3 Pages


This inquiry into Pascal’s use of volonté in the Pensées has brought several notions to light, ranging from the concrete sense of how one should interpret certain fragments to a global strategy for understanding the apology in its broader scope. Among the most compelling conclusions is a commentary on the variety of philosophical currents that would have informed the potential convert to Pascal’s brand of Christianity, wherein the will plays a central role. This explanation of the philosophical climate of the mid-seventeenth century in France helps contextualize the open-ended interpretation that one might otherwise make of the rhetorical composition and philosophical message in the fragments.