Science and Irrationalism in Liberal Vienna, 1848–1900

in Eros and Inwardness in Vienna

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780226496474
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226496481 | DOI:
Science and Irrationalism in Liberal Vienna, 1848–1900

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The years between 1848 and 1900 were given their distinctive quality by the German-speaking bürgerlich (or bourgeois) elites, who took the lead economically and intellectually, and for a time, politically as well. These years were a period of transition between absolute monarchy and modern democratic politics, when liberal culture and politics shaped the life of Vienna, and it was in this context that the distinctive intellectual life of liberal Vienna emerged. The second half of the nineteenth century was marked not only by the modernization of Vienna as a city but also by the reception of intellectual influences that set the terms for thinking about sexuality and gender after 1900. The culture of liberal Vienna grew out of the German Enlightenment and the bureaucratic reform tradition of the late eighteenth century. Central to Austrian liberalism as it emerged out of German humanism was the idea of the free personality, “the element of the freedom and dignity of the human being.”

Keywords: science; liberal culture; liberal politics; Vienna; Austrian liberalism

Chapter.  12223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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