soften the boldness of our propositions

Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Montaigne would prefer that children be taught other ways of speaking, more appropriate to the nature of human inquiry, such as ‘What does that mean ?’, ‘I do not understand it’, ‘This might be’, ‘Is it true?’ Montaigne himself is fond of ‘these formulas that soften the boldness of our propositions’: “perhaps”, “to some extent”, “they say”, “I think”, and the like.

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