Ideas of Blaise Pascal, by Theme

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

idea number gives full details    |    back to list of philosophers    |     expand these ideas
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 / 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
If you win the wager on God's existence you win everything, if you lose you lose nothing
Pascal is right, but relies on the unsupported claim of a half as the chance of God's existence
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