How does Montaigne view human nature?

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In the Essays collection, Michel de Montaigne gives a clear insight into human nature. Having worked as a local magistrate, his experiences influenced these ruminations on the very things that help and hinder human beings in achieving our true selves. In the introduction, Montaigne tells us that he considers himself to be the sum of his work, and he acknowledges his human faults and how others could misrepresent him:

My imperfections may be read to the life, and my natural form will be here in so far as respect for the public allows. . . . I am myself the substance of my book.

The essays show an alternating view of human nature. He laments the prideful ways in which humans betray themselves and each other yet celebrates the wisdom gained through experience and education. Much of his writing discusses the line between human intuition and the ability to ascertain truth. In the essay "On Liars," Montaigne writes:

If, like the truth, falsehood had only one face, we should know better where we are,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 908 words.)

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