Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Quote: Blaise Pascal on Knowing Truth

“We know truth not only through our reason but also through our heart. It is through the latter that we know first principles, and reason, which has nothing to do with it, tries in vain to refute them.”

- Blaise Pascal, Pensées (110) / 28


Anonymous said...

"The heart has its reasons of which Reason knows nothing."

Kendall said...

I'm not a fan of such quotes. Reason is what I have to lean on. The heart is a wash of deceitful emotions.

Brian said...

Pascal also said: "Two excesses: to exclude reason, to admit nothing but reason." (183/253) and also, "Reason's last step is the recognition that there are an infinite number of things which are beyond it..." (188/267)

Pascal wasn't against reason - but he offered a balance and discerned its limits. In addition (as the quote indicates) he understood that first principles (basic beliefs and axioms) are not the products of reason, but are known intuitively.

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