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Encyclopedia > Blaise Pascal
Western Philosophy
17th-century philosophy
Blaise Pascal

Name 17th-century philosophy in the West is generally regarded as seeing the start of modern philosophy, and the shaking off of the mediæval approach, especially scholasticism. ... Image File history File links Blaise Pascal source : http://www. ...

Blaise Pascal

Birth

June 19, 1623(1623-06-19) is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1623 (MDCXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ...

Death

August 19, 1662 (aged 39) is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 1 - The Chinese pirate Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege. ...

School/tradition

Continental Philosophy, precursor to existentialism Continental philosophy is a term used in philosophy to designate one of two major traditions of modern Western philosophy. ... Existentialism is the philosophical movement positing that individual human beings create the meaning and essence of their lives as persons. ...

Main interests

Theology, Mathematics Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ...

Notable ideas

Pascal's Wager Pascals Wager (or Pascals Gambit) is the application by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal of decision theory to the belief in God. ...

Influences

Michel de Montaigne Michel Eyquem de Montaigne-Delecroix (IPA pronunciation: []) (February 28, 1533–September 13, 1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance. ...

Blaise Pascal (pronounced [blɛːz paskal]), (June 20 [[1624 is the 171st day of the year (172nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

pascals

]] – August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method. is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 1 - The Chinese pirate Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege. ... Leonhard Euler, considered one of the greatest mathematicians of all time A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study and research is the field of mathematics. ... Not to be confused with physician, a person who practices medicine. ... Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Wunderkind redirects here. ... A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... For other uses, see Calculator (disambiguation). ... A fluid is defined as a substance that continually deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress regardless of the magnitude of the applied stress. ... This article is about pressure in the physical sciences. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Evangelista Torricelli portrayed on the frontpage of Lezioni dEvangelista Torricelli. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ...


He was a mathematician of the first order. Pascal helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen and corresponded with Pierre de Fermat from 1654 and later on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. Projective geometry is a non-metrical form of geometry. ... Pierre de Fermat Pierre de Fermat IPA: (August 17, 1601 – January 12, 1665) was a French lawyer at the Parlement of Toulouse, France, and a mathematician who is given credit for early developments that led to modern calculus. ... Probability theory is the branch of mathematics concerned with analysis of random phenomena. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... The social sciences are a group of academic disciplines that study human aspects of the world. ...


Following a mystical experience in late 1654, he abandoned his scientific work and devoted himself to philosophy and theology. His two most famous works date from this period: the Lettres provinciales and the Pensées. Pascal suffered from ill health throughout his life and died two months after his 39th birthday. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... The Lettres provinciales (Provincial letters) are a series of eighteen letters written by French philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte. ... The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ...


Early life and education

Born in Clermont-Ferrand, in the Auvergne region of France, Blaise Pascal lost his mother, Antoinette Begon, at the age of three. His father, Étienne Pascal (1588–1651), was a local judge and member of the petite noblesse, who also had an interest in science and mathematics. Blaise Pascal was brother to Jacqueline Pascal the youngest sibling and Gilberte, the eldest of the four. Clermont-Ferrand is a city of France, in the Auvergne region, with a population of approximately 140,000. ... Capital Clermont-Ferrand Area 26,013 km² Regional President Pierre-Joël Bonté (PS) (since 2004) Population  - 2004 estimate  - 1999 census  - Density (Ranked 19th) 1,327,000 1,308,878 51/km² (2004) Arrondissements 14 Cantons 158 Communes 1,310 Départements Allier Cantal Haute-Loire Puy-de-Dôme... Étienne Pascal (Clermond, May 2, 1588 - Paris, September 24, 1651) was the father of Blaise Pascal. ... Jacqueline Pascal (October 4, 1625 - October 4, 1661), sister of Blaise Pascal, was born at Clermont-Ferrand, France. ...


In 1631, shortly after the death of his wife, Étienne Pascal moved with his children to Paris. Étienne, who never remarried, decided that he alone would educate his children, for they all showed extraordinary intellectual ability, particularly his son Blaise. The young Pascal showed an amazing aptitude for mathematics and science. At the age of eleven, he composed a short treatise on the sounds of vibrating bodies and Étienne responded by forbidding his son to further pursue mathematics until the age of fifteen so as not to harm his study of Latin and Greek. One day, however, Étienne found Blaise (now twelve) writing an independent proof that the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles with a piece of coal on a wall. From then on, the boy was allowed to study Euclid; perhaps more importantly, he was allowed to sit in as a silent on-looker at the gatherings of some of the greatest mathematicians and scientists in Europe—such as Roberval, Desargues, Mydorge, Gassendi, and Descartes—in the monastic cell of Père Mersenne. This article is about the capital of France. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... This article is about angles in geometry. ... A triangle. ... This article is about angles in geometry. ... For other uses, see Euclid (disambiguation). ... Gilles Personne de Roberval (August 8, 1602 - October 27, 1675), French mathematician, was born at Roberval, near Beauvais, France. ... Girard Desargues (1591 - 1661) was a French mathematician and one of the founders of projective geometry. ... Claude Mydorge (1585 – July 1647) was a French mathematician. ... Pierre Gassendi (January 22, 1592 – October 24, 1655) was a French philosopher, scientist and mathematician, best known for attempting to reconcile Epicurean atomism with Christianity. ... René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ... For the primes named after Marin Mersenne, see Mersenne prime. ...

An early Pascaline on display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in the Louvre Museum, Paris.
An early Pascaline on display at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in the Louvre Museum, Paris.

