Doomed to a Cycle or Constantly Improving?

The Marquis de Condorcet’s believed one day humankind would reach a future where the individual could be free to reason for himself and there would be no more positions of power such as tyrants or priests.1 He wrote that this future would have equality between nations, equality between individuals, and where decisions are made based on science and rationalization.2 His view directly opposes Marx’s idea we heard in class the other day, that there must be oppressors and oppressed in society until the oppressed overthrow the oppressors in a revolution.Read the rest here

Ideals of Liberty

The Marquis de Condorcet and John Stuart Mill were philosophers concerned with the idea of liberty and governments. Condorcet was a Frenchman writing during the time of the French revolution, undoubtedly inspired by the values of the revolution and the Enlightenment, putting reason above all else and valuing the progression of nations towards equality. He advocated for liberties that resembled the U.S. Bill of Rights, that is freedom of speech and press, abolition of torture, a simpler civil code and ensuring the security of innocent people.… Read the rest here

Condorcet’s Perfection

In his Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, Condorcet expounds on mankind’s struggle for perfection. Although Condorcet determines the quest to be “indefinite”, he also acknowledges its irreversibility “as long as the earth occupies its present place in the system of the universe, and as long as the general laws of the system produce neither a general cataclysm nor such changes as will deprive the human race of its present faculties and its present resources…” During the European enlightenment, mankind was just beginning to identify the unalienable rights possessed by all humans.… Read the rest here

Indefinite Perfection

Condorcet, in his Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, argued that mankind progressed at a continuous rate toward perfection. His philosophy for perfection was guided by his own reason and science. Condorcet was adverse toward religion and believed that reason was the sole basis for man’s ability to progress, become virtuous, and better society. He saw man’s ability to be limitless and unconstrained by nature, and concluded, “that this perfectibility of man is truly indefinite.” He observed that society had gone through many stages and periods of error and false theories regarding the rights of man.… Read the rest here