Friday, April 20, 2012

Maxim Force

La Rochefoucauld

The Literary Maxim

“It is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.”

Pascal’s phrase is a microcosm of philosophy held in the warm palm of the hand. Not a bad description of the universe for the 17th century[i], it is both general and accurate enough to translate well. This classic piece of diction, much quoted, can stand alone for all that it was woven into the extended text of Fragment 72: a set of paragraphs on Man’s disproportion. Fragment 72 is itself part of an aggregated collection of concise essays on “The Misery of Man without God.”[ii] True to his mission to convince skeptics of God’s existence, Pascal arranges his arguments in concentric circles. The maxim at the core of his thought serves to advance and summarize his discourse. Pascal’s style lends itself to maxims. Man’s disproportion continues:

Let us then take our compass; we are something, and we are not everything. The nature of our existence hides from us the knowledge of first beginnings; and the littleness of our being conceals from us the sight of the Infinite. (72)

Pascal’s Pensées are predicated on the author’s belief in the fortuity of human existence and the fallibility of human reason. These themes were common among 17th century theologians whose growing acceptance of the infinite extent of the universe heightened awareness of the littleness of the human being.[iii] During the last two years of his life, the period in which he composed the Pensées, Pascal’s sense of the uncertainty of human life inspired his moralistic attacks on human pretension and self-love (l’amour-propre). When he speaks as s a moralist, Pascal’s pronouncements are often not far from cynicism:

All men naturally hate one another. They employ lust as far as possible in the service of the public weal. But this is only a false image of love; for at bottom it is only hate. (451)

It is perverted judgment that makes every one place himself above the rest of the world, and prefer his own good, and the continuance of his own good fortune and life, to that of the rest of the world! (456)

Each one is all in all to himself; for he being dead, all is dead to him. Hence it comes that each believes himself to be all in all to everybody. We must not judge nature by ourselves, but by it. (457)

Men, not being accustomed to form merit, but only to recompense it where they find it formed, judge of God by themselves. (490)

There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who believe themselves sinners; the rest, sinners, who believe themselves righteous. (533)

What made Pascal so cynical? Pascal experienced two religious conversions in his short life. In 1646, Pascal was introduced to the doctrines of Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638) who argued that man’s desire for knowledge was a form of concupiscence. Influenced by Jansenist doctrine, Pascal began a strict observance of Christianity, but continued important experimental work in science. In November of 1654, Pascal had an ecstatic experience that led to his second conversion and with it a complete transformation of his way of life. After his second conversion he terminated his correspondence with mathematician Pierre Fermat, and cancelled the publication of a treatise on the vacuum.[iv] By the time he began writing the Pensées, Pascal had renounced a rich life of inquiry for a life of solitude and reflection. The pain of sacrificing the life of the mind to his faith – this act of self-abnegation at the behest of a zealous superego – was no doubt exacerbated by illness and loneliness. Self-abnegation may have made Pascal a cynic, as hard on mankind as he was on himself.  

When first exposed to Jansenism’s derogation of knowledge as vanity, Pascal was already, at the age of twenty-three, a mathematician who had written a treatise on projective geometry, the inventor of a calculating machine, and a scientist engaged in experiments on hydrostatic pressure. After his second conversion, Pascal continued to correspond with Fermat regarding probabilities theory through the summer of 1654. Also around that time he wrote, but did not publish, a treatise on probabilities (Traité du triangle arithmétique). In 1657-8, Pascal wrote, but again did not publish, a treatise on geometry (De l’Esprit géométrique). This treatise, published posthumously, is now appreciated as an important contribution to the philosophy of mathematics. Today, Pascal’s work in probabilities is recognized as a key part of his legacy in math and science. To illustrate the scope of Pascal’s renunciation of scientific work, one might compare his trajectory to that of Leo Tolstoy. In the wake of a religious conversion, Tolstoy repudiated his masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and stopped writing great literature in favor of an ascetic, radically moralistic way of life.

