In 1645, Pascal became famous for “Pascaline”, the first calculating machine. Then, in 1662, he had another stroke of genius with his five-sol carriage, the first public transport line with carriages placed at the service of everybody. Another machine and another success to make the 17th century the golden age of the mechanical device.
All fields of knowledge therefore speak in terms of springs and wheels. The universe is a machine and living bodies are reduced to automatons, ideas that are to be found in developed form in the work of Pascal. This essay is wholly in keeping with our ultra-technological societies and aims to study this mechanical vision of the world while pointing out what might easily go
wrong when human reason is composed of bolts and wires.
Anne Frostin is a philosophy teacher who has the French “agrégation” in the subject. She has published various articles about Pascal and contributed to Luc Foisneau (ed.), Dictionnaire des philosophes français du XVIIe siècle
Key Sales Points
– A study that, in keeping with the times, questions our relationship with technology and science.
– A excursion into the philosophical world of one of the seventeenth century’s greatest thinkers and inventors.
– Perfect reading for students of philosophy and history.