Sex, Science, and Self in Imperial Vienna
This provocative, enlightening study explores the milieu in which the philosopher Otto Weininger (1880-1903) wrote his controversial book Sex and Character. Shortly after its publication, Weininger committed suicide at the age of twenty-three. His book, which argued that women and Jews were mere sexual beings who lacked individuality, became a bestseller.
Hailed as a genius by intellectuals such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Kraus, Weininger was admired, not for his prejudices, but for his engagement with the central issues of the time—the nature and meanings of identity. Sengoopta pays particular attention to how Weininger appropriated scientific language and data to defend his views and examines the scientific theories themselves.
Introduction: Why Read Otto Weininger Today? And How?
1. The Education of Otto Weininger
2. Weininger's Worlds: Identity, Politics, and Philosophy in Central Europe
3. Man, Woman, Text: The Structure and Substance of Geschlecht und Charakter
4. The Biology of Sex and the Deconstruction of Gender
5. Normalizing the Homosexual
6. Deconstructing Femininity: The Psychology of Hysteria
7. Impregnation and Autonomy: The Political Physiology of Motherhood
8. Echoes, Analyses, Critiques: Responses to Weininger