CONDORCET, koN'dOeSC, MARIE JEAN AN TOINE NICOLAS CARITAT, larquis de (1743-94).
A French mathematician and philosopher. Ile was born at Ribemont, was educated by the Jesuits, won distinction for mathematics in his youth, and became an active member of the Acad emy of Sciences in 1769. Genial, susceptible, and enthusiastic, he became allied with the advanced thinkers and shared in the economic and religious propaganda of Turgot, D'Alembert, and Voltaire. He took an active part in the Encyclopedic, and, on the strength of his graceful Elogcs des aoa demiciens marts arant 1699 (1773), he was made the perpetual secretary of the Academy of Sciences in 1777. He became a member of the French Academy in 1782. His Elements du cal eul des probabilites (17S5), revised and en larged in a posthumous edition (1804), was his most important contribution to mathematics. From this time politics claimed him in increas ing measure. He wrote a life of Turgot (1786), and of Voltaire (1737), and was chosen member of the National Assembly from Paris, becoming secretary of that body, and in February, 1792, its president. He composed several of its most
important addresses, and elaborated a scheme of public instruction. Though finding Louis XVI. guilty, he refused to vote for his execution. He was active in framing the Constitution submitted to the Convention in February, 1793, but his op position to the Terrorists led them to proclaim him an outlaw. Friends found him a refuge with a Mme. Vernet, who said "the Convention could declare him outside the law, but not °a side humanity." Tracked hither at last, he es caped. was captured at Clamart, and died in prison at Bourg-la-Reine. March 29, 1794, from apoplexy, exhaustion, or poison. While with Mme. Vernet he wrote the Esguisse d'un tableau historique des progres de l'esprit humain, declaration of human perfectibility through emancipation from priests and rulers. narrow in its sensationalist philosophy and fanatic in its anti-spiritualism, but interesting for its militant optimism. Condorcet's Works (Paris, 1847-49) contain a Life by Arago. Consult Morley, Criti cal Miscellanies (London, 1893).