# Mathematism

**Mathematism** or **mathematicism** is one of the twelve fundamental worldviews distinguished by Rudolf Steiner and stands between materialism and rationalism. In the zodiac it corresponds to the sign of Gemini. Mathematism only accepts mathematical relationships and ideas as the basis of reality and is thus at the same time a one-sided, transformed, abstract form of idealism. Modern physics is increasingly moving in this direction.

„Between materialism and idealism there is a certain transition. The very crude materialism - one can observe it particularly well in our time, although it is already flooding away today - will consist in developing to the extreme the Kantian dictum - Kant himself did not do it! -that in the individual sciences there is only so much real science as there is mathematics in them. That is to say, one can go from being a materialist to being the arithmetician of the universe by allowing nothing else to be valid than the world filled with material atoms. They bump into each other, swirl around each other, and one then calculates how the atoms swirl around each other. You get very beautiful results, which may prove that this world view is fully justified. For example, you get the frequencies for blue, for red and so on; you get the whole world like a kind of mechanical apparatus and you can calculate it finely. But one can become a little misguided about this. One can say to oneself, for example: Yes, but if one has a machine, however complicated it may be, it can never emerge from this machine, even if it moves in a complicated way, how one feels blue, red and so on. If, therefore, the brain is only a complicated machine, what one has as experiences of the soul cannot emerge from the brain. But one can then say, as Du Bois-Reymond once said: If one wants to explain the world only mathematically, one will not be able to explain the simplest sensation; but if one does not want to stop at mathematical explanation, one becomes unscientific. - The coarse materialist would say: No, I do not calculate either; for that already presupposes a superstition, the superstition that I assume that things are ordered according to measure and number. And whoever rises above this crude materialism becomes a mathematical head and accepts as real only that which can be put into formulas. This results in a worldview that actually accepts nothing but the mathematical formula. One can call it mathematicism.“ (Lit.:GA 151, p. 38f)

## Literature

- Rudolf Steiner:
*Der menschliche und der kosmische Gedanke*, GA 151 (1990), ISBN 3-7274-1510-X English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org

References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com. Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English. Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA) Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF. |