Descartes & Montaigne

Did you see The Choice last night? You need to.

And then today in CoPhi you need to think about choosing Descartes or Montaigne. I’m with Michel.

Poor Rene Descartes, a night person summoned by the Queen of Sweden to give her a daily pre-dawn philosophy tutorial. It killed him. “Most philosophers since Descartes have attached importance to the theory of knowledge,” says Russell, and his cogito “makes mind more certain than matter, and my mind (for me) more certain” than yours. It makes thinking more certain than being.

He hadn’t read or been impressed by his counterpart Michel de Montaigne, evidently. Que sais je? I know nothing firm enough to form a foundation for the edifice of certain knowledge, and neither do you; but we know, thanks to Montaigne, how to write an essay, how to get back on our horse after a spill, and how to live in “large and fruitful disorder.”

And then he died, six months short of his sixtieth birthday “in dumb silence.” He would undoubtedly have have appreciated the irony.

6 am/6:42, 50/84, 6:33
CoPhi

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