This page features a collection of the best resources on Michel de Montaigne. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Montaigne. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about him.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an academic overview of Montaigne:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Michel de Montaigne. However, you should keep in mind that the SEP is often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 6100 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces Montaigne:
“Given the huge breadth of his readings, Montaigne could have been ranked among the most erudite humanists of the XVIth century. But in the Essays, his aim is above all to exercise his own judgment properly. Readers who might want to convict him of ignorance would find nothing to hold against him, he said, for he was exerting his natural capacities, not borrowed ones. He thought that too much knowledge could prove a burden, preferring to exert his ‘natural judgment’ to displaying his erudition. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
- Watch Sarah Bakewell discuss Montaigne [16 mins]
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on or by Montaigne.
For more introductory philosophy resources and reading lists check out this collection of Resources and Reading Lists.