Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 1, 2021

Infini-Rien: Ist Pascals Wettargument formallogisch ungültig?

  • Christian Hoffmann EMAIL logo


In the Infini-Rien fragment of his Pensées, Blaise Pascal develops an argument for the rationality of faith in God, which posthumously became known as Pascal’s Wager and at the same time represents a cornerstone of modern probability theory. While this betting argument has been the subject of much philosophical investigation, the contribution of this paper lies in the following: On the one hand, the bet is reconstructed in its basic features as well as its structure with the help of modern decision and probability theory tools. Thus, it is shown that Pascal’s betting argument, in distinction to Hacking 1972 for instance, has the form of an a fortiori argument. On the other hand, as far as objections to Pascal’s argument are concerned, it is true that the premises have often been called into doubt, more or less convincingly. On the other hand, this article is dedicated to the question, often emphatically – especially in Hacking 1972 – and perhaps carelessly affirmed in Pascal research, whether Pascal’s premises imply his conclusion at all.

Bartha, R. 2007. „Taking Stock of Infinite Value: Pascal’s Wager and Relative Utilities“. Synthese 154, 5–52.10.1007/s11229-005-8006-zSearch in Google Scholar

Byl, J. 1994. „On Pascal’s Wager and Infinite Utilities“. Faith and Philosophy 11, 467–73.10.5840/faithphil199411354Search in Google Scholar

Dummett, M. 1978. „Wang’s Paradox“. In Truth and Other Enigmas. Harvard, 248–68.10.7551/mitpress/7064.003.0010Search in Google Scholar

Easwaran, K./Monton, B. 2012. „Mixed Strategies, Uncountable Times, and Pascal’s Wager: a Reply to Robertson“. Analysis 72, 681–85.10.1093/analys/ans122Search in Google Scholar

Goldmann, L. 1985. Der verborgene Gott: Studie über die tragische Weltanschauung in den Pensées Pascals und im Theater Racines (dt. Übers. von Le dieu caché: Etude sur la vision tragique dans les Pensées de Pascal et dans le théâtre de Racine, Paris 1955), Frankfurt/M.Search in Google Scholar

Hacking, I. 1972. „The Logic of Pascal’s Wager“. American Philosophical Quarterly 9, 186–92.10.1515/9781474465908-003Search in Google Scholar

Hájek, A. 2017. Pascal’s Wager. In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Hrsg. von E. N. Zalta. Verfügbar unter: in Google Scholar

–. 2003. „Waging War on Pascal’s Wager“. Philosophical Review 112, 27–56.10.1215/00318108-112-1-27Search in Google Scholar

Herzberg, F. 2011. „Hyperreal Expected Utilities and Pascal’s Wager“. Logique et Analyse 54, 69–108.Search in Google Scholar

Jeffrey, R. C. 21983. The Logic of Decision. Chicago/London.Search in Google Scholar

Jordan, J. (Hrsg.) 1994. Gambling on God: Essays on Pascal’s Wager. Lanham (Maryland)/London, 83–99.Search in Google Scholar

Löffler, W. 1996. Einige Bemerkungen zur neueren Diskussion um ‚Pascals Wette‘. In Philosophie in Österreich 1996. Vorträge des IV. Kongresses der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Philosophie, Graz, 28. Feb. – 2. März 1996. Wien, 389–404.Search in Google Scholar

Mackie, J. L. 1982. The Miracle of Theism: Arguments for and against the Existence of God. Oxford.10.1515/9781400848393-041Search in Google Scholar

Martin, M. 1983. „Pascal’s Wager as an Argument for Not Believing in God“. Religious Studies 19, 57–64.10.1017/S0034412500014700Search in Google Scholar

Monton, B. 2011. „Mixed Strategies Can’t Evade Pascal’s Wager“. Analysis 71, 642–45.10.1093/analys/anr092Search in Google Scholar

McClennen, E. F. 1994. „Pascal’s Wager and Finite Decision Theory“. In Jordan 1994, 115–37.Search in Google Scholar

Pascal, B. 1937. Pensées. Dtsch. übers. u. hrsg. von E. Wasmuth: Über die Religion. Und über einige andere Gegenstände. Berlin.Search in Google Scholar

Pascal, B. 1999. Pensées. Hrsg. von P. Sellier. Paris.Search in Google Scholar

Rescher, N. 1985. Pascal’s Wager: A Study of Practical Reasoning in Philosophical Theology. Notre Dame, IN.Search in Google Scholar

Robertson, S. 2012. „Some Mixed Strategies can Evade Pascal’s Wager: a Reply to Monton“. Analysis 72, 295–98.10.1093/analys/ans039Search in Google Scholar

Robinson, A. 1966. Non-Standard Analysis. Amsterdam.Search in Google Scholar

Schäfer, L. 21985. Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). In Klassiker der Philosophie, Bd. I. Hrsg. von O. Höffe. München, 322–37.Search in Google Scholar

Schlesinger, G. 1994. A Central Theistic Argument. In Jordan 1994, 83–99.10.1515/9781474465908-004Search in Google Scholar

Sobel, J. H. 1996. Pascalian Wagers. Synthese 108, 11–61.10.1017/CBO9780511497988.014Search in Google Scholar

Sorensen, R. 1994. Infinite Decision Theory. In Jordan 1994, 139–59.Search in Google Scholar

Weidemann, H. 1999. „Wetten, daß …? Ein antikes Gegenstück zum Wettargument Pascals. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie“ 81, 290–315.10.1515/agph.1999.81.3.290Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2021-07-01
Published in Print: 2022-12-31

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 10.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button