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Penses de Blaise Pascal

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  8,012 Ratings  ·  240 Reviews
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into pri ...more
Paperback, 458 pages
Published January 10th 2010 by Nabu Press (first published 1669)
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Ørjan Vøllestad

If we submit everything to reason, our religion will have no mysterious
and supernatural element. If we offend the principles of reason, our


If we submit everything to reason, our religion will have no mysterious
and supernatural element. If we offend the principles of reason, our
religion will be absurd and ridiculous.

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May 19, 2016 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, religion

Perhaps half of this was basically wasted on me. As an atheist, books providing proofs for the existence of God are perhaps 40 years or so too late. The problem here isn’t so much that he is trying to prove the existence of an entity that he himself admits particularly likes to hide – presumably you can see the problem here – but also that some of his proofs seemed utterly bizarre to me. One of my favourites was him saying that the Old Testament was the ol
David Sarkies
Aug 31, 2016 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody
Recommended to David by: Bible College
Shelves: christian
Religious Thoughts of a Mathematician
29 August 2016 - Paris, France

When I was learning French I was rather thrown by the way their numbers work after about 60, as is demonstrated by this picture, which shows how English, German, and French construct the number 98:

French Numbers

My first thought was 'this is absolutely ridiculous, how on Earth could the French have produced any mathematicians?” Well, it turns out that they produced at least two – Rene Descartes (notable for Cartesian Geometry) and Blaise Pasc
Aug 30, 2016 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pascal has caused atheists to doubt their atheism more often than Nietzsche has theists their theism - why? Because those that let their hearts guide their thoughts are never in doubt, but those who unwisely look to results to guide them, as macho ubermensches perforce exclusively must, are always finding their conviction to be as slippery as the passing moment (no one result ever convinces the result-minded). Recognizing this, Pascal places a weighty emphasis on the heart and the nature of its ...more
Pascal's classic thoughts on numerous topics related to Christianity. This book is at times difficult to read, since he died before he finished it thus leaving many sections only outlined in note form. But slogging through those portions is worthwhile when you get to the good, thought-provoking parts. In some ways Pascal reminds me of Kierkegaard since both were reasonable men who realized that it takes more than just reason alone to come to faith in Christ. Pascal's apologetic reflects this. He ...more
Alternating between brilliant melancholy and theology and other nonsense.
Jun 18, 2016 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Do you wish people to believe good of you? Don’t speak.”

Pascal was the master of the one liner. Pensées is laced with aphorisms. It also overflows with serious considerations. Not to be read fast or superficially. (Unfortunately my first reading in the 1960s was both.)Therefore, this review will be in sections, as I read the major subdivisions of the text.

“The last thing one settles in a book is what one should put in first.”

Since Pensées was not published before Pascal died in 1662, textual i
Nov 27, 2008 Sophia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blaise Pascal only cared about pleasure and friends and living a life of happiness... until late one night on November 23, 1654. Pascal was out late that night with his buddies when he had a near death experience. A runnaway cart nearly crushed the young men. Pascal fainted on the street and had a vision. When Blaise had regained consiousness he immeadiately wrote a note to himself, which he never told anyone about. Pascal dthen dedicated his life to God. After his death the note was found by hi ...more
I sure do have a lot to think about after reading this in its entirety, and worse, in a day. I am impressed at Pascal's clarity and present value of his message, considering this was written 300+ years ago.

Even getting more difficult for those who are not familiar with latin or Bible towards the end, it's worth reading. I have had the luck to be able to read the edition with T.S. Eliot's introduction right from Project Gutenberg. I do recommend that one as well, if you can find it in a printed v
Mike (the Paladin)
I haven't finished this and I still feel almost ready to give it a 5, Be sure what you believe from the Bible. But read this for insight even should you disagree with it.

Update: I'd call this a book to "read in" rather than a book to read only cover to cover, just me,
Jul 05, 2016 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are multiple levels to this book. It works best when he's sharing his wisdom by using aphorisms (short pithy and usually wise statements ). They're so many pearls within this book that it wouldn't be worthwhile to highlight with a highlighter because you would highlight over half of the book. Pascal really has a great way of looking at the world and giving a smart sounding soundbite.

