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Extended Audio Sample Pensées Audiobook, by Blaise Pascal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,084 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Blaise Pascal Narrator: William Sutherland Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455177943
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Compiled after his death in 1662, Pascal’s “pensées” (thoughts) are his ideas for a book in defense of faith in a rational world. These fragments give evidence of a profoundly original thinker who had resolved the conflict between his scientific mind and his heart-felt faith.

The book begins with an analysis of the difference between mathematical and intuitive thinking and goes on to consider the value of skepticism, contradictions, feeling, memory, and imagination. It is a powerful look at humanity’s weakness and the futility of worldly life. Much of the value of Pensées lies in the clarity with which Pascal was able to present his intuitive thoughts.

Pascal spent much of his life composing this magnum opus, which offers some of the most powerful aphorisms about human experience and behavior ever written.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I know of no religious writer more pertinent to our time.”

    T. S. Eliot

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mitch | 2/12/2014

    " Blaise Pascal is a guy who knows and knows about knowledge and knowing -- what knowledge is and how it can be known, and what the right way of knowing is (namely, not only 'mathematically' [an acute consideration of propositions through rigorous logic] but also 'intuitively' [a perceptive 'looking at first glance' with the inclusion of the 'reasons of the heart' as a valid postulate in reasoning]). This is what I've seen of him so far. Haven't read yet through the whole book, but definitely enjoying it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 2/11/2014

    " "Man is a reed- albeit, a thinking reed..." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremy Sabol | 1/29/2014

    " pretty darn good translation - very solid introduction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie | 1/16/2014

    " This is a book that opened my mind to new ways of looking at religion and the soul. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonny Berglind | 1/16/2014

    " Short form at it best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luke Landry | 1/9/2014

    " I read this in university. but have since then turned back to it several times for timely words of wisdom. Might take a little while to absorb this book. but its well worth it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor | 12/28/2013

    " I need to re-read this one. I wasn't properly primed for it the first time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 TheDuchess | 6/1/2012

    " One of the most influential books I have read in my life. Best to read it in it's original language though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robbie | 10/21/2011

    " Scattered, insightful musings about God and existence. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leah | 12/7/2010

    " Pascal's perspective is a little dark and sometimes depressing. The worst part was I found myself agreeing with a lot of his points. Fortunately, the excerpts assigned to me went surprisingly quickly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 10/27/2010

    " Besides short bits of wisdom, this book is also a warning to perfectionists. Pascal never finished taking notes for his grand work--something I would have liked to have read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maxwell Harwitt | 6/9/2009

    " The insecurities and internal conflicts of a man of god and man of science. A really fascinating read, especially if you've read other Pascal. Covers the subject of the irreconcilable structures of logic and faith, from someone who understood that the former requires the latter. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 James Chafin | 3/28/2009

    " I threw this book in a garbage can underneath the el on Lake St. wager my ass! Opportunism of the worst kind; that which deals with the immortal soul. Nonsense! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donald Linnemeyer | 10/1/2008

    " I need to give Pascal some more time; me seemed a little less grating than Kierkegaard. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/5/2007

    " "Knowing all this does not help us to escape." Disquieting reflections on the vanity of existence. "

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About the Author
Author Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was a French philosopher, mathematician, physicist, and theologian, as well as a writer whose brilliant command of the language marked him as a master of French prose. His early, anonymous masterpiece Les Lettres Provinciales became the model for Voltaire’s polemics. Pascal’s Pensées, his last great work, remained unfinished at the time of his death at age thirty-nine.