Abstract

I analyze the complex relations between Pascal and the three figures of Montaigne, Descartes, and St. Augustine, and the relations the first two figures bear to St. Augustine. For Pascal's philosophy, one is in effect a resource (Montaigne), another a way of thinking that he makes his own (Descartes), and yet another serves as a model (St. Augustine). I further investigate Pascal's anti-Augustinism, that is, some of the points of resistance in Pascal against the thought of St. Augustine. Central to this investigation is the famous rapprochement between the cogitos of Augustine and Descartes, which requires a consideration of what, for Pascal, it means "to say the same thing." This analysis leads us to two conclusions: first, Augustine's The City of God should be placed among the number of works that Pascal did not read; second, there are fundamental philosophical reasons for Pascal to reject certain theses central to that work. Above all, there should no longer be any need to assume a merely abstract conception of an unproblematic Augustinianism in Pascal.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9274
Print ISSN
1063-6145
Pages
pp. 450-492
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-03
Open Access
No
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