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Pascalian


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Of or relating to the French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623–62), who before the age of 20 had proved a geometric theorem and constructed the first mechanical calculator to be offered for sale. He founded the theory of probabilities and developed a forerunner of integral calculus, but is best known for deriving the principle that the pressure of a fluid at rest is transmitted equally in all directions.

Pascal's triangle a triangular array of numbers in which those at the ends of the rows are 1 and each of the others is the sum of the nearest two numbers in the row above (the apex, 1, being at the top).

Pascal's wager the argument that it is in one's own best interest to behave as if God exists, since the possibility of eternal punishment in hell outweighs any advantage in believing otherwise.


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