Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Michel de
Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
1533
1592

French Renaissance Writer, Moralist, Essayist, Father of Modern Skepticism

Author Quotes

Man is always inclined to regard the small circle in which he lives as the center of the world and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe and to make his particular, private life the standard of the universe. But he must give up this vain pretense, this petty provincial way of thinking and judging.

I am afraid that our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, and that we have more curiosity than understanding. We grasp at everything, but catch nothing except wind.

To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way clean contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more often in mind than death... We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere.

To compose our character is our duty, not to compose books, and to win, not battles and provinces, but order and tranquility in our conduct. Our great and glorious masterpiece is to live appropriately. All other things, ruling, hoarding, building, are only little appendages and props, at most.

Learned we may be with another man's learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.

Your self-condemnation is always accredited, your self-praise discredited.

You have to study a great deal to know a little.

Wonder is the foundation of all philosophy, research is the means of all learning, and ignorance is the end.

Within the child lies the fate of the future.

Wherever your life ends, it is all there. The advantage of living is not measured by length, but by use; some men have lived long, and lived little; attend to it while you are in it. It lies in your will, not in the number of years, for you to have lived enough.

What I have learned bears no other fruit than to make me realize how much I still have to learn.

What greater vanity can there be, than to go about by our proportions and conjectures to guess at God? And to govern both him, and the world according to our capacity and laws?

We only labor to stuff the memory, and leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void.

We must push against a door to find out whether it is bolted or not.

We must not attach knowledge to the mind, we have to incorporate it there.

We can be knowledgeable with other men's knowledge, but we cannot be wise with other men's wisdom.

We believe nothing so firmly as what we least know.

We are born to inquire into truth; it belongs to a greater to possess it.

Virtue has no need of limits.

Truly man is a marvelously vain, diverse, and undulating object. It is hard to found any constant and uniform judgment on him.

To philosophize is to doubt.

Those who have likened our life to a dream were more right, by chance, than they realized. We are awake while sleeping, and waking sleep.

This world is a most holy Temple, into which man is brought there to behold Statues and Images, not wrought by mortal hands, but such as by the secret thought of God hath made sensible, as intelligible unto us.

Things are not bad in themselves, but our cowardice makes them so.

There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing, and thought it time well spent.

Author Picture
First Name
Michel de
Last Name
Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
Birth Date
1533
Death Date
1592
Bio

French Renaissance Writer, Moralist, Essayist, Father of Modern Skepticism