Mathematics and Cultural Circulation


In this final chapter we will take up two remaining considerations, with which we will try to round off our work. If, in chapters 8–10, we have emphasized a turn to questions connected with the ‘how?’ in contemporary mathematics, and if, in chapters 4–7, we have reviewed a few emergences (‘where?’) of precise and delimited problematics (‘why?’) in detail, in this chapter we will study, on the one hand, the general interlacing by which contemporary mathematics (1950 to today) can be distinguished from prior mathematics (a conceptual ‘what/how/why’ synchrony, beyond a merely diachronic cut happening around 1950). And, on the other hand, we will also examine the general positioning of mathematical thought within culture, and the ways in which it naturally shares a frontier with aesthetics (a conceptual geography of the ‘where?’)…