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Hence all things being caused and causing, aided and aiding, mediate and immediate, and all inter-connected by a natural and imperceptible tie that unites the remotest and most diverse, I hold it impossible to know the parts without knowing the whole, any more than to know the whole without knowing the particular parts.

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Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal (June 19, 1623, in Clermont-Ferrand, France - August 19, 1662, in Paris) was a French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. He was a child prodigy who was educated by his father, a civil servant. Pascal's earliest work was in the natural and applied sciences where he made important contributions to the construction of mechanical calculators, the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum by generalizing the work of Evangelista Torricelli. Pascal also wrote in defense of the scientific method.

Pascal was a mathematician of the first order. He helped create two major new areas of research. He wrote a significant treatise on the subject of projective geometry at the age of sixteen, and later corresponded with Pierre de Fermat on probability theory, strongly influencing the development of modern economics and social science. Following Galileo and Torricelli, in 1646 he refuted Aristotle's followers who insisted that nature abhors a vacuum. His results caused many disputes before being accepted.


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