Did I convince you? My hypothesis that Pascal’s cynicism grew out of the pain of renunciation turns out to be a riff on an Enlightenment view of Pascal’s choice of piety over science as self-destructive and even perverse. At least I’m in good company: the company of modernity.[v] Pascal’s movement away from science towards religion has been regarded differently in each era since his death. Pascal’s sister Gilberte Périer, author of La Vie de Monsieur Pascal (The Life of M. Pascal, 1684), has been alternately accepted as credible and accused of writing a hagiography. Placing his trust in Gilberte’s memoir, 17th century playwright Jean Racine developed the story of Pascal’s rupture with society, and his renunciation of science, from a Jansenist point of view. French philosopher Pierre Bayle saw Pascal as a human paradox. Enlightenment thinker Voltaire, censorious of Pascal for abandoning science, and hence the potential betterment of man, described Pascal as “a sublime misanthrope” in his Philosophical Letters.

Pascal did turn from the natural sciences to radical religion; the question is when and how? The main source on Pascal’s life is Gilberte’s La Vie, a document written both to recount aspects of Pascal’s life and to testify to the greater glory of God. Key to evaluating Gilberte’s credibility is her statement that Pascal terminated all scientific work after 1646. Historical evidence, such as the consultation, research and writing described above, shows that Pascal’s movement away from science was a gradual process. Pascal continued scientific work, and continued to be involved in scientific debate, until around 1654-58. During the interim between 1646 and 1654, Pascal was as likely to display his animus in an argument with another scientist as with a theological opponent. Between the time of his two conversions, Pascal also remained a personage in society, even appearing at court on occasion. This is not to say that Pascal left science behind without conflict. Covertly devout, he possessed a self-flagellation device (but that was not especially unusual for the times; even the worldly Molière wore a hair shirt, as was discovered at the time of his death).

In modern times it’s fair to ask whether the Enlightenment point of view is, after all, a valid one. It’s true indeed that Pascal left something of great importance behind at the time of his second conversion. He did not leave science and reason behind, however, for a life of misanthropy and self-flagellation. Pascal changed the focus of his thought from inquiry in the natural sciences to the study of man: man alone, and man in the presence of God. Just as the Pascal of the treatises on physics and geometry was a great scientist and mathematician, so the Pascal of the Pensées was a literary genius, working at height of his powers. 

That Pascal’s renunciation of reason was never quite complete can be seen in Section VI of the Pensées, in which Pascal’s commentary on the philosophers of classical antiquity is aggregated. Here Pascal revisits his penchant for rational inquiry. Reflecting on classical philosophy, Pascal revives the optimism about reason expressed in his scientific writings. Pascal refers to his own invention, the calculating machine, to formulate a maxim on the will. The abstract quality of this maxim, relating the concepts of thought and will to man, machine, and animal, makes for a prescient idea, relevant to 21st century preoccupations with artificial intelligence. Pascal, considering man in relation to machine and animal, rather than man in relation to God, thinks his way into the future:

The arithmetical machine produces effects which approach nearer to thought than all the actions of animals. But it does nothing which would enable us to attribute will to it, as to the animals. (340)

In the context of ancient philosophy, with its emphasis on reason as moderation, self-control and the exercise of good judgment, Pascal envisions reason as man’s proper master.

Reason commands us far more imperiously than a master; for in disobeying the one we are unfortunate, and in disobeying the other we are fools.  (345)

Pascal’s commentary on Stoicism inspires a maxim modeled on stoical philosophy:

The strength of a man’s virtue must not be measured by his efforts, but by his ordinary life. (352)

Contemplating the tradition of classical philosophy, and particularly Stoicism, which teaches man how to live calmly in the face of pain and death, Pascal develops his concept of the human condition as a fragile status supported by the dignity of reason. Just as Pascal uses the maxim to describe the dimensions of the universe, he uses the it to define the human condition in the light of reason:

Man is a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. (347)

Pascal develops his thought by compressing it, then expanding, elaborating:

…A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies…

Elsewhere, in Section V, in which Pascal’s thoughts on justice are aggregated, the Jansenist belief in man's innate corruption predominates. Man’s reason, inflected by original sin, is inadequate to help him in constructing reliable principles of justice:

A custom determines what is agreeable, so also does it determine justice. (309)

Justice is what is established; and thus all our established laws will necessarily be regarded as just without examination, since they are established. (312)

In Section IV: “Of the Means of Belief”, Pascal describes the workings of mind and heart, unified by reason. Fragment 277 begins with an enigmatic maxim:

The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.

