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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index M > Michel Eyquem de Montaigne Quotes

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Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
(28 Feb 1533 - 13 Sep 1592)

French philosopher and essayist who was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. (Also known as Michel de Montaigne, Michel de Eyquem Montaigne, Michel Montaigne.)

Science Quotes by Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (17 quotes)

L'homme est bien insensι. Il ne saurait forger un ciron, et forge des Dieux ΰ douzaines.
Man is certainly crazy. He could not make a mite, and he makes gods by the dozen.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
The Complete Essays of Montaigne, trans. Donald M. Frame (1958), 834.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainly (185)  |  Crazy (26)  |  Forge (9)  |  God (758)  |  Man (2249)  |  Mite (4)

Dreams are true interpreters of our inclinations; but there is art required to categorize and understand them.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
In The Works of Michael de Montaigne (1849), 536.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Dream (209)  |  Inclination (34)  |  Interpreter (8)  |  Psychology (154)  |  Required (108)  |  Understand (607)

Fashion is the science of appearances, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Appearance (140)  |  Desire (204)  |  Fashion (30)  |  Inspire (52)  |  Science (3880)  |  Seem (145)

I do not fancy this acquiescence in second-hand hearsay knowledge; for, though we may be learned by the help of another’s knowledge, we can never be wise but by our own wisdom.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
In 'Of Pedantry', collected in The Essays of Michael Seigneur de Montaigne: Translated Into English (1759), Vol. 1, 144.
Science quotes on:  |  Do (1908)  |  Fancy (50)  |  Hearsay (5)  |  Help (106)  |  Knowledge (1536)  |  Learn (632)  |  Learned (235)  |  Never (1087)  |  Secondhand (6)  |  Wisdom (221)  |  Wise (132)

I have here only made a nosegay of culled flowers, and have brought nothing of my own but the thread that tied them together.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
In William Hazlitt (ed.), The Works of Michael de Montaigne: His Essays, Letters, and Journey Through Germany and Italy (1849), 515. Alternate translation: “I have gathered a posy [posie] of other men's flowers and nothing but the thread which binds them is my own,” as epigraph to article 'A Country Walk With the Poets', The Victoria Magazine (May 1874), 23, 1. No citations given. If you know the primary source, please contact Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Bind (25)  |  Bouquet (2)  |  Compilation (3)  |  Flower (106)  |  Gather (72)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Philosophy (382)  |  Thought (954)  |  Thread (32)  |  Tie (38)  |  Together (387)

If atoms do, by chance, happen to combine themselves into so many shapes, why have they never combined together to form a house or a slipper? By the same token, why do we not believe that if innumerable letters of the Greek alphabet were poured all over the market-place they would eventually happen to form the text of the Iliad?
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
The Essays of Michel de Montaigne, Book 2, Chapter 12, 'Apology for Raymond Sebond', trans. M. A. Screech (1991), 612.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Alphabet (10)  |  Atom (358)  |  Belief (578)  |  Chance (239)  |  Combination (144)  |  Combine (57)  |  Do (1908)  |  Eventually (65)  |  Form (960)  |  Formation (96)  |  Greek (107)  |  Happen (275)  |  House (140)  |  Innumerable (55)  |  Letter (109)  |  Market (20)  |  Never (1087)  |  Pour (10)  |  Shape (73)  |  Text (14)  |  Themselves (433)  |  Together (387)  |  Token (9)  |  Why (491)

Nature clasps all her creatures in a universal embrace; there is not one of them which she has not plainly furnished with all means necessary to the conservation of its being.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
The Essays of Michel de Montaigne, Book 2, Chapter 12, 'Apology for Raymond Sebond', trans. M. A. Screech (1991), 509.
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Being (1278)  |  Conservation (168)  |  Creature (233)  |  Embrace (46)  |  Furnish (96)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (580)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Universal (189)

Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know; nor any people so confident as those who entertain us with fabulous stories, such as your alchemists, judicial astrologers, fortune-tellers, and physicians.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
In Charles Cotton (trans.), Essays of Michael Seigneur de Montaigne: In Three Books (1693), Vol. 1, 339.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (22)  |  Astrologer (10)  |  Belief (578)  |  Confident (24)  |  Entertain (24)  |  Fortune (50)  |  Know (1519)  |  Least (75)  |  Nothing (969)  |  People (1005)  |  Physician (273)  |  Story (118)

