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All these difficulties are but consequences of our refusal to see that mathematics cannot be defined without acknowledging its most obvious feature: namely, that it is interesting. Nowhere is intellectual beauty so deeply felt and fastidiously appreciated in its various grades and qualities as in mathematics, and only the informal appreciation of mathematical value can distinguish what is mathematics from a welter of formally similar, yet altogether trivial statements and operations.

Michael Polanyi
Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy, 1958