would have everything to take advantage of his freedom. And so a musician woke him every morning, playing one instrument or another, [19] and an épinettier (with a zither) was the constant companion to Montaigne and his tutor, playing a tune to alleviate boredom and tiredness.

Around the year 1539, Montaigne was sent to study at a prestigious boarding school in Bordeaux, the Collège de Guyenne, then under the direction of the greatest Latin scholar of the era, George Buchanan, where he mastered the whole curriculum by his thirteenth year. He then began his study of law at the University of Toulouse in 1546 and entered a career in the local legal system. He was a counselor of the Court des Aides of Périgueux and, in 1557, he was appointed counselor of the Parlement in Bordeaux (a high court). From 1561 to 1563 he was courtier at the court of Charles IX; he was present with the king at the siege of Rouen (1562). He was awarded the highest honour of the French nobility, the collar of the Order of St. Michael, something to which he aspired from his youth. While serving at the Bordeaux Parlement, he became very close friends with the humanist poet Étienne de la Boétie, whose death in 1563 deeply affected Montaigne. It has been suggested by Donald M. Frame, in his introduction to The Complete Essays of Montaigne that because of Montaigne's "imperious need to communicate" after losing Étienne, he began the Essais as his "means of communication" and that "the reader takes the place of the dead friend". [20]

Montaigne married Françoise de la Cassaigne in 1565, probably in an arranged marriage. She was the well-got daughter and niece of merchants of Toulouse and Bordeaux. They had six daughters, but only the second-born, Léonor, survived infancy. [21] Little is known about their marriage, a few words only escaping from Montaigne himself on the subject – he wrote of his daughter Léonor, "All my children die at nurse; but Léonore, our only daughter, who has escaped this misfortune, has reached the age of six and more without having been punished, the indulgence of her mother aiding, except in words, and those very gentle ones." [22] His daughter married François de la Tour and later Charles de Gamaches and had a daughter by each. [23]

Following the petition of his father, Montaigne started to work on the first translation of the Catalan monk Raymond Sebond's Theologia naturalis , which he published a year after his father's death in 1568 (In 1595, Sebond's Prologue was put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum for its declaration that the Bible is not the only source of revealed truth). After this, he inherited the family's estate, the Château de Montaigne, to which he moved back in 1570, thus becoming the Lord of Montaigne. Another literary accomplishment was Montaigne's posthumous edition of his friend Boétie's works.

In 1571, he retired from public life to the Tower of the Château, his so-called "citadel", in the Dordogne, where he almost totally isolated himself from every social and family affair. Locked up in his library, which contained a collection of some 1,500 works, he began work on his Essais ("Essays"), first published in 1580. On the day of his 38th birthday, as he entered this almost ten-year period of self-imposed reclusion, he had the following inscription crown the bookshelves of his working chamber:

In the year of Christ 1571, at the age of thirty-eight, on the last day of February, his birthday, Michael de Montaigne, long weary of the servitude of the court and of public employments, while still entire, retired to the bosom of the learned virgins, where in calm and freedom from all cares he will spend what little remains of his life, now more than half run out. If the fates permit, he will complete this abode, this sweet ancestral retreat; and he has consecrated it to his freedom, tranquility, and leisure. [24]

During this time of the Wars of Religion in France, Montaigne, a Roman Catholic, acted as a moderating force,[ citation needed ] respected both by the Catholic King Henry III and the Protestant Henry of Navarre. Montaigne believed that a knowledge of devastating effects of vice is calculated to excite an aversion to vicious habits.

In 1578, Montaigne, whose health had always been excellent, started suffering from painful kidney stones, a sickness he had inherited from his father's family. Throughout this illness, he would have nothing to do with doctors or drugs. [5] From 1580 to 1581, Montaigne traveled in France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Italy, partly in search of a cure, establishing himself at Bagni di Lucca where he took the waters. His journey was also a pilgrimage to the Holy House of Loreto, to which he presented a silver relief depicting himself and his wife and daughter kneeling before the Madonna, considering himself fortunate that it should be hung on a wall within the shrine. [25] He kept a fascinating journal recording regional differences and customs [26] and a variety of personal episodes, including the dimensions of the stones he succeeded in ejecting from his bladder. This was published much later, in 1774, after its discovery in a trunk which is displayed in his tower. [27]

