Nicolas de Caritat, marquis de Condorcet Quotes
A great man, who was convinced that the truths of political and moral science are capable of the same certainty as those that form the system of physical science, even in those branches like astronomy that seem to approximate mathematical certainty. He cherished this belief, for it led to the consoling hope that humanity would inevitably make progress toward a state of happiness and improved character even as it has already done in its knowledge of the truth.
If it is possible to have a linear unit that depends on no other quantity, it would seem natural to prefer it. Moreover, a mensural unit taken from the earth itself offers another advantage, that of being perfectly analogous to all the real measurements that in ordinary usage are also made upon the earth, such as the distance between two places or the area of some tract, for example. It is far more natural in practice to refer geographical distances to a quadrant of a great circle than to the length of a pendulum.
The penalty of death is the only one that makes an injustice absolutely irreparable; from which it follows that the existence of the death penalty implies that one is exposed to committing an irreparable injustice; from which it follows that it is unjust to establish it. This reasoning appears to us to have the force of a demonstration.
As the mind learns to understand more complicated combinations of ideas, simpler formulae soon reduce their complexity; so truths that were discovered only by great effort, that could at first only be understood by men capable of profound thought, are soon developed and proved by methods that are not beyond the reach of common intelligence. The strength and the limits of man
One wonders why there are so many women who follow Robespierre to his home, to the Jacobins, to the Cordeliers and to the Convention. It is because the French Revolution is a religion and Robespierre is one of its sects. He is a priest with his flock… Robespierre preaches, Robespierre censures, he is furious, serious, melancholic and exalted with passion. He thunders against the rich and the great. He lives on little and has no physical needs. He has only one mission: to talk. And he talks all the time.