By James A. Connor
In an enormous biography of Blaise Pascal, James Connor explores either the highbrow tremendous whose thought of likelihood prepared the ground for modernity and the religious spiritual mystic who dared follow likelihood to religion.
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Extra resources for Pascal's Wager: The Man Who Played Dice with God
Pierre de Fermat, Blaise’s future correspondent on probability, was also a member, and it was in Mersenne’s monastic cell that Blaise first met him. 7 He first came to Mersenne’s group by writing to the priest and by correcting some of Galileo’s titanic mistakes in geometry. He also developed new ways of determining the maxima and minima in an equation’s curve, methods that conflicted with Descartes’ own ideas, already published in his La géométrie, where he set forth his view of algebraic geometry.
1641 PASCAL Gilberte Pascal marries Florin Perier. FRANCE EUROPE AND THE NEW WORLD 1642 PASCAL Birth of Étienne Perier, who will later confirm the genuineness of Pascal’s Memorial. Blaise begins to work on his calculating machine, the Pascaline, to assist his father in computing taxes. FRANCE Cardinal Richelieu dies. EUROPE AND THE NEW WORLD 1642 to 1651: English Civil War between Cavaliers and Roundheads. The Puritans close all theaters in England. Galileo Galilei dies. 1643 PASCAL Blaise continues work on the Pascaline.
There was wheat gruel for the children, but only a rare piece of meat, even in the better families. 2 It is likely that Blaise’s condition began soon after his mother ceased to breast-feed him. Perhaps she wanted another child, and since many women used breast-feeding as a means of birth control, Antoinette Pascal may have decided that Blaise was ready to make that fearful transition from a diet of breast milk, which had everything he needed to survive, to the local diet, which often left adults hungry.