Monday, 27 February 2012

Michel de Montaigne, Philosophy Quotes on Education

In his commerce with men I mean him to include- and that principally- those who live only in the memory of books. By means of history he will frequent those great souls of former years. If you want it to be so, history can be a waste of time; it can also be, if you want it to be so, a study bearing fruit beyond price. (de Montaigne)

The first lessons with which we should irrigate his mind should be those which teach him to know himself, and to know how to die … and to live. (de Montaigne)

Since philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it? (de Montaigne)

Any time and any place can be used to study: his room, a garden, is table, his bed; when alone or in company; morning and evening. His chief study will be Philosophy, that Former of good judgement and character who is privileged to be concerned with everything.
(de Montaigne)

For among other things he had been counseled to bring me to love knowledge and duty by my own choice, without forcing my will, and to educate my soul entirely through gentleness and freedom. (de Montaigne)

Learning must not only lodge with us: we must marry her. (de Montaigne)

The profit we possess after study is to have become better and wiser. (de Montaigne)

Nor is it enough to toughen up his soul; you must also toughen up his muscles. (de Montaigne)

Teach him a certain refinement in sorting out and selecting his arguments, with an affection for relevance and so for brevity. Above all let him be taught to throw down his arms and surrender to truth as soon as he perceives it, whether the truth is born at his rival’s doing or within himself from some change in his ideas. (de Montaigne)

But in truth I know nothing about education except this: that the greatest and the most important difficulty known to human learning seems to lie in that area which treats how to bring up children and how to educate them. (de Montaigne)

Socrates and then Archesilaus used to make their pupils speak first; they spoke afterwards. ‘Obest plerumque iss discere volunt authoritas eorum qui docent.’ [For those who want to learn, the obstacle can often be the authority of those who teach] (de Montaigne)

I would like to suggest that our minds are swamped by too much study and by too much matter just as plants are swamped by too much water or lamps by too much oil; that our minds, held fast and encumbered by so many diverse preoccupations, may well lose the means of struggling free, remaining bowed and bent under the load; except that it is quite otherwise: the more our souls are filled, the more they expand; examples drawn from far-off times show, on the contrary, that great soldiers ad statesmen were also great scholars. (de Montaigne)

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