Models of Reason in the Liberal Age
This chapter discusses the model of the reasoning mind. Hunting was a favorite pastime among the Exner men. It was also a favorite diversion of Crown Prince Rudolph, Adolf Exner's former pupil. As an exercise in the masculine virtues of liberal individualism, hunting served the Exners as one defense against “the herd existence.” Sigmund Exner's neurological research in the 1880s depended literally as well as symbolically on liberal power in Austria. The hunter provided the patterns for Sigmund's self-fashioning as a scientist and for his standard of liberal rationality. His study of cerebral localization led him to a great mystery of neuropathology. Exner's theory of visual memory naturalized a model of reason characteristic of Austrian science and liberalism. The culture of the summer retreat provided the Exners with embodied ideals of liberal morality and reason.
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