400th anniversary of the birth of Blaise Pascal


24 May 2023
The French mathematician was born in Clermont-Ferrand in 1632

Blaise Pascal is famed for contributions to mathematics that include his theory of probability Treatise on the arithmetic triangle. In physics, Pascal wrote a treatise on vacuum, invented the hydraulic press, and perfected Torricelli's barometer.

In 1654, after having been close to death and having had a mystical experience, Pascal decided to devote himself to God and religion. He elaborates the principles of his philosophical doctrine centred on the opposition of the two fundamental elements of knowledge: reason and the heart, intuitive, able to learn the ineffable, the religious and the moral.

Pascal's ideas are collected in the works  Les Provinciales (1656-1657), a set of 18 letters written to defend the Jansenist Antoine Arnauld against the Jesuits, and Pensées (1670), a treatise on spirituality published after his death.

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Issue date 19 June


Design and line-engraving: Pierre ALBUISSON
Printing process: 5 colours steel-engraving
Size of the stamp: 52 x 40,85 mm horizontal
Quantity of issue: 36 000 stamps
Sheet of 6 stamps with illuminations