Blaise Pascal

Pensées, by Blaise Pascal - click to see full size image

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Pensées (Thoughts) by French philosopher Blaise Pascal was originally published in 1670. It is a collection of fragments that lay out Pascal's apology for Christianity. The name Pensées was given posthumously as the author never finished the work, and the book is often referred to as the Apology for the Christian Religion. It consists of ideas and thoughts which have had to be put in order by subsequent translators, as Pascal never got around to it, although it is believed he did have a plan for doing so. As it stands, the order in which the fragments should be, is somewhat disputed. The book was started as a result of a religious conversion that the philosopher went through after coming into contact and talking with some doctors who were members of a Catholic splinter group. Although after this, he wrote on theological subjects, his conversion was not complete until around 8 years later when he had a religious experience that led him to write down a note which concluded with the words - 'I will not forget thy word. Amen.' - and sew it into his coat.

Pensées includes the famous philosophical argument that is Pascal's wager - arguing that a person should live their life as if God does exist, for if they do, and He does, then they will get great reward. If He doesn't, then no big loss. On the other hand, if they live their life as if God doesn't exist, and He does - then they'll be punished for it.

Part of Anne Haight's List of Banned Books.

Part of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s Great Books of the Western World set.

Part of the Harvard Classics set.

This book has 96,786 words, 200 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1670. This is a translation by William Finlayson Trotter.

Production notes: This ebook of Pensées was published by Global Grey on the 9th September 2021. The artwork used for the cover is 'Saint Jerome Writing' by Caravaggio.

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