In a light-hearted essay, Clive James takes a look at Montaigne, golf-ball crisps and our attitude towards climate change sceptics.
What do I know? Montaigne asked himself, and in answering that question during the course of several volumes of great essays he touched on many subjects. But he never touched on the subject of the golf-ball potato crisp.
As far as I know, this essay I am writing now is the first ever devoted to the subject of Montaigne's relationship to the golf-ball potato crisp, and my essay starts from my certain knowledge that he never ate one. Or anyway my almost certain knowledge. There's a difference, which I shall try to bring out.
But more of the golf-ball potato crisp in a moment. Let's get back to Montaigne and his attitude to knowledge. He was a sceptic. He didn't want to take things just on trust. As it happened, there were lots of things he did take on trust.
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