During Montaigne's visit to the Vatican, as he described in his travel journal, the Essais were examined by Sisto Fabri who served as Master of the Sacred Palace under Pope Gregory XIII. After Fabri examined Montaigne's Essais the text was returned to its author on 20 March 1581. Montaigne had apologized for references to the pagan notion of "fortuna" as well as for writing favorably of Julian the Apostate and of heretical poets, and was released to follow his own conscience in making emendations to the text. [28]

Journey to Italy by Michel de Montaigne 1580–1581 Michel de Montaigne Italienreise.png
Journey to Italy by Michel de Montaigne 1580–1581

While in the city of Lucca in 1581, he learned that, like his father before him, he had been elected mayor of Bordeaux; he returned and served as mayor. He was re-elected in 1583 and served until 1585, again moderating between Catholics and Protestants. The plague broke out in Bordeaux toward the end of his second term in office, in 1585. In 1586, the plague and the Wars of Religion prompted him to leave his château for two years. [5]

Montaigne continued to extend, revise, and oversee the publication of Essais. In 1588 he wrote its third book and also met the writer Marie de Gournay, who admired his work and later edited and published it. Montaigne called her his adopted daughter. [5] King Henry III was assassinated in 1589, and Montaigne then helped to keep Bordeaux loyal to Henry of Navarre, who would go on to become King Henry IV.

Montaigne died of quinsy at the age of 59, in 1592 at the Château de Montaigne. The disease in his case "brought about paralysis of the tongue", [29] and he had once said "the most fruitful and natural play of the mind is conversation. I find it sweeter than any other action in life; and if I were forced to choose, I think I would rather lose my sight than my hearing and voice." [30] Remaining in possession of all his other faculties, he requested mass, and died during the celebration of that mass. [31]

He was buried nearby. Later his remains were moved to the church of Saint Antoine at Bordeaux. The church no longer exists: it became the Convent des Feuillants, which has also disappeared. [32] The Bordeaux Tourist Office says that Montaigne is buried at the Musée Aquitaine, Faculté des Lettres, Université Bordeaux 3 Michel de Montaigne, Pessac. His heart is preserved in the parish church of Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne.

The humanities branch of the University of Bordeaux is named after him: Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3. [33]

Essais

His humanism finds expression in his Essais, a collection of a large number of short subjective treatments of various topics published in 1580, inspired by his studies in the classics, especially by the works of Plutarch and Lucretius. [34] Montaigne's stated goal is to describe humans, and especially himself, with utter frankness. Montaigne's writings are studied as literature and philosophy around the world.

Michel de Montaigne Michel de Montaigne.jpg
Michel de Montaigne

Inspired by his consideration of the lives and ideals of the leading figures of his age, he finds the great variety and volatility of human nature to be its most basic features. He describes his own poor memory, his ability to solve problems and mediate conflicts without truly getting emotionally involved, his disdain for the human pursuit of lasting fame, and his attempts to detach himself from worldly things to prepare for his timely death. He writes about his disgust with the religious conflicts of his time. He believed that humans are not able to attain true certainty. The longest of his essays, Apology for Raymond Sebond, marking his adoption of Pyrrhonism contains his famous motto, "What do I know?"

Montaigne considered marriage necessary for the raising of children, but disliked strong feelings of passionate love because he saw them as detrimental to freedom. In education, he favored concrete examples and experience over the teaching of abstract knowledge that has to be accepted uncritically. His essay "On the Education of Children" is dedicated to Diana of Foix.

The Essais exercised important influence on both French and English literature, in thought and style. [35] Francis Bacon's Essays, published over a decade later, in 1596, are usually assumed to be directly influenced by Montaigne's collection, and Montaigne is cited by Bacon alongside other classical sources in later essays. [36]

Montaigne's influence on psychology

Though not a scientist, Montaigne made observations on topics in psychology. [37] In his essays, he developed and explained his observations of these topics. His thoughts and ideas covered topics such as thought, motivation, fear, happiness, child education, experience, and human action. Montaigne’s ideas have influenced psychology and are a part of psychology’s rich history.