Pascal’s much-quoted saying is not about the conflict between head and heart, as T.S. Eliot reminds us in his introduction to the Pensées. Rather, it intimates  a heart divided in its propensities for self-love and self-transcending love. The philosopher explains the maxim, and then addresses and interrogates his imaginary reader:

I say that the heart naturally loves the Universal Being, and also itself naturally, according as it gives itself to them, and it hardens itself against one or the other at its will. You have rejected the one and kept the other. Is it by reason that you love yourself?

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), creator of Pascal’s triangle, theoretician of mathematics and physics, inventor of the hydraulic press, began to write the Pensées in 1660, two years before his death. His closest ally was the heart ruled by reason. Reason itself, however, was felt to be as susceptible to distortion by human perception as by innately corrupt human nature. In Fragment 82, Pascal projects an image of the sway of imagination over the reasonable man:

If the greatest philosopher in the world finds himself on a plank wider than actually necessary, but hanging over a precipice, his imagination will prevail, though his reason convince him of his safety.

Pascal’s contribution to philosophy and literature was stylistic as well as conceptual. Whether he wrote in the guise of theologian or moralist, it was Pascal’s ability to pen concise paragraphs and maxims that made his thoughts memorable. Pascal found his way to the maxim via religiously conjured personal suffering. Ironically, he would share the century’s crown for ingenious, elegant writing with the author who defined the maxim as a genre, and found his way to the maxim via the vicissitudes of the unexamined life.

Certain formulations in the Pensées appear to share something of the spirit of the maxims of François VI, Duc de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680). Pascal recalls La Rochefoucauld’s cynicism about society in his quip:

To call a king “Prince” is pleasing, because it diminishes his rank. (42)

But Pascal, raised and educated by his mathematician father, and nursed by his sisters through various periods of ill health, lived in a kind of symbiosis with his family in a way that seemed to preclude full integration into society; and indeed, Pascal cared not at all for society during the last years of his life, the time when he wrote the Pensés. Pascal was interested in humanity's social foibles only insofar as they illustrated the Jansenist doctrine of the corruption of human nature. As a moralist, Pascal used maxims to express his pessimism toward man untouched by grace. Pascal’s analysis of man’s soul was meant to show that man’s self-love could only be mitigated by belief in God. Inadequate by itself, reason aided by faith lent dignity to man. La Rochefoucauld too dissected man’s soul, and disclosed in his Maximes what he found there: a relentless self-love (l’amour-propre) unmitigated by reason or faith.

La Rochefoucauld’s temperament and history differed dramatically from Pascal’s. Aristocratic opponent of the powerful Cardinal Richelieu and passionate plotter of conspiracies, La Rochefoucauld spent his early years in society, in the king's prison and on the battlefield. Disappointed in love, alienated by his failure to advance his career following Richelieu’s death, the duke embarked on a thoroughgoing analysis of self-love and society. La Rochefoucauld’s maxims show none of the cosmic, philosophical questing of Pascal, but the form suits the purposes of the worldly man just as well. La Rochefoucauld’s trenchant rationality informs the telegraphic rigor of his epigrams on a range of topics.

On Love:

69. If there is a pure love, exempt from the mixture of our other passions, it is that which is concealed at the bottom of the heart and of which even ourselves are ignorant.

74. There is only one sort of love, but there are a thousand different copies.

On Death:

26. Neither the sun nor death can be looked at without winking.

On Youth and Old Age:

93. Old men delight in giving good advice as a consolation for the fact that they can no longer set
bad examples.

109. Youth changes its tastes by the warmth of its blood, age retains its tastes by habit.

On Human Nature:

138. A man would rather say evil of himself than say nothing.

149. The refusal of praise is only the wish to be praised twice.

169. Idleness and fear keeps us in the path of duty, but our virtue often gets the praise.

In France, the 17th century was the maxim’s finest hour. The form, chameleonic enough to embody a satirical quip or a theological conundrum, was well suited to the French literary sensibility. One can imagine La Rochefoucauld composing his maxims in society in consultation with the elegant Madame de Sablé, or in collaboration with his longtime intellectual partner Madame de Lafayette. Just as easily, one can imagine Pascal composing his sayings in solitude, without the distraction or the support of an audience.

