Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Male and Female Sexuality

"Woman does not betray her secret."
-- Kant

"From a woman you can learn nothing of women."
-- Nietzsche.

By psychology, as a whole, we generally understand the psychology of the psychologists, and these are exclusively men! Never since human history began have we heard of a female psychology! None the less the psychology of woman constitutes a chapter as important with regard to general psychology as that of the child. And inasmuch as the psychology of man has always been written with unconscious but definite reference to man, general psychology has become simply the psychology of men, and the problem of the psychology of the sexes will be raised as soon as the existence of a separate psychology of women has been realised. Kant said that in anthropology the peculiarities of the female were more a study for the philosopher than those of the male, and it may be that the psychology of the sexes will disappear in a psychology of the female.

None the less the psychology of women will have to be written by men. It is easy to suggest that such an attempt is foredoomed to failure, inasmuch as the conclusions must be drawn from an alien sex and cannot be verified by introspection. Granted the possibility that woman could describe herself with sufficient exactness, it by no means follows that she would be interested in the sides of her character that would interest us. Moreover, even if she could and would explore herself fully, it is doubtful if she could bring herself to talk about herself. I shall show that these three improbabilities spring from the same source in the nature of woman.

This investigation, therefore, lays itself open to the charge that no one who is not female can be in a position to make accurate statements about women. In the meantime the objection must stand, although, later, I shall have more to say of it. I will say only this much - up to now, and is this only a consequence of man's suppression? - we have no account from a pregnant woman of her sensations and feelings, neither in poetry nor in memories, nor even in a gyneacological treatise. This cannot be on account of excessive modesty, for, as Schopenhauer rightly pointed out, there is nothing so far removed from a pregnant woman as shame as to her condition. Besides, there would still remain to them the possibility of, after the birth, confessing from memory the psychical life during the time; if a sense of shame had prevented them from such communication during the time, it would be gone afterwards, and the varied interests of such a disclosure ought to have induced some one to break silence. But this has not been done. Just as we have always been indebted to men for really trustworthy expositions of the psychical side of women, so also it is to men