Friendship supersedes all for Montaigne. There is possibly no higher spiritual good. But is friendship available to everyone, or a happy few? At the end of the day, whose friendship do we most desire, and what can that friendship do for us?
This volume also contains the bonus essay, “That To Study Philosophy Is To Learn How To Die.”
Montaigne Interview - Prof Philippe Desan, University of Chicago
“Of Friendship” by Michel de Montaigne
by Brian Chappell
Michel de Montaigne is regarded as the father of the essay. We tend to define the essay as a deductive genre: I have my point to make, and I will take these prescribed, recognizable steps to convince you of my point. This is how students are taught to write, and it is a formula as old as Aristotle, a formula rooted in oratory. Montaigne subscribes to a radically different definition of “essay,” one especially suited for writing. The French word essayer means “to try, to attempt, to test.” An essay, in Montaigne’s conception, is a trial, a test-drive of an idea, a throwing of noodles against the wall.