Que sais je?

Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961

Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, Yellow, 1961

"I know that I know nothing" – Seneca

Michel de Montaigne is one of the most significant philosophers of the French Renaissance.

You'd think that the older he grew, he would be more certain of himself. But the more he studied, the more often he would find himself asking his most famous question.

"Que sais je?" or "What do I know?"

The answer, "Nothing".

Montaigne constantly questioned what he "knew" and deliberately doubted all his assumptions.

Instead of holding on to your beliefs stubbornly and criticizing others for changing their minds, Montaigne would say that changing your mind is a good thing.

It means you've "resisted the impulse to think you're infallible", i.e. you think you already know it all and that you're right and everyone is wrong.

In his vocation of gaining and intimate knowledge of himself through self-experimentation and observations, he finds "“boundless depths and variety that [his] apprenticeship bears no other fruit than to make me know much there remains to learn."

This should be our attitude when we learn something new, acknowledge that all it teaches us is how much more we need to learn.