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The Mathematical Imagination – On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory - Fordham Scholarship Online
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The Mathematical Imagination: On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory

Matthew Handelman


The Mathematical Imagination is an archaeology of the undeveloped potential of mathematics for critical theory. As Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno first conceived of the critical project in the 1930s, critical theory steadfastly opposed the mathematization of thought. Mathematics flattened thought into a dangerous positivism that led reason to the barbarism of the Second World War. The Mathematical Imagination challenges this narrative and argues that it has obscured how mathematics provided three lesser-known German-Jewish thinkers—Gershom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig, and Siegfried Kracaue ... More

Keywords: critical theory, digital humanities, Frankfurt School, German Jewish thought, Kracauer, Mathematics, Rosenzweig, Scholem

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780823283835
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823283835.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthew Handelman, author
Michigan State University