Otto Weininger’s controversial book Sex and Character, first published in Vienna in 1903, is a prime example of the conflicting discourses central to its time: antisemitism, scientific racism and biologism, misogyny, the cult and crisis of masculinity, psychological introspection versus empiricism, German idealism, the women’s movement and the idea of human emancipation, the quest for sexual liberation, and the debates about homosexuality. Combining rational reasoning with irrational outbursts, in the context of today’s scholarship, Sex and Character speaks to issues of gender, race, cultural identity, the roots of Nazism, and the intellectual history of modernism and modern European culture. This new translation presents, for the first time, the entire text, including Weininger’s extensive appendix with amplifications of the text and bibliographical references, in a reliable English translation, together with a substantial introduction that places the book in its cultural and historical context.
Contents Acknowledgments A Book That Won't Go Away: Otto Weininger's Sex and Character Daniel Steuer Translator's Note Ladislaus Löb
Preface First (Preparatory) Part: Sexual Diversity Introduction I. "Men" and "Women" II. Arrhenoplasm and Thelyplasm III. Laws of Sexual Attraction IV. Homosexuality and Pederasty V. Characterology and Morphology VI. Emancipated Women
Second or Main Part: The Sexual Types I. Man and Woman II. Male and Female Sexuality III. Male and Female Consciousness IV. Endowment and Genius V. Endowment and Memory VI. Memory, Logic, Ethics VII. Logic, Ethics, and the Self VIII. The Problem of the Self and Genius IX. Male and Female Psychology X. Motherhood and Prostitution XI. Eroticism and Aesthetics XII. The Nature of Woman and Her Purpose in the Universe XIII. Judaism XIV. Woman and Humanity
In both fidelity and readability, [Löb's] rendering of Sex and Character far exceeds William Heinemann's 1906 English edition. Whatever might draw us to Weiningerhis insight or passion, or our interest in finde siecle science and Viennese 'crises of identity'Löb's translation will serve us wel
. . . If the goal was to make accessible to an English readership a fascinating source documenting Viennese attitudes towards sexuality, gender equality, modernity and Jews at the turn of the last century, the volume is a resounding success and will surely find its way onto the reading lists of cultural history courses at undergraduate and graduate level.