Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Mathematical ImaginationOn the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Matthew Handelman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823283835

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823283835.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Infinitesimal Calculus: Subjectivity, Motion, and Franz Rosenzweig’s Messianism

Infinitesimal Calculus: Subjectivity, Motion, and Franz Rosenzweig’s Messianism

(p.104) Three Infinitesimal Calculus: Subjectivity, Motion, and Franz Rosenzweig’s Messianism
The Mathematical Imagination

Matthew Handelman

Fordham University Press

By way of Leibniz’s and Newton’s calculi and Hermann Cohen’s neo-Kantianism, Chapter 3 explores how infinitesimal calculus allowed Franz Rosenzweig to embed messianism into the daily work of thought. Through metaphors of space and subjectivity, the idea of the differential—the infinitely small quantity—synthesized the finitude of lived experience with the infinitude of the Absolute. In Rosenzweig’s The Star of Redemption (1921), the differential revealed a world in which the thinking individual works toward the redemption of the world, thus arguing for the modern relevance of Judaism despite the apparent world-historical hegemony of Christianity. For Rosenzweig, the differential pointed to a “messianic theory of knowledge,” which made room for the truths verified by belief alongside those proved by mathematics. It also underscored the epistemological significance of marginalized beliefs and experiences—even of those people who stand on the sidelines of so-called world history—in the project of redemption.

Keywords:   Cohen, differential, epistemology, infinitesimal calculus, Jewish theology, mathematical pedagogy, messianism, Rosenzweig

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .