Kant's Manner of Asking About the Thing

things themselves. Up to this hour such questions have been open. Their questionability is concealed by the results and the progress of scientific work. One of these burning questions concerns the justification and limits of mathematical formalism in contrast to the demand for an immediate return to intuitively given nature (anschaulich gegebene Natur).

If we have grasped some of what has been said up till now, then it is understandable that the question cannot be decided by way of an either/or, either formalism or immediate intuitive determination of things; for the nature and direction of the mathematical project participate in deciding their possible relation to the intuitively experienced and vice versa. Behind this question concerning the relation of mathematical formalism to the intuition of nature stands the fundamental question of the justification and limits of the mathematical in general, within a fundamental position we take toward what is, as a whole. But, in this regard the delineation of the mathematical has gained an importance for us.