French literature of the 17th century paid tribute to the spirit of the maxim in the solitary act of reading and writing, in society, and at the theater. In the plays of Molière (1633-1673) and Racine (1659-1669), characters often engaged in verbal duels, wielding maxims in the style of La Rochefoucauld or La Bruyère.[vi]

During the 18th century the maxims of Voltaire (1694-1778) mirrored the central crisis of French society leading up to the Revolution (1789-1799). Candide (1762), Voltaire’s picaresque satire, attacked Leibnitz’s philosophical aphorism: "All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds”, countering it with the summation of Candide’s journey: “Let us cultivate our garden.” Far from being an enigmatic saying, "Let us cultivate our garden" encapsulated the picture of a life of utility, as championed by Voltaire in his defense of Newtonian science.

Voltaire is famous for the saying:

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

If that was not yet the shot heard round the world, other Voltarian sayings would soon arouse revolutionary fervor. Voltaire died before the French Revolution began, but several of his maxims were used as revolutionary propaganda. Whether or not this political usage of Voltaire's maxims is a logical extension of the legacy of the philosophe is an interesting question. Voltaire, thrice an outlaw and an intellectual irritant to the French government, was thrice reintegrated into the Ancien Régime. Returning to Paris at the end of his life from self-exile in Ferney, Voltaire was greeted by the adulation of the people and welcomed in French society. Voltaire's passionate advocacy for radical ideas such as Newtonian science and for practices like smallpox inoculation made him an outlaw at one moment and – when the new ideas became accepted – the darling of the establishment the next. One popular maxim that was recycled as a revolutionary slogan came from Voltaire’s play Mahomet: "Mortals are equal; it is not birth but only virtue that makes the difference.” This revolutionary saying, too, was taken from Voltaire:

Liberty is engraved in my heart, and horror of kings.

Over the course of the next century literature accrued layers of romantic, symbolist and realist discourse, rendering the ingenious maxim obsolete. Of the 19th century French realists, only Stendhal (1783-1842) recalled the maxim’s pent-up force. Like La Rochefoucauld, Stendhal began writing late, after the career of a man of action. From 1800 to 1814, he took part in most of Napoleon’s campaigns. After the fall of Napoleon, he retired to Italy and began to write. Kicked out of Italy by the police, he returned to Paris and wrote a book on the four types of love (De l’Amour, 1822). Stendhal’s maxims defining love are embedded in epigrammatic prose: “Love is like a fever: the will plays no part in its coming to life or dying down.”

Mottoes and Maxims

Stendhal aspired to be a moralist in the grand tradition of Pascal, La Rochefoucauld and Voltaire. In the spirit of moralist Stendhal prefaces the chapters of his 1830 novel The Red and the Black with quotations, some evoking vignettes, some excerpted to read like maxims. Stendhal’s The Red and the Black is itself prefaced by an epigram purportedly excerpted from the words of French revolutionary leader Danton:

Truth, bitter truth

Stendhal’s use of mottoes – quotations at the start of every chapter in the novel – invites the reader to share in an attitude of detachment. Before we begin reading the compelling history of Julien Sorel, the novel’s hero, we are asked to consider the words of Thomas Hobbes prefacing Chapter 1:

Put thousands together / Less bad / But the cage less gay.

 Stendhal, aspiring moralist, ultimately became the author of morally ambiguous novels. In 1839, he published his masterpiece of pessimism, The Charterhouse of Parma, without aphoristic quotations like those that expressed his wit throughout The Red and the Black. When Stendhal glossed his novel of 1830 with aphoristic motttoes –– did he do so out of nostalgia for the simplicity, and confidence, of the 17th century moralist’s pronouncements? The maxim, whether a contemporary witticism, or an excerpt culled from literary forbears, spoke of a longing for authority in an age of unrest. Maxims, no longer composed in consultation with literati at salons, had ceased to be a genre for the times. In the 19th century, however, these superegoish formulations held an appeal for truth-seekers and rule-makers, and for the truth-seeking, rule-making parts of certain writers’ minds.

George Eliot prefaced the chapters of her later, more complex and adult novels Felix Holt, Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda with mottoes from Dante, Heine and Shakespeare. Shakespeare proved especially fertile ground for lines of verse that resounded with the cachet of the maxim. Such lines were invariably teased out of a longer context that modified their meaning. These reassuring lines from Shakespeare preface a chapter in Eliot’s tale of ambivalent love, Daniel Deronda:

I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul remembering my good friends.

