The Mathematical Imagination: On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory

This book offers an archeology 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 …

After Language as Such: Gershom Scholem, Werner Kraft, and the Question of Mathematics

This article investigates a forgotten essay contest proposed by Gershom Scholem to Werner Kraft in the wake of Walter Benjamin’s seminal text “On Language as Such and On the Language of Man” (1916). Intent on completing Benjamin’s language essay …

Unvermeidliches Schicksal? Alcoholism, Mathematics, and Heredity in Theodor Storm’s ‘Der Herr Etatsrath’ (1881)

Ludwig Büchner’s popular-scientific treatise “Die Macht der Vererbung” and Theodor Storm’s novella “Der Herr Etatsrath” serendipitously appeared in consecutive issues of Westermann’s illustrierte deutsche Monatshefte between June and August 1881. For Büchner, the numerous talents