Montaigne' s essays, On The Power Of Imagination, On The Education Of Children.

Essay by murathan November 2004

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Montaigne integrates literature to philosophy within the philsophy of his mind through his greatest imaginations and suspicious thoughts against the definite judgements. This is not the only reason that makes him one of the first philosophers in European literature who begins to think liberally but also, he prefers to say "Que, sais-je?" "What do I Know?". He never indicates definite judgements. Montaigne believes that the society is able to stay together without any strong or organized government controlling them.

On The Power Of Imagination

Montaigne introduces ambiguity in traditional distinctions, one of them being the separation between imagination and reality. Through both realistic and fantastical examples, Montaigne illustrates the power of imagination to infringe upon reality. He recounts a story of someone who executes himself by power of imagination in expectation of the executioner's blow. Excessive visualization in the mind causes the event to actually occur. In another example Montaigne explains how a man catches impotence from his imagination out of fear of performing poorly.

In blurring the distinction between reality and imagination by uniting mere thoughts with tangible outcomes, Montaigne makes his reader reconsider the association of fiction with imagination, and non-fiction with reality. The presentation of the interchangeablility of these ideas plants a seed of doubt in the readers' minds about the ability to control their actions. Perhaps the presentation of these stories are a reflection of Montaigne's own insecurities since he claims that he borrows stories yet "the inferences are my own". Each account of Montaigne's is directly aimed at illustrating the power of imagination as apparent from the title of this essay.

On The Education Of Children

The purpose of Montaigne's "Education of Children" is to lay down the philosophical groundwork for a new and innovative way of teaching children. The purpose of this new system...