Chapter

Otto Weininger's Vision of Gender and Modern Culture

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226496481.003.0003
Otto Weininger's Vision of Gender and Modern Culture

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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Weininger's study of gender is largely devoted to a critique of femininity, which culminates in a critique of Judaism that identifies female qualities with the male Jew. Weininger represented for serious minds an exemplary moral intensity and a critique of liberal Vienna that spoke to the central philosophical problems of his time. He was also a dramatic example of the connection between philosophy and the preoccupation with sexuality and gender in Vienna at the turn of the century. Weininger's work constituted an attempt to save the free, rational, conscious self from the realities identified by philosophical irrationalism—the threats summarized by sexuality and woman—and from the reductions of modern science and empiricism. Weininger introduced the theme of a grammar of gender—and the radical nihilism of his generation. Central to his thought was the task of overcoming nihilism, of confronting the meaninglessness and lack of value in modern life.

Keywords: modern culture; gender; femininity; modern life; sexuality; liberal Vienna

Chapter.  19773 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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