Quotable Quote – Blaise Pascal

Those who are accustomed to judge by feeling do not understand the process of reasoning, because they want to comprehend at a glance and are not used to seeking for first principles. Those, on the other hand, who are accustomed to reason from first principles do not understand matters of feeling at all, because they look for first principles and are unable to comprehend at a glance.
– Blaise Pascal

2 thoughts on “Quotable Quote – Blaise Pascal

  1. Eric says:

    I wonder what the context was for this quote. Was the reference to “feeling” actually a reference to intuition? In other words, he was comparing the intuitive and analytical approaches. I think most people do both to various extents. Great scientists are good at both… So, again, what was his point? :-) Is he just telling us not to overly rely on one of the approaches?

  2. Great question Eric. I liked the quote because it speaks to “balance.” On one hand we can be too loose and flexible while on the other hand too rigid and inflexible. Too informal or too formal. The ability to change and adapt — balanced in approach — keeps one from adhering to inflexible dogmas that can be found on either end of the spectrum.

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