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305 Inspiring Quotes by Blaise Pascal

  • Last updated Jun 28 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Blaise Pascal.

Wikipedia Summary for Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal ( pask-AL, also UK: -⁠AHL, PASK-əl, -⁠al, US: pah-SKAHL; French: [blɛz paskal]; 19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, philosopher, writer and Catholic theologian.

He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a tax collector in Rouen. Pascal's earliest mathematical work was on conic sections; he wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of 16. He later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. In 1642, while still a teenager, he started some pioneering work on calculating machines (called Pascal's calculators and later Pascalines), establishing him as one of the first two inventors of the mechanical calculator.

He also worked in the natural and applied sciences, where he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalising the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Following Galileo Galilei and Torricelli, in 1647, he rebutted Aristotle's followers who insisted that nature abhors a vacuum. Pascal's results caused many disputes before being accepted. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.

In 1646, he and his sister Jacqueline identified with the religious movement within Catholicism known by its detractors as Jansenism. Following a religious experience in late 1654, he began writing influential works on philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Pensées, the former set in the conflict between Jansenists and Jesuits. The latter contains Pascal's Wager, known in the original as the Discourse on the Machine, a probabilistic argument for God's existence. In that year, he also wrote an important treatise on the arithmetical triangle. Between 1658 and 1659, he wrote on the cycloid and its use in calculating the volume of solids.

Throughout his life, Pascal was in frail health, especially after the age of 18; he died just two months after his 39th birthday.

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Longer Version:

We know the truth not only through our reason but also through our heart. It is through the latter that we know first principles, and reason, which has nothing to do with it, tries in vain to refute them.


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Longer Version:

To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity. The greatness of the human soul is shown by knowing how to keep within proper bounds. There are two equally dangerous extremes- to shut reason out, and not to let nothing in.


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Longer Version:

Eloquence is a painting of thought; and thus those who, after having painted it, add something more, make a picture instead of a portrait.


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Longer Version:

Evil is easily discovered; there is an infinite variety; good is almost unique. But some kinds of evil are almost as difficult to discover as that which we call good; and often particular evil of this class passes for good. It needs even a certain greatness of soul to attain to this, as to that which is good.


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Longer Version:

The stream is always purer at its source.

Fr., Les choses valent toujours mieux dans leur source.


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Longer Version:

Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.



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Longer Version:

The heart has reasons, which reason does not know. We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.




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Longer Version:

There is a certain standard of grace and beauty which consists in a certain relation between our nature, such as it is, weak or strong, and the thing which pleases us. Whatever is formed according to this standard pleases us, be it house, song, discourse, verse, prose, woman, birds, rivers, trees, room, dress, and so on. Whatever is not made according to this standard displeases those who have good taste.


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