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date: 12 April 2024

Condorcet, Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de 

Source:
The Oxford Companion to Philosophy
Author(s):
M. J. InwoodM. J. Inwood

(1743–94).French philosopher, mathematician, political theorist, and a moderate revolutionary who died in prison. He developed ‘social mathematics’, applying mathematics and probability theory to social and political affairs. He analysed complex decisions, such as an election between three candidates, where the candidate selected by a simple majority may not be preferred by the voters when they compare each candidate with every other candidate. Complex decisions should thus be reduced to a series of simple decisions and should be taken by an enlightened élite capable of such reduction. Condorcet was a feminist, arguing that women should have the same rights as men, political as well as civil, and an education enabling them to exercise their rights. His ... ...

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