Category Archives: Blaise Pascal

Pascal on greatness and vanity

I’m currently working on some further thoughts on genius, in response to Lisa and Joel. It will probably be a few days yet, as I’m currently scrambling to complete grad school applications by their Feb. 1 deadlines. So, for now, here’s a great quip from Pascal that speaks nicely to some of the problems with pursuing genius – at least, to the extent that our conceptions of genius are linked to an achievement of glory. Enough of me. Here’s Pascal.

“That something so obvious as the vanity of the world should be so little recognized that people find it odd and surprising to be told that it is foolish to seek greatness; that is most remarkable.”