Pensees and Other Writings - The Art of Persuasion Summary & Analysis

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The Art of Persuasion Summary and Analysis

The Art of Persuasion is significant because it demonstrates Pascal's distinction between a proof of pure reason and persuasion that requires a person to submit her entire self. Pascal thus adapts a division of disciples into those based on authority and those based on rational investigation. For Pascal, both are needed: reason and grace. He also wants to show, in contrast to some previous philosophers, that one can act from both. The rules for persuasion in Pascal's view cannot lead to salvation.

Pascal argues that opinions become affirmed in two ways: through understanding and will. The first is more natural. The latter is alien and many refuse to acknowledge it. Pascal is not speaking of divine truths which only God can place in the soul. In doing so, He humbles reason. We cannot consent to...

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This section contains 453 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pensees and Other Writings Study Guide
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