Child education

Child education was among the psychological topics that he wrote about. [37] His essays On the Education of Children, On Pedantry, and On Experience explain the views he had on child education. [38] :61:62:70 Some of his views on child education are still relevant today. [39]

Montaigne’s views on the education of children were opposed to the common educational practices of his day. [38] :63:67He found fault with both what was taught and how it was taught. [38] :62 Much of the education during Montaigne’s time was focused on the reading of the classics and learning through books. [38] :67Montaigne disagreed with learning strictly through books. He believed it was necessary to educate children in a variety of ways. He also disagreed with the way information was being presented to students. It was being presented in a way that encouraged students to take the information that was taught to them as absolute truth. Students were denied the chance to question the information. Therefore, students could not truly learn. Montaigne believed that, to learn truly, a student had to take the information and make it their own.

At the foundation Montaigne believed that the selection of a good tutor was important for the student to become well educated. [38] :66 Education by a tutor was to be done at the pace of the student. [38] :67He believed that a tutor should be in dialogue with the student, letting the student speak first. The tutor should also allow for discussions and debates to be had. Through this dialogue, it was meant to create an environment in which students would teach themselves. They would be able to realize their mistakes and make corrections to them as necessary.

Individualized learning was also integral to his theory of child education. He argued that the student combines information he already knows with what is learned and forms a unique perspective on the newly learned information. [40] :356 Montaigne also thought that tutors should encourage a student’s natural curiosity and allow them to question things. [38] :68He postulated that successful students were those who were encouraged to question new information and study it for themselves, rather than simply accepting what they had heard from the authorities on any given topic. Montaigne believed that a child’s curiosity could serve as an important teaching tool when the child is allowed to explore the things that they are curious about.

Experience was also a key element to learning for Montaigne. Tutors needed to teach students through experience rather than through the mere memorization of knowledge often practised in book learning. [38] :62:67He argued that students would become passive adults; blindly obeying and lacking the ability to think on their own. [40] :354 Nothing of importance would be retained and no abilities would be learned. [38] :62 He believed that learning through experience was superior to learning through the use of books. [39] For this reason he encouraged tutors to educate their students through practice, travel, and human interaction. In doing so, he argued that students would become active learners, who could claim knowledge for themselves.

Montaigne’s views on child education continue to have an influence in the present. Variations of Montaigne’s ideas on education are incorporated into modern learning in some ways. He argued against the popular way of teaching in his day, encouraging individualized learning. He believed in the importance of experience over book learning and memorization. Ultimately, Montaigne postulated that the point of education was to teach a student how to have a successful life by practising an active and socially interactive lifestyle. [40] :355

Student taking notes on Montaigne's Essays at Shimer College. Montaigne Scholarship student taking notes Shimer College 2011.jpg
Student taking notes on Montaigne's Essays at Shimer College.

Thinkers exploring similar ideas to Montaigne include Erasmus, Thomas More, and Guillaume Budé, who all worked about fifty years before Montaigne. [41] Many of Montaigne's Latin quotations are from Erasmus' Adagia , and most critically, all of his quotations from Socrates. Plutarch remains perhaps Montaigne's strongest influence, in terms of substance and style. [42] Montaigne's quotations from Plutarch in the Essays number well over 500. [43]

Ever since Edward Capell first made the suggestion in 1780, scholars have suggested Montaigne to be an influence on Shakespeare. [44] The latter would have had access to John Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essais, published in English in 1603, and a scene in The Tempest "follows the wording of Florio [translating Of Cannibals ] so closely that his indebtedness is unmistakable". [45] However, most parallels between the two can be explained as commonplaces: [44] as with Cervantes, Shakespeare's similarities with writers in other nations could be due simply to their simultaneous study of Latin moral and philosophical writers such as Seneca the Younger, Horace, Ovid and Virgil.

Much of Blaise Pascal's skepticism in his Pensées has been traditionally attributed to his reading Montaigne. [46]

The English essayist William Hazlitt expressed boundless admiration for Montaigne, exclaiming that "he was the first who had the courage to say as an author what he felt as a man. ... He was neither a pedant nor a bigot. ... In treating of men and manners, he spoke of them as he found them, not according to preconceived notions and abstract dogmas". [47] Beginning most overtly with the essays in the "familiar" style in his own Table-Talk , Hazlitt tried to follow Montaigne's example. [8]

