Quotations From BLAISE PASCAL

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  • Reason commands us far more imperiously than a master; for in disobeying the one we are unfortunate, and in disobeying the other we are fools.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 345 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).
  • Truly it is an evil to be full of faults; but it is a still greater evil to be full of them and to be unwilling to recognize them, since that is to add the further fault of a voluntary illusion.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 100 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 10 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • The immortality of the soul is a matter which is of so great consequence to us and which touches us so profoundly that we must have lost all feeling to be indifferent about it.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 194 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • I set it down as a fact that if all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 101 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • The greater intellect one has, the more originality one finds in men. Ordinary persons find no difference between men.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 7 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).
  • If he exalt himself, I humble him; if he humble himself, I exalt him; and I always contradict him, till he understands that he is an incomprehensible monster.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 420 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).
  • Which is the more believable of the two, Moses or China?
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French philosopher. Pensées, No. 822, in Oeuvres Complètes, ed. and with notes by Louis Lafuma, New York, Macmillan (1963). The story of how Chinese thought was received in the history of European ideas has yet to be fully appreciated. Pascal and his contemporaries saw China as the home of a possible rival thought system.
  • The greatness of man is great in that he knows himself to be wretched. A tree does not know itself to be wretched.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 397 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • Eloquence, which persuades by sweetness, not by authority—as a tyrant, not as a king.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 15 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).
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