HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
8,066 (9,174)622,587 (3.87)350
French Mathematician Blaise Pascal did much to set in motion what is known today as modern mathematics. An unusually creative mathematician, he developed a number of theorems and mathematical structures, including the beginnings of probability theory and a more sophisticated understanding of the geometry of conic structures. At the age of 16, Pascal wrote a brilliant paper on conics; the paper consisted of one single printed page on which he states his major theorem - the opposite sides of any hexagon inscribed in a cone intersect in a straight line. This theorem led Pascal to develop several hundred related theorems in geometry. Pascal's activities, however, were not confined to pure mathematics. When he was about 19 years old, he built a calculating machine that he demonstrated to the king of France. It worked well enough to allow him to build and sell about 50 of them over a few years' time. His work on problems in atmospheric pressure eventually resulted in an early version of the gas law. At the age of 25, Pascal entered a Jansenist monastery to begin an ascetic life of study and argument. However, he continued his mathematical work. With Pierre de Fermat, Pascal laid the foundation for the theory of probability. In 1654, Pascal's friend, the Chevelier de Mere, had asked him to analyze a problem arising from a game of chance. Pascal in turn exchanged a number of letters with Fermat about the problem. This correspondence became the starting point for a theory of probability. However, neither published the ideas developed in the correspondence. The letters did inspire one of Pascal's contemporaries, Christian Huygens of Holland, to publish in 1657 a short tract on the mathematics of games involving dice. Pascal's name is now attached to "Pascals' Triangle" of binomial coefficients which plays and important role in the study combinations and probability. The triangle was known at least 600 years before Pascal became interested in it, but because of his contributions to its study, the triangle eventually became associated with his name. A sensitive and temperamental man, Pascal was obsessed with religious philosophy, a subject on which he wrote extensively. In his general philosophy he was very much taken with the concept of the infinite, which unsettled him and inspired in him a sense of awe. Over a period of years, he wrote on many religious, philosophical, and mathematical subjects. His notes and letters were edited and published posthumously as his Pensees. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Pensées
… (more)
Pensées 4,345 copies, 29 reviews
The Provincial Letters 403 copies, 2 reviews
Britannica Great Books: Pascal (Author) 292 copies
Thoughts 250 copies, 1 review
Human Happiness 107 copies, 1 review
Oeuvres complètes 77 copies, 2 reviews
Oeuvres complètes (Author) 36 copies, 1 review
Gedachten 24 copies, 1 review
Pascal 23 copies
Pensees: No 1 18 copies
Düsünceler 14 copies, 1 review
Tankar. 2 11 copies
Les pensées 4 copies
Pensamientos 4 copies
The Wager 4 copies
Pascal 4 copies
[Pensieri] 1 2 copies
Dusunceler 2 copies
Pascal 2 copies
Pascal 2 copies
Gedanken 2 copies
Mysli 2 copies
Hairspray 1 copy
Tankar 1 1 copy
Œuvre 1 copy
PENSÉES 1 copy
Misli 1 copy
Opúsculos 1 copy
Myšlenky 1 copy
PENSEES 2 1 copy
Js 1 copy
Obras 1 copy
Cugetări 1 copy
Pensieri 2 1 copy
The European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche (Contributor) 389 copies, 3 reviews
Man and Spirit: The Speculative Philosophers (Contributor) 162 copies, 1 review
Western Philosophy: An Anthology (Author, some editions) 158 copies
Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (Contributor) 117 copies, 2 reviews
God (Hackett Readings in Philosophy) (Contributor, some editions) 51 copies
Reading Philosophy of Religion (Contributor) 8 copies
Profil d'une oeuvre : Pensées, Pascal, 1670 (Contributor) 7 copies, 1 review

Top members (works)

Member favorites

17th century (144) anthology (51) Apologetics (238) Blaise Pascal (55) Catholic (23) Catholicism (48) Christian (38) Christianity (220) classic (52) classics (107) Enlightenment (25) essay (33) essays (86) fiction (30) Folio Society (25) France (92) French (184) French literature (152) French philosophy (32) Great Books (31) Harvard Classics (33) history (30) Jansenism (25) Kindle (29) letters (29) literature (104) math (41) Modern Philosophy (36) non-fiction (246) Pascal (151) Penguin Classics (35) philosophy (1,723) Pléiade (23) read (26) religion (374) science (49) spirituality (46) Theology (255) to-read (159) unread (35)
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Gender
Nationality
Country (for map)
Birthplace
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Education
Occupations
Relationships
Organizations
Awards and honors
Agents
Short biography
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (3.87)
0.5 3
1 12
1.5 4
2 33
2.5 8
3 110
3.5 21
4 173
4.5 26
5 171

Author pictures (5)

(see all 5 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Blaise Pascal is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.

Includes

Blaise Pascal is composed of 20 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 174,106,447 books! | Top bar: Always visible