Particularly of interest to Pascal was a work of Desargues on conic sections. Following Desargues's thinking, the sixteen-year-old Pascal produced, as a means of proof, a short treatise on what was called the "Mystic Hexagram" (conic sections), Essai pour les coniques ("Essay on Conics"). And sent it - his first serious work of mathematics—to Père Mersenne in Paris; it is known still today as Pascal's theorem. Briefly, it can be explained thus: Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2042x1119, 1180 KB) A Pascaline, an early calculator. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2042x1119, 1180 KB) A Pascaline, an early calculator. ... A Pascaline, signed by Pascal in 1652 Blaise Pascal invented the second mechanical calculator, called alternatively the Pascaline or the Arithmetique, in 1645, the first being that of Wilhelm Schickard in 1623. ... Foucault pendulum at the Musée des arts et métiers The Musée des Arts et Métiers is a museum in Paris that houses the collection of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, which was founded in 1794 as a depository for the preservation of scientific... This article is about the museum. ... Girard Desargues (1591 - 1661) was a French mathematician and one of the founders of projective geometry. ... In mathematics, a conic section (or just conic) is a curved locus of points, formed by intersecting a cone with a plane. ... For the primes named after Marin Mersenne, see Mersenne prime. ... In projective geometry, Pascals theorem (aka Hexagrammum Mysticum Theorem) states that if an arbitrary hexagon is inscribed in any conic section, and opposite pairs of sides are extended until they meet, the three intersection points will lie on a straight line, the Pascal line of that configuration. ...

  • 1. Take a cone
  • 2. Take a simple plane and slice the cone in two going across.
  • 3. If the plane is straight across, the section cut out will be a circle.
  • 4. If the plane is at an angle, the section cut out will be an ellipse. This is the more general case, because ellipses can be squat or long, thin or nearly round: Because Pascal wanted to prove a general theorem, he took the case of an ellipse.
  • 5. Draw a six sided figure inside the ellipse. The figure does not have to be regular, and may intersect itself.
  • 6. Now take a pencil and make big dots on the vertices of the hexagram, and draw lines between the vertices. Then, extend the lines out to where they cross.
  • 7. The three points of the intersections where the lines cross will always form a straight line, for any conic section and any hexagram.[1]

Pascal's work was so precocious that Descartes, when shown the manuscript, refused to believe that the composition was not by the elder Pascal. When assured by Mersenne that it was, indeed, the product of the son not the father, Descartes dismissed it with a sniff: "I do not find it strange that he has offered demonstrations about conics more appropriate than those of the ancients," adding, "but other matters related to this subject can be proposed that would scarcely occur to a sixteen-year-old child."[2] Look up cone in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Ellipse (disambiguation). ... In geometry, a vertex (plural vertices) is a special kind of point, usually a corner of a polygon, polyhedron, or higher dimensional polytope. ...


In France at that time offices and positions could be—and were—bought and sold. In 1631 Étienne sold his position as second president of the Cour des Aides for 65,665 livres.[3] The money was invested in a government bond which provided if not a lavish then certainly a comfortable income which allowed the Pascal family to move to, and enjoy, Paris. But in 1638 Richelieu desperate for money to carry on the Thirty Year War found it by defaulting on the government's bonds. Suddenly Étienne Pascal's worth had dropped from nearly 66,000 livres to less than 7,300. The livre tournois (or Tournoise pound) was a currency used in France, named after the town of Tours, in which it was minted. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... The victory of Gustavus Adolphus at the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) The Thirty Years War was a conflict fought between the years 1618 and 1648, principally in the central European territory of the Holy Roman Empire, but also involving most of the major continental powers. ...


Like so many others, Étienne's opposition to the fiscal policies of Cardinal Richelieu eventually forced him to flee Paris, leaving his three children in the care of his neighbor Madame Sainctot, a great beauty with an infamous past who kept one of the most glittering and intellectual salons in all France. It was only when Jacqueline performed well in a children's play with Richelieu in attendance that Étienne was pardoned. In time Étienne was back in good graces with the cardinal, and in 1639 had been appointed the king's commissioner of taxes in the city of Rouen. A city whose tax records, thanks to uprisings, were in utter chaos. For other uses, see Richelieu (disambiguation). ... Events January 14 - Connecticuts first constitution, the Fundamental Orders, is adopted. ... Rouen (pronounced in French, sometimes also ) is the historical capital city of Normandy, in northwestern France on the River Seine, and currently the capital of the Haute-Normandie (Upper Normandy) région. ...


In 1642, in an effort to ease his father's endless, exhausting calculations, and recalculations, of taxes owed and paid, Pascal, not yet nineteen, constructed a mechanical calculator capable of addition and subtraction, called Pascal's calculator or the Pascaline, to help his father with his work. The Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris and the Zwinger museum in Dresden, Germany, exhibit one of his original mechanical calculators. Though these machines are early forerunners to computer engineering, the calculator failed to be a great commercial success. Because it was extraordinarily expensive the Pascaline became little more than a toy, and status symbol, for the very rich both in France and throughout Europe; however Pascal continued to make improvements to his design through the next decade and built fifty machines in total. A Pascaline, signed by Pascal in 1652 Blaise Pascal invented the second mechanical calculator, called alternatively the Pascalina or the Arithmetique, in 1645, the first being that of Wilhelm Schickard in 1623. ... Foucault pendulum at the Musée des arts et métiers The Musée des Arts et Métiers is a museum in Paris that houses the collection of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, which was founded in 1794 as a depository for the preservation of scientific... This article is about the capital of France. ... Aerial view of the Zwinger Palace The Zwinger Palace in Dresden, is a major German landmark. ... Dresden (etymologically from Old Sorbian Drežďany, meaning people of the riverside forest) is the capital city of the German Federal Free State of Saxony. ... Computer engineering (also called electronic and computer engineering) is a discipline that combines elements of both electrical engineering and computer science. ... A Pascaline, signed by Pascal in 1652 Blaise Pascal invented the second mechanical calculator, called alternatively the Pascaline or the Arithmetique, in 1645, the first being that of Wilhelm Schickard in 1623. ...


