Philosophy - Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal's pessimism makes way for his readers' optimism, with his famous contemplative work, Pensées. High schoolers watch a short video that summarizes the historical philosopher's worldview and most popular aphorisms.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Assign the video for homework as a flipped classroom activity
  • Allow learners to choose one of Pascal's aphorisms and create a poster, along with magazine pictures, illustrations, or other ways to depict the phrase's connection to the modern world
  • Connect with a math class when they are discussing Pascal's Principle, or when they are researching prominent mathematicians
  • Encourage class members to write an argument paper in which they agree or disagree with the video's contention that Pascal's work resulted in greater optimism in the world of philosophy
Classroom Considerations
  • Comment section is open to the public
  • Based on the level of discourse, the video is probably best suited for older or more advanced viewers
  • References Pascal's adherence and advocacy to the Christian faith, as well as its unpopularity in the intellectual world
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • Animations help to illustrate Pascal's main point
  • Philosophy appeals to the average cynical teenager
Cons
  • None