<biography, history of philosophy> french humanist (1533-1592) whose motto was "Que sais-je?" ("What do I know?"). Montaigne's Essais (Essays) (1580, 1588) drew attention to the vain pretensions of human rationality and thereby revived modern interest in classical skepticism, against which Descartes tried to argue. Recommended Reading: Hugo Friedrich, Montaigne, tr. by Dawn Eng (California, 1991); Craig B. Brush, From the Perspective of the Self: Montaigne's Self-Portrait (Fordham, 1994); Montaigne's Message and Method, ed. by Dikka Berven (Garland, 1995); and Marcel Tetel, Montaigne (Twayne, 1990).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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