Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, marquis de
Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, marquis de(märē` zhäN äNtwän` nēkôlä` kärētä` märkē` də kôNdôrsā`), 1743–94, French mathematician, philosopher, and political leader, educated at Reims and Paris. He became a member of the Academy of Sciences in 1769 and of the French Academy in 1782. His work on the theory of probability (1785) was a valuable contribution to mathematics. Condorcet took part in the French RevolutionFrench Revolution,
political upheaval of world importance in France that began in 1789. Origins of the Revolution
Historians disagree in evaluating the factors that brought about the Revolution.
..... Click the link for more information. , but, opposing the extremes of the JacobinsJacobins
, political club of the French Revolution. Formed in 1789 by the Breton deputies to the States-General, it was reconstituted as the Society of Friends of the Constitution after the revolutionary National Assembly moved (Oct., 1789) to Paris.
..... Click the link for more information. , he was condemned and died in prison. His best-known work is Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progrès de l'esprit humain (1795; tr. Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, 1955). In that work Condorcet traced human development through nine epochs to the French Revolution and predicted in the 10th epoch the ultimate perfection of man.
See studies by K. M. Baker (1982), L. Rosenfield (1984), and E. Rothschild (2001).