Article/Publication Details

Pascal’s philosophy of Human Finitude: Fundamental Characteristics

(Original title: Základné črty Pascalovej filozofie ľudskej konečnosti)
Filozofia, 2018, vol. 73, No 3, pp. 201-211.
Language: Slovak
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The French thinker Blaise Pascal was not only a gifted scientist, but also an author of many brilliant essays on man and God, which later inspired many philosophers and theologians. The aim of the article is to show the role the idea of human finitude played in Pascal’s thinking. It outlines Pascal’s specific understanding of the possibilities and limits of the essential human ability, namely thinking rationally, as well as the ontological-temporal aspect of human finitude – the problem of death and mortality. Further, it examines the central concepts of Pascal’s Pensées (among them thinking, dignity, diversion, boredom) and clarifies his conception of man as a thinking reed. Pascal’s essays are presented here as based on his creative reception of previous philosophical and religious thinking (stoicism, M. de Montaigne, St. Augustin, church fathers, R. Descartes and others), and also as an important inspiration for the authors of later centuries (e.g. dialectical thinking, philosophy of existence and existentialism etc.).


Boredom, Dignity, Diversion, Finitude, Man as a thinking reed, Mortality awareness, Pascal, Philosophy, Thinking

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