Reason has so many forms that we do not know which to choose—Experiment has no fewer.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
Quoted in Renι Dugas, A History of Mechanics (1988), 320. The author writes that in the frontispiece of one of his papers, Coulomb quotes this saying of Montaigne (Essais, Book 3, Chap. 8).
Science quotes on:  |  Choose (113)  |  Do (1908)  |  Experiment (696)  |  Fewer (8)  |  Form (960)  |  Know (1519)  |  Reason (744)

Science without conscience is but the death of the soul.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
One source cites Essays (1580). Another says written by Rabelais. Webmaster has not, so far, found and verified the primary source.
Science quotes on:  |  Conscience (50)  |  Death (391)  |  Science (3880)  |  Soul (227)

The bitterness of the potion, and the abhorrence of the patient are necessary circumstances to the operation. It must be something to trouble and disturb the stomach that must purge and cure it.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
In Tryon Edwards (ed.), A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), 339.
Science quotes on:  |  Abhorrence (9)  |  Bitterness (3)  |  Circumstance (136)  |  Circumstances (108)  |  Cure (122)  |  Disturb (28)  |  Disturbance (31)  |  Medicine (378)  |  Must (1526)  |  Necessary (363)  |  Necessity (191)  |  Operation (213)  |  Patient (199)  |  Potion (2)  |  Purge (9)  |  Something (719)  |  Stomach (39)  |  Trouble (107)

The laws of conscience, which we pretend to be derived from nature, proceed from custom
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Conscience (50)  |  Custom (42)  |  Derive (65)  |  Law (895)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Pretend (17)  |  Proceed (129)

The sciences and arts are not cast in a mold, but formed and shaped little by little, by repeated handling and polishing, as bears lick their cubs into shape at leisure.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
In Donald M. Frame (trans.), The Complete Essays of Montaigne (1958), 421.
Science quotes on:  |  Art (657)  |  Bear (159)  |  Cast (67)  |  Cub (2)  |  Form (960)  |  Handle (28)  |  Leisure (24)  |  Lick (4)  |  Little (708)  |  Mold (33)  |  Polish (15)  |  Repeat (42)  |  Science (3880)  |  Science And Art (186)  |  Shape (73)

This very sun, this very moon, these stars, this very order and revolution of the universe, is the same which your ancestors enjoyed, and which will be the admiration of your posterity.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
From Essay 1, Chapter 19. In Craufurd Tait Ramage (ed.), Beautiful Thoughts from French and Italian Authors (1866), 164.
Science quotes on:  |  Admiration (59)  |  Ancestor (61)  |  Enjoy (40)  |  Moon (238)  |  Order (632)  |  Posterity (29)  |  Revolution (129)  |  Star (430)  |  Stars (304)  |  Sun (387)  |  Universe (861)  |  Will (2354)

We seem ambitious God's whole work to undo.
...With new diseases on ourselves we war,
And with new physic, a worse engine far.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
'An Anatomy of the World' (1611), collected in The Poetical Works of Dr. John Donne (1864), 83.
Science quotes on:  |  Ambition (44)  |  Disease (332)  |  Engine (98)  |  God (758)  |  New (1217)  |  Ourself (13)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Physic (516)  |  War (226)  |  Whole (738)  |  Work (1351)  |  Worse (24)

We should give free passage to diseases; ... Let us give Nature a chance; she knows her business better than we do.
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
The Complete Essays of Montaigne, trans. Donald M. Frame (1958), 395.
Science quotes on:  |  Better (488)  |  Business (149)  |  Chance (239)  |  Disease (332)  |  Do (1908)  |  Free (233)  |  Know (1519)  |  Nature (1928)  |  Passage (50)

Who ever saw a doctor use the prescription of his colleague without cutting out or adding something?
— Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
The Complete Essays of Montaigne, trans. Donald M. Frame (1958), 584.
Science quotes on:  |  Colleague (50)  |  Doctor (187)  |  Physician (273)  |  Prescription (18)  |  Saw (160)  |  Something (719)  |  Use (766)



Quotes by others about Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (1)

Montaigne simply turns his mind loose and writes whatever he feels like writing. Mostly, he wants to say that reason is not a special, unique gift of human beings, marking us off from the rest of nature.
In The Medusa and the Snail: More Notes of a Biology Watcher (1974, 1979), 147.
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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