Montaigne: To Philosophize is to learn to Die

socrates death

Philosophy and Death

Montaigne’s Essays are no longer read and studied. It is unfair and that’s why we publish an article on his interesting conception of death.

This sentence over death is seen as a summary of his philosophy, viewed as pessimistic. In reality, the philosopher Montaigne is the joy of living, one who carries the love of life and enjoyment to its climax.

So what does this statement: “To philosophize is to learn to die”?

Montaigne’s philosophy can be sum up as follwing: finitude is an irreducible component of life: each of us is mortal. But this experience of the inevitability of death must not despair of man. It must, however, disappear from the landscape of consciousness. Do not think about death, that is, because it happens anyway.

Thus, philosophize means understanding this lesson, philosophy is to understand and accept death and forget about it. The philosopher is one who converts his view of death by treating it as an unthought. The thought of death will not come until fatal:

We disturb life by the desire of death. I never saw a peasant of my neighbors think about how much attitude and with what assurance he would spend the last hour. Nature teaches him not to think of death only when he is dying

Montaigne and concluded that deep wisdom is to enjoy oneself:

It’s absolute perfection and virtually divine to know how to enjoy her being”

Far away from a pessimistic philosophy, Montaigne defends an Epicureanism who saves man from despair.

Cite this article as: Tim, "Montaigne: To Philosophize is to learn to Die, May 10, 2012, " in Philosophy & Philosophers, May 10, 2012,

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