The Position of Mathematics in Intellectual History
Today mathematics is a discrete, autonomous science and constitutes a purely formal field of inquiry independent of philosophy and other qualitative sciences. In theory today’s mathematics is composed of the formal manipulation of pure thought independent of all empirical content. Such a mathematics, however, is a result of the development of modernity. And this is not a fact that exists everywhere but rather a particular occurrence that arose historically. The ordinary history of mathematics is the history of mathematics. It is the history of the development of mathematics that already exists as mathematics. But this presupposes the establishment of mathematics itself. Or, rather, there is no awareness of its genesis. Our concern is not the history of mathematics, but the history towards mathematics. It is not simply a history of the natural occurrence of mathematics.