Maarten Maartensz:    Philosophical Dictionary | Filosofisch Woordenboek                      

 M - Montaigne


Michel Eyquem de Montaigne:

(1533-1592) French skeptical philosopher and essayist, and a great writer and great mind.  His motto was 'Que sais-je?' i.e. 'What do I know?'.

There is a beautiful English translation of his Essays in three volumes in 'Everyman's Library', that was made by John Florio shortly after 1600, that Shakespeare also is supposed to have read.

The French edition of Montaigne's Essaies in the Pleiade-edition that I have has the serious shortcoming of not containing Etienne de la Boétie's 'Discours de la Service Volontaire' - in English: 'Discourse on voluntary slavery' - that explains man's usual totalitarianism very well and perceptively. De la Boétie was Montaigne's friend, and died young, but he was very smart, wrote very well, and it was Montaigne's express desire that this work was to be included in his own Essaies.


See also: Skepticism



 Original: Apr 15, 2005                                                Last edited: 12 December 2011.   Top