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Eros and Inwardness in ViennaWeininger, Musil, Doderer$
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David S. Luft

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780226496474

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226496481.001.0001

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Otto Weininger's Vision of Gender and Modern Culture

Otto Weininger's Vision of Gender and Modern Culture

Chapter:
(p.45) Chapter Two Otto Weininger's Vision of Gender and Modern Culture
Source:
Eros and Inwardness in Vienna
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226496481.003.0003

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

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