Contributions to mathematics

Portrait of Blaise Pascal

In addition to the childhood marvels previously mentioned, Pascal continued to influence mathematics throughout his life. In 1653, Pascal wrote his Traité du triangle arithmétique ("Treatise on the Arithmetical Triangle") in which he described a convenient tabular presentation for binomial coefficients, now called Pascal's triangle. In 1654, prompted by a friend interested in gambling problems, he corresponded with Fermat on the subject, and from that collaboration was born the mathematical theory of probabilities. The friend was the Chevalier de Méré, and the specific problem was that of two players who want to finish a game early and, given the current circumstances of the game, want to divide the stakes fairly, based on the chance each has of winning the game from that point. From this discussion, the notion of expected value was introduced. Pascal later (in the Pensées) used a probabilistic argument, Pascal's Wager, to justify belief in God and a virtuous life. The work done by Fermat and Pascal into the calculus of probabilities Download high resolution version (494x671, 258 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (494x671, 258 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... In mathematics, particularly in combinatorics, a binomial coefficient is a coefficient of any of the terms in the expansion of the binomial (x+1)n. ... The first five rows of Pascals triangle In mathematics, Pascals triangle is a geometric arrangement of the binomial coefficients in a triangle. ... Pierre de Fermat Pierre de Fermat (August 17, 1601 – January 12, 1665) was a French lawyer at the Parliament of Toulouse and a mathematician who is given credit for the development of modern calculus. ... Probability is the likelihood that something is the case or will happen. ... Antoine Gombaud, chevalier de Méré was a French writer, born at Poitou in 1607, who died on December 29, 1684. ... The problem of points, also called the problem of division of the stakes, is a classical problem in probability theory. ... In probability theory the expected value (or mathematical expectation) of a random variable is the sum of the probability of each possible outcome of the experiment multiplied by its payoff (value). Thus, it represents the average amount one expects as the outcome of the random trial when identical odds are... Pascals Wager (or Pascals Gambit) is the application by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal of decision theory to the belief in God. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...


Contributions to the physical sciences

Pascal's work in the fields of the study of hydrodynamics and hydrostatics centered on the principles of hydraulic fluids. His inventions include the hydraulic press (using hydraulic pressure to multiply force) and the syringe. By 1646, Pascal had learned of Evangelista Torricelli's experimentation with barometers. Having replicated an experiment which involved placing a tube filled with mercury upside down in a bowl of mercury, Pascal questioned what force kept some mercury in the tube and what filled the space above the mercury in the tube. At the time, most scientists contended that, rather than a vacuum, some invisible matter was present. This was based on the Aristotelian notion that creation was a thing of substance, whether visible or invisible; and this substance was forever in motion. Furthermore, "Everything that is in motion must be moved by something," Aristotle declared.[4] Ergo, to the Aristotelian trained scientists of Pascal's time, a vacuum was an impossibility. How so? As proof it was pointed out: Hydrodynamics is fluid dynamics applied to liquids, such as water, alcohol, oil, and blood. ... Hydrostatics, also known as fluid statics, is the study of fluids at rest. ... Hydraulic fluids are a large group of mineral oils, water-based or water used as the medium in hydraulic systems. ... Hydraulic force increase. ... A syringe nowadays nearly always means a medical syringe, but it can mean any of these: A simple hand-powered piston pump consisting of a plunger that can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube (the barrel), which has a small hole on one end, so it can... Evangelista Torricelli portrayed on the frontpage of Lezioni dEvangelista Torricelli. ... A barometer is an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure. ... Look up Vacuum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ...

  • Light passed through the so-called "vacuum" in the glass tube.
  • Aristotle wrote how everything moved, and must be moved by something.
  • Therefore, since there had to be an invisible "something" to move the light through the glass tube, there was no vacuum in the tube. Not in the glass tube or anywhere else. Vacuums—the absence of any and every thing—were simply an impossibility.

Following more experimentation in this vein, in 1647 Pascal produced Experiences nouvelles touchant le vide ("New Experiments with the Vacuum"), which detailed basic rules describing to what degree various liquids could be supported by air pressure. It also provided reasons why it was indeed a vacuum above the column of liquid in a barometer tube. Air pressure can refer to: Atmospheric pressure, the pressure of air environmentally Pressure of air in a system Category: ...


On September 19, 1648, after many months of Pascal's friendly but insistent prodding, Florin Périer, husband of Pascal's elder sister Gilberte, was finally to carry out the fact finding mission vital to Pascal's theory. The account, written by Périer, reads: is the 262nd day of the year (263rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1648 (MDCXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Saturday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ...

"The weather was chancy last Saturday...[but] around five o'clock that morning...the Puy-de-Dôme was visible...so I decided to give it a try. Several important people of the city of Clermont has asked me to let them know when I made the ascent...I was delighted to have them with me in this great work... Building of the Conseil Général of the Puy-de-Dôme département, in Clermont-Ferrand Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Puy-de-Dôme Puy-de-Dôme is a département. ... Clermont is the name of several places in the United States of America: Clermont, Florida Clermont, Georgia Clermont, Indiana Clermont, Iowa Clermont, New York Clermont County, Ohio Clermont is the name of several communes in France: Clermont, in the Ariège département Clermont, in the Haute-Savoie département...


"...at eight o'clock we met in the gardens of the Minim Fathers, which has the lowest elevation in town....First I poured sixteen pounds of quicksilver...in to a vessel...then took several glass tubes..each four feet long and hermetically sealed at one end and opened at the other...then placed them in the vessel [of quicksilver]...I found the quick silver stood at 26" and 3½ lines above the quicksilver in the vessel...I repeated the experiment two more times while standing in the same spot...[they] produced the same result each time... Quicksilver is a common name for the chemical element mercury, literally meaning living silver based on its appearance and its unusual liquidity at room temperature. ...


