Ideas of Blaise Pascal, by Theme

[French, 1623 - 1662, Scientist and mathematician, and then Christian mystic. A Jansenist. Poor health.]

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2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 9. Limits of Reason
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing
5. Theory of Logic / D. Assumptions for Logic / 3. Contradiction
Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor lack of contradiction a sign of truth
19. Language / F. Communication / 1. Rhetoric
We only want to know things so that we can talk about them
21. Aesthetics / C. Artistic Issues / 2. Artistic Representation
Painting makes us admire things of which we do not admire the originals
22. Metaethics / A. Value / 1. Nature of Value / e. Subjective value
Imagination creates beauty, justice and happiness, which is the supreme good
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 2. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
We live for the past or future, and so are never happy in the present
22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / j. Ethics by convention
It is a funny sort of justice whose limits are marked by a river
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Majority opinion is visible and authoritative, although not very clever
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 2. Social Freedom / e. Freedom of lifestyle
It is not good to be too free
28. God / C. Proofs of Reason / 4. Pascal's Wager
Pascal knows you can't force belief, but you can make it much more probable
Pascal is right, but relies on the unsupported claim of a half as the chance of God's existence
The libertine would lose a life of enjoyable sin if he chose the cloisters
If you win the wager on God's existence you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing