Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE. - Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind
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PREFACE. - Marie-Jean-Antoine-Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind 
Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind, being a posthumous work of the late M. de Condorcet. (Translated from the French.) (Philadelphia, 1796).
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Born 1743. Died 1794.
Condorcet, proscribed by a sanguinary faction, formed the idea of addressing to his fellow-citizens a summary of his principles, and of his conduct in public affairs. He set down a few lines in execution of this project: but when he recollected, as he was obliged to do, thirty years of labour directed to the public service, and the multitude of fugitive pieces in which, since the revolution, he had uniformly attacked every institution inimical to liberty, he rejected the idea of a useless justification. Free as he was from the dominion of the passions, he could not consent to stain the purity of his mind by recollecting his persecutors; perpetually and sublimely inattentive to himself, he determined to consecrate the short space that remained between him and death to a work of general and permanent utility. That work is the performance now given to the world. It has relation to a number of others, in which the rights of men had previously been discussed and established; in which superstition had received its last and fatal blow; in which the methods of the mathematical sciences, applied to new objects, have opened new avenues to the moral and political sciences; in which the genuine principles of social happiness have received a developement, and a kind of demonstration, unknown before; lastly, in which we every where perceive marks of that profound morality, which banishes even the very frailties of self-love—of those pure and incorruptible virtues within the influence of which it is impossible to live without feeling a religious veneration.
May this deplorable instance of the most extraordinary talents lost to his country—to the cause of liberty—to the progress of science, and its beneficial application to the wants of civilized man, excite a bitterness of regret that shall prove advantageous to the public welfare! May this death, which will in no small degree contribute, in the pages of history, to characterise the era in which it has taken place, inspire a firm and dauntless attachment to the rights of which it was a violation! Such is the only homage worthy the sage, who, the fatal sword suspended over his head, could meditate in peace the melioration and happiness of his fellow-creatures; such the only consolation those can experience who have been the objects of his affection, and have known all the extent of his virtue.