"I attached one of the tubes to the vessel and marked the height of the quicksilver and...asked Father Chastin, one of the Minim Brothers...to watch if any changes should occur through the day...Taking the other tube and a portion of the quick silver...I walked to the top of Puy-de-Dôme, about 500 fathoms higher than the monastery, where upon experiment...found that the quicksilver reached a height of only 23" and 2 lines...I repeated the experiment five times with care...each at different points on the summit...found the same height of quicksilver...in each case..."[5] Building of the Conseil Général of the Puy-de-Dôme département, in Clermont-Ferrand Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Puy-de-Dôme Puy-de-Dôme is a département. ... A fathom is a unit of measure equal to 2 yards or 6 feet, or 1. ...

Pascal replicated the experiment in Paris by carrying a barometer up to the top of the bell tower at the church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie, a height of about fifty meters. The mercury dropped two lines. These, and other lesser experiments carried out by Pascal, were hailed throughout Europe as establishing the principle and value of the barometer. This article is about the capital of France. ...


In the face of criticism that some invisible matter must exist in Pascal's empty space, Pascal, in his reply to Estienne Noel, gave one of the seventeenth century's major statements on the scientific method: "In order to show that a hypothesis is evident, it does not suffice that all the phenomena follow from it; instead, if it leads to something contrary to a single one of the phenomena, that suffices to establish its falsity." His insistence on the existence of the vacuum also led to conflict with a number of other prominent scientists, including Descartes. Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ...


Adult life, religion, philosophy, and literature

For after all what is man in nature? A nothing in relation to infinity, all in relation to nothing, a central point between nothing and all and infinitely far from understanding either. The ends of things and their beginnings are impregnably concealed from him in an impenetrable secret. He is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness out of which he was drawn and the infinite in which he is engulfed.
Blaise Pascal, Pensées #72

Religious conversion

Pascal studying the cycloid, by Augustin Pajou, 1785, Louvre
Pascal studying the cycloid, by Augustin Pajou, 1785, Louvre

Biographically, two basic influences led him to his conversion: sickness and Jansenism. From as early as his eighteenth year, Pascal suffered from a nervous ailment that left him hardly a day without pain. In 1647, a paralytic attack so disabled him that he could not move without crutches. His head ached, his bowels burned, his legs and feet were continually cold, and required wearisome aids to circulation of the blood; he wore stockings steeped in brandy to warm his feet. Partly to get better medical treatment, he moved to Paris with his sister Jacqueline. His health improved, but his nervous system had been permanently damaged. Henceforth, he was subject to deepening hypochondria, which affected his character and his philosophy. He became irritable, subject to fits of proud and imperious anger, and seldom smiled.[6] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2000x3008, 3037 KB) Description Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Blaise Pascal Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2000x3008, 3037 KB) Description Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Blaise Pascal Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner... Cycloid (red) generated by a rolling circle A cycloid is the curve defined by a fixed point on a wheel as it rolls, or, more precisely, the locus of a point on the rim of a circle rolling along a straight line. ... Augustin Pajou (September 19, 1730 _ May 8, 1809) was a French sculptor, born in Paris. ... This article is about the museum. ... Jansenism was a branch of Catholic thought tracing itself back to Cornelius Otto Jansen (1585 – 1638), a Flemish theologian. ... For the anatomical term, see hypochondrium. ...


In the winter of 1646, Pascal's 58 year-old father broke his hip when he slipped and fell on an icy street of Rouen; given the man's age and the state of medicine in the 17th century, a broken hip could be very serious, perhaps even fatal, condition. Fortunately at the time Rouen was home to two of the finest doctors in France: Monsieur Doctor Deslandes, and Monsieur Doctor de La Bouteillerie. The elder Pascal "would not let anyone other than these men attend him...It was a good choice, for the old man survived and was able to walk again..."[7] But treatment and rehabilitation took three months, during which time La Bouteillerie and Deslandes were live-in guests at the Pascal household.


Both men were followers of Jean Guillebert, proponent of a splinter group of the main body of Catholic teaching known as Jansenius. This belief, which, though still fairly small, was making surprising headroads into French catholics, espoused a style of belief of rigorous Augustinism. Blaise spoke with the doctor frequently, and upon his successful treatment of Étienne, borrowed works by Jansenist authors through him. In this period, Pascal experienced a sort of "first conversion" and began in the course of the following year to write on theological subjects. Cornelius Jansen, Engraving by Jean Morin Cornelius Jansen, often known as Jansenius (October 28, 1585 — May 6, 1638) was bishop of Ypres and the father of the religious revival known as Jansenism. ... Augustine may refer to: Saints: Augustine of Hippo (354-430), theologian, author of The City of God, Confessions Augustine of Canterbury (d. ...


Pascal fell away from this initial religious engagement and experienced a few years of what he called [citation needed] a "worldly period" (1648–54). His father died in 1651, and Pascal gained control over both his inheritance as well as his sister Jacqueline who announced that she intended to become a postulant in the Jansenist convent of Port-Royal by the first of the year. Pascal was deeply affected and very sad, not because of her choice, but because due to his life-long poor health he too needed her. A Postulant (from the Latin postulare, to ask) was originally one who makes a request or demand; hence, a candidate. ... An illustration of pre-1692 Port Royal Port Royal was the centre of shipping commerce in Jamaica in the 17th century. ...

