Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
An Apology for Raymond Sebond (Penguin Classics)
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The answer could be expressed as the saying for which Montaigne is most famous: "Que scais-je?" or "What do I know?" Reason may be what separates man from the animals, but what benefit has man derived from it? Is he any happier for it? Is he any closer to the ultimate truth?
As one who has loved the _Essaies_ (French for "attempts") for many years, my advice to readers is to take them a little at a time. Don't be put off by all the quotes from Classical Antiquity. This was, after all, the Renaissance; and Montaigne was, like many of his contemporaries, delighted to see reflections of his thoughts in the writings of the Greeks and Romans. (Rabelais in _Gargantua and Pantagruel_ did the same thing.) Many of those quotes are interesting enough to make we want to follow up on Lucretius, Cicero, Marcus Manilius, and others whose names predominate through the essay.
Montaigne had the motto "Que scais-je?" inscribed on the walls of the tower on his property. He was the ultimate skeptic, but (forgive the pun) he essayed to explain his thoughts more thoroughly, perhaps, than any man who ever lived. I heartily suggest you read this, and follow it up with a reading of his greatest essay, "Of Experience."
On the doom or dumber question, we can find, "Philosophy in general agrees that there is an ultimate remedy to be prescribed for every kind of trouble: namely, ending our life if we find it intolerable." (p. 62). This is associated with, "As the Greeks said at their banquets: `Let him drink or be off! (Aut bibat, aut abeat!Read more ›