For much of his life Pascal (1623-62) worked on a magnum opus which was never published in its intended form. Instead, he left a mass of fragments, some of them meant as notes for the Apologie. These were to become known as the Pensees, and they occupy a crucial place in Western philosophy and religious writing.
Pascal's general intention was to confound scepticism about metaphysical questions. Some of the Pensees are fully developed literary reflections on the human condition,, some contradict others, and some remain jottings whose meaning will never be clear. The most important are among the most powerful aphorisms about human experience and behaviour ever written in any language.
This translation is the only one based on the Pensees as Pascal left them. It includes the principal dossiers classified by Pascal, as well as the essential portion of the important Writings on Grace. A detailed thematic index gives access to Pascal's areas of concern, while the selection of texts and the introduction help to show why Pascal changed the plan of his projected work before abandoning the book he might have written.
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