"Suddenly there was war in the Pascal household. Blaise pleaded with Jacqueline not to leave, but she was adamant. He commanded her to stay, but that didn't work, either.At the heart of this was...Blaise's fear of abandonment...if Jacqueline entered Port-Royal, she would have to leave her inheritance behind...[but] nothing would change her mind."[8]

By the end of October 1651 a truce had been reached between brother and sister: in return for a respectable annual stipend, Jacqueline signed over inheritance to her brother. (Their eldest sister Gilberte had already been given her inheritance in the form of a handsome dowery.) On 04 January, Jacqueline left for Port-Royal. On that day, according to Gilberte, "He retired very sadly to his rooms without seeing Jacqueline, who was waiting in the little parlor..."[9] On 05 June, 1653, after what must have seemed like endless badgering on the part of Jacqueline, Pascal formally signed over the whole of his sister's inheritance to Port-Royal, which, by this time "had begun to smell like a cult."[10] With two-thirds of his father's estate now gone, the 29 year-old Pascal was now consigned to genteel poverty. Jacqueline vowed a life of poverty. Pascal teetered on the brink of living one.


But Time is the best physician. For an exciting while Pascal pursued the life of a foot-loose bachelor, even going so far as giving merry chase while in Auvergne to a lady of beauty and learning, whom he referred to as the "Sappho of the countryside."[11] Around this time, Pascal wrote Discours sur les passions de l'amour ("Conversation about the Passions of Love"), and apparently he contemplated marriage — which he was later to describe as "the lowest of the conditions of life permitted to a Christian."[12] Jacqueline reproached him for his frivolity and prayed for his reform. During visits to his sister at Port-Royal in 1654, he displayed contempt for affairs of the world but was not drawn to God.[13] For other uses, see Sappho (disambiguation). ...


Brush with death

On November 23, 1654, Pascal is said to have been involved in an accident at the Neuilly-sur-Seine bridge where the horses plunged over the parapet and the carriage nearly followed them. Fortunately, the reins broke and the coach hung halfway over the edge. Pascal and his friends emerged unscathed, but the sensitive philosopher, terrified by the nearness of death, fainted away and remained unconscious for some time. Upon recovering fifteen days later, between 10:30 and 12:30 at night, Pascal had an intense religious vision and immediately recorded the experience in a brief note to himself which began: "Fire. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of the philosophers and the scholars…" and concluded by quoting Psalm 119:16: "I will not forget thy word. Amen." He seems to have carefully sewn this document into his coat and always transferred it when he changed clothes; a servant discovered it only by chance after his death.[14] This piece is now known as the Memorial. The story of the carriage accident as having led to the experience described in the Memorial is disputed by some scholars [15]. is the 327th day of the year (328th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events April 5 - Signing of the Treaty of Westminster, ending the First Anglo-Dutch War. ... Neuilly-sur-Seine is a commune in the Hauts-de-Seine département in France. ...


His belief and religious commitment revitalized, Pascal visited the older of two convents at Port-Royal for a two-week retreat in January 1655. For the next four years, he regularly travelled between Port-Royal and Paris. It was at this point immediately after his conversion when he began writing his first major literary work on religion, the Provincial Letters. An illustration of pre-1692 Port Royal Port Royal was the centre of shipping commerce in Jamaica in the 17th century. ...


The Provincial Letters

Main article: Lettres provinciales
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Beginning in 1656, Pascal published his memorable attack on casuistry, a popular ethical method used by Catholic thinkers in the early modern period (especially the Jesuits, and in particular Antonio Escobar). Pascal denounced casuistry as the mere use of complex reasoning to justify moral laxity and all sorts of sins. His method of framing his arguments was clever: the Provincial Letters pretended to be the report of a Parisian to a friend in the provinces on the moral and theological issues then exciting the intellectual and religious circles in the capital. Pascal, combining the fervor of a convert with the wit and polish of a man of the world, reached a new level of style in French prose. The 18-letter series was published between 1656 and 1657 under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte and incensed Louis XIV. The king ordered that the book be shredded and burnt in 1660. In 1661, in the midsts of the formulary controversy, the Jansenist school at Port-Royal was condemned and closed down; those involved with the school had to sign a 1656 papal bull condemning the teachings of Jansen as heretical. The final letter from Pascal, in 1657, had defied the Pope himself, provoking Alexander VII to condemn the letters. But that didn't stop all of educated France from reading them. Even Pope Alexander, while publicly opposing them, nonetheless was persuaded by Pascal's arguments. He condemned "laxism" in the church and ordered a revision of casuistical texts just a few years later (1665–66). Casuistry is a broad term that refers to a variety of forms of case-based reasoning. ... For other uses, see Ethics (disambiguation). ... The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu), commonly known as the Jesuits, is a Roman Catholic religious order. ... Antonio Escobar y Mendoza (1589, Valladolid - July 4th 1669, Valladolid) was a Spanish churchman of illustrious descent. ... For other uses, see Sin (disambiguation). ... Louis XIV redirects here. ... The Formulary Controversy opposed, in the 17th century in France, the Jansenists to the Jesuit. ... A Papal bull is a particular type of patent or charter issued by a pope. ... Alexander VII, né Fabio Chigi (February 13, 1599 - May 22, 1667) was pope from April 7, 1655 until his death in 1667. ...


Aside from their religious influence, the Provincial Letters were popular as a literary work. Pascal's use of humor, mockery, and vicious satire in his arguments made the letters ripe for public consumption, and influenced the prose of later French writers like Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1867 edition of Punch, a ground-breaking British magazine of popular humour, including a good deal of satire of the contemporary social and political scene. ... For the singer of the same name, see Voltaire (musician). ... Rousseau redirects here. ...


