Mathematics: a Knot of Languages Variations on a Theme by Bentham


  • Jean-Pierre Cléro Emeritus Professor at the University of Rouen, France; Lecturer at Scineces Po, Paris, France



Mathematics, Knot of Languages, Variations, Bentham


« 2 + 2 = 4 is a question of language »

Bentham, Rationale of judicial evidence, London, Hunt & Clarke, 1827, Vol. III, p. 274.

« The beginning and the end are never the most interesting […]. Only the middle is interesting. […]. We start again from the middle. French people think too much in terms of tree: the tree of knowledge, tree points, alpha and omega, roots and summit. It is the contrary of a blade of grass. Not only grass grows in the middle of things, but it grows itself from the middle. […] Grass has a line of flight but it has no rooting. We have grass in our head; not a tree: that is the meaning of what thinking is; what is a brain: «a certain nervous system» of grass ».

Deleuze G. & Parnet C., Dialogues, Champs Essais, 1966, p. 50-51.


Bayes, Th. (1970). Essay towards solving a problem in the doctrine of chances. In E. S. Pearson & M. Kendall (Eds.), Studies in the History of Statistics and Probability (pp. 134-153). Griffin.

Bentham, J. (1997). De l’ontologie. Et autres textes sur les fictions. Le Seuil.

Boccacio, G. (2004). The Decameron. Coradella Collegiate Bookshelf Editions.

Cléro, J-P. (Ed.), (2021). Les chemins du scepticisme en mathématiques. Hermann.

Descartes, R. (1639). Letter to Mersenne of January 9th, 1639. In J. Bennett (Ed.), Selected Correspondence of Descartes. Early Modern Texts.

Ferguson, A. (1995). An Essay on the History of Civil Society. Cambridge University Press.

Goian, F. (1964). Logique et topologie de l’anorexie. À partir de la bouteille de Klein. In Essais sur l’usage de la topologie en psychanalyse. MJW Feditions.

Harsanyi, J. C. (1976). Essays on Ethics, Social Behavior, and Scientific Explanation. Reidel.

Hilbert, D. (2014). Grundlagen der Geometrie. Severus Verlag.

Lévi-Leblond, J-M. (1985). Encyclopaedia Universalis [Physique et mathématiques]. In col. M. Loi & al. (eds.), Penser les mathématiques. Points Seuil.

Luce, A. A., & Jessop, T. E. (Eds.), (1951). The Works of George Berkeley 1948-1957, vol. IV. Th. Nelson & sons.

Merleau-Ponty, M. (2002). Phenomenology of perception. Routledge.

Miller, A. V. (1977). Phenomenology of the Spirit (transl.). Oxford University Press.

Pascal, B. (1985). Pensées. Penguin.

Smith, M. J., & Burston, H. H. (Eds.), (1983). Chrestomathia. Clarendon Press.

Stendhal, H. (1968). La vie d’Henry Brulard. Alfred A. Knopf




How to Cite

Cléro, J.-P. . (2022). Mathematics: a Knot of Languages Variations on a Theme by Bentham. Logos Universality Mentality Education Novelty: Philosophy & Humanistic Sciences, 10(1), 01-31.

Publish your work at the Scientific Publishing House LUMEN

It easy with us: publish now your work, novel, research, proceeding at Lumen Scientific Publishing House

Send your manuscript right now