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[pahn-seyz, pahn-; French pahn-sey] /pɑnˈseɪz, pɑ̃-; French pɑ̃ˈseɪ/
a collection of notes, essays, etc., dealing with religious and philosophical matters by Blaise Pascal, published posthumously in 1670.


[pahn-sey] /pɑ̃ˈseɪ/
noun, plural pensées
[pahn-sey] /pɑ̃ˈseɪ/ (Show IPA).
a reflection or thought. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Pensées in Culture
Pensées [(pahn-say) (1670)]

A set of reflections on religion by Blaise Pascal (pensées is French for “thoughts”). This work contains the famous statement “The heart has its reasons that reason does not know.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for Pensées


a thought expressed in literary form. A pensee can be short and in a specific form, such as an aphorism or epigram, or it can be as long as a paragraph or a page. The term originated with French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal, whose Pensees (1670) was a collection of some 800 to 1,000 notes and manuscript fragments expressing his religious beliefs. The form was particularly popular in French literature, as in Denis Diderot's Pensees philosophiques (1746).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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