Miracle

When Pascal was back in Paris just after overseeing the publication of the last Letter, his religion was reinforced by the close association to an apparent miracle in the chapel of the Port-Royal nunnery. His 10-year-old niece, Marguerite Périer, was suffering from a painful fistula lacrymalis that exuded noisome pus through her eyes and nose—an affliction the doctors pronounced hopeless. Then, on March 24, 1657, a believer presented to Port-Royal what he and others claimed to be a thorn from the crown that had tortured Christ. The nuns, in solemn ceremony and singing psalms, placed the thorn on their altar. Each in turn kissed the relic, and one of them, seeing Marguerite among the worshipers, took the thorn and with it touched the girl's sore. That evening, we are told, Marguerite expressed surprise that her eye no longer pained her; her mother was astonished to find no sign of the fistula; a physician, summoned, reported that the discharge and swelling had disappeared. He, not the nuns, spread word of what he termed a miraculous cure. Seven other physicians who had had previous knowledge of Marguerite's fistula signed a statement that in their judgment a miracle had taken place. The diocesan officials investigated, came to the same conclusion, and authorized a Te Deum Mass in Port-Royal. Crowds of believers came to see and kiss the thorn; all of Catholic Paris acclaimed a miracle. Later, both Jansenists and Catholics used this well-documented miracle to their defense. In 1728, Pope Benedict XIII referred to the case as proving that the age of miracles had not passed. In medicine, a fistula (pl. ... is the 83rd day of the year (84th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events January 8 - Miles Sindercombe, would-be-assassin of Oliver Cromwell, and his group are captured in London February - Admiral Robert Blake defeats the Spanish West Indian Fleet in a battle over the seizure of Jamaica. ... Pope Benedict XIII (February 2, 1649 – February 21, 1730), born Pietro Francesco Orsini, later Vincenzo Maria Orsini, was pope from 1724 until his death. ...


Pascal made himself an armorial emblem of an eye surrounded by a crown of thorns, with the inscription Scio cui credidi—"I know whom I have believed."[16] His beliefs renewed, he set his mind to write his final, unfinished testament, the Pensées.


The Pensées

Main article: Pensées

Unfortunately, Pascal could not finish his most influential theological work, referred posthumously as the Pensées ("Thoughts"), before his death. It was to have been a sustained and coherent examination of and defense of the Christian faith, with the original title Apologie de la religion Chrétienne ("Defense of the Christian Religion"). What was found upon sifting through his personal items after his death were numerous scraps of paper with isolated thoughts, grouped in a tentative, but telling, order. The first version of the detached notes appeared in print as a book in 1670 titled Pensées de M. Pascal sur la religion, et sur quelques autres sujets ("Thoughts of M. Pascal on religion, and on other subjects") and soon thereafter became a classic. One of the Apology's main strategy was to use the contradictory philosophies of skepticism and stoicism, personnalized by Montaigne on one hand, and Epictetus on the other, in order to bring the unbeliever to such despair and confusion that he would embrace God. This strategy was deemed quite hazardous by Pierre Nicole, Antoine Arnauld and other friends and scholars of Port-Royal, who were concerned that these fragmentary "thoughts" might lead to skepticism rather than to piety. Henceforth, they concealed the skeptical pieces and modified some of the rest, lest King or Church should take offense[17] for at that time the persecution of Port-Royal had ceased, and the editors were not interested in a renewal of controversy. Not until the nineteenth century were the Pensées published in their full and authentic text. The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... This article is about the psychological term. ... A restored Stoa in Athens. ... Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (February 28, 1533 - September 13, 1592) was an influential French Renaissance writer, generally considered to be the inventor of the personal essay. ... Epictetus (Greek: Επίκτητος; ca. ... Pierre Nicole (1625 - November 16, 1695), one of the most distinguished of the French Jansenists, was the son of a provincial barrister, and was born at Chartres. ... Antoine Arnauld, (1612 - August 8, 1694) — le grand as contemporaries called him, to distinguihs him from his father — was a French Roman Catholic theologian and writer. ...

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Pascal's Pensées is widely considered to be a masterpiece, and a landmark in French prose. When commenting on one particular section (Thought #72), Sainte-Beuve praised it as the finest pages in the French language.[18] Will Durant, in his 11-volume, comprehensive The Story of Civilization series, hailed it as "the most eloquent book in French prose."[19] In Pensées, Pascal surveys several philosophical paradoxes: infinity and nothing, faith and reason, soul and matter, death and life, meaning and vanity—seemingly arriving at no definitive conclusions besides humility, ignorance, and grace. Rolling these into one he develops Pascal's Wager. Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve (December 23, 1804 - October 13, 1869) was a literary critic and one of the major figures of French literary history. ... Will Durant William James Durant (November 5, 1885–November 7, 1981) was an American philosopher, historian, and writer. ... The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant (ISBN 0-671-21988-X) is an eleven-volume set of books. ... Pascals Wager (or Pascals Gambit) is the application by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal of decision theory to the belief in God. ...


Last works and death

Pascal's epitaph in Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, where he was buried
Pascal's epitaph in Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, where he was buried

T. S. Eliot described him during this phase of his life as "a man of the world among ascetics, and an ascetic among men of the world." Pascal's ascetic lifestyle derived from a belief that it was natural and necessary for man to suffer. In 1659, Pascal, whose health had never been good, fell seriously ill. During his last years, he frequently tried to reject the ministrations of his doctors, saying, "Sickness is the natural state of Christians."[20] Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1144x1628, 1222 KB) Description Description: Latin epitaph of Blaise Pascal, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, Paris. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1144x1628, 1222 KB) Description Description: Latin epitaph of Blaise Pascal, Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, Paris. ... Saint-Étienne-du-Mont church in Paris, located nearby Panthéon. ... Thomas Stearns Eliot, OM (September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965), was a poet, dramatist and literary critic. ...


