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Sex and Character : An Investigation of Fundamental Principles - Otto Weininger

Sex and Character

An Investigation of Fundamental Principles

Hardcover Published: 14th April 2005
ISBN: 9780253344717
Number Of Pages: 496

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Otto Weininger's controversial book Sex and Character, first published in Vienna in 1903, is a prime example of the conflicting discourses central to its time: antisemitism, scientific racism and biologism, misogyny, the cult and crisis of masculinity, psychological introspection versus empiricism, German idealism, the women's movement and the idea of human emancipation, the quest for sexual liberation, and the debates about homosexuality. Combining rational reasoning with irrational outbursts, in the context of today's scholarship, Sex and Character speaks to issues of gender, race, cultural identity, the roots of Nazism, and the intellectual history of modernism and modern European culture. This new translation presents, for the first time, the entire text, including Weininger's extensive appendix with amplifications of the text and bibliographical references, in a reliable English translation, together with a substantial introduction that places the book in its cultural and historical context.

Industry Reviews

"Whatever might draw us to Weininger--his insight or passion, or our interest in fin-de-siecle science and Viennese "crises of identity"--Lob's translation will serve us well."--Times Literary Supplement, 24 February 2006

A Book That Won't Go Away: Otto Weininger's Sex and Characterp. xi
Translator's Notep. xlvii
Prefacep. 3
Preparatory: Sexual Diversity
Introductionp. 9
On the development of concepts in general and in particular
Man and Woman
Fluid transitions
Anatomy and endowment
No certainty in morphology?
"Men" and "Women"p. 12
Lack of differentiation in the embryo
Rudiments in the adult
Degrees of "gonochorism"
Principle of intermediate forms
M and W. Evidence
Necessity of establishing types
Oldest inklings
Arrhenoplasm and Thelyplasmp. 16
Location of sexuality
Support for Steenstrup's view
Sexual characteristics
Internal secretion
Idioplasm - arrhenoplasm - thelyplasm
Proofs from unsuccessful castration
Transplantation and transfusion
Individual differences between cells
Cause of intermediate sexual forms
Surplus of boys born
Determination of sex
Comparative pathology
Laws of Sexual Attractionp. 27
Sexual "taste"
Probable existence of laws
First Formula
First interpretation
Interpretation of same
Animal kingdom
Further laws
Second formula
Analogies and differences
"Elective affinities"
Adultery and marriage
Consequences for the offspring
Homosexuality and Pederastyp. 41
Homosexuals as intermediate sexual forms
Innate or acquired, healthy or pathological?
Special case of the law
All humans predisposed to homosexuality
Friendship and sexuality
Proposal for a therapy
Homosexuality, penal law, and ethics
Distinction between homosexuality and pederasty
Characterology and Morphologyp. 47
The principle of intermediate sexual forms as a cardinal principle of individual psychology
Simultaneity or periodicity?
Method of psychological investigation
Individualizing education
Parallelism between morphology and characterology
Physiognomy and the principle of psychophysics
Methodology of the theory of variety
A new question
Deductive morphology
Correlation and the concept of function
Emancipated Womenp. 57
The woman question
Desire for emancipation and masculinity
Emancipation and homosexuality
Sexual taste of emancipated women
Physiognomical observations about these
The rest of the celebrities
W and emancipation
Practical rule
The masculinity of every genius
The women's movement in history
Biology and the conception of history
Prospects of the women's movement
Its fundamental error
Main: The Sexual Types
Man and Womanp. 69
Bisexuality and unisexuality
One is Man or Woman
The problem of this condition and the main difficulty of characterology
Experiment, analysis of sensation, and psychology
The concept of empirical character
Aim and non-aim of psychology
Character and individuality
The problem of characterology and the problem of the sexes
Male and Female Sexualityp. 75
The problem of a female psychology
Man as psychologist of Woman
Differences in the "sexual drive."
In the "contrectation drive" and the "detumescence drive."
Intensity and activity
Sexual irritability of Woman
Greater breadth of sexual life in W Sexual differences in the perception of sexuality
Local and temporal contrast of male sexuality
Differences between degrees of sexual consciousness
Male and Female Consciousnessp. 82
Sensation and feeling
Relationship between them
