The Origins



In a letter to Thomas J. Stieltjes, dated 13 May 1894 (Hermite and Stieltjes, 1905, vol. II, p. 398), Charles Hermite, one of the major analysts of his times, expresses his views about the subject-matter of his own study as follows:

I believe that numbers and functions of analysis are not the arbitrary product of our mind; I think that they exist outside of ourselves, with the same character of necessity as the things of objective reality, and that we encounter, or discover them, and that we study them like physicists, chemists, zoologists, etc.


Physical Object Mathematical Object True Knowledge True Opinion Pure Intuition 
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Copyright information

© Marco Panza and Andrea Sereni 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CNRS, IHPSTParisFrance
  2. 2.San Raffaele UniversityItaly

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