The Pensées (literally thoughts) is a fragmentary collection of writings prepared by the French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal for a projected defence of Christianity, left unfinished at his death in 1662. The proper order of the work has been the subject of much controversy, and older public domain works may not reflect recent scholarship.
Pascal was closely associated with the Jansenist movement in French Catholicism, and the Pensées reflect the Augustinian belief that man can be saved only by a divine grace he can do nothing to earn. This spirit is reflected in the most famous argument of the Pensées, 'Pascal's wager', which suggests that it is better to live as if God exists because one avoids infinite loss is one is right and suffers only finite loss if one is wrong.
Free online texts
Bartleby: Thoughts. Harvard Classics Volume 48, Part 1. English translation. HTML format.
Christian Classics Ethereal Library: Pensées. Translated by William Finlayson Trotter. Multiple formats.
Classical Library: Pensées. English translation. HTML format.
Gallica: Pensées, Tome 1. French text edited by Léon Bruschvicg (1904). Image file format.
Gutenberg: Pascale's Pensées. English translation. Introduction by T.S. Eliot. Multiple formats.
Internet Archive: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. 1941 Modern Library edition. Multiple formats.
Internet Archive: Pascal's Pensées, translated by Gertrude Burford Rawlings. Multiple formats.
Intratext: Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. HTML format.
Samizdat.qc.ca: Pensées. French text. PDF based on 1671 edition.
University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): Pensées, translated by W.F. Trotter. Multiple formats.
University of Freiburg: Pensées. French text. PDF format.
University of Dusseldorf: Pensées. French text, 1812 Renouard edition. Image file format.
BBC Radio 4 In Our Time: Pascal. Melvyn Bragg with David Wootton, Michael Moriarty, Michela Massimi.
LibriVox: Pensées - public domain audiobook.
Philosophy Bites: Ben Rogers on Pacal's Pensées - podcast
Les Pensées de Blaise Pascal. Dedicated French language website.
Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes
Pascal: Provincial Letters
Works quoted in the Pensées
The Bible: Genesis - Exodus - Deuteronomy - Numbers - Ruth - I Samuel - I Kings - II Kings - Daniel - Jeremiah - Isaiah - Ezekiel - Hosea - Joel - Micah - Amos - Jonah - Malachi - Psalms - Proverbs - Lamentations - Wisdom - Ecclesiastes - Song of Solomon - Job - Ecclesiasticus - Esdras - Matthew - Mark - Luke - John - Acts - Romans - I Corinthians - II Corinthians - I Galatians - Philippians - I Timothy - Hebrews - James - I Peter - Revelations
Terence: The Self-Tormentor
Seneca the Elder: Suasoriae
Seneca the Younger: Moral Letters to Lucilius
Augustine: City of God - Contra Julianum - Sermons - Letters
St Bernard: Sermons on the Canticle
Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica
Corneille: Medée - Horace