Avenarius's classification of "elements" and "characters."
Not possible at an earlier stage
Wrong relationship between distinctness and characterization
Process of clarification
Degrees of understanding
Breaching and articulation
The concept of the henid
The henid as the simplest psychological fact
Sexual difference in the articulation of contents
Certainty of judgment
Developed consciousness as a male sexual characteristic
Endowment and Geniusp. 91
Genius and talent
Genius and cleverness
Understanding more human beings
What does understanding a human being mean?
Greater complexity of genius
Periods in psychic life
No belittlement of exceptional individuals
Understanding and noticing
Inner connection between light and wakefulness
Final establishment of the conditions of understanding
More universal consciousness of genius
Greatest distance from the henid stage; accordingly a higher degree of masculinity
Only universal geniuses
W without genius and without hero worship
Endowment and sex
Endowment and Memoryp. 101
Articulation and reproducibility
Memory of experiences as a sign of endowment
Remembrance and apperception
Applications and inferences
Capacity for comparing and relating
Reasons for the masculinity of music
Drawing and color
Degrees of genius; the relationship between the genius and the individual without genius
Fixed ideas
Remembrance of one's own creations
Continuous and discontinuous memory
Unity of biographical self-awareness only in M. Character of female memories
Continuity and reverence
Past and destiny
Past and future
Desire for immortality
Existing attempts at a psychological explanation
True roots
Inner development of the human being until death
Ontogenetic psychology or theoretical biography
Woman without any desire for immortality
Moving on to a deeper analysis of the connection with memory
Memory and time
Postulate of timelessness
Value as the timeless
First law of the theory of value
Individuation and duration as constituting value
The will to value
Desire for immortality as a special case
The genius's desire for immortality, coinciding with his timelessness through his universal memory and the eternal persistence of his works
Genius and history
Genius and nation
Genius and language
"Men of action" and "men of science" have no right to the title of genius; unlike the philosopher (founder of a religion) and the artist
Memory, Logic, Ethicsp. 124
Psychology and psychologism
The dignity of memory
Theories of memory
Theories of practice and association
Confusion with recognition
Memory peculiar only to humans
Moral significance
Lies and attribution
Transition to logic
Memory and the principle of identity
Memory and the principle of sufficient reason
Woman alogical and amoral
Intellectual and moral conscience: the intelligible self
Logic, Ethics, and the Selfp. 133
The critics of the concept of the self: Hume, Lichtenberg, Mach
The Machian self and biology
Individuation and individuality
Logic and ethics as witnesses to the existence of the self
First, logic: the principle of identity and the principle of contradiction
The question of their use and their significance
The identity of the logical axioms and the conceptual function
Definition of the logical concept as the norm of the essence
The logical axioms as this same norm of the essence, which is the existence of a function
This existence as absolute being or the being of the absolute self
Kant and Fichte
Logicality as norm
Freedom of thought next to freedom of the will
Second, ethics
The relationship of ethics with logic
The difference between logical and ethical proofs of the subject
An omission of Kant
The factual and the personal reasons for this
On the psychology of Kantian ethics
Kant and Nietzsche
The Problem of the Self and Geniusp. 143
Characterology and the belief in the self
The event of the self: Jean Paul, Novalis, Schelling
The event of the self and weltanschauung
Self-confidence and arrogance
The views of a genius to be more highly valued than those of others
Final observations on the concept of genius
The personality of the genius as the fully conscious microcosm
The naturally synthetic and meaningful activity of the genius
Significance and symbolism
The definition of genius in comparison to ordinary humans
Universality as freedom
Morality or immorality of the genius?
Duties to oneself and to others
What is duty to others
Critique of the morality of compassion and social ethics
Understanding one's neighbor as the sole demand of both morality and knowledge
I and thou
Individualism and universalism
Morality only among monads
The greatest genius as the most moral individual
Why the human being is a [characters not reproducible]
Consciousness and morality
The "great criminal"
