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Quotations From BLAISE PASCAL


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  • A mere trifle consoles us for a mere trifle distresses us.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French mathematician, scientist, philosopher. Pensées, p. 198, no. 43, Selections, ed. R.H. Popkin, Macmillan, New York (1989). Pensées are diverse writings and notes that Pascal left at the time of his death. They are the classic presentation of his ideas.
  • Our nature consists in motion; complete rest is death.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 129 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • The more intelligent one is, the more men of originality one finds. Ordinary people find no difference between men.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. Pensées, no. 510, ed. Krailsheimer; no. 7, ed. Brunschvicg (1670).

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  • There are some who speak well and write badly. For the place and the audience warm them, and draw from their minds more than they think of without that warmth.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 47 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).
  • When we read too fast or too slowly, we understand nothing.... Too much and too little wine—give him none, he cannot find truth; give him too much, the same.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 69, 71 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • Men never do evil so fully and cheerfully as when we do it out of conscience.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. Pensées, no. 813, ed. Krailsheimer, no. 895, ed. Brunschvicg (1670).

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  • Man is neither angel nor beast, and the unfortunate thing is that he who would play the angel plays the beast.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 358 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).

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  • Chance gives rise to thoughts, and chance removes them; no art can keep or acquire them.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. repr. Encyclopedia Britannica, Chicago (1952). Pensées, no. 370 (1670), trans. J.M. Dent & Sons, London (1931).
  • We like security: we like the pope to be infallible in matters of faith, and grave doctors to be so in moral questions so that we can feel reassured.
    Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), French scientist, philosopher. Pensées, no. 516, ed. Krailsheimer, no. 880, ed. Brunschvicg (1670).

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