Louis XIV suppressed the Jansenist movement at Port-Royal in 1661. In response, Pascal wrote one of his final works, Écrit sur la signature du formulaire ("Writ on the Signing of the Form"), exhorting the Jansenists not to give in. Later that year, his sister Jacqueline died, which convinced Pascal to cease his polemics on Jansenism. Pascal's last major achievement, returning to his mechanical genius, was inaugurating perhaps the first bus line, moving passengers within Paris in a carriage with many seats. Autobus redirects here. ...


In 1662, Pascal's illness became more violent. Aware that his health was fading quickly, he sought a move to the hospital for incurable diseases, but his doctors declared that he was too unstable to be carried. In Paris on August 18, 1662, Pascal went into convulsions and received extreme unction. He died the next morning, his last words being "May God never abandon me," and was buried in the cemetery of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont.[21] This article is about the capital of France. ... is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 1 - The Chinese pirate Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege. ... The Anointing of the Sick is one of the sacraments of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and some Protestant churches. ... Saint-Étienne-du-Mont church in Paris, located nearby Panthéon. ...


An autopsy performed after his death revealed grave problems with his stomach and other organs of his abdomen, along with damage to his brain. Despite the autopsy, the cause of his continual poor health was never precisely determined, though speculation focuses on tuberculosis, stomach cancer, or a combination of the two.[22] The headaches which afflicted Pascal are generally attributed to his brain lesion. This article is about the medical procedure. ... The human brain In animals, the brain (enkephalos) (Greek for in the skull), is the control center of the central nervous system, responsible for behavior. ... Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for tubercle bacillus or Tuberculosis) is a common and deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, mainly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ... Cancer is a class of diseases or disorders characterized by uncontrolled division of cells and the ability of these to spread, either by direct growth into adjacent tissue through invasion, or by implantation into distant sites by metastasis (where cancer cells are transported through the bloodstream or lymphatic system). ...


Legacy

In honor of his scientific contributions, the name Pascal has been given to the SI unit of pressure, to a programming language, and Pascal's law (an important principle of hydrostatics), and as mentioned above, Pascal's triangle and Pascal's wager still bear his name. For other uses, see Pascal. ... Pascal is a structured imperative computer programming language, developed in 1970 by Niklaus Wirth as a language particularly suitable for structured programming. ... In the physical sciences, Pascals law or Pascals principle states that for all points at the same absolute height in a connected body of an incompressible fluid at rest, the fluid pressure is the same, even if additional pressure is applied on the fluid at some place. ...


Pascal's development of probability theory was his most influential contribution to mathematics. Originally applied to gambling, today it is extremely important in economics, especially in actuarial science. John Ross writes, "Probability theory and the discoveries following it changed the way we regard uncertainty, risk, decision-making, and an individual's and society's ability to influence the course of future events." [2] However, it should be noted that Pascal and Fermat, though doing important early work in probability theory, did not develop the field very far. Christiaan Huygens, learning of the subject from the correspondence of Pascal and Fermat, wrote the first book on the subject. Later figures who continued the development of the theory include Abraham de Moivre and Pierre-Simon Laplace. Caravaggio, The Cardsharps, c. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... 2003 US mortality (life) table, Table 1, Page 1 Actuarial science applies mathematical and statistical methods to finance and insurance, particularly to the assessment of risk. ... Christiaan Huygens (pronounced in English (IPA): ; in Dutch: ) (April 14, 1629 – July 8, 1698), was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and physicist; born in The Hague as the son of Constantijn Huygens. ... Abraham de Moivre. ... Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace (March 23, 1749 - March 5, 1827) was a French mathematician and astronomer whose work was pivotal to the development of mathematical astronomy. ...


In literature, Pascal is regarded as one of the most important authors of the French Classical Period and is read today as one of the greatest masters of French prose. His use of satire and wit influenced later polemicists. The content of his literary work is best remembered for its strong opposition to the rationalism of René Descartes and simultaneous assertion that the main countervailing philosophy, empiricism, was also insufficient for determining major truths. Look up Polemic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... Descartes redirects here. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ...


Other

In France, a prestigious annual competition is held for outstanding international scientists to conduct their research in the Ile de France region named after Pascal (the Blaise Pascal Chair).


In Canada, there is an annual math contest named in his honour. The Pascal Contest is open to any student in Canada who is fourteen years or under and is in grade nine or lower.


A discussion of Pascal figures prominently in the movie My Night At Maud's by the French director Éric Rohmer. Éric Rohmer (born Jean-Marie Maurice Scherer, April 4, 1920, Tulle, France) is a French film director and screenwriter. ...


Roberto Rossellini directed a filmed biopic (entitled Blaise Pascal) which originally aired on Italian television in 1971. Pierre Arditi starred as Pascal. Roberto Rossellini (May 8, 1906 - June 3, 1977), was an Italian film director. ... Pierre Arditi (born 1 December 1944) is a popular, award-winning French movie and theatrical actor. ...


Works

  • Essai pour les coniques (1639)
  • Experiences nouvelles touchant le vide (1647)
  • Traité du triangle arithmétique (1653)
  • Lettres provinciales (1656–57)
  • De l'Esprit géométrique (1657 or 1658)
  • Écrit sur la signature du formulaire (1661)
  • Pensées (incomplete at death)

The Lettres provinciales (Provincial letters) are a series of eighteen letters written by French philosopher and theologian Blaise Pascal under the pseudonym Louis de Montalte. ... The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ...