Genius as duty and obedience
Genius and crime
Genius and madness
The human being as his own creator
Male and Female Psychologyp. 161
The soullessness of Woman
The history of this insight
Woman entirely devoid of genius
No masculine women in the strict sense
Lack of concepts in the nature of Woman, to be explained by the lack of self
An amendment to the henid theory
Female thinking
Concept and object
The freedom of the object
Concept and judgment
The nature of judgment
Woman and the truth as the guiding principle of thought
The principle of sufficient reason and its relationship with the principle of identity
The amorality, not anti-morality, of Woman
Woman and the problem of solitude
Fusion, not society
Female compassion and female modesty
The self of women
Female vanity
Lack of intrinsic value
Memory for compliments
Self-observation and remorse
Justice and envy
Name and property
Susceptibility to influence
Radical difference between male and female mental life
Psychology without and with soul
Psychology a science?
Freedom and laws
The fundamental concepts of the psychology of transcendent nature
Psyche and psychology
The helplessness of soulless psychology
Where alone "split personalities" are possible
Psychophysical parallelism and interaction
The problem of the effect of the psychic sexual characteristics of Man on Woman
Motherhood and Prostitutionp. 188
Special characterology of Woman
Mother and prostitute
Predisposition for prostitution innate, but not sole decisive factor
Influence of Man
Maternal impression
The relationship of the two types with the child
Woman polygamous
Marriage and fidelity
Analogies between motherhood and sexuality
The mother and the purpose of the species
The "alma" mater
Maternal love ethically indifferent
The prostitute outside the purpose of the species
The prostitute and socially recognized morality
The prostitute, the criminal, and the conqueror
Once again the "man of will" and his relationship with the genius
The hetaira and the ruler
The motive of the prostitute
Sexual intercourse an end in itself
The woman's sensations during sexual intercourse in relation to the rest of her life
Mother right and fatherhood
Maternal impression and the theory of infection
The prostitute as the enemy
Affirmation and negation
Regard for life and hostility to life
No prostitution among animals
The mystery of the origin
Eroticism and Aestheticsp. 211
Women and hatred of women
Eroticism and sexuality
Platonic love and sensuality
Problem of an idea of love
The beauty of Woman
Its relationship with the sexual drive
Love and beauty
The difference between aesthetics on the one hand and logic and ethics as normative sciences on the other
Nature of love
The phenomenon of projection
Beauty and morality
Beauty and perfection
Nature and ethics
Natural beauty and artistic beauty
Natural laws and artistic laws
The purposefulness of nature and the purposefulness of art
Individual beauty
Sexual love as guilt
Hate and love as aids to moral striving
The creation of the devil
Love and compassion
Love and modesty
Love and jealousy
Love and the desire for redemption
Woman in eroticism a means to an end
Problem of the connection between the child and love, and between the child and sexuality
Cruelty not only in lust, but even in love
Love and murder
The cult of the Madonna
The Madonna a speculative conception of Man, without any foundation in real femininity
Reluctance to gain insight into true Woman
Man's love for Woman as a special case
Woman only sexual, not erotic
Women's sense of beauty
Beauty and prettiness
Loving and being in love
What in Man has an effect on Woman
The destiny of Woman
Inclusion of the new insight among the earlier ones
Love characteristic of the nature of humankind
Why Man loves Woman
The Nature of Woman and Her Purpose in the Universe
Equality and equal rights
P. J. Moebius
Meaninglessness or significance of femininity
An instinctive urge
Man and matchmaking
What other phenomena are also matchmaking
High valuation of sexual intercourse
Woman's own sexual drive a special instance
Mother - prostitute
The nature of Woman only expressed by matchmaking
Matchmaking = femininity = universal sexuality
System of objections and contradictions
Necessity of resolving these
Suggestibility and passivity
Unconscious denial of Woman's own nature as a result
Organic falseness of Woman
A psychological pattern for the "mechanism" of hysteria
Definition of the latter
Condition of the hysterical woman
Peculiar interaction: the nature of another as the hysteric's own nature, the hysteric's own nature as the nature of another
The "foreign body"
Coercion and lie
Heteronomy of the hysteric
Will to truth and strength to achieve it
The hysterical paroxysm
