Quotes by Otto Weininger

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All genius is a conquering of chaos and mystery. more...

The fixed stars signify the angel in man. That is why man orients himself by them; and that is why women have no appreciation for the starry sky; because they have no sense of the angel in man. more...

Fate determines many things, no matter how we struggle. more...

Every true, eternal problem is an equally true, eternal fault; every answer an atonement, every realisation an improvement. more...

No men who really think deeply about women retain a high opinion of them; men either despise women or they have never thought seriously about them. more...

Among the notable things about fire is that it also requires oxygen to burn - exactly like its enemy, life. Thereby are life and flames so often compared. more...

The genius which runs to madness is no longer genius. more...

Everything evil is revenge. more...

There are transitional forms between the metals and non-metals; between chemical combinations and simple mixtures, between animals and plants, between phanerogams and cryptogams, and between mammals and birds [...]. The improbability may henceforth be taken for granted of finding in Nature a sharp cleavage between all that is masculine on the one side and all that is feminine on the other; or that any living being is so simple in this respect that it can be put wholly on one side, or wholly on the other, of the line. more...

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 genius is a man who knows everything without having learned it. more...

The decision must be made between Judaism and Christianity, between business and culture, between male and female, between the race and the individual, between unworhtiness and worth, between the earthly and the higher life, between negation and God-like. Mankind has the choice to make. There are only two poles, and there is no middle way. more...

Talent is hereditary; it may be the common possession of a whole family (eg, the Bach family); genius is not transmitted; it is never diffused, but is strictly individual. more...

A genius has perhaps scarcely ever appeared amongst the negroes, and the standard of their morality is almost universally so low that it is beginning to be acknowledged in America that their emancipation was an act of imprudence. more...

Mankind occurs as male or female, as something or nothing. Woman has no share in ontological reality, no relation to the thing-in-itself, which, in the deepest interpretation, is the absolute, is God. Man in his highest form, the genius, has such a relation, and for him the absolute is either the conception of the highest worth of existence, in which case he is a philosopher; or it is the wonderful fairyland of dreams, the kingdom of absolute beauty, and then he is an artist. more...

The Jew is an inborn Communist. more...

Sending children away to get control of their anger perpetuates the feeling of 'badness" inside them...Chances are they were already feeling not very good about themselves before the outburst and the isolation just serves to confirm in their own minds that they were right. more...

Logic and ethics are fundamentally the same, they are no more than duty to oneself more...

An individual's arrogance is always in proportion to his lack of self-assurance. more...

In order to depict a man one must understand him, and to understand him one must be like him; in order to portray his psychological activities one must be able to reproduce them in oneself. To understand a man one must have his nature in oneself. more...

To understand a man is really to be that man. more...

The number of different aspects that the face of a man has assumed may be taken almost as a physiognomical measure of his ... genius. more...

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. more...

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. more...

Genius declares itself to be a kind of higher masculinity. more...

Woman, in short, has an unconscious life, man a conscious life, and the genius the most conscious life. more...

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. more...

There is, moreover, very little sense in preventing young people from giving expression to their ideas on the pretext that they have less experience than have older persons. There are many who may live a thousand years without encountering experience of any value. It could only be in a society of persons equally gifted that such an idea could have any meaning. more...

The psychical condition of men's minds may be compared with a set of bells close together, and so arranged that in the ordinary man a bell rings only when one beside it sounds, and the vibration lasts only a moment. In the genius, when a bell sounds it vibrates so strongly that it sets in action the whole series, and remains in action throughout life. The latter kind of movement often gives rise to extraordinary conditions and absurd impulses, that may last for weeks together and that form the basis of the supposed kinship of genius with insanity. more...

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. more...

A man is first reverent about himself, and self-respect is the first stage in reverence for all things. more...

A man is himself important precisely in proportion that all things seem important to him. more...

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. more...

The great man of science, unless he is also a philosopher, ... deserves the title of genius as little as the man of action. more...

