During this week in 1533, Michel de Montaigne was born in Guyenne, France. One of the great Renaissance thinkers of his day, Montaigne’s work inspired many canonical philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche. He also contributed to the fields of politics, literature, education, and psychology through his various writings and activities (as diplomat and statesman, among other things).
Although some of Montaigne’s claims have been surpassed, disproved, or rendered irrelevant, a quick search through any scholastic database shows that thinkers throughout the humanities still find it useful to reflect on what he said. His thoughts on what it means to be human, how children learn, and the relationship individuals have to their surroundings regularly influence our daily actions. In honor of Montaigne’s 484th birthday, I present some of the most interesting work that’s been done on him in the last couple of years.
- Ann Hartle, “’Sociable Wisdom: Montaigne’s Transformation of Philosophy,” Philosophy & Literature, October 2015.
- James Ramsey Wallen, “’Our Natural and Original Illness’: Tracking the Human/Animal Distinction in Montaigne and Nietzsche,” Comparative Literature Studies, 2015.
- Timothy Harrison, “Personhood and Impersonal Feeling in Montaigne’s ‘De l’exercitation’,” Modern Philology, November 2016.
- David Halpin, “Essaying and Reflective Practice in Education: The Legacy of Michel de Montaigne,” Journal of Philosophy of Education, February 2015.
- James Miller, “Rousseau and Montaigne,” Raritan, Spring2014.
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