As in respect of the first wonder we are all on the same level, how comes it that the philosophic mind should, in all ages, be the privilege of a few? The most obvious reason is this: The wonder takes place before the period of reflection, and (with the great mass of mankind) long before the individual is capable of directing his attention freely and consciously to the feeling, or even to its exciting causes. Surprise (the form and dress which the wonder of ignorance usually puts on) is worn away, if not precluded, by custom and familiarity.
For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.
Pascal is called the founder of modern probability theory. He earns this title not only for the familiar correspondence with Fermat on games of chance, but also for his conception of decision theory, and because he was an instrument in the demolition of probabilism, a doctrine which would have precluded rational probability theory.ian hacking