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Pensées and Other Writings (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – July 15, 2008
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"It is an outstandingly clear translation."--Doug Kennard, Moody Bible Institute
"Excellent edition and translation."--Professor Forrest Williams, University of Colorado
"With its informative introduction, clear translation, and accessible arrangement, this volume would serve admirably in sparking discussion in class and in inducing students to ponder unexpected questions."--(Dom) Pashcal M. Baumstein, O.S.B., Belmont Abbey College
"Very readable. A fine translation."--Professor Michael Boylan, Marymount University
"This is the edition of the Pensees I've been waiting for. I'll definitely use it in undergraduate courses."--Doug Blount, Criswell College
"This is a solid translation and Anthony Levi's introduction brings a definite plus to it."--Catherine Danielou, University of Alabama at Birmingham
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Original Language: French --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
A lot of people blame Pascal for not being like Montaigne, but that is just foolish. I enjoy Pascal's style because of its originality, and there also seems to me to be a similiar style between both men--espcially in how they both change ideas in a brief span of time. I believe Montainge originally meant to make his 'essays' a collection of expanded sayings and maxims but it took another form, and Pascal maybe wanted his 'pensees' to be his magnum opus by turning it into a large book that would be something like Montaign's Essays. Both men, I guess, envisioned something different from their final product and both of them left a legacy that was fruitful and informative, and their works shouldn't be compared as two competing styles since they are so different from one another in both format and intention.
And after reading Pascal's 'Discussion with Monsieur de Sacy', I was struck by Pascal's shear brilliance. He is a giant of a writer and is one of the cleanest writers I have ever read.
Many compare Pascal to Montaigne and though I agree that they came from the same stock they certainly fall into different camps. Montaigne was an intellectual bon vivant and if one reads his "Essays" it is easy to see that his value in reason and science is not nearly as complete as that of Pascal. I really enjoy Montaigne and find myself thinking more like he did than Pascal. My belief is that their style of straightforward easy eloquence is similar due to the fact that they were both French intellectuals but the comparison should end there. The Pensees are great and I don't think they were meant to be read with any speed. Buying a copy is a great investment because it provides a series of aphorisms and thoughts for a lifetime of contemplation.
- Ted Murena
Among the major suggestions of Pascal's thought is the Pascalian wager which William James picked upon. Roughly speaking betting on the non- existence of G-d gives nothing. But betting on the existence of G-d give the possibility of eternity. Therefore says Pascal we should be wise and bet on the existence of God. And this though it is not certain that God wants us as gamblers.
Pascal's insights also extend into his reading of the Bible and his special insight into the destiny of Israel. His God after all is not " the god of the philosophers but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob " Pascal saw the continued survival the miraculous survival of the people of Israel through generations of persecution and suffering as a proof of the existence of G-d. And for that alone I have tremendously warm feelings for him.And this aside from the gratitude of his overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful insights.
This is one of the great books for probing the heart of Man and the Universe. And we should never stop rereading it.
As another reviewer has said, Pascal's most provocative reflections are on the miraculous survival of the nation of Israel and what that tells us about the divine authorship of the Bible. This was especially surprising and gratifying to me in light of his times and religious affiliation.
Most amusing is his fascination with the male fixation on games involving balls. He turns that one over and over and never quite figures it out.
I always find it restful to pick up this tiny, sweet-tempered book--so huge in its enduring wisdom--and read a few pages. It always gives me something more worthwhile and just plain fun to think about than politics and my irritating next-door neighbor.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I disagree with the 5 star review now at the top of the list. The Peguin version not only gives the pensees in order - which is all this book does- but also groups them by... Read morePublished 13 months ago by bardo
All my adult life I have seen references to Pascal, and read little quotations from Pensees. But somehow I had never read them myself. Big mistake! Now corrected.Published 17 months ago by Theodore Kobernick
Very nice edition with a thorough thematic index and enlightening notes in the back of the book. Superb translation from French. Enjoy !Published 18 months ago by causasui
This is a review of the Oxford World's Classics edition of the Pensées, translated by Honor Levi. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Thomas Miller
It is okay, but I was a little disappointed. I just felt that some of its sayings were a bit archaic & even debatable. Maybe they just weren't written with clarity. Read morePublished on March 18, 2014 by Ronald P. Campisi
BLAISE PASCAL INTENDED TO WRITE A BOOK FILLED WITH WISDOM; INSTEAD DEATH INTERVENED. WHAT WAS LEFT IS THESE 'PENSEES', OR 'THOUGHTS. Read morePublished on July 27, 2013 by refq
Unfortunately Pascal's writings are not coherent; the text is a compilation of thoughts, ideas (pensees) and does not present a
coherent read. Read more
This is philosophy, Christian mysticism and theology at their best. This is the man who, after recognizing the God of Christianity, completely abandoned his career as a celebrated... Read morePublished on December 17, 2011 by Steven741321