A creature that cannot grasp the mutual exclusiveness of A and not A has no difficulty in lying; more than that, such a creature has not even any consciousness of lying, being without a standard of truth. more...

The deepest, the intelligible, part of the nature of man is that part which does not take refuge in causality, but which chooses in freedom the good or the bad. more...

Not only virtue, but also insight, not only sanctity but also wisdom, are the duties and tasks of mankind. more...

Man is alone in the world, in tremendous eternal isolation. He has no object outside himself; lives for nothing else; he is far removed from being the slave of his wishes, of his abilities, of his necessities; he stands far above social ethics; he is alone. Thus he becomes one and all. more...

I regret that I must so continually use the word genius, as if that should apply only to a caste as well defined from those below as income-tax payers are from the untaxed. The word genius was very probably invented by a man who had small claims on it himself; greater men would have understood better what to be a genius really was, and probably they would have come to see that the word could be applied to most people. Goethe said that perhaps only a genius is able to understand a genius. more...

No one suffers so much as he [the genius] with the people, and, therefore, for the people, with whom he lives. For, in a certain sense, it is certainly only "by suffering" that a man knows. If compassion is not itself clear, abstractly conceivable or visibly symbolic knowledge, it is, at any rate, the strongest impulse for the acquisition of knowledge. It is only by suffering that the genius understands men. And the genius suffers most because he suffers with and in each and all; but he suffers most through his understanding. . . . more...

In those rare individual cases where women approach genius they also approach masculinity. more...

The man of genius possesses, like everything else, the complete female in himself; but woman herself is only a part of the Universe, and the part can never be the whole; femaleness can never include genius. This lack of genius on the part of woman is inevitable because woman is not a monad, and cannot reflect the Universe. more...

There are probably very few people who have not at some time of their lives had some quality of genius. If they have not had such, it is probable that they have also been without great sorrow or great pain. They would have needed only to live sufficiently intently for a time for some quality to reveal itself. The poems of first love are a case in point, and certainly such love is a sufficient stimulus. more...

A nation orients itself by its own geniuses, and derives from them its ideas of its own ideals, but the guiding star serves also as a light to other nations. As speech has been created by a few great men, the most extraordinary wisdom lies concealed in it, a wisdom which reveals itself to a few ardent explorers but which is usually overlooked by the stupid professional philologists. more...

It is certainly true that most men need some kind of a God. A few, and they are the men of genius, do not bow to an alien law. The rest try to justify their doings and misdoings, their thinking and existence (at least the menial side of it), to some one else, whether it be the personal God of the Jews, or a beloved, respected, and revered human being. It is only in this way that they can bring their lives under the social law. . . . more...

The man of genius is he whose ego has acquired consciousness. He is enabled by it to distinguish the fact that others are different, to perceive the "ego" of other men, even when it is not pronounced enough for them to be conscious of it themselves. But it is only he who feels that every other man is also an ego, a monad, an individual centre of the universe, with specific manner of feeling and thinking and a distinct past, he alone is in a position to avoid making use of his neighbours as means to an end. more...

It is not the fear of death which creates the desire for immortality, but the desire for immortality which causes the fear of death. more...

The highest expression of all morality is: Be! more...

Man must act in such a way that the whole of his individuality lies in each moment. more...

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. more...

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. more...

Idiocy: crudeness' intellectual equivalent. more...

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. more...

The number of different aspects that the face of a man has assumed may be taken almost as a physiognomical measure of his... genius. more...

The great man of science, unless he is also a philosopher,... deserves the title of genius as little as the man of action. more...

Memory, then, is a necessary part of the logical faculty.... The proposition A = A must have a psychological relation to time, otherwise it would be At1 = At2. more...

Logic and ethics are fundamentally the same, they are no more than duty to oneself. They celebrate their union by the highest service of truth. more...

Talent is hereditary; it may be the common possession of a whole family (e.g., the Bach family); genius is not transmitted; it is never diffused, but is strictly individual. more...


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