The maxim, with its apparent universality, appealed to novelists Stendhal and Eliot, each one a moralist at heart, but tasked with documenting the consequences of social upheaval and the struggles of the divided self. Eliot highlights a chapter of Middlemarch – a chapter in which the impossibly constructed love triangle of Casaubon-Dorothea-Ladislaw is about to implode – with hortatory verses from Twelfth Night:

By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.

Sound advice, no doubt, in damp circumstances, but within the world of Eliot’s novel, not one of her characters might have altered his literary fate by swaggering a bit less. The confident assertion of the fabricated maxim thus proves deceptive. The maxim no longer offers a rule that can be applied to 19th century life.

Today, all maxims behave like this. There may be a point when you want to have a maxim engraved on your stationary or added to your social media profile – there may be a point when you want to tattoo it on your body if you’re unlucky – but over time the maxim’s force declines. The moment that sparked your recognition of its truth passes. Experience changes you. “The rain it raineth every day” is so perfect a summation of a certain mood and season. Yes, “The rain it raineth every day”, except when it doesn’t.

Tolstoy’s War and Peace – a multidimensional, voluminous novel if ever there was one – contains a wonderfully spiritual maxim, persuasive and densely meaningful in the context of the author’s philosophy of history:

Only unconscious activity bears fruit.

This maxim is so true for Katuzov, the Russian general who outlasts Napoleon, for the Russian people, and for individual characters in the novel that only by stepping outside Tolstoy’s richly dramatized world does it become clear that the maxim is just this: a partial truth stated as a whole truth. Absorbed in the novel, the reader acknowledges with surprise and gratitude that the Napoleonic ambitions of the self run counter to the purposes of nature and the current of time. How right it seems to wait out the fallow period in one’s life, like Tolstoy’s Pierre, like Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. But once awakened from the author’s spell, the reader is reminded that there is also, crucially, a time for initiative and conscious activity.

Perhaps the maxim was never truly at home in the novel, with its strict rules of engagement: absorption in the story, and the willing suspension of disbelief that all fiction requires. The maxim as a literary form most likely began with philosophy. Formally the maxim was well suited to early philosophy because it combined abstraction with brevity, lending itself to teaching and learning in cultures where transmission was still largely oral.

Among the earliest philosophical aphorisms are those of the Presocratic Greek philosophers. Though much of their work has been lost, aphorisms from Heraclitus, the school of Hippocrates, and other religious and scientific thinkers have survived. The extant aphorisms have been transmitted in the humanist literature; many other such sayings have been reconstructed from fragments. In all, the literature of the Presocratics is known largely on the basis of conjecture. From the ancient philosophical schools of Stoicism and Epicureanism maxims and fragments, not always clearly distinguished by scholars, have survived along with more complete texts. French essayist Montaigne, who had a deep interest in ancient philosophy, compensated for this absence of primary sources by finding inspiration in the Roman poets who had been influenced to varying degrees by the Stoical and Epicurean philosophers.

In his writing, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) negotiated a fine balance between philosophy and literature. Indeed, Montaigne created the form of the essay (in French a “trial” or “test”) by explicating quotations from the Roman poets with his personal commentary. Especially during the early, Stoical period of his writing, Montaigne relied on literary aphorisms with philosophical content to discover his themes. From the 1572-74 essays, many of which are structured around excerpts from the Roman poets, the following maxims show Montaigne’s obsession with chance and death:

He who dwells everywhere, Maximus, dwells nowhere.  Martial

Ever idle hours breed wandering thoughts.   Lucan

Man can never plan fully to avoid what any hour may bring.  Horace

Look on each day as if it were your last.  Horace

In time Montaigne developed a prose style with a more integrated quality, incorporating his own maxims, and appending first- and third-person statements elaborating their meaning. Beyond the early commentary period of his writing, Montaigne graced his prose with maxims in the classic third person objective, only to be irresistibly drawn into contextualizing them with more nuanced statements.This coherent style, smoother than the patchwork glossing of quotations at the beginning of Book I, can be seen in “Of Democritus and Heraclitus”, (1572-74):

