Montaigne’s Essays: A Humanistic Approach to Fear

  • Sergio Starkstein


Montaigne’s Essays is of major importance for the philosophy of fear. In this work, Montaigne provides narratives of a variety of fears, and in doing so describes a full palette of fear-related emotions, from individual doubts and avoidance, to terror and generalised panic. Montaigne’s analysis and treatment of fear is unique because he is among the first philosophers to openly discuss his own fears and the variety of philosophical therapies he used to subdue them. After employing Stoic and Epicurean remedies, Montaigne found the most useful philosophical therapy in the sceptical Pyrrhonian tradition. Thus, the Essays express an open-minded, particularistic and anti-dogmatic approach to life. Montaigne’s motto ‘What do I know?’ reflects his non-partisan approach and receptiveness to improving his emotional well-being, as well as increasing his knowledge and joy of life by accepting life events as these unfold.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western AustraliaFremantleAustralia

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