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

Horse suddenly took fright and rushed into the breach, in which deep down gaping dark "deep" water. Another moment, and she would swallow all. But ... amazing coincidence saved them: the first pair of horses fell down, traces strongly strained and broke off - the carriage stopped at the edge of a precipice. Everyone was shocked and impressionable Pascal lost consciousness.

He could not recover from the horror of his neuro-psychological condition worsened, she developed a neurosis associated with a fear of empty space, it was rumored that his mind was "damaged." However, his creativity in subsequent years Pascal convincingly refuted them. But the case, in general, happy ending, no doubt played a tragic role in the fate of Pascal. In his "incredible" salvation he saw "the finger of God", reminding him of his duty to God. Besides Jacqueline strengthened its awareness of the need to leave the light. This gave rise to an extraordinary experience "divinely inspired", which he suffered in the night from 23 to 24 November 1654.

Being as it is itself, Pascal trembling hand sketched on a piece of paper small text ecstatic religious content, which condemned all his past life, renounced the world and devoted herself entirely to God. He then rewrote it for a special parchment, which together with the draft sewed into the lining of his coat. With this "reminder", now known as the "Memorial", Pascal never left anyone about it did not. It was discovered only after his death. First published the text of Condorcet in 1778 called "Amulet Pascal" which Condorcet found peculiar spell against the evil forces. But rather it is the program's last years, after the "peace coup" that he survived that memorable night.

Having retired in early January 1655 in the castle of one of his friends, the Duc de Luynes, Pascal soon expressed a desire to settle in suburban Port-Royal, where he and provided cell. But unlike Jacqueline he did not accept monasticism and retained the freedom of movement and choice of residence (he kept his apartment in Paris, where he lived for the days visiting Gilberto in Clermont) and activities. It was followed by his faithful friend the Duke de Rohan.

Pascal broke secular dating norm and made my life very strict fulfillment of religious prescriptions and ascetic self-restraint in all that concerned the wealth and property, including poor housing, meager table, modest clothing. "Mortified his flesh", he did not allow himself to eat tasty food, fruit, sweets, sauces, tea and coffee, in order "not to indulge the whims of language", though fragile health Pascal needed good food. But he did not spare to help the poor who sincerely compassion. So there was a "second conversion" Blaise Pascal, after which his life became more and more resemble the life of "holy". Nevertheless, the eight years of his life were for Pascal, however, but in terms of philosophical and more fruitful than the entire preceding period of creativity.

In January 1655 took a philosophical conversation with Pascal de Sacy on Epictetus and Montaigne. De Sacy was struck by the depth and originality of thought Blaise. Port-Royal was proud not only Pascal - "holy", but Pascal - an outstanding scientist and philosopher.

Since January 1656, Pascal is actively involved in the fight against the Jansenists of Port-Royal with the Jesuits, in connection with which they (supposedly in the name of Louis de Montalto) were written by the famous "Letters to the provincial" - "Immortal sample for pamphleteers" (O. Balzac) - was a whole era in the history of French literature and gave rise to a social movement against the Jesuits.

After the "Letters to the provincial" Pascal creates a number of theological works of four "Works of grace," "Brief description of the life of Jesus Christ," etc.

He decided to write "Apology of the Christian religion," which presented the first draft of a friend of the Port-Royal in the autumn 1658. This work initially conceived as a polemic, but to the extent that, as Pascal delved into his stuff, went beyond the planned limits. Apparently, the first Pascal intended to write an essay against freethinkers; refutation of their views require the presentation and justification of certain basic raw abstracts, and here there was a plan of true apology - books asserting the triumph of Christianity. Pursuant to that Pascal has focused on proving the following three theses: Christianity is the only true religion, the Christian religion is not contrary to reason, but, on the contrary, is entirely consistent with it; Christian religion - and it alone! - Leads to genuine good. Christianity, according to Pascal, based on a thorough knowledge of human nature and its establishment in all meet the requirements of the heart and mind.

He worked on it until the end of his life, and not having time to complete its work, which was in the form of records (mentioned in the publication of fragments) on separate sheets of paper, they are only partially classified by subject and in accordance with the concept of "Apology." Many other fragments had no direct relationship to it and concerned, in general, philosophical views of Pascal: about nature, man, knowledge, different ways in philosophy, etc. These records (selected with a view to glorify Pascal as a saint!) Were first published Por Royal in 1669, entitled "Thoughts of Pascal's about religion and some other things."

Pascal worked with enthusiasm and, as always, selflessly. For a short period (until summer 1659), he created a number of excellent treatises on the cycloid and problems associated with it. Pascal and was close to the discovery of the differential calculus.

As happened many times in Pascal's life, after a strong rise of creative activity, he became seriously ill and autumn 1659 was forced to leave science, now and forever.

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