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Psycology » Persons » Thinkers » Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

All that he undertook, noted the seal of perfection, completeness, intellectual sharpness and philosophical generalization. It was a highly demanding and merciless to his genius.

Pascal value counting machine for large and subsequent centuries. She begins cybernetic era in the history of art. Pascal merit praised "the father of cybernetics" Norbert Wiener. The fame of the young inventor has overstepped the limits of his homeland.

In 1652 Pascal presented his car as a gift to Queen Christina of Sweden, which later he wrote an enthusiastic letter, indicating sympathetic scientist to the policy of "enlightened absolutism." Eight copies of the machine Pascal survived until our days. One of them is in the Paris Museum of Arts and Crafts.

In January 1646, Etienne Pascal fell in the ice on the street and a sprained thigh. The injury was very serious, and the sick were caused by two well-known in the district doctor-chiropractor - Buteler brothers and Deland, who settled for three months in the house of Pascal. These doctors were Jansenists, followers of the teachings of the Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen. They offered Pascal read some Jansenist works: "On the transformation of the inner man" K. Jansen, "Spiritual Letters" and "New Heart" Saint-Cyran, "On Frequent Communion" A. Arno.

These books were not written for theologians, as the chief work of Jansen - "Augustine," but appealed to ordinary believers and forced them to think about the meaning of life, their true welfare and happiness. Blaise read these books, and in his impressionable mind they made a real coup. Fascinated by science before he had time to reflect on questions of faith. Blaise in a short time has become a fervent adept of religion and militant Christian. He called this state his "first treatment." Particularly struck by his book Jansen, in which the author convincingly debunks psychologically vanity of life and condemned secular people (following Augustine) three "lust" that prevent people on the way to God and to one's own perfection, pride, curiosity and sensuality.

Blaise could not reproach ourselves with neither the first nor the third 'sin', but in the second ... he considered himself very guilty. That selfless passion for knowledge burned him for years. All his life's turned out displeasing to God, and he began to think about the "lived in vain", respectively. Remorse tortured him - he decided to leave science and devote the rest of his life to God.

Jansenism charm for morally sensitive Blaise was also associated with the struggle against the Jesuits of its representatives, their concept of "weakened morality" and connivance vices people "confessional practice." Jesuitism Pascal became synonymous with the religious and moral wickedness.

In the summer of 1647, Blaise was forced accompanied Jacqueline go to Paris for treatment. In September, the patient visited Pascal arrived home Descartes. The great philosopher with great sympathy treated disease Pascal, gave him some of his "home recipes" for health promotion. Unfortunately, Blaise could barely speak and barely kept the conversation.

Pascal refers to experiments in the field of physics. "Nature abhors a vacuum" - this was one of the tenets of medieval science, which, in particular, explained the rise of water in the pump. "The fear of emptiness" considered absolute, so that the water in the pipes behind the piston, such as fountains, seemed able to cock up "at least up to the clouds." But this theoretical assumption is not justified in practice. Galileo believed pupil Torricelli air pressure cause rising water behind the piston and hold the mercury column in the tube. So Torricelli level hypothesis undermined the dogma of the proverbial "fear of emptiness" as the reason for the rise of water piston. Moreover, Torricelli proved that nature does not "afraid" of emptiness and "quietly tolerate it", for example above the mercury in the tube - it was called "Torricellian emptiness."

New experiment Pascal irrefutably confirmed the hypothesis Torricelli. But first he repeated in different ways experience the Italian scientist. This happened even in Rouen in October 1646. Pascal experimented with different liquids (oil, wine, water, mercury, etc.) to obtain different volumes void and not without pleasure is a sensational showing at the time the phenomenon in front of friends and acquaintances, and even on the street in front of the residents of Rouen. His views he outlined in a small treatise "New experiments concerning the void", which was released in October. Here Pascal is still on the point of view of "fear of emptiness," but believes that "fear" is quite limited and measurable quantity, equal to the force with which the water is raised to a height of 31 feet, rushes down.

"The force is arbitrarily small exceeds this amount is sufficient to obtain the apparent emptiness of arbitrarily large ..." By "apparent emptiness" Pascal has an "empty space that is not filled with any known naturally and sensually perceived matter. " While there is no proven Pascal continues that this "apparent emptiness" filled with any matter, he would take her "real emptiness."

Rector of the Jesuit College of Clermont in Paris Noelle (a former teacher of Descartes) sent a letter to Pascal, which opposed what Blaise called "apparent emptiness." Jesuit was intelligent and educated, easy to navigate as in ancient authors, and in modern philosophy, Descartes knew and skillfully used some of his arguments against the void, especially his theory of the "delicate matter."

Despite his illness, lishivshuyu it even possible to write Pascal dictated a response letter, which clearly expressed not only my opinion, but in fact the new creed of science.

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