Judgment is a tool to use on all subjects, and comes in everywhere.
{Therefore in the tests I make of it here, I use every sort of occasion.}

Among the functions of the soul there are some lowly ones.
{He who does not see that side of her, does not fully know her.}

 Following a personal and philosophical crisis in 1576, Montaigne discovered his purpose anew, concluding that the obstacles to certain knowledge did not preclude his project of self-portrayal. Confident that he had found his proper subject, Montaigne developed an original, epigrammatic style of writing. No longer reliant on the maxims of the sages, he now used quotations more sparingly. This process of integrating the wisdom of the classics into his prose was made easier by the fact that Montaigne had been speaking and reading Latin since childhood; in the course of his life he had thus internalized a great deal of literary and philosophical culture. A natural style was born of Montaigne's learning, his erudition superseded by confidence in his own judgment. When he did quote his beloved Roman poets, it was to grace his prose with lively examples and refined language. Montaigne’s maxims appeared now as abstract, now as figurative:

It is philosophy that teaches us to live.

The bees plunder the flowers here and there.
but afterwards they make of them honey, which is all theirs:
it is no longer thyme or marjoram.

In later Book II essays such as “Of cannibals”, maxims appear embedded in the text, rather than as distinct syntactical units:

Now to return to my subject, I think there is nothing savage or barbarous in that nation, from what I have been told, except that each man calls barbarism whatever is not his own practice; for indeed it seems we have no other test of truth and reason than the example and pattern of the country we live in.

By the time he composed Book III of the essays (1580-92), Montaigne had developed a confidence in life and a concomitant Epicurean philosophical attitude that was reflected in his prose style. Profound and witty, the writer’s original maxims epitomized a style that was both more personal and more objective than what had come before:

Each man bears the entire form of man’s estate.

The diseases of the soul grow more obscure as they grow stronger;
the sickest man is least sensible of them.

The authority of the judge is not given for the sake of the judge,
but for the sake of the person judged.

All authority, like all art, has its end outside itself.

Habit is a second nature, and no less powerful.

Perhaps of all the great French writers, Montaigne was able to use the maxim most judiciously because of the way he arrived at his mature style. Rather than trying to model himself after the sages he revered, Montaigne took the path of self-observation and self-scrutiny. Montaigne found his purpose in writing about himself, but only insofar as self-knowledge opened him to a better understanding of humankind. Reading Montaigne in the 18th century, Jean-Jacques Rousseau complained that his predecessor was not sufficiently confessional. But self-revelation had never been Montaigne’s aim. Rather, he studied himself as an example of Everyman. This was a unique enterprise for the time, and he emerged on the other side of subjectivity confident in what he had discovered about the human condition. By an indirect route, he came upon the great highway of universal wisdom, ready to pronounce universal truths.

From its role in the teachings of the ancient Presocratics, Stoics, and Epicureans to its birth as a genre in 17th century France, the maxim was a philosophical and literary form of great elegance and utility. It ceased to be so by the 19th century, when writers and thinkers developed comprehensive, subjective and syntactically diverse forms of fiction and nonfiction reflecting the moral ambiguity and social turmoil of the times. Translated from the Continent to the New World, the maxim lost its literary refinement and its intellectual rigor, but kept for a while its wit and moral significance.


[i] This was, also, not a bad description of the universe for the Middle Ages; the following aphorism, quoted by Alan of Lille, Meister Eckhart and others, is to be found in a 12th century book on twenty-four definitions of God: “God is an infinite sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.” (The Book of Twenty-four Philosophers, Hermes Trimegistus)
[ii] Pascal’s Pensées, Introduced by T.S. Eliot, translated by W.F. Trotter, Dutton, 1958. (The Pensées were published posthumously in 1670. Pascal had bundled his notes, and given each bundle a title, before he died. Organization and numbering of the notes varies by publisher.) 
[iii] Clarke, Desmond, "Blaise Pascal", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), 
[iv] Clarke, Desmond, "Blaise Pascal", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),.
-->[v] Richmond, Lisa, The Composition, Publication, and Influence of Gilberte Périer’s  La Vie de Monsieur Pascal,  B.A. University of Regina, 1991 
[vi] Cambridge History of French Literature, William Burgwinkle, ed., 2011, 822 pages, p. 322

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