Blaise Pascal (Author of Pensées)French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal was a contemporary of René Descartes and was ten when Galileo Galilei was forced to recant his belief that the earth circled the sun. He and Thomas Hobbes lived in Paris at the same time (1640) including the year Hobbes published his famous Leviathan (1651). Together with Pierre de Fermat, Pascal created the calculus of probabilities.
A near-fatal carriage accident in November 1654 — less than eight years before his death — persuaded him to turn his intellect finally toward religion. The story goes that on the proverbial dark and stormy night, while Pascal was riding in a carriage across a bridge in a Paris suburb, a fright caused the horses to bolt, sending them over the edge. The carriage bearing Pascal survived. Pascal took the incident as a sign and devoted himself to theology. It was at this point that he began writing a series against the Jesuits in 1657 called the Provincial Letters.
Pascal is perhaps most famous for his Wager (Pascals Wager), which is not as clear in his language as in this summary: If Jesus does not exist, the non Christian loses little by believing in him and gains little by not believing. If Jesus does exist, the non Christian gains eternal life by believing and loses an infinite good by not believing.”
Sick throughout his life, Pascal died in Paris, probably from a combination of tuberculosis and stomach cancer at age 39. At the last he was a Jansenist Catholic. No one knows if Pascal won his Wager.
PHILOSOPHY - Blaise Pascal
The prominent french mathematician, physicist, and philosopher Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont now known as Clermont-Ferrand , Auvergne, France, on 19 June, Pascal had two sisters actually three, but one of them died as a child —the younger Jacqueline and the elder Gilberte Pascal was cradled in wealthy, but not happy circumstances. His mother died when he was only 3. Despite of the attention, paid to him, the child was often sick. The poor health remained his companion until his early death.
His mother, Antoinette, died when he was only three, leaving his father to raise the sickly Blaise and his two sisters, Gilberte and Jacqueline. Davidson He did not trust his son's education to the local schools and took it upon himself to teach Blaise at home. He felt he could teach his son as well as any schoolteacher could. Although he devoted the majority of his adult life to religion and philosophy, Pascal's genius lies in mathematics and science. Pascal's interest in math began with the curiosity about this subject which he was not taught.
Blaise Pascal was an influential mathematical writer, a master of the French language, and a great religious philosopher a person who seeks wisdom. He began making contributions to mathematics at a very young age.
silence of the lambs van
Pascal’s life to the Port-Royal years
Blaise Pascal invented one of the first mechanical calculators: the pascaline. He was among the contemporaries of Descartes and none displayed greater natural genius. But his mathematical reputation rests more on what he might have done than on what he actually achieved, as during a considerable part of his life he deemed it his duty to devote his whole time to religious exercises. His father, a local judge at Clermont, and himself enjoyed some scientific reputation. They moved to Paris in , partly to persue his own scientific studies, partly to carry on the education of his only son, who had already displayed exceptional abilities.