Ralph Waldo Emerson chose "Montaigne; or, the Skeptic" as a subject of one of his series of lectures entitled Representative Men, alongside other subjects such as Shakespeare and Plato. In "The Skeptic" Emerson writes of his experience reading Montaigne, "It seemed to me as if I had myself written the book, in some former life, so sincerely it spoke to my thought and experience." Friedrich Nietzsche judged of Montaigne: "That such a man wrote has truly augmented the joy of living on this Earth". [48] Sainte-Beuve advises us that "to restore lucidity and proportion to our judgments, let us read every evening a page of Montaigne." [49]

The American philosopher Eric Hoffer employed Montaigne both stylistically and in thought. In Hoffer's memoir, Truth Imagined, he said of Montaigne, "He was writing about me. He knew my innermost thoughts." The British novelist John Cowper Powys expressed his admiration for Montaigne's philosophy in his books Suspended Judgements (1916) [50] and The Pleasures of Literature (1938). Judith N. Shklar introduces her book Ordinary Vices (1984), "It is only if we step outside the divinely ruled moral universe that we can really put our minds to the common ills we inflict upon one another each day. That is what Montaigne did and that is why he is the hero of this book. In spirit he is on every one of its pages..."

20th-century literary critic Erich Auerbach called Montaigne the first modern man. "Among all his contemporaries", writes Auerbach (Mimesis, Chapter 12), "he had the clearest conception of the problem of man's self-orientation; that is, the task of making oneself at home in existence without fixed points of support". [51]

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Philippe Desan is Howard L. Willett Professor of French and History of Culture at the University of Chicago. Originally from France, Dr. Desan is among the top Montaigne scholars alive today. He received his PhD from the University of California Davis (1984), and has published widely on several topics pertaining to the literature and culture of the French Renaissance, often in relation to their economic, political and sociological context. At the University of Chicago, he has served as Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division and as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. He is the general editor of the Montaigne Studies. He has been awarded numerous honors for his scholarly work, including being named Knight of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques (1994) and awarded the Ordre National du Mérite (2004) and the Ordre des Arts et Lettres (2011). He has also received the Prix de l'Académie Française in 2005, the Grand Prix de l'Académie Française for "le rayonnement de la langue et littérature française" in 2015 and the Prix de l'Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques for his "Montaigne. Une biographie politique" in 2015.

Pompeia Paulina

Pompeia Paulina was the wife of the statesman, philosopher, and orator Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and she was part of a circle of educated Romans who sought to lead a principled life under the emperor Nero. She was likely the daughter of Pompeius Paulinus, an eques from Arelate in Gaul. Seneca was the emperor's tutor and later became his political adviser and minister. In 65 CE Nero demanded that Seneca commit suicide, having accused Seneca of taking part in the Pisonian conspiracy against him. Paulina attempted to die with her husband, but survived the suicide attempt.

Jean de Sponde was a Baroque French poet.

Jean d'Espagnet was a French Renaissance polymath. He was a lawyer and politician, a mathematician and alchemist, an antiquarian, poet and friend of French literati.

François de La Mothe Le Vayer French philosopher

François de La Mothe Le Vayer, was a French writer who was known to use the pseudonym Orosius Tubero. He was admitted to the Académie française in 1639, and was the tutor of Louis XIV.

Jeanne de Lestonnac French saint

Jeanne de Lestonnac, O.D.N.,, alternately known as Joan of Lestonnac, was a Roman Catholic saint and foundress of the Sisters of the Company of Mary, Our Lady, in 1607. The new institute, approved by Paul V in 1607, was the first religious order of women-teachers approved by the Church. Her feast day is May 15.

The College of Guienne was a school founded in 1533 in Bordeaux. The collège became renowned for the teaching of liberal arts between the years 1537 and 1571, attracting students such as Michel de Montaigne.

How to Live, or a life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer, by Sarah Bakewell, was published by Chatto & Windus in 2010, and by Other Press on September 20, 2011. It is about the life of 16th century nobleman, wine grower, and essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne. In it, Bakewell "roughly maps out Montaigne's life against the questions he raises along the way," drawing the answers to these questions from his Essays.

Montaignes tower Montaignes tower

Montaigne's Tower is the southern tower of the Château de Montaigne, a historical monument located in the French département of Dordogne. The tower is the only vestige of the original sixteenth-century castle, since the other buildings had to be rebuilt following a fire in 1885.

