How does Montaigne feel about scientific progress?

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Michel de Montaigne was incredibly dubious about human learning and intellectual progress as a whole. One of his most prominent quotes was “What do I know?” This is symbolic of his general distrust of the capabilities of human intelligence, which is ironic because, as a philosopher, he relied on his own intelligence to discern and discover logical truths and ideas.

Overall, he didn’t think much of the idea of scientific progress. However, living in an earlier age, he was unable to witness the many developments that came afterwards. He believed that science would hit a breaking point and there would be little, if any, scientific advancement and achievement. Similar to the patent attorney who famously said prior to 1900 that he believed every patent had basically been made already, he was soon proven very wrong in his beliefs.


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