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November 15th, 2005 | 2 min read

By Keith E. Buhler

Have you ever read Pascal's "Pensées"? (French for "Thoughts") It is a delightful, interesting, and often challenging panoply of little thoughts, aphorisms, maxims, questions, plus the occasional more lengthy argument (It is from this collection, for instance, that we get the celebrated "Pascal's Wager"). Like similar Eastern collections of one-liners, proverbs, and timeless principles Pascal does not so much argue as notice, does not so much offer conclusions as conversation starters, does not so much appeal to high philosophy as to common sense and plain observation. They are written on the now quite discarded notion that, sometimes, the truth can be stated simply, without flourish, and that humans can recognize the truth when so stated... merely by looking at it.

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