PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Edition of Montaigne's Essays with coloured portrait frontis. Michel de Montaigne (28 February 1533 â 13 September 1592). Philosopher and aristocrat of the French Renaissance. His "Essays" had a direct influence on scientists and philosophers and psychologists across hundreds of years, including Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Albert Hirschman, William Hazlitt, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzsche, Stefan Zweig, Eric Hoffer and even Isaac Asimov. Montaigne's remark, "Que scay-je?" ("What do I know?") embodied the spirit of doubt at once in one's own perception and observation, - while at the same time regarding it as the only thing to depend on. He had very forward looking views on how a child's curiosity can be harnessed for education by experience rather than rote learning. The 'Essays' is still an insightful read even today.
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