And Other Writings.
For much of his life, Pascal (1632-62) worked on a “magnum opus” which was never published in its intended form. Instead, he left a mass of fragments which became known as the “Pensees” and they occupy a crucial place in Western philosophy and religious writing. Pascal’s general intention was to confound scepticism about metaphysical questions. Some of the “Pensees” are fully developed literary reflections on the human condition, some contradict others, and some remain jottings whose meaning will never be clear. The most important are among the most powerful aphorisms about human experience and behaviour ever written.