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 / A. Language / 3. Rhetoric
We only want to know things so that we can talk about them
21. Aesthetics / D. Aesthetic Concepts / 2. Artistic Representation
Painting makes us admire things of which we do not admire the originals
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 1. Value / c. Subjective value
Imagination creates beauty, justice and happiness, which is the supreme good
22. Metaethics / A. Ethical Ends / 5. Happiness / d. Routes to happiness
We live for the past or future, and so are never happy in the present
22. Metaethics / B. Basis of Ethics / 3. Morality as Convention
It is a funny sort of justice whose limits are marked by a river
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. 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
If you win the wager on God's existence you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing
Pascal knows you can't force belief, but you can make it much more probable
The libertine would lose a life of enjoyable sin if he chose the cloisters
Pascal is right, but relies on the unsupported claim of a half as the chance of God's existence