Thursday, December 14, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Otto Weininger (1880 – 1903)


Austrian philosopher.
Otto Weininger
A man is himself important precisely in proportion that all things seem important to him.
Weininger quotes
The logical axioms are the principle of all truth. These posit an existence towards which all cognition serves. Logic is a law which must be obeyed, and man realises himself only in so far as he is logical. He finds himself in cognition. All error must be felt to be crime. And so man must not err. He must find the truth.
Weininger
That is why man can also never understand himself: For he is himself a timeless act; an act which he performs continuously, and there is no moment in which he might not perform it, as there would have to be to understand himself.




Weininger Otto quotes
With ordinary men the moments which are united in a close continuity out of the original discrete multiplicity are very few, and the course of their lives resembles a little brook, whereas with the genius it is more like a mighty river into which all the little rivulets flow from afar; that is to say, the universal comprehension of genius vibrates to no experience in which all the individual moments have not been gathered up and stored.
Weininger Otto
Woman, in short, has an unconscious life, man a conscious life, and the genius the most conscious life.
Otto Weininger quotes
Universality is the distinguishing mark of genius. There is no such thing as a special genius, a genius for mathematics, or for music, or even for chess, but only a universal genius. ... The theory of special genius, according to which for instance, it is supposed that a musical genius should be a fool at other subjects, confuses genius with talent. ... There are many kinds of talent, but only one kind of genius, and that is able to choose any kind of talent and master it.
Otto Weininger
As the mental endowment of a man varies with the organisation of his accumulated experiences, the better endowed he is, the more readily will he be able to remember his whole past, everything that he has ever thought or heard, seen or done, perceived or felt, the more completely in fact will he be able to reproduce his whole life. Universal remembrance of all its experiences, therefore, is the surest, most general, and most easily proved mark of a genius.
Weininger Otto quotes
In men of genius, sterile years precede productive years, these again to be followed by sterility, the barren periods being marked by psychological self-depreciation, by the feeling that they are less than other men; times in which the remembrance of the creative periods is a torment, and when they envy those who go about undisturbed by such penalties. Just as his moments of ecstasy are more poignant, so are the periods of depression of a man of genius more intense than those of other men. Every great man has such periods, of longer or shorter duration, times in which he loses self-confidence, ... times in which, indeed, he may be sowing the seeds of a future harvest, but which are devoid of the stimulus to production.
Weininger
Denn gerade die starke Periodizität des Genies bringt es mit sich, daß bei ihm immer erst auf sterile Jahre die fruchtbaren und auf sehr produktive Zeiten immer wieder sehr unfruchtbare folgen—Zeiten, in denen er von sich nichts hält, ja von sich psychologisch (nicht logisch) weniger hält als von jedem anderen Menschen: quält ihn doch die Erinnerung an die Schaffensperiode, und vor allem—wie frei sieht er sie, die von solchen Erinnerungen nicht Belästigten, herumgehen! Wie seine Ekstasen gewaltiger sind als die der anderen, so sind auch seine Depressionen fürchterlicher.
Weininger Otto
Große Männer nehmen sich selbst und die Dinge zu ernst, um öfter als gelegentlich »geistreich« zu sein. Menschen, die nichts sind als eben »geistreich«, sind unfromme Menschen; es sind solche, die, von den Dingen nicht wirklich erfüllt, an ihnen nie ein aufrichtiges und tiefes Interesse nehmen, in denen nicht lang und schwer etwas der Geburt entgegenstrebt. Es ist ihnen nur daran gelegen, daß ihr Gedanke glitzere und funkle wie eine prächtig zugeschliffene Raute, nicht, daß er auch etwas beleuchte! Und das kommt daher, weil ihr Sinnen vor allem die Absicht auf das behält, was die anderen zu eben diesen Gedanken wohl »sagen« werden—eine Rücksicht, die durchaus nicht immer »rücksichtsvoll« ist.
Otto Weininger
Colour-blindness always extends to the complementary colours. Those who are red blind are also green blind; those who are blind to blue have no consciousness of yellow. This law holds good for all mental phenomena; it is a fundamental condition of consciousness.




Otto Weininger quotes
The number of different aspects that the face of a man has assumed may be taken almost as a physiognomical measure of his ... genius.
Otto Weininger
Psychologism is the most comfortable conception of life, because according to it there are no longer any more problems. That is why it also condemns all solutions from the outset, since it acknowledges the actual problems as little as the idea of truth.
Weininger quotes
If it really were the case, as popular opinion has tried to establish, that the genius were separated from ordinary men by a thick wall through which no sound could penetrate, then all understanding of the efforts of genius would be denied to ordinary men, and their works would fail to make any impression on them. All hopes of progress depend on this being untrue. And it is untrue. The difference between men of genius and the others is quantitative not qualitative, of degree not of kind.
Weininger Otto
The great man of science, unless he is also a philosopher, ... deserves the title of genius as little as the man of action.
Weininger Otto quotes
The great genius does not let his work be determined by the concrete finite conditions that surround him, whilst it is from these that the work of the statesman takes its direction and its termination. ... It is the genius in reality and not the other who is the creator of history, for it is only the genius who is outside and unconditioned by history.
Otto Weininger
If man were not free, then he could not conceive of causality at all, and could not form any concept of it. Insight into lawfulness is already freedom from it.
Otto Weininger quotes
Genius declares itself to be a kind of higher masculinity.
Otto Weininger
Es gibt nicht zwei Momente des individuellen Lebens, die einander ganz gleichen; und es existiert zwischen den späteren und den früheren Perioden nur die Ähnlichkeit der Punkte der höheren mit den homologen der niederen Spiralwindung.
Weininger Otto
In the case of complex personalities the matter stands thus: one of these can understand other men better than they can understand themselves, because within himself he has not only the character he is grasping, but also its opposite. Duality is necessary for observation and comprehension.


© 2009–2013Quotes Privacy Policy | Contact