September 13: Michel de Montaigne died in 1592

Montaigne

“The most certain sign of wisdom is cheerfulness. ”
― Michel de Montaigne

Wikipedia:

Born Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
28 February 1533
Château de Montaigne, Guyenne, France
Died 13 September 1592 (aged 59)
Château de Montaigne, Guyenne, France
Religion Roman Catholic
Era Renaissance philosophy
Region Western Philosophy
School Renaissance humanism
Renaissance skepticism
Notable ideas
The essay,
Montaigne’s wheel argument
Signature
Unterschrift des Michel de Montaigne.png

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592) was one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre. His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes and autobiography with serious intellectual insight; his massive volume Essais (translated literally as “Attempts” or “Trials”) contains some of the most influential essays ever written. Montaigne had a direct influence on writers all over the world, including Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albert Hirschman, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer, Isaac Asimov, and possibly on the later works of William Shakespeare.

In his own lifetime, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, ‘I am myself the matter of my book’, was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne would come to be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt which began to emerge at that time. He is most famously known for his skeptical remark, “Que sçay-je?” (“What do I know?”, in Middle French; directly rendered Que sais-je? in modern French). Remarkably modern even to readers today, Montaigne’s attempt to examine the world through the lens of the only thing he can depend on implicitly—his own judgment—makes him more accessible to modern readers than any other author of the Renaissance. Much of modern literary non-fiction has found inspiration in Montaigne and writers of all kinds continue to read him for his masterful balance of intellectual knowledge and personal storytelling.

PHILOSOPHY – Montaigne

Montaigne on Self-Esteem – Philosophy: A Guide to Happiness:

Quotes

“On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our own bottom.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“I do not care so much what I am to others as I care what I am to myself.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“I quote others only in order the better to express myself.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“When I am attacked by gloomy thoughts, nothing helps me so much as running to my books. They quickly absorb me and banish the clouds from my mind.”
― Michel de Montaigne, Les Essais

“He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“Learned we may be with another man’s learning: we can only be wise with wisdom of our own.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“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.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“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.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly.”
― Michel de Montaigne

Obsession is the wellspring of genius and madness.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“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.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.”
― Michel de Montaigne, Montaigne: Essays

“My art and profession is to live.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“I speak the truth, not so much as I would, but as much as I dare; and I dare a little more as I grow older.”
― Michel de Montaigne

“The greater part of the world’s troubles are due to questions of grammar.”
― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays

“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 practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
― Michel de Montaigne

Montaigne 2

August 19: Blaise Pascal died in 1662

blaise pascal

“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
― Blaise Pascal

wikipedia:

Born 19 June 1623
Clermont-Ferrand,
Auvergne, France
Died 19 August 1662 (aged 39)
Paris, France
Residence France
Nationality French
Religion Roman Catholic
Era 17th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
School
Main interests
  • Theology
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
Notable ideas

Blaise Pascal (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662) was a French mathematician,physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector inRouen. Pascal’s earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.

In 1642, while still a teenager, he started some pioneering work on calculating machines. After three years of effort and fifty prototypes, he built 20 finished machines (called Pascal’s calculators and later Pascalines) over the following ten years, establishing him as one of the first two inventors of the mechanical calculator.

Pascal was an important mathematician, helping create two major new areas of research: he wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of 16, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. Following Galileo and Torricelli, in 1646, he refutedAristotle’s followers who insisted that nature abhors a vacuum. Pascal’s results caused many disputes before being accepted.

In 1646, he and his sister Jacqueline identified with the religious movement within Catholicism known by its detractors as Jansenism. His father died in 1651. Following a religious experience in late 1654, he began writing influential works on philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Pensées, the former set in the conflict between Jansenists and Jesuits. In that year, he also wrote an important treatise on the arithmetical triangle. Between 1658 and 1659 he wrote on the cycloid and its use in calculating the volume of solids.

Pascal had poor health, especially after his 18th year, and his death came just two months after his 39th birthday.

Unsung Philosophers: Blaise Pascal – Nice tribute from youtube

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) Pensées (from philosophybites.com)

Quotes

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.”
(Letter 16, 1657)”
― Blaise Pascal, The Provincial Letters

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

“I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise.”
― Blaise Pascal

“Kind words don’t cost much. Yet they accomplish much.”
― Blaise Pascal

“You always admire what you really don’t understand.”
― Blaise Pascal

“I lay it down as a fact that if all men knew what others say of them, there would not be four friends in the world.”
― Blaise Pascal

“People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.”
― Blaise Pascal, De l’art de persuader

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”
― Blaise Pascal

“All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views. The will never takes the least step but to this object. This is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”
― Blaise Pascal

“When one does not love too much, one does not love enough.”
― Blaise Pascal

“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

“Man’s sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder.”
― Blaise Pascal

“It is man’s natural sickness to believe that he possesses the truth.”
― Blaise Pascal

“The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.”
― Blaise Pascal, Pensées

“If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural. If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous . . . There are two equally dangerous extremes: to exclude reason, to admit nothing but reason.”
Blaise Pascal, Pensées

800px-Blaise_Pascal_Versailles