Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary 2019 year

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Experiences (Les Essais) - Philosophical essay (book 1-2-1580, book 3-1588)

The first book is preceded by an appeal to the reader, where Montaigne claims that he did not seek fame and did not seek to profit - it is primarily a "sincere book", but intended for relatives and friends, so that they could revive its appearance and character when it comes the time for separation is already very close.
BOOK I (1-57)
Chapter 1. Different ways can be achieved by the same thing. "The astonishingly void, truly inconsistent and ever-fluctuating being - man."
The sovereign's heart can be tempered with submissiveness. But there are examples where exactly opposite qualities - courage and hardness - led to the same result. Thus, Eduard, the Prince of Wales, captured Limoges, remained deaf to the prayers of women and children, but spared the city, admiring the courage of the three French nobles. Emperor Conrad III forgave the defeated Duke of Bavaria, when the noble ladies took out of the besieged fortress on their shoulders of their husbands. Montaigne speaks of himself as being influenced by both methods - but by nature he is so inclined to mercy that he would rather disarm him, although the Stoics consider this feeling worthy of condemnation.
Chapter 14. That our perception of good and evil depends to a large extent on the idea we have about them. "Anyone who suffers for a long time is guilty of it himself."
Sufferings are generated by reason. People consider death and poverty to be their worst enemies; meanwhile, there are a lot of examples where death was the highest blessing and the only refuge. It has often happened that man retained the greatest presence of the spirit in the face of death and, like Socrates, drank for the health of his friends. When Louis XI captured Arras, many were hanged for refusing to shout "Long live the king!". Even such low hearts, like jokes, do not refuse to hold out before the execution. And even if it comes to beliefs, they are often defended at the cost of life, and each religion has its martyrs - so, during the Greek-Turkish wars, many preferred to die tormenting death, not to be subjected to the rite of baptism. Death is precisely because of reason, because it separates from life only an instant. Easy to see that the strength of the action of the mind intensifies the suffering, - the surgeon's razor surge feels stronger than a blow strike, obtained in the heat of battle. And women are ready to endure incredible agony, if they are sure that this will benefit their beauty - everyone has heard about a Parisian person who ordered to squeeze out the skin in the hope that the new will get a more fresh look. The idea of things is great power. Alexander the Great and Caesar strove for dangers with much greater zeal than others for security and peace. Not necessity, but abundance generates greed in people. In the validity of this assertion, Montin was convinced of his own experience. He lived for about twenty years, having only occasional means, but spent money merrily and carelessly. Then he got his savings, and he began to postpone the surplus, losing peace of mind in return. Fortunately, a kind genius uttered all this nonsense from his head, and he completely forgot about the episcopacy - and now lives in a pleasant, orderly way, measuring his incomes with costs. Anyone can do the same, because everyone lives well or poorly depending on what he thinks about it himself. And nothing can help a person if he does not have the courage to suffer death and endure life.
BOOK II (1-37)
Chapter 12. The apology of Raimund Sabundsky. "The saliva of a lousy mongrel, spattering the hand of Socrates, can destroy all his wisdom, all his great and profound ideas, and destroy them without leaving a trace of his former knowledge."
Man attributes to himself a great power and imagines himself as the center of the universe. So one could argue with a silly gourse that supposes that the sun and the stars shine only for him, and people are born to serve and care for him. By the vanity of imagination, man equates himself with God, while he lives among the dust and impurities. At any moment, he curses death, which he can not fight with. This pathetic creature is not able to control itself, however, it is craving to rule the universe. God is totally incomprehensible to the grains of reason that man possesses. Moreover, the rationale is not allowed to embrace the real world, for everything in it is inconsistent and variably. And according to the ability of perception, a person gives way even to an animal: one surpasses his vision, others are rumored, others - a sense of smell. Perhaps, the person in general is deprived of several feelings, but in ignorance it does not suspect it. In addition, abilities depend on bodily changes: for the patient the taste of wine is not the one that for healthy, and thrown fingers otherwise perceive the hardness of the tree. Sensations are largely determined by change and mood - in anger or in joy, one and the same feeling can be manifested differently. Finally, assessments are changing with the passage of time: what yesterday seemed to be true is now considered false, and vice versa. Montaigne himself has repeatedly been able to maintain an opinion opposite to his own, and he found such convincing arguments that he refused the old judgment. In his own writings, he sometimes can not find the original meaning, he thinks about what he wanted to say, and makes corrections that may spoil and distort the plan. So the mind is either marking time, or wandering and rushing about, not finding a way out.
Chapter 17. About doubt. "Everyone looks at what is before him; I'm looking at myself."
