Notice: For only £40 (down from £60), you can get the entire collection of over 3,000 ebooks, including around 900 that are no longer on the site. This offer will be for a limited time only.


Blaise Pascal

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

Free download available in PDF, epub, and Kindle ebook formats. Or read online. Skip straight to downloads.


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.

№ 22 in 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 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.

Download for ereaders (below donate buttons)

I run this site entirely on my own and spend a lot of time (and money) doing so. I love formatting the books and offering them for free, but need some support from you, the readers. Every week, around 30,000 people download books from my site, and on average, I get about 7 donations from that. Please support the site with a small donation using the PayPal or Stripe buttons below. You don't need an account and it only takes a minute. Any amount is really appreciated. You can also support the site by buying one of the specially curated collections.

More free ebooks

cover page for the Global Grey edition of Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

cover page for the Global Grey edition of Emile by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

cover page for the Global Grey edition of A Confession by Leo Tolstoy
A Confession

Leo Tolstoy

cover page for the Global Grey edition of A Modern Theory of Ethics by W. Olaf Stapledon
A Modern Theory of Ethics

W. Olaf Stapledon

cover page for the Global Grey edition of Religion by Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer

Back to the top ↑