Matter of fact, I would say this is one of the best self help books I've ever came across. He clearly also h
Adriane Devries
For all his deep thoughts of faith and reason, the wretchedness of man, theology and the controversial schisms of the church during his time, the heart of Blaise Pascal, French philosopher and physicist of the 1600s and author of his famous Wager encouraging belief over apathetic agnosticism, can perhaps be best summed up in this simple declaration: “I love all men as my brothers, because they are all redeemed. I love poverty because he loved it. I love wealth because it affords me the means of ...more
Jul 29, 2016 Deni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Este libro es tan bueno que ya no sè que decirte.
Pensamientos sueltos, repleto de citas impresionantes que no puedo enumerar una a una.
Ejemplo: '22. Condiciòn del hombre.
Inconstancia, hastìo, inquietud.'.
Y no se calla nada, son como aforismos llevados a su vez por un tema general donde Pascal se manda a flashar con un estilo profundìsimo e hiper cristiano.
Sus lecturas son la Biblia, Montaigne y Descartes, pero para bardearlo, pelea contra èl y lo vive atacando igual que a los jesuitas.
I'm the wrong person for this, the wrong person entirely. It's hard to fault Pascal's prose, and while a lot of these little aphorisms are rather wonderful, melancholy mutterings. But he just keeps getting bogged down in the “proofs of Jesus,” which are really just Pascal grabbing at straws, what's wrong with the Jews, and other hallmarks of the big game of pinball that was 17th Century theology. And in fact, it comes off as rather desperate towards the end, which, perhaps can be expected from t ...more
Ştefan Bolea
"We are no longer dealing, as in the case of St. Augustine, with a precursor of Existentialism. Pascal is an existentialist." (William Barrett, Irrational Man, p. 111) This is why I read/ studied this book. Barrett is right: many Existentialist themes are approached by Pascal (for instance death, authenticity, possible absurdity of faith - the great thesis of Kierkegaard's FT). However, his fanaticism, intolerance (uninspired dismissals of Judaism and Islam) and especially the insistance of the ...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
The Wager is laughably ridiculous and what's even more ridiculous is that it's still the standard last ditch move of theological apologetics. Another embarassingly naive thing I remember this otherwise brilliant mathematician and natural philosopher actually preserving with his pen for us to read centuries later was that Christianity is the oldest religion and therefore the best and truest hypothesis concerning questions of god and religion. How many false statements can we extrapolate from this ...more
PENSEES. (1670). Blaise Pascal. ***.
I have a stack of books on one of my bookcases that I call ‘My Guilt Pile.’ These are usually classics – of one kind or another – that I keep deferring to some later date. This work by Pascal was one of those tomes. I was a little surprised at how easy it was, however, to read this work. These are thoughts that Pascal had during a long period of his life that he would jot down and later arrange into the appropriate category. The thrust of the work, however, wa
May 10, 2015 Spoust1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The highlight, aside from the famous section on "the wager," was Pascal's sense of the human situation as fundamentally divided, torn between spirit and body, good and evil, divine and and mortal, finite and infinite. One of the main reasons why Christianity, to him, is true is that it understands this duality inherent in the human. This leads him to a conception of faith as being not beyond beyond reason, exactly, because there are "signs," and there is truth in Christianity (see: above); but i ...more
Oct 17, 2013 GONZA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
" Let us then examine this point,
and say, "God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide
nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at
the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you
wager? According to reason, you can do neither the one thing nor the other; according
to reason, you can defend neither of the propositions.
Do not, then, reprove for error those who have made a choice;
Scott Gates
At certain points in the Pensees, one gets a sense of how fascinating this book could be if it weren’t for the fact that Pascal is bound in so many places by dogma.

Pascal thinks there once were natural laws, but since we’ve been corrupted, those laws have been corrupted as well. Thus: living in line with nature (which Stoics saw as the highest virtue) Pascal sees as a flaw, since nature itself is flawed.

Hence laws are nothing more than human custom; law is just whatever happens to be the law a
Razvan Pindic
May 11, 2016 Razvan Pindic rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Înecat în obsesii filologice, hăituindu-şi credința, nu e memorabil decât prin înjurăturile la adresa pământului - de altfel, retorica demonului care-şi face loc în umbra oricărui înger. Îți vine greu să-i acreditezi întoarcerile în lumină când vezi cu câtă precizie şi cu ce apetit traversează vanitatea lumii. "Ultimul act e sângeros; oricât de frumoasă ar fi comedia în rest; ni se aruncă pământ în cap şi cu asta se încheie totul pentru totdeauna." S-a apropiat nepermis de mult de intimitatea um ...more
Douglas Dalrymple
Sep 07, 2011 Douglas Dalrymple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read Pascal about fifteen years ago (in my twenties) and what I dimly suspected then I am confident of now. There’s a passage in V.S Pritchett’s autobiographical Midnight Oilwhere a young woman sneers at him with disapproval: “I see you are a follower of Montaigne rather than Pascal.”

