Michel de Montaigne

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Michel de Montaigne Essay Assignment Michel de Montaigne is described as an influential French Renaissance writer. In his philosophical work, the Essays, are very truthful and personal, as he takes mankind and especially himself as the object of study. He was known as a skeptic and a humanist. Most of the people who read his Essays’ often use his quotes to support his Humanism and Neo-Platonism philosophies. I have chosen several quotes that are still very popular today to describe his philosophies which were greatly influenced by Raymond Sebond. Sebond claimed in his book Natural Theology that ‘human reason could comprehend the nature of the universe and establish the existence and nature of God.’ In The Apology for Raymond Sebond is an essay attacking human knowledge as ‘presumptuous and arrogant,’ and suggests that self knowledge could result only from awareness of how ignorant you are. “A man must be a little mad if he does not want to be even more stupid. Book III, ch. 9. “Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself.” Montaigne's humanism approach attacks human pretension by claiming human beings' abilities are not impressive compared to those of animals. “It is true that, in all things, if Nature does not lend a hand art and industry do not progress very far.” “When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?” Although Montaigne constantly attacked man's presumption, arrogance and pride, he nonetheless held the highest view of the dignity of man, in keeping with the dignity of nature. “If you don't know how to die, don't worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don't bother your head about” As a Humanists, Montaigne recognizes that it is only when people feel free to think for themselves, using reason as their guide, that
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