References

  1. Robert P. Amico, The Problem of the Criterion, Rowman & Littlefield, 1995, p. 42. Primary source: Montaigne, Essais, II, 12: "Pour juger des apparences que nous recevons des subjets, il nous faudroit un instrument judicatoire ; pour verifier cet instrument, il nous y faut de la demonstration ; pour verifier la demonstration, un instrument : nous voilà au rouet [To judge of the appearances that we receive of subjects, we had need have a judicatorie instrument: to verifie this instrument we should have demonstration; and to approve demonstration, an instrument; thus are we ever turning round]" (transl. by Charles Cotton).
  2. Kurt Braatz, Friedrich Nietzsche: Eine Studie zur Theorie der Öffentlichen Meinung, Walter de Gruyter, 2011, p. 1.
  3. FT.com "Small Talk: José Saramago". "Everything I’ve read has influenced me in some way. Having said that, Kafka, Borges, Gogol, Montaigne, Cervantes are constant companions."
  4. "Montaigne". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary .
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Wikisource-logo.svg  Reynolds, Francis J., ed. (1921). "Montaigne, Michel, Seigneur"  . Collier's New Encyclopedia . New York: P.F. Collier & Son Company.
  6. His anecdotes are 'casual' only in appearance; Montaigne writes: 'Neither my anecdotes nor my quotations are always employed simply as examples, for authority, or for ornament...They often carry, off the subject under discussion, the seed of a richer and more daring matter, and they resonate obliquely with a more delicate tone,' Michel de Montaigne, Essais, Pléiade, Paris (ed. A. Thibaudet) 1937, Bk. 1, ch.40, p. 252 (tr. Charles Rosen)
  7. Buckley, Michael J., At the Origins of Modern Atheism, Yale UP, 1990, p. 69.
  8. 1 2 Kinnaird, John, William Hazlitt: Critic of Power, Columbia University Press, 1978, p. 274.
  9. from Truth Imagined, memoir by Eric Hoffer.
  10. Sophie Jama, L’Histoire Juive de Montaigne [The Jewish History of Montaigne], Paris, Flammarion, 2001, p. 76.
  11. "His mother was a Jewish Protestant, his father a Catholic who achieved wide culture as well as a considerable fortune." Civilization, Kenneth Clark, (Harper & Row: 1969), p. 161.
  12. Winkler, Emil (1942). "Zeitschrift für Französische Sprache und Literatur".
  13. Goitein, Denise R (2008). "Montaigne, Michel de". Encyclopaedia Judaica. The Gale Group. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
  14. Introduction: Montaigne's Life and Times, in Apology for Raymond Sebond, By Michel de Montaigne (Roger Ariew), (Hackett: 2003), p. iv: "Michel de Montaigne was born in 1533 at the chateau de Montagine (about 30 miles east of Bordeaux), the son of Pierre Eyquem, Seigneur de Montaigne, and Antoinette de Louppes (or Lopez), who came from a wealthy (originally Iberian) Jewish family".
  15. "...the family of Montaigne's mother, Antoinette de Louppes (Lopez) of Toulouse, was of Spanish Jewish origin...." The Complete Essays of Montaigne, Translated by Donald M. Frame, "Introduction," p. vii ff., Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1989 ISBN   0-8047-0486-4
  16. Popkin, Richard H (2003-03-20). The History of Scepticism: From Savonarola to Bayle. ISBN   9780195107678.
  17. Green, Toby (2009-03-17). Inquisition: The Reign of Fear. ISBN   9781429938532.
  18. Montaigne. Essays, III, 13
  19. Hutchins, Robert Maynard; Hazlitt, W. Carew, eds. (1952). The Essays of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne. Great Books of the Western World. twenty-five. Trans. Charles Cotton. Encyclopædia Britannica. p. v. He had his son awakened each morning by 'the sound of a musical instrument'
  20. Frame, Donald (translator). The Complete Essays of Montaigne. 1958. p. v.
  21. The New Yorker
  22. Archive.org
  23. Montaigne.univ-tours.fr
