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Database: Nicolas de Condorcet

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Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet was born in 1743. An exceptional student, he entered the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1769, where he developed his mathematical theories working on statistics and probabilities. With the Revolution, Condorcet, who was close to the philosophers of the Enlightenment, believed that the sweeping events could allow for better public use of reason. He founded a number of journals and ardently defended the cause of women, affirming that he was in favor of women's suffrage. In 1791, he was elected deputy and became secretary of the Legislative Assembly where he lobbied for educational reform. He voted against the execution of Louis XVI, which made him a suspect in the eyes of his fellow deputies. On October 3, 1793, a warrant was issued for Condorcet's arrest, whereupon he went into hiding. He hid for nine months in the house of Madame Vernet. It was there that he wrote one of his most esteemed texts: Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Spirit, published posthumously. Arrested in March 1794, he was later found dead in his cell. It was believed that he had poisoned himself.

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