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French philosopher, physicist, geometer and writer
(1623 - 1662)
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That dog is mine said those poor children; that place in the sun is mine; such is the beginning and type of usurpation throughout the earth.
  [Fr., Ce chien est a moi, disaient ces pauvres enfants; c'est la ma place au soleil. Voila le commencement et l'image de l'usurpation de toute la terre.]
      - La Pensees (ch. VII, 1) [Possession]

I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter.
  [Fr., Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parceque je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.]
      - Lettres Provinciales (16) [Post]

He adopts the opinion of others like a monk in the Sorbonne.
  [Fr., Il opine du bonnet comme un moine en Sorbonne.]
      - Lettres Provinciales (II) [Opinion]

The world is satisfied with words. Few appreciate the things beneath.
  [Fr., Le monde se paye de paroles; peu approfondissement les choses.]
      - Lettres Provinciales (II) [Words]

The stream is always purer at its source.
  [Fr., Les choses valent toujours mieux dans leur source.]
      - Lettres Provinciales (IV) [Purity]

Noble deeds that are concealed are most esteemed.
      - Pensee (I, IX, 21) [Deeds]

"God is, or He is not." But to which side shall we incline? Reason can decide nothing here. There is an infinite chaos which separated us. A game is being played at the extremity of this infinite distance where heads or tails will turn up. What will you wager?
      - Pensees [God : Wagers]

To ridicule philosophy is truly philosophical.
  [Fr., Se moquer de la philosophie c'est vraiment philosophe.]
      - Pensees (act VII, 35) [Philosophy]

A jester, a bad character.
  [Fr., Diseur de bon mots, mauvais caractere.]
      - Pensees (art VI, 22) [Jesting]

The state of man is inconstancy, ennui, anxiety.
  [Fr., Condition de l'homme, inconstance, ennui, inquietude.]
      - Pensees (art VI, 46) [Life]

Force and not opinion is the queen of the world; but it is opinion that uses the force.
  [Fr., La force est la reine du monde, et non pas l'opinion; mais l'opinion est celle qui use de la force.]
      - Pensees (art XXIV, 92) [Opinion]

The incredulous are the more credulous. They believe the miracles of Vespasian that they may not believe those of Moses.
  [Fr., Incredules les plus credules. Ils croient les miracle de Vespasien, pour ne pas croire ceux de Moise.]
      - Pensees (II, XVII, 120) [Belief]

When we do not know the truth of a thing, it is good that there should exist a common error which determines the mind of man, as, for example, the moon, to which is attributed the change of seasons, the progress of diseases, etc. For the chief malady of man is a restless curiosity about things which he cannot understand; and it is not so bad for him to be in error as to be curious to no purpose.
      - Pensees (no. 18) [Motive : Truth]

A little thing comforts us because a little thing afflicts us.
      - Pensees (VI, 25) [Trifles]

Do you wish people to speak well of you?
  Then do not speak at all yourself.
    [Fr., Voulez-vous qu'on croie du bien de vous?
      N'en dites point.]
      - Pensees (VI, 59) [Speech]

He who does not know his way to the sea should take a river for his guide.
  [Fr., Les rivieres sont des chemins qui marchant et qui portent ou l'on veut aller.]
      - Pensees (VII, 38) [Rivers]

Rivers are roads that move and carry us whither we wish to go.
  [Fr., Les rivieres sont des chemins qui marchant et qui portent ou l'on veut aller.]
      - Pensees (VII, 38) [Rivers]

Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts.
  [Fr., L'eloquence est une peinture de al pensee.]
      - Pensees (XXIV, 88) [Eloquence]

Egoism is hateful.
  [Fr., Le moi est haissable.]
      - Pensees Diverses [Self-love]

Man is but a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed.
      - Thoughts (ch. II, 10) [Thought]

Thus we never live, but we hope to live; and always disposing ourselves to be happy, it is inevitable that we never become so.
      - Thoughts (ch. V, sec. I) [Happiness]

If the nose of Cleopatra had been shorter, the whole face of the earth would have been changed.
      - Thoughts (ch. VIII, 29) [Influence]

What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe!
      - Thoughts (ch. X) [Man]

We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.
      - Thoughts (ch. X, 1) [Truth]

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