Marquis de Condorcet

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Nicolas de Condorcet
Birthday
BirthplaceRibemont, France
Died
Occupation
Philosopher, mathematician, and political scientist

Condorcet, Marquis de

 

(Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat). Born Sept. 17, 1743, in Ribemont; died Mar. 29, 1794, in Bourg-la-Reine. French Enlightenment philosopher, mathematician, and sociologist. Political figure.

Condorcet’s research in mathematics brought him fame. He was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1769, and in 1782 he became a member of the Académic Française. In 1785 he officially assumed the position of permanent secretary of the Academy of Sciences. (He had in fact performed the duties of that office since 1773.) A friend of d’Alembert, Voltaire, and particularly A. R. Turgot, Condorcet contributed to the Encyclopedia.

In 1791, Condorcet was elected to the Legislative Assembly. He was the author of a bill on the organization of public education, which propounded the principles of secular schools and of universal education free of charge. Under the Convention, he was affiliated with the Girondins. Robespierre’s government charged him with conspiracy and sentenced him in absentia to death. For a while, Condorcet hid. In the spring of 1794 he was arrested. He committed suicide in prison.

Condorcet was a proponent of deism and sensualism. The Sketch of the Intellectual Progress of Mankind (1794; Russian translation, 1936), in which he attempted to establish the laws of the development of history, its main stages, and the motive forces of the historical process, holds a special place in his literary legacy. Influenced by the philosophical views of J.-J. Rousseau, Turgot, and G. Raynal, Condorcet did not reduce the historical process to the deeds of kings, legislators, and prominent personalities but devoted a great deal of attention to the culture and mores of the people. He was one of the initiators of the idea of historical progress, an idea which he developed, however, from an idealistic point of view. According to Condorcet, the progressive movement of history was due to the limitless capacity for development of human reason, which he portrayed as the demiurge of history. From his point of view, historical epochs are defined primarily in terms of the development of human reason, although the importance of economic and political factors in social development is also indicated.

In economics Condorcet shared the views of the Physiocrats. He was a proponent of the theory of natural law, which he used to deny the legitimacy of feudal society and to substantiate the necessity and the reasonable and eternal nature of the bourgeois system. He viewed the epoch of the consolidation and development of the society based on private capitalist property as the highest in the history of mankind. Condorcet could conceive of the future progress of mankind only within the limits of bourgeois law and order.

As an ideologist of a rising social class, Condorcet defended an entire system of advanced ideas: for example, the equality of individuals before the law, democratic rights and liberties, humane criminal legislation, and equal rights to education. He angrily condemned the colonial pillage “which corrupts and ravages Africa” (Eskiz istoricheskoi kartiny progressa chelovecheskogo razuma, Moscow, 1936, p. 224), and he regarded war “as the greatest crime” (ibid., p. 248).

Condorcet’s ideas played a significant role in the critique of the theological explanation of history and of providentialism and, particularly, in the development of the Enlightenment concept of the historical process.

WORKS

Oeuvres, vols. 1–12. Paris, 1847–49.
Correspondance inédite. … Paris, 1883.

REFERENCES

Marx, K., and F. Engels. “Nemetskaia ideologiia.” Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, pp. 530–31.
Cahen, L. Condorcet et la Revolution francaise. Paris, 1904.
Cento, A. Condorcet e Video di progresso. Florence [1956].
Bouissounouse, J. Condorcet. [Paris, 1962.]
References in periodicals archive ?
Por eso, el siguiente paso a analizar es la regla social de Condorcet, en la cual se debe observar si pertenece a la familia de reglas de mayoria definida, y si eso es cierto, que pasa si se eliminan del dominio de preferencias aquellos perfiles de preferencias que caen en la paradoja de Condorcet.
Esta paradoja fue constatada por el Marques de Condorcet en 1785, con ella se llego a la conclusion de que este procedimiento de voto puede producir ciclos cuando los votantes tienen preferencias estrictas y votan sinceramente (Rodriguez y Hernandez, 1996).
En primer lugar, es importante recordar el hecho de que es a partir de su matrimonio con nuestra autora cuando Nicolas de Condorcet empieza a publicar sus escritos sobre la igualdad real entre sexos, lo que pone de manifiesto la influencia de De Grouchy al respecto.
La compilacion incluye una traduccion del texto de Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat de Condorcet, "Sur l'admission des femmes au droit de cite" ["Sobre la admision de las mujeres al derecho de ciudadania").
En 1951 Arrow lleva hasta sus ultimas consecuencias la paradoja de Condorcet, y pone en evidencia el conflicto que se presenta entre la eleccion del sujeto, fundada en valores individuales, y la eleccion colectiva (Arrow 1951).
Nesse contexto de confronto de ideias e de projetos societarios conflitantes, situar a atuacao politica de Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marques de Condorcet (2), e importante para se compreender o proceso de constituicao da instrucao publica republicana e entender os principios que fundamentaram os sistemas educativos burgueses.
To support this idea, Sunstein invokes the Condorcet Jury Theorem, an idea developed by the French mathematician Nicolas de Condorcet in the 18th century.
By then the former Marquise de Condorcet and living in Paris, Sophie de Grouchy (1764-1822) published her translation into French of Adam Smith's 1759 The Theory of Moral Sentiments in two volumes, and appended eight Lettres sur la sympathie to the second, presenting her views as a moral theorist on the philosophical issues Smith raised.
I want now to sketch out the logical postulates entailed by the concept of a scientifically planned and administered society--a technocracy--and to consider how this logic directs the social philosophy of one of the first and most fascinating of the proto-technocrats, the Marquis de Condorcet.
Una de las versiones mas difundidas y exitosas--a menudo por via indirecta--de esta concepcion fue la expuesta por Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marques de Condorcet (1743-1794), quien sostenia que el Hombre, bueno por naturaleza, es capaz de un perfeccionamiento permanente e ilimitado; la educacion e instruccion publicas (y su reforma) adquieren entonces una relevancia de primer grado, contribuyendo a mitigar las diferencias naturales de talento y fortuna.
Among these is de Condorcet, whom the author characterizes as "a political thinker of outstanding originality and relevance.