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Condorcet, Marquis de (1743–94)

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


French encyclopedist, born in Ribemont, secretary of the Académie des Sciences and member of the Académie Française. Condorcet saw human history as a history of progress and hoped that the French Revolution would lead to a new stage that abolished inequalities through rational government. His most important work foreshadowed the later development of philosophy of the social sciences through the application of the calculus of probability and statistics to social and political questions, such as voting and rational decision making. His major works include Essay on the Application of Analysis to the Probability of Majority Decisions (1785) and The Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind (1795). ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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