Pascal was born in France in 1623, and his efforts as a mathematician led to the development of probability theory and the modern calculator. After his father was seriously injured in a fall, the family’s religious identification deepened. Pascal embraced an ascetic lifestyle and, plagued by poor health, dedicated his later years to quiet theological reflection. Many of his notes—short, sober musings on faith and suffering—were reorganized and published posthumously as the Pensées.

To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher.

The last thing one settles in writing a book is what one should put in first.

Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings differently arranged have different effects.

As we speak of poetical beauty, so ought we to speak of mathematical beauty and medical beauty. But we do not do so; and the reason is that we know well what is the object of mathematics, and that it consists in proofs, and what is the object of medicine, and that it consists in healing. But we do not know in what grace consists, which is the object of poetry.

When we read too fast or too slowly, we understand nothing.

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