What is warded off
The hysterical constitution
Maid and termagnant
The termagant as the opposite of the hysteric
The hysteric's love of truth as her lie
Hysterical chastity and aversion from the sexual act
The hysterical sense of guilt and hysterical self-observation
The visionary and the seer in Woman
Hysteria and the bondage of Woman
Woman's fate and its hopelessness
Necessity of explaining Woman by an ultimate principle
Differences between humans and animals, between Man and Woman
The second or higher life, metaphysical being in humans
Analogies to the low life
Eternal life in Man only
The relationship of the two lives and original sin
Birth and death
Freedom and happiness
Happiness and man
Happiness and Woman
Woman and the problem of life
The non-being of Woman
The possibility of lying and matchmaking, amorality and alogicality, derived from this in the first instance
Matchmaking once more
Community and sexuality
Male and female friendship
Matchmaking versus jealousy
Matchmaking identical with feminity
Why women are human beings
The nature of the difference between the sexes
Opposites: subject - object = form - matter = Man - Woman
Contrectation and the sense of touch
The interpretation of henids
Non-entity of Woman; universal susceptibility as a result
Formation and education of Woman by Man
Striving for existence
The duality of the sexes and the dualism of the world
The significance of Woman in the universe
Man as something, Woman as nothing
The psychological problem of the fear of Woman
Femininity and the criminal
Nothingness and negation
The creation of Woman by the criminal in Man
Woman as Man's affirmation of his sexuality
Woman as Man's guilt
What Man's love for Woman is in its deepest essence
The deduction of feminity
Judaismp. 272
Differences among men
Refutation of the objections founded on these
The intermediate forms and racial anthropology
Amphiboly between femininity and Judaism
Judaism as an idea
Richard Wagner
No identity with femininity; agreements with femininity: property, state, society, nobility, lack of personality and intrinsic value, amorality without anti-morality, life of the species, family, matchmaking
The only possible method of solving the Jewish question
The Jew's conception of God
Soullessness and therefore lack of a desire for immortality
Judaism in science
The Jew as a chemist
The Jew lacks genius
The Jew lacks a disposition for being a monad
The Englishman and the Jew
The English in philosophy, music, architecture
The Jew's lack of a sense of humor
The nature of humor
Humor and satire
The Jewish woman
Non-being, absolute capacity for change, indirectness, in the Jew as in Woman
Greatest agreement and greatest difference
The Jew's activity and conceptual disposition
The deepest essence of Judaism
Lack of belief and inner support
The Jew is not a-mystical but irreligious
Lack of seriousness, enthusiasm, and zeal
Inner ambiguity
No simplicity of belief
Lack of inner dignity
The Jew as the opposite pole to the hero
Christianity and Judaism
The origin of Christianity
The problem of the founder of a religion
The founder of a religion purging himself from crime and godlessness
Complete rebirth realized only in the founder of a religion
The founder of a religion as the individual with the deepest sense of guilt
Christ as the conqueror of Judaism in himself
Christianity and Judaism as the ultimate opposites
The founder of a religion as the greatest human being
Overcoming all Judaism, a necessity for every founder of a religion
Judaism and our own time
Judaism, femininity; culture, and humankind
Woman and Humanityp. 301
The idea of humanity and Woman as matchmaker
The cult of Goethe
The effemination of Man
Virginity and chastity
Male origin of these ideas
Woman's failure to understand eroticism
Her understanding of sexuality
Sexual intercourse and love
Woman as the opponent of emancipation
Asceticism is immoral
Sexual intercourse as disregard of fellow-humans
Problem of the Jew = problem of Woman = problem of slavery
What is moral behavior toward Woman
Man as the opponent of women's emancipation
Ethical postulates
Two possibilities
The woman question as the question of humanity
The destruction of Woman
Abstinence and the extinction of humankind
Fear of solitude
The true reasons for the immorality of sexual intercourse
Earthly fatherhood
Demand for the inclusion of women in the idea of humanity
The mother and the education of humankind
Ultimate questions
Additions and Referencesp. 315
Indexp. 427
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253344717
ISBN-10: 0253344719
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 496
Published: 14th April 2005
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 3.8
Weight (kg): 0.83