Great abuses in the world are begotten, or, to speak more boldly, all the abuses of the world are begotten, by our being taught to be afraid of professing our ignorance, and that we are bound to accept all things we are not able to refute: we speak of all things by precepts and decisions.
 Michel de Montaigne, The Essays of Michel de Montaigne (1580). copy citation

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Author Michel de Montaigne
Source The Essays of Michel de Montaigne
Topic ignorance decision
Date 1580
Language English
Reference
Note Translated by Charles Cotton
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3600/3600-h/3600-h.htm

Context

“We see clearly into this, which is discovered; but in many things of the like nature that exceed our knowledge, I am of opinion that we ought to suspend our judgment, whether as to rejection or as to reception.
Great abuses in the world are begotten, or, to speak more boldly, all the abuses of the world are begotten, by our being taught to be afraid of professing our ignorance, and that we are bound to accept all things we are not able to refute: we speak of all things by precepts and decisions. The style at Rome was that even that which a witness deposed to having seen with his own eyes, and what a judge determined with his most certain knowledge, was couched in this form of speaking: “ it seems to me. ”” source