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Human Happiness (Penguin Great Ideas) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Aug 2008


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Human Happiness (Penguin Great Ideas) + Man Alone with Himself (Penguin Great Ideas) + Penguin Great Ideas : On the Shortness of Life
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141036796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141036793
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.7 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 295,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Blaise Pascal (1623 - 62) left his mark on mathematics, physics, religious controversy and literature. A convert to Jansenism, he engaged in passionate debate with the Jesuits the results of which are the Lettres Provincales, on which, with Pensées, his fame now rests. He is regarded by many as the greatest of French prose stylists.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Andy on 18 Feb. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have another Penguin edition of Pascal, but this one is blessed with a lovely cover design. The 'Penguin Great Ideas' series will introduce new readers to some interesting ideas and excellent writing. Ignore the daft one-star review.
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By Margarida Pais on 22 Oct. 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Excellent. Recommended.
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0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mike Brooks on 22 Oct. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A great mathematician has his ideas.Ninety percent are waffle. Trouble is does it matter now? Yes,important to read.I cannot be bothered with this review process however.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
The Incomparable Pascal 5 Dec. 2009
By Douglas Groothuis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Taken from the Penguin classics edition of Pensees (French for "thoughts"), this is a collection of selected sayings relating to the human condition. Ever since I first read Pensees in 1977, Pascal's ruminations on the magesty and misery of man have enriched and edified me. I return to this insights often and often quote him in my writings and lectures.

If one reads and reflects on this shorter collection, one will likely want to read the entire Pensees, despite the difficulty in understanding where some of the fragments would have fit into the larger apologetic work that Pascal was never able to finish, given his poor health. One may also be interested in reading my book, On Pascal (Wadsworth, 2003), for more on Pascal's achievements as a scientist and philosopher.

My only complaint is that the book lacks any introductory material, which would have helped the neophyte understand Pascal's life and thought.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Compendium 24 Nov. 2012
By Eclectic Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some history . . . I purchased a related book through Amazon: Christianity for Modern Pagans--Pascal's Pensees Edited, Outlined, and Explained. In it, Peter Kreeft selects 203 of the 993 "thoughts" from the original (as translated by Krailsheimer in the Penguin edition), reorganizes them, and comments on them. It, too, is an excellent companion if you want to better understand Pascal's work.

Then I ran across this book--Blaise Pascal, Human Happiness. Kreeft's book is a chunky 341-page (5 x 8 x 1) paperback. Blaise Pascal, Human Happiness is a 106-page selection (about 208 of 993 thoughts) from the original Pensees (also from the Penguin/Krailsheimer translation). The selections are well-chosen, capturing key sections of the Pensees (including 7 of the 9 long passages, which are really essays on topics like "44 Imagination. . . . the dominant faculty in man, the master of error and falsehood"; 199 the "Disproportion of Man" in nature--the limits of "unaided knowledge"; or "418 Infinity - Nothing," where Pascal makes his famous "wager." The book is nicely put together, with an attractive cover in a true "pocket book" format (4 x 6 x 1/4 and very light). It can literally be slipped into a jacket pocket. The book even has eight blank pages at the end. I'm guessing they're for jotting down notes as you read and think about the thoughts. Nice touch.

But I liked it so much that I purchased the Kindle edition so I could have it on my iPhone, iPad, or Kindle. I can so highlight selections, make annotations, and have the highlighted text and my notes in the "My Clippings" file on my Kindle.

Only one criticism: As the other reviewer noted--there is no introductory material. If you want to read a good rationale for extracting and reorganizing the Pensees, try the introduction in Peter Kreeft's book. And since the Pensees in this collection are NOT reorganized, if you are not familiar with Pascal, you are really going to need some explanation of why the thoughts were thrown together in this fashion.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I carry it with me all the time because of the compact size and the quality and thoughtfulness of the content is highlighted by 29 Sept. 2014
By Michael Z. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Everyone should read this. Gave me a new perspective on the distractions in life, and a respect for faith. I carry it with me all the time because of the compact size and the quality and thoughtfulness of the content is highlighted by the amazing embossed cover. If I lost it, I would get it again. Everyone should read this book, right up there with Aristotle, Machiavelli, Sun Tzu.
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