Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Click & Collect from 2 Hours
Last Christmas Delivery Dates
Free UK Standard Delivery on orders £20 and over Order in time for Christmas 18th December 2nd Class | 19th December 1st Class Free Click & Collect to shops From 2 hours of your order*
The Mathematical Imagination: On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory (Hardback)
  • The Mathematical Imagination: On the Origins and Promise of Critical Theory (Hardback)

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

Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 05/03/2019
  • Coming soon

Awaiting publication

  • This item has been added to your basket

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 barbarism of World War II. The Mathematical Imagination challenges this narrative, showing how for other German-Jewish thinkers, such as Gershom Scholem, Franz Rosenzweig, and Siegfried Kracauer, mathematics offered metaphors to negotiate the crises of modernity during the Weimar Republic. Influential theories of poetry, messianism, and cultural critique, Handelman shows, borrowed from the philosophy of mathematics, infinitesimal calculus, and geometry in order to refashion cultural and aesthetic discourse.

Drawn to the austerity and muteness of mathematics, these friends and forerunners of the Frankfurt School found in mathematical approaches to negativity strategies to capture the marginalized experiences and perspectives of Jews in Germany. Their vocabulary, in which theory could be both mathematical and critical, is missing from the intellectual history of critical theory, whether in the work of second generation critical theorists such as Jurgen Habermas or in contemporary critiques of technology. The Mathematical Imagination shows how Scholem, Rosenzweig, and Kracauer's engagement with mathematics uncovers a more capacious vision of the critical project, one with tools that can help us intervene in our digital and increasingly mathematical present.

Publisher: Fordham University Press
ISBN: 9780823283835
Number of pages: 256
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm

"Against the familiar lament that the inappropriate application of mathematical reasoning abets social reification, de-vitalizing abstraction and instrumental rationality, Matthew Handelman rescues forgotten attempts by three leading German Jewish intellectuals, Rosenzweig, Scholem and Kracauer, to argue otherwise. In their search for a `negative mathematics' that has critical potential, they foreshadowed ways in which the yawning gap between the humanities and STEM fields may be overcome in our digital age." -- Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley
"Handelman shows how spiritual, quirky, and inventive engagements with math could suggest its affinities with projects of emancipation and ethics of dignity. His argument troubles oppositions between the humanities and STEM fields and promises to renew how humanists regard the incursion of positivism in the digitialization of method and episteme." -- Anna Kornbluh, University of Illinois-Chicago

You may also be interested in...

Judith Butler
Added to basket
British Folk Tales and Legends
Added to basket
Classical Literary Criticism
Added to basket
Key Writings
Added to basket
Added to basket
The Dialogic Imagination
Added to basket
The Literature Review
Added to basket
Rules of Art
Added to basket
The Seven Basic Plots
Added to basket
Difference and Repetition
Added to basket


Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.