Pascal, Transcendentalist?

August 1, 2007 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Pascal’s Pensees and Thoreau’s journals are easy things to compare. They have a similar style (the editor of The Heart of Thoreau’s Journals, Odell Shephard, remarks in the introduction that Thoureau could be considered the American master of the Pensee), and they were both largely written by scientists/naturalists on philosophical topics.

I plan to do more work on this, but Pascal also seems to waver between transcendentalist thought and empirical thought in a way similar to Thoreau. Thoreau’s transcendentalism was more explicit because it wasn’t tied to religion, but the worldview of Thoreau’s time was increasingly acceptant of attitudes critical of religion. Pascal’s world was largely governed by the Catholic church, and his heavy involvement in religion may have made his views on transcendentalism more difficult to vocalize.

More on this later…

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Entry filed under: Empiricism, Pascal, Thoreau, Transcendentalism.

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Everything on this blog should be taken as a draft, the spilling over of mental activity flung far and wide. The author is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA who enjoys many things but devotes most of this space to matters academic.
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