Later his remains were moved to the church of Saint Antoine at Bordeaux.
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The church no longer exists: it became the Convent des Feuillants , which also has disappeared. His heart is preserved in the parish church of Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne. His humanism finds expression in his Essais , a collection of a large number of short subjective essays on various topics published in that were inspired by his studies in the classics, especially by the works of Plutarch and Lucretius. Montaigne's writings are studied as literature and philosophy around the world.
Inspired by his consideration of the lives and ideals of the leading figures of his age, he finds the great variety and volatility of human nature to be its most basic features. He describes his own poor memory, his ability to solve problems and mediate conflicts without truly getting emotionally involved, his disdain for the human pursuit of lasting fame, and his attempts to detach himself from worldly things to prepare for his timely death. He writes about his disgust with the religious conflicts of his time. He believed that humans are not able to attain true certainty.
The longest of his essays, Apology for Raymond Sebond , marking his adoption of Pyrrhonism contains his famous motto, "What do I know? Montaigne considered marriage necessary for the raising of children, but disliked strong feelings of passionate love because he saw them as detrimental to freedom.
In education, he favored concrete examples and experience over the teaching of abstract knowledge intended to be accepted uncritically. The Essais exercised an important influence on both French and English literature, in thought and style. Although not a scientist, Montaigne made observations on topics in psychology. His thoughts and ideas covered topics such as thought, motivation, fear, happiness, child education , experience, and human action.
Child education was among the psychological topics that he wrote about. He believed it was necessary to educate children in a variety of ways.
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He also disagreed with the way information was being presented to students. It was being presented in a way that encouraged students to take the information that was taught to them as absolute truth. Students were denied the chance to question the information. Therefore, students could not truly learn. Montaigne believed that, to learn truly, a student had to take the information and make it their own. At the foundation Montaigne believed that the selection of a good tutor was important for the student to become well educated.
The tutor also should allow for discussions and debates to be had.
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Such a dialogue was intended to create an environment in which students would teach themselves. They would be able to realize their mistakes and make corrections to them as necessary. Individualized learning was integral to his theory of child education. He argued that the student combines information already known with what is learned and forms a unique perspective on the newly learned information. Experience also was a key element to learning for Montaigne.
Tutors needed to teach students through experience rather than through the mere memorization of information often practised in book learning.
In doing so, he argued that students would become active learners, who could claim knowledge for themselves. He argued against the popular way of teaching in his day, encouraging individualized learning. He believed in the importance of experience, over book learning and memorization. Ultimately, Montaigne postulated that the point of education was to teach a student how to have a successful life by practising an active and socially interactive lifestyle.
Plutarch remains perhaps Montaigne's strongest influence, in terms of substance and style. Ever since Edward Capell first made the suggestion in , scholars have suggested Montaigne to be an influence on Shakespeare.
The English essayist William Hazlitt expressed boundless admiration for Montaigne, exclaiming that "he was the first who had the courage to say as an author what he felt as a man. He was neither a pedant nor a bigot. In treating of men and manners, he spoke of them as he found them, not according to preconceived notions and abstract dogmas". Ralph Waldo Emerson chose "Montaigne; or, the Skeptic" as a subject of one of his series of lectures entitled, Representative Men , alongside other subjects such as Shakespeare and Plato. In "The Skeptic" Emerson writes of his experience reading Montaigne, "It seemed to me as if I had myself written the book, in some former life, so sincerely it spoke to my thought and experience.
The American philosopher Eric Hoffer employed Montaigne both stylistically and in thought. He knew my innermost thoughts. Judith N. Shklar introduces her book Ordinary Vices , "It is only if we step outside the divinely ruled moral universe that we can really put our minds to the common ills we inflict upon one another each day. That is what Montaigne did and that is why he is the hero of this book. In spirit he is on every one of its pages Twentieth-century literary critic Erich Auerbach called Montaigne the first modern man.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Australian singer-songwriter, see Montaigne musician.
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