(19 Jun 1623 - 19 Aug 1662)
“Reasons we have ourselves discovered”
Illustrated Quote - Large (800 x 400 px)
When Blaise Pascal died, at the young at of 39, he left hundreds of his first notes for a largely unfinished text—as in Sainte-Beuve's words, a tower of which the stones have been laid on each other, but not cemented, and the structure unfinished.1 If completed, his book was to have been a a defense of Christianity. The fragments were published eight years later, in 1670, as Pensées (Thoughts). They demonstrate his genius including not only the science for which he is remembered, but also they had the nature of a psychologist and a moralist.
Additional science-related Pensées can be read on the quotation page for Blaise Pascal on this site, as listed in the links below.
The subject quote is one variation of translated versions of the original, which was written in French:
On se persuade mieux, pour l’ordinaire, par les raisons qu’on a soi-même trouvées, que par celles qui sont venues dans l’esprit des autres.
A similar idea2 was expressed by Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) in his collection of Pensées (also published posthumously, in 1838):
On peut convainere les autres par ses propres raisons, mais on ne les persuade que par les leurs.
We may convince others by our arguments, but we can only persuade them by their own.
2 Footnoted by Ernest Havet in Pensées de Pascal: publiées dans leur texte authentique (1866), Vol. 1, 99.
- Science Quotes by Blaise Pascal.
- 19 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Pascal's birth.
- Blaise Pascal - context of quote “Flies are so mighty” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
- Blaise Pascal - context of quote “Flies are so mighty” - Large image (800 x 400 px)
- Blaise Pascal - context of quote “Reasons we have ourselves discovered” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
- Blaise Pascal - context of quote “Knowledge of morality” - Medium image (500 x 250 px)
- Blaise Pascal - context of quote “Knowledge of morality” - Large image (800 x 400 px)