MONTAIGNE'S POLITICAL EDUCATION: RAISON D'ETAT IN THE ESSAIS
Montaigne is generally portrayed either as a principal proponent of the mix of scepticism, neo-Stoicism and Tacitism that feeds the early-modern reason-of-state literature or as a thoroughgoing political moralist who rejects this literature's politics of necessity and princely
deception in favour of a politics of classical or Christian virtue. I argue that Montaigne inhabits neither of these positions exclusively. Instead, he argues in utramque partem, both for and against reason of state, in order to educate > his readers about the perils of following elites
who would use either political necessity or religious moralism as pretexts for violence in pursuit of political gain.