Sebond’s reasons are weak. II. Responses to the first objection () i. Reason may be used to support the truths that faith reveals () ii. Faith has not been. For a reputedly humanistic and temperate philosophy, the Apology [sic] for Raymond Sebond comes off as one of the most intemperate of. Complete summary of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne’s Apology for Raymond Sebond. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Apology for.
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Apology for Raymond Sebond | work by Montaigne |
He works himself into a frenzy of attack against all claims and pretenses of human reason, proclaiming their impotence against the works of Raymknd and fate. He quotes the Roman astrologer Manilius in tandem with Lucretius to emphasize the hopeless fatalism that is driving him. His contempt from constructive philosophy from Plato to Aristotle to his time builds, until he is even attacking the Pyrrhonists for the hubris of their claim to not knowing anything:.
Ignorance that knows itself, that judges itself and condemns itself, is not complete ignorance: So the profession of the Pyrrhonians is to waver, doubt, and inquire, to be sure of nothing, to answer for nothing.
Of the three functions of the soul, the imaginative, the appetitive, and the consenting, they accept the first two; the last they suspend and keep it ambiguous, without inclination or approbation, however slight, in one direction or the other.
The Pyrrhonians have kept themselves a wonderful advantage in combat, having rid themselves of the need to cover up. It does not matter to them that they are struck, provided they strike; and they do their work with everything.
If they win, your proposition is lame; if you win, theirs is. If they lose, they confirm ignorance; if you lose, you confirm it.
An Apology for Raymond Sebond by Michel de Montaigne | : Books
If they prove that nothing is known, well and good; if they do not know how to prove it, just as good. So that, since equal reasons are found on both sides of the same subject, it may be the easier to suspend judgment on each side [Cicero]. Pyrrho did not want to make himself a stump or a stone; he wanted to make himself a living, thinking, reasoning man, enjoying all natural pleasures and comforts, employing and using all his bodily and spiritual faculties in regular and upright fashion.
The fantastic, imaginary, false privileges that man has arrogated to himself, of regimenting, arranging, and fixing truth, he honestly renounced and gave up. But Montaigne is never consistent nor focused in his views, and the frustration that drives this essay appears as directed at the stoics as at anyone else.
As much as it derides the Christian apologists for saying that God will take care of it all, the Pyrrhonists fall under attack for making their practice into a dogma as well. And so at the end, as Blumenberg might have predicted, Montaigne falls into something of an otherworldly Gnosticism, denying our knowledge of God and insisting that faith alone may allow us to escape this awful and uncontrollable world.
There is too much reference to convenient beliefs, the need for happiness, pleasure, and suffering for Montaigne to attach himself to classical skepticism alone. Instead, I find the constructive aspect of the essay to be the super-Pyrrhonic method that Montaigne employs, jumping around from topic to topic and never finding any satisfaction.
It is the dissatisfaction that emerges as the constructive attitude, not the purported skepticism or fatalism.
It is an emotional and personal method. His contempt from constructive philosophy from Plato to Aristotle to his time builds, until he is even attacking the Pyrrhonists for the hubris of their claim to not knowing anything: Leave a Reply Cancel reply.