References

  • Broome, JH. Pascal. ISBN 0-7131-5021-1
  • Davidson, Hugh M. Blaise Pascal. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1983.
  • Farrell, John. "Pascal and Power". Chapter seven of Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau (Cornell UP, 2006).
  • Goldmann, Lucien, The hidden God; a study of tragic vision in the Pensees of Pascal and the tragedies of Racine (original ed. 1955, Trans. Philip Thody. London: Routledge, 1964)
  • Miel, Jan. Pascal and Theology. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1969.
  • Muir, Jane. Of Men and Numbers. New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1996. ISBN 0-486-28973-7
  • Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1967 edition, s.v. "Pascal, Blaise."
  • Pascal, Blaise. Oeuvres complètes. Paris: Seuil, 1960.
  • Pascal, Blaise. Oeuvres complètes. Jean Mesnard, ed. 4 vols have appeared. Paris: Desclée-Brouwer, 1964-

Lucien Goldmann (born 1913 in Botosani, Romania, died 1970 in Paris) was a French philosopher and sociologist of Jewish-Romanian origin. ...

Notes

  1. ^ #1 p.50
  2. ^ The Story of Civilization: Volume 8, "The Age of Louis XIV" by Will & Ariel Durant; chapter II, subsection 4.1 (pg. 56)
  3. ^ Connor, James A., Pascal's Wager(HarperCollins, NY, 2006)p.42
  4. ^ Aristotle,Physics,VII,1.
  5. ^ Périer to Pascal, September 1647,Œuves completes de Pascal, 2:682.
  6. ^ Sainte-Beuve, Port-Royal, I, 89.
  7. ^ Connor, James A. Pascal's Wager (HarperCollins, 2006)p.70
  8. ^ Ibid. #4 p.122
  9. ^ Jacqueline Pascal, "Memoir" p. 87
  10. ^ Ibid.#4 p.124
  11. ^ Pascal, Pensées, Havet ed. Introd., p. civ.
  12. ^ Mesnard, Pascal, 57.
  13. ^ Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 52.
  14. ^ Oeuvres complètes, 618.
  15. ^ MathPages,[1]
  16. ^ Sainte-Beuve, Port-Royal, III, 173f.; Beard, Charles, Port-Royal, I 84.
  17. ^ Pascal, Pensées, Introduction, p. xxviii; Mesnard, Pascal, 137–138.
  18. ^ Sainte-Beuve, Seventeenth Century, 174.
  19. ^ The Story of Civilization: Volume 8, "The Age of Louis XIV" by Will & Ariel Durant, chapter II, Subsection 4.4 (pg. 66)
  20. ^ Muir, 104.
  21. ^ Muir, 104.
  22. ^ Muir, 103.

The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant (ISBN 0-671-21988-X) is an eleven-volume set of books. ... Will Durant William James Durant (November 5, 1885–November 7, 1981) was an American philosopher, historian, and writer. ... The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ... The Pensées (literally, thoughts) represented an apology for the Christian religion by Blaise Pascal, the renowned 17th century philosopher and mathematician. ... The Story of Civilization by Will and Ariel Durant (ISBN 0-671-21988-X) is an eleven-volume set of books. ... Will Durant William James Durant (November 5, 1885–November 7, 1981) was an American philosopher, historian, and writer. ...

See also

Pascals Wager (or Pascals Gambit) is the application by the French philosopher Blaise Pascal of decision theory to the belief in God. ... The first five rows of Pascals triangle In mathematics, Pascals triangle is a geometric arrangement of the binomial coefficients in a triangle. ... In projective geometry, Pascals theorem (aka Hexagrammum Mysticum Theorem) states that if an arbitrary hexagon is inscribed in any conic section, and opposite pairs of sides are extended until they meet, the three intersection points will lie on a straight line, the Pascal line of that configuration. ... Pascal is a structured imperative computer programming language, developed in 1970 by Niklaus Wirth as a language particularly suitable for structured programming. ... For other uses, see Pascal. ... A Pascaline, signed by Pascal in 1652 Blaise Pascal invented the second mechanical calculator, called alternatively the Pascalina or the Arithmetique, in 1645, the first being that of Wilhelm Schickard in 1623. ... In the physical sciences, Pascals law or Pascals principle states that for all points at the same absolute height in a connected body of an incompressible fluid at rest, the fluid pressure is the same, even if additional pressure is applied on the fluid at some place. ...

External links

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Blaise Pascal
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Persondata
NAME Pascal, Blaise
ALTERNATIVE NAMES
SHORT DESCRIPTION French mathematician, physicist, philosopher
DATE OF BIRTH June 19, 1623(1623-06-19)
PLACE OF BIRTH Clermont-Ferrand, France
DATE OF DEATH August 19, 1662
PLACE OF DEATH Paris, France

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... The MacTutor history of mathematics archive is a website hosted by University of St Andrews in Scotland. ... Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1623 (MDCXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... Clermont-Ferrand is a city of France, in the Auvergne region, with a population of approximately 140,000. ... is the 231st day of the year (232nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events February 1 - The Chinese pirate Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege. ... This article is about the capital of France. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Blaise Pascal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3478 words)
Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623–August 19, 1662) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher.
Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences, where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators and the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by expanding the work of Evangelista Torricelli.
Pascal's last major achievement, returning to his mechanical genius, was inaugurating perhaps the first bus line, moving passengers within Paris in a carriage with many seats.
Blaise Pascal - MSN Encarta (691 words)
Pascal proved by experimentation in 1648 that the level of the mercury column in a barometer is determined by an increase or decrease in the surrounding atmospheric pressure rather than by a vacuum, as previously believed.
Pascal's writings urging acceptance of the Christian life contain frequent applications of the calculations of probability; he reasoned that the value of eternal happiness is infinite and that although the probability of gaining such happiness by religion may be small it is infinitely greater than by any other course of human conduct or belief.
Pascal was one of the most eminent mathematicians and physicists of his day and one of the greatest mystical writers in Christian literature.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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5th June 2010
Did Pascal write an exposition of Psalm 119?

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