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As far as I'm concerned, Pascal's "shorts" are far more clever, succinct, surprising, and woven together than those of Rouchefoucauld and others. There are many threaded thoughts woven amongst more than 900 maxims and mini-essays each of which stand on their own. The profundity and diversity of topics makes the Pensees something to read slowly and ponder -- it takes much more time than reading the same amount of text in typical prose. Here Pascal masterfully forces us to contemplate just about every philosophical aspect of nature, religion, culture, and government, and the human condition in general. Starting with a discussion of the mathematical versus the intuitive mind (there are advantages in both but true genius lies in the mathematically trained also being able to see the big picture and beyond the concrete), he then portrays theology in nature, argues against atheism, supports Catholic doctrine, and finds the source of all unhappiness.more
A deep thinker and contemplative reading is a must for this book. Pascal delves into some deep spiritual truths. It is also easy to see the personality of Pascal in the writingmore
Unusual for a philosophical text, as it represents the private thoughts of the author organized via a method of his own design (he wrote them on strips of paper). Agonized thoughts on spirituality ("the endless silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread") along with a justification of theology (commonly known as The Wager) which doesn't quite work. It's nice to read thoughts intimately and without the pretenses of a "published" text.more
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