I am too.
David Shane
A fun book to read - especially because it is an old book, and because it is an unfinished book, one does not often get to read a book in progress. Very quotable especially in our internet age - you will probably come across quotes you recognize and appreciate them more in context, and also come across some great passages and wonder why nobody ever quotes them. Found it a bit amusing that he clearly dislikes "Calvinists", which I believe is his blanket term for Protestants, when some modern day ...more
PJ Wenzel
Jul 11, 2016 PJ Wenzel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very interesting book. Pascal is eminently quotable, whether he builds successful (and coherent!?) arguments for his assertions is less convincing. I wanted pretty much everything (every argument) to be true, but found some of the evidence a bit odd in its application - especially as it relates to the scriptural evidence for his assertions. Sometimes he would be spot on, and other times I was left scratching my head a little. Now, two points must be made to even out that analysis: 1. T ...more
Blaise Pascal, light of my life, black of my eyes, heat of my body, will you become my hubby?
Pretty please?
Garrett Cash
Simply stunning. The greatest philosophy work I've ever read. And he wasn't even finished!
Doutor Branco
Jan 05, 2016 Doutor Branco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lidos-em-2016
It really is a fantastic book. It's rich in so many different ways.
Ben Swingle
Pensees by Blaise Pascal provides a window into the mind of Christianity in the 1600s.

Classic dialectics are evident between nature and grace, passion and discipline, war and peace, piety and goodness etc.

Very much a precursor to Christian Existentialists, Pascal emphasizes the wretchedness, anxiety, darkenss and futility of mankind, as they drown in their concupiscence (lusts). Having a high respect for those who wrestle with their search for truth and goodness, Pascal comments concerning pe
Jason Ross
Feb 28, 2016 Jason Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pascal is known for his famous “wager” but his “Pensees” are a much more thoroughgoing apologetic for the Christian faith. His “thoughts” are juxtaposed throughout against Montaigne’s “Essays” or “labors”, as Pascal seems to find in Montaigne an intellectual equal, but one whose great intellectual powers had been used to corrupt faith. In speaking of “The Misery of Man without God,” Pascal puts Montaigne front and center, stating that his “faults are great” one of which faults was that he “sugge ...more
Joe M
Feb 02, 2016 Joe M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pensées (“Thoughts”) are a massive collection of notes and writings that Blaise Pascal, a brilliant mathematician-turned-philosopher, intended to form into a large-scale defense of Christianity; he did not live to complete it. The most famous of these is “The Wager,” where he sets decision theory (its first formal appearance, to my knowledge) to metaphysical questions of belief. However, for me, the most memorable of Pensées lie not in "The Wager" or in what Pascal has to say about religion per ...more
Jul 09, 2015 Taha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
For starters, this is a book predominantly of Christian theology regarding the disagreements between the Port Royal and the Jesuits, and not a book of philosophy. If you are interested in the dual nature of mankind (greatness and wretchedness), the comparison of Judaism (with a little Islam on the top) and Christianity, and the theological aspects of miracles, you've got the right book. If not, try not to waste your time only for the sake of learning the development of Enlightenment philosophy ( ...more
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All About Books: Pensées, by Blaise Pascal (Dhanaraj, Alice & Jenny) 38 46 Oct 18, 2014 11:13AM  
Christian Theolog...: Pascal's Wager 46 34 Aug 21, 2014 04:53PM  
philosophy 1 9 Feb 22, 2014 10:54AM  
  • Philosophical Fragments (Writings, Vol 7)
  • Discourse on Method and Related Writings
  • The Enneads
  • Epitome of Copernican Astronomy and Harmonies of the World
  • Theological-Political Treatise
  • Principles of Human Knowledge & Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
  • Summa Theologica, 5 Vols
  • Maxims
  • The Consolation of Philosophy
  • A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
  • The New Organon
  • City of God
  • The Complete Essays
  • Monadology
  • On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals
  • Philosophical Dictionary
  • Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal's Pensées - Edited, Outlined & Explained
  • The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura
French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal was a contemporary of René Descartes and was ten when Galileo Galilei was forced to recant his belief that the earth circled the sun. He and Thomas Hobbes lived in Paris at the same time (1640) including the year Hobbes published his famous Leviathan (1651). Together with Pierre de Fermat, Pascal created the calculus of probabilities.

A near-fatal
More about Blaise Pascal...

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