  24. As cited by Richard L. Regosin, ‘Montaigne and His Readers', in Denis Hollier (ed.) A New History of French Literature, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, London 1995, pp. 248–52, p. 249. The Latin original runs: 'An. Christi 1571 aet. 38, pridie cal. mart., die suo natali, Mich. Montanus, servitii aulici et munerum publicorum jamdudum pertaesus, dum se integer in doctarum virginum recessit sinus, ubi quietus et omnium securus (quan)tillum in tandem superabit decursi multa jam plus parte spatii: si modo fata sinunt exigat istas sedes et dulces latebras, avitasque, libertati suae, tranquillitatique, et otio consecravit.' as cited in Helmut Pfeiffer, 'Das Ich als Haushalt:Montaignes ökonomische Politik’, in Rudolf Behrens, Roland Galle (eds.) Historische Anthropologie und Literatur:Romanistische Beträge zu einem neuen Paradigma der Literaturwissenschaft, Königshausen und Neumann, Würzburg, 1995 pp. 69–90 p. 75
  25. Edward Chaney, The Evolution of the Grand Tour: Anglo-Italian Cultural Relations since the Renaissance, 2nd ed. (London, 2000), p. 89.
  26. Cazeaux, Guillaume (2015). Montaigne et la coutume [Montaigne and the custom]. Milan: Mimésis. ISBN   9788869760044. Archived from the original on 2015-10-30.
  27. Montaigne's Travel Journal, translated with an introduction by Donald M. Frame and foreword by Guy Davenport, San Francisco, 1983
  28. Treccani.it, L'encicolpedia Italiana, Dizionario Biografico. Accessed 10 August 2013
  29. Montaigne, Michel de, Essays of Michel de Montaigne, tr. Charles Cotton, ed. William Carew Hazlitt, 1877, "The Life of Montaigne" in v. 1. n.p., Kindle edition.
  30. "The Autobiography of Michel De Montaign", translated, introduced, and edited by Marvin Lowenthal, David R. Godine Publishing, p. 165
  31. "Biographical Note", Encyclopædia Britannica "Great Books of the Western World", Vol. 25, p. vi "Montaigne"
  32. Bakewell, Sarah. How to Live – or – A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer (2010), pp. 325–26, 365 n. 325.
  33. http://www.u-bordeaux-montaigne.fr/en/university/discover-bordeaux-montaigne.html
  34. "Titi Lucretii Cari De rerum natura libri sex (Montaigne.1.4.4)". Cambridge Digital Library. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  35. Bloom, Harold. The Western Canon.
  36. Bakewell, Sarah (2010). How to live : a life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer. London: Vintage. p. 280. ISBN   9780099485155.
  37. 1 2 King, Brett; Viney, Wayne; Woody, William.A History of Psychology: Ideas and Context, 4th ed., Pearson Education, Inc. 2009, p. 112.
  38. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Hall, Michael L. Montaigne's Uses of Classical Learning. "Journal of Education" 1997, Vol. 179 Issue 1, p. 61
  39. 1 2 Ediger, Marlow. Influence of ten leading educators on American education.Education Vol. 118, Issue 2, p. 270
  40. 1 2 3 Worley, Virginia. Painting With Impasto: Metaphors, Mirrors, and Reflective Regression in Montagne's 'Of the Education of Children.' Educational Theory, June 2012, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p. 343–70.
  41. Friedrich, Hugo; Desan, Philippe (1991). Montaigne. ISBN   9780520072534.
  42. Friedrich 1991, p. 71.
  43. Billault, Alain (2002). "Plutarch's Lives". In Gerald N. Sandy. The Classical Heritage in France. p. 226. ISBN   9789004119161.
  44. 1 2 Olivier, T. (1980). "Shakespeare and Montaigne: A Tendency of Thought". Theoria. 54: 43–59.
  45. Harmon, Alice (1942). "How Great Was Shakespeare's Debt to Montaigne?". PMLA . 57 (4): 988–1008. JSTOR   458873.
  46. Eliot, Thomas Stearns (1958). Introduction to Pascal's Essays. New York: E. P. Dutton and Co. p. viii.
  47. Quoted from Hazlitt's "On the Periodical Essayists" in Park, Roy, Hazlitt and the Spirit of the Age, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1971, pp. 172–73.
  48. Nietzsche, Untimely Meditations, Chapter 3, "Schopenhauer as Educator", Cambridge University Press, 1988, p. 135
  49. Sainte-Beuve, "Montaigne", "Literary and Philosophical Essays", Ed. Charles W. Eliot, New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1938.
  50. Powys, John Cowper (1916). Suspended Judgments. New York: G.A. Shaw. p. 17.
  51. Auerbach, Erich, Mimesis: Representations of Reality in Western Literature', Princeton UP, 1974, p. 311

Further reading