Marquis de Condorcet
French philosopher, mathematician, and political scientist (1743-1794)
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Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis of Condorcet (17 September 1743 – 29 March 1794), known as Nicolas de Condorcet, was a French philosopher and mathematician. His ideas, including support for a liberal economy, free and equal public instruction, constitutional government, and equal rights for women and people of all races, have been said to embody the ideals of the Age of Enlightenment and Enlightenment rationalism. He died in prison after a period of flight from French Revolutionary authorities.
- Enjoy your life without comparing to that of others. It is enough for you to know that you are good, without examining whether others are as good as you.
- Advice to his daughter (written in hiding March 1794), quoted in Lukes, S., & Urbinati, N. (Eds.). (2012). Condorcet: Political Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781139108119
- Has not printing freed the education of the people from all political and religious shackles? It would be vain for any despotism to invade all the schools ... The instruction that every man is free to receive from books in silence and solitude can never be completely corrupted. It is enough for there to exist one corner of free earth from which the press can scatter its leaves. How with the multitude of different books, with the innumerable copies of each book, of reprints that can be made available at a moment’s notice, how could it be possible to bolt every door, to seal every crevice through which truth aspires to enter?
- Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, 1794 (New York: The Noonday Press, 1955) p.102.