120127MontaigneJan. 27, 2012

In “The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal” (2002), James Franklin points out that Montaigne opposed witch trials for their lack of evidence.

“I am of St. Augustine’s opinion,” Montaigne wrote, “that ‘ ’tis better to lean towards doubt than assurance, in things hard to prove and dangerous to believe’….

“After all, ’tis setting a man’s conjectures at a very high price, upon them to cause a man to be roasted alive.”