What does Montaigne say about the duties and responsibilities of public health in his essay "Of Experience"?

In his essay "Of Experience," Montaigne says that we have a duty to suffer illness in silence and to avoid becoming a burden to others by prolonging our lives past the point of usefulness. We have a responsibility to maintain our health through regular habits, listening to our bodies, and using commonsense.

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Montaigne states that everyone gets sick during their life and experiences some pain as a result of this. He says that since this is a universal condition, people have a duty to suffer in silence:

Tis injustice to lament that which has befallen any one which may befall every one

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Montaigne states that everyone gets sick during their life and experiences some pain as a result of this. He says that since this is a universal condition, people have a duty to suffer in silence:

Tis injustice to lament that which has befallen any one which may befall every one

In other words, it is wrong to make a big deal out of something that is completely ordinary, such as a cold, as if we are the only ones who suffer.

People also have a duty to society to accept aging and death. As Montaigne puts it:

See an old man who begs of God that he will maintain his health vigorous and entire; that is to say, that he restore him to youth ... is it not folly? his condition is not capable of it.

He adds that it is irresponsible for a person:

to prolong life in a weak and wasted body, useless to his country and to his profession

Montaigne says that a responsible person takes care of his own health by keeping to steady habits and listening to what one's own body is saying, noting that:

change, be it what it will, distempers and puts one out.

If we are social, keep as far as possible to our usual routines when sick, and don't submit to strange treatments prescribed by doctors that are worse than being sick, we will have behaved responsibly to ourselves and society vis-a-vis our health.

Montaigne relies heavily on the authority of classical authors of antiquity, such as Plato. He takes a hard-headed approach to illness and old age that might run contrary to the higher value we put on human life if our times. He does maintain that in matters of health, we have to think not only of ourselves, but to be responsible towards the larger community.

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