The sole acceptable purpose before which a man can defer, the only one that can be proposed to claim obedience, is a form of truth; only decisions reached for purposes related to the sphere of the true and probable can pretend to have the force of law. This probability of truth first covers the necessity of the decision and then its content. It should be possible to prove: But each time, the procedure of deciding and the procedure of obeying observe a schema of a logical type and not a schema of a political or moral type. It is therefore in terms of avoiding error that the fundamental problem of political authority must be posed:.
Reflexions sur la traite et l'esclavage des negres: traduit de l'anglais
On the other hand, one easily understands why it is elaborated, in the Observations , supported by the question of the uniformity of the laws, a concept paired with that of equality of rights. Including disparate authors — Voltaire, Rousseau, Destutt de Tracy — it is found again in the 20 th century, with Albert Mathiez and Louis Althusser Condorcet has his place in it in a vigorous manner that has nothing to do with psychology: Didot, , 12 vol.
Almanach anti-superstitieux , ed.
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Published by Juliette Grange in Philosophie des sciences , Paris: Gallimard-Tel, ; Cours de philosophie positive , lesson 47, ed. Juliette Grange, lessons , Paris: Longmans, Green, May , vol. Slatkine, , ch. Corrado Rosso, Montesquieu moraliste: Elisabeth and Robert Badinter, Condorcet: Presses de la Fondation nationale des sciences politiques, p.
Bibliography By this author Topics of the article. The spirit of a legislator must be justice, the observation of the natural law [ droit ] in everything that is properly law. In the rules on the form of judgments or particular decisions, he must seek the best method for making these decisions conform to the law and to truth.
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It is not by a spirit of moderation, but by a spirit of justice that criminal laws should be mild, that civil laws should tend to equality, and administrative laws tend to the maintenance of freedom and property. Observations , on ch.
Réflexions sur l'esclavage des nègres: et autres textes abolitionnistes;
I and II 8 Condorcet will generalize this argumentation, directed particularly against the theory of the balance of powers, in texts posterior to the Observations , texts which remain in part unintelligible without the critical reference to Montesquieu: From the fact that one has managed to make a machine run, by establishing a sort of balance between forces that tended to destroy it, one must not conclude that it is necessary to subject a machine one wants to create to the action of these contrary forces.
We also see that the examples that are ordinarily cited prove nothing. The eternal struggle of grandees and populace disrupted the republics of Greece and Italy, and after the oceans of human blood shed in such useless quarrels, a shameful slavery dwelled upon victors and vanquished. But these quarrels supposed the existence of grandees , long since accustomed to wielding power, and a populace weary of that power. One concludes from this that the ancient republics did not subsist because they did not know the art of establishing a balance among the three powers; but one could conclude that they perished because they did not know the means of combining a representative democracy in which there could be both peace and equality.
It is therefore independently of the examples that we must reason here; it is by viewing the law as a common rule, in conformity with justice and reason, to which the citizens must submit those of their actions that, by their nature, must not depend on the individual will of each person; it is by viewing the members of the legislative body as officers charged by the people with searching for these rules; it is following these definitions that it must be shown that men, chosen by the people by some regular procedure, can attain truth only if they are taken separately in several orders […].
Author:Nicolas de Condorcet
Educational and Professional Books. De Condorcet Jean Antoine Nicolas. Schwartz, pasteur a Bienne [i.
Condorcet] Date de l'edition originale: Esclavage Ce livre est la reproduction fidele d'une oeuvre publiee avant et fait partie d'une collection de livres reimprimes a la demande editee par Hachette Livre, dans le cadre d'un partenariat avec la Bibliotheque nationale de France, offrant l'opportunite d'acceder a des ouvrages anciens et souvent rares issus des fonds patrimoniaux de la BnF.
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