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Biographical Sketch of Condorcet
			
           BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF CONDORCET.               397

                             VIII
             BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF CONDORCET.

                     BY M. ARNOLD MORIN.

  THERE is no name at the time when the national mind of the
French was emerging from moral pollution and weakness which
existed anterior to the Revolution-that point of redemption in
their history and the beginning of their renaissance of intellect-
ual march--which has commanded so much admiration and re-
spect as that of Condorcet; and as the life of this great and illus-
trious writer is full of manypointed and useful lessons to mankind,
even at the present age, it will be profitable to the readers of
this REVIEW to be introduced to this man of intense revolution-
ary times, in order that we may see how a man has -been fash-
ioned, under hot persecutions and an Iliad of woes, to become the
shaper of a nation's intellectual progress.
  Condorcet could not help being what he was-a freethinker.
Born and flourishing in an age which was steeped not only in
social corruption, but in aggressive disbeliefs, in either God or
religion, he gave free action to his philosophical mind, and, by
reason of the persecutions he underwent, became a hater of
ecclesiasticism and finally a disbeliever in God. Condorcet's
ancestors were the first who publicly embraced in France the
reformed religion. His full name was Marie Jean Antoine Nico-
las Marquis de Condorcet, and he was born in 1743, at Ribe-
mont, near St. Quentin, in Picardy. His uncle, Jacques Marie
de Condorcet, who was made bishop in 1761, had charge of his
education, and sent him to the College of Navarre, where Con-
dorcet sustained with the rarest distinction, at the age of sixteen,
a mathematical thesis, at which d'Alembert and La Fontaine
were present. The brilliant success which he achieved on this
occasion determined him to give himself wholly up to a study for
which he displayed extraordinary aptitude and ability. At the
age of nineteen, and without any fortune, he went and took up
his abode at Paris, where the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, the
author of the " Genius of Christianity," befriended him, obtained
a pension for him and introduced him to some of the most high-
born families of the land. Condorcet wrote two or three essays,
one upon Integral Calculus which opened to him, in I 769, the doors
of the Academy of Sciences. He followed up this mathema-
tical effort, as a justification of his selection, by another essay on
"Analytical Calculus," which demonstrated most conclusively
the penetration, depth and superiority of his genius. In later life
he recalled this work, and, having recast it, sent it forth under a
new name.
   Aspiring to literary celebrity, he resolved to be a panegyrist,




			
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Item Description Next Next

African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 07, Num. 4

Biographical Sketch of Condorcet

Arnold

Volume:  07
Issue Number:  04
Page Number:  397
Date:  04/1891


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