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. Condorcet recognized that mankind was on the right track to attaining “perfection” but still had a long way to go. The elimination of prejudice and injustice is paramount to the progression of the human race.

Much progress has been made in the area of human rights since 1795, but we are still striving for the “perfection” Condorcet alluded to. Condorcet was ahead of his time in recognizing the rights of all humans and in advocating for tolerance and acceptance. Mankind must refer to back to Condorcet’s principles to finally realize the perfection that has eluded us. Provided we do not regress into the ideology of those who cam before us, the human race will continue to push forward in its quest for perfection.