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Montaigne's Apology for Raymond Sebond - Essay Example

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Montaigne's Apology for Raymond Sebond Introduction Montaigne explores different contrasting opinions regarding sense, trait, and human knowledge. The human knowledge is founded on the senses. It is through our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, nose, hands, as well as other body parts that we view and judge the world…
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Montaignes Apology for Raymond Sebond
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Montaigne's Apology for Raymond Sebond

They are founded on ones capability to provide sufficient testimony to sustain such claims. He argues that anything can appear truthful or not depending on one’s interpretation and the amount of backing provided to support the claims. In Montaigne’s view, it is a person’s ability to provide irrefutable evidence, which determines if he or she appears stupid or clever, obscure or inconsistent. However, there is always the likelihood that someone else will dispute any idea, agree with it, or be at a tangent to it. In his opinion, Montagne argues that the different perceptions or considerations are what have given value to many things worth nothing. In this essay, the problematic issue is on the question of whether honey is sweet, or bitter. The discussion revolves around Heraclitus, Protagoras, and Democritus and Pyrrhonists opinions regarding the taste of honey. According to Heraclitus and Protagoras, honey has both qualities of being sweet and bitter. On the other hand, Democritus argues that honey is neither sweet nor bitter while Pyrrhonists claims not to know whether honey is sweet or bitter. This is an analysis of the different views regarding the reliability of senses as trackers of truth. Each of the four philosophers tries to support their own opinion. From the fact that honey was sweet to one and bitter to another Democritus and Protagoras drew their conclusion that it is neither sweet not bitter. In their opinion, sweetness or bitterness exists by convention. Sweetness or bitterness is thus not a quality of honey. Additionally they felt that attribution of traits or qualities are subjective affection that depicts our own perceptions regarding different things. In their view, honey is neither sweet nor bitter, the sweetness and the bitterness is an idea belonging to mind of the person tasting it. Bitterness and sweetness are two different things and thus it is not possible for something to have both qualities. Consequently, it is not possible for two conflicting opinions to be correct. The perception that something can be both sweet and bitter demonstrates that the language we use to describe things does not relate to anything in actuality. Qualities associated with different things are thus a mere depiction of our discernments and not the truth. Democritus and Protagoras opinion was different from that of Heraclitus who concluded that honey is both sweet and bitter. Heraclitus proposition was that “all things have in them features we discern” (Montaigne 147). By this, he meant that the attributes or traits associated with anything could vary depending on the person viewing it. Therefore, the qualities of bitterness and sweetness are in the honey but different people will perceive and describe them differently. For that reason, the opinions regarding anything depend on what the person wants to propose. There is thus no specific or constant outlook into anything. Heraclitus message was that our perception tends to be partial and thus the conclusion depends on one’s discernment but does not necessary mean it is the truth of the matter. Our senses are thus inadequate since they perceive whatever we want them to or want we want to advocate but not the reality. Pyrrhonian claimed not to know if honey is sweet, bitter, neither, or both. This opinion demonstrates doubts on whether any of the above quality exists or not. The ... Read More
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