It seems to me that they have a poor opinion of our religion if they think it needs the protection of philosophy.
Lorenzo Valla, Dialogue on Free Will
ANDRÉ WEIL [VI.93], speaking at the 1978 International Congress of Mathematicians at Helsinki, concluded his address entitled “History of Mathematics: Why and How?” with these words:
Thus my original question “Why mathematical history?” finally reduces itself to the question “Why mathematics?,” which fortunately I do not feel called upon to answer.
Proceedings of the ICM, Helsinki, 1978 (pp. 227–36, quotation on p. 236)
I heard Weil’s address, and the applause that followed, and remember imagining circumstances in ...