People create an exaggerated notion of their dignity - it is based on a frivolous love for oneself. Of course, you should not humiliate yourself, because the sentence must be fair, Montaigne notices his inclination to underestimate the true value of his belonging and, on the contrary, to exaggerate the value of everything else. He is attracted to the state structure and manners of distant peoples. Latin, with all its merits, gives him greater reverence than she deserves. Having succeeded in dealing with some business, he attributes it to luck rather than his own ability. Therefore, among the statements of the ancients about man, he most readily accepts the most irreconcilable, considering that the purpose of philosophy is to convey human conceit and vanity. He considers himself a mediocre person, and his only difference is that he is that he clearly sees all his flaws and does not invent excuses for them. Montaigne envy those who are able to rejoice at the work of their own hands, for their own writings cause him only anger. The French language is rough and careless, and the Latin, which he once possessed perfectly, lost its former glitter. Any story gets under his feather dry and dull - there is no skill in him to cheer or inspire the imagination. Equally, it does not suit its own appearance, but beauty is a great force that helps in communicating between people. Aristotle writes that Indians and Ethiopians, while choosing kings, always paid attention to growth and beauty - and they were perfectly right, for a tall, mighty leader inspires the subjects a reverence, and frightens the enemies. Not satisfied with Montaigne and his mental qualities, rebuking oneself primarily for laziness and heaviness. Even those features of his character, which can not be called bad, in this age are completely useless: complacency and dependency will be called weakness and cowardice, honesty and conscientiousness will be considered absurdly scrupulous and prejudiced. However, there are some advantages in the spoiled time, when it is prayed without much effort to become the embodiment of virtue: who did not kill his father and did not rob the churches, the man is already honest and honestly honest. Next to the ancient Montaigne, he seems to be a pygmy, but in comparison with people of his age, he is ready to recognize the unusual and rare qualities for himself, for he would never give in to his convictions for the sake of success, and he feeds on the fierce hatred of the newfangled virtues of pretense. In communicating with the power of those who possess it, he prefers to be dull and immodest, than a flatterer and pretender, because he does not have a flexible mind to poke at a straightforward question, and his memory is too weak to keep the distorted truth-in short, it can be called bravery of weakness. He is able to defend certain views, but he is not capable of choosing them - there are always many arguments in favor of all opinions. And yet he does not like to change his opinions, because in opposite judgments he finds the same weak points. And he appreciates himself for what others will never admit, since nobody wants to be considered stupid, his judgments about himself are ordinary and old as the world. Everyone is waiting for praise for the liveliness and speed of mind, but Montaigne prefers to be praised for the rigor of opinions and morals. to keep the distorted truth, in short, it can be called bravery of weakness. He is able to defend certain views, but he is not capable of choosing them - there are always many arguments in favor of all opinions. And yet he does not like to change his opinions, because in opposite judgments he finds the same weak points. And he appreciates himself for what others will never admit, since nobody wants to be considered stupid, his judgments about himself are ordinary and old as the world. Everyone is waiting for praise for the liveliness and speed of mind, but Montaigne prefers to be praised for the rigor of opinions and morals. to keep the distorted truth, in short, it can be called bravery of weakness. He is able to defend certain views, but he is not capable of choosing them - there are always many arguments in favor of all opinions. And yet he does not like to change his opinions, because in opposite judgments he finds the same weak points. And he appreciates himself for what others will never admit, since nobody wants to be considered stupid, his judgments about himself are ordinary and old as the world. Everyone is waiting for praise for the liveliness and speed of mind, but Montaigne prefers to be praised for the rigor of opinions and morals. And yet he does not like to change his opinions, because in opposite judgments he finds the same weak points. And he appreciates himself for what others will never admit, since nobody wants to be considered stupid, his judgments about himself are ordinary and old as the world. Everyone is waiting for praise for the liveliness and speed of mind, but Montaigne prefers to be praised for the rigor of opinions and morals. And yet he does not like to change his opinions, because in opposite judgments he finds the same weak points. And he appreciates himself for what others will never admit, since nobody wants to be considered stupid, his judgments about himself are ordinary and old as the world. Everyone is waiting for praise for the liveliness and speed of mind, but Montaigne prefers to be praised for the rigor of opinions and morals.
BOOK III (1-13)
Chapter 13. About the experience. "There is nothing more beautiful and worthy of approval than to properly fulfill his human purpose."
There is no more natural desire than the thirst for knowledge. And when one lacks the ability to think, a person turns to experience. But the endless variety and variability of things. For example, in France there are more laws than in the rest of the world, but it only led to the fact that possibilities for arbitrariness were infinitely widened - it would be better if there were no laws at all, than such abundance. And even the French language, so convenient in all other occasions of life, becomes dark and unrecognizable in treaties or wills. In general, from the many interpretations the truth is split up and dissipated. The most wise laws establish nature, and it should be trusted in the simplest way - in essence, there is nothing better than ignorance and unwillingness to know. It is preferable to understand yourself well than Cicero. In Caesar's life there are not so many instructive examples. how much in our own. Apollo, the god of knowledge and light, wrote at the front of his temple the "Know Yourself" call - and this is the most comprehensive advice that he could give to people. Studying herself, Montaigne learned to understand other people fairly well, and his friends were often amazed at the fact that he understood their life circumstances far better than themselves. But there are few people who can hear the truth about themselves, not offended or insulted. Montaigne sometimes asked what activities he feels fit, and he sincerely replied that he was not fit for anything. And he even enjoyed it because he could not do anything that could turn him into a slave of another person. However, Montaigne would have been able to tell his master the truth about himself and outline his temper, wholly refuting the flatteries. For the rulers infinitely spoil the surrounding bastard, even Alexander, the great emperor and thinker, was completely defenseless before the flood. Equally and for health, Montaigne's bodily experience is extremely useful, as it appears in pure, not spoiled medical tricks. Tiberius quite rightly argued that after twenty years everyone should understand that it is harmful to him and that is useful, and, consequently, to do without doctors. The patient should adhere to the usual way of life and their usual food - sharp changes are always painful. It is necessary to consider with the desires and inclinations, differently one trouble will have to be treated with the help of another. If you drink only spring water, if you deprive yourself of movement, of air, of light, is it worth living such a price? People tend to believe that only unpleasant is useful, and everything which is not painful, it seems suspicious for them. But the body itself makes the right decision. In his youth, Montaigne loved spicy condiments and sauces, when they began to harm the stomach, they instantly fell in love with them. Experience teaches that people are destroying themselves impatiently, while the illness has a strictly defined fate, and they are given a certain period too. Montaigne completely agrees with Krantor that it is not necessary to recklessly resist the illness or to obey him without any effort - let it follow the natural course depending on the properties of his own and the human. And the mind will always come to the rescue: yes, Montaigne suggests that stones in the kidneys are just a tribute to old age, for all the bodies have already had time to weaken and ruin. In essence, Montaigne's atonement is very soft - it's a truly paternal punishment. She came late and tortured at that age, which in itself is barren. There is another advantage in this disease - there is nothing to be foreseen here, while other illnesses are overwhelmed by anxiety and excitement due to the obscurity of causes. Let a large stone torment and tear the tissues of the kidneys, even though some blood and urine flow out of life as unnecessary and even harmful impurities, at the same time you can experience something like a pleasant feeling. Do not need to be afraid of suffering, otherwise you will have to suffer from the fear itself. With the thought of death, the main consolation is that the phenomenon is natural and just, who dare to demand for himself grace in this regard? Everything should take an example from Socrates, who was able to endlessly endure hunger, poverty, disobedience to children, the wicked nature of his wife, and eventually took slander, oppression, dungeon, shackles and poison. while other illnesses are overwhelmed by anxiety and excitement due to obscurity of causes. Let a large stone torment and tear the tissues of the kidneys, even though some blood and urine flow out of life as unnecessary and even harmful impurities, at the same time you can experience something like a pleasant feeling. Do not need to be afraid of suffering, otherwise you will have to suffer from the fear itself. With the thought of death, the main consolation is that the phenomenon is natural and just, who dare to demand for himself grace in this regard? Everything should take an example from Socrates, who was able to endlessly endure hunger, poverty, disobedience to children, the wicked nature of his wife, and eventually took slander, oppression, dungeon, shackles and poison. while other illnesses are overwhelmed by anxiety and excitement due to obscurity of causes. Let a large stone torment and tear the tissues of the kidneys, even though some blood and urine flow out of life as unnecessary and even harmful impurities, at the same time you can experience something like a pleasant feeling. Do not need to be afraid of suffering, otherwise you will have to suffer from the fear itself. With the thought of death, the main consolation is that the phenomenon is natural and just, who dare to demand for himself grace in this regard? Everything should take an example from Socrates, who was able to endlessly endure hunger, poverty, disobedience to children, the wicked nature of his wife, and eventually took slander, oppression, dungeon, shackles and poison. let some of the blood and urine flow out of life as unnecessary and even harmful impurities - at the same time you can feel something like a pleasant feeling. Do not need to be afraid of suffering, otherwise you will have to suffer from the fear itself. With the thought of death, the main consolation is that the phenomenon is natural and just, who dare to demand for himself grace in this regard? Everything should take an example from Socrates, who was able to endlessly endure hunger, poverty, disobedience to children, the wicked nature of his wife, and eventually took slander, oppression, dungeon, shackles and poison. let some of the blood and urine flow out of life as unnecessary and even harmful impurities - at the same time you can feel something like a pleasant feeling. Do not need to be afraid of suffering, otherwise you will have to suffer from the fear itself. With the thought of death, the main consolation is that the phenomenon is natural and just, who dare to demand for himself grace in this regard? Everything should take an example from Socrates, who was able to endlessly endure hunger, poverty, disobedience to children, the wicked nature of his wife, and eventually took slander, oppression, dungeon, shackles and poison. - who dares to claim grace in this regard? Everything should take an example from Socrates, who was able to endlessly endure hunger, poverty, disobedience to children, the wicked nature of his wife, and eventually took slander, oppression, dungeon, shackles and poison. - who dares to claim grace in this regard? Everything should take an example from Socrates, who was able to endlessly endure hunger, poverty, disobedience to children, the wicked nature of his wife, and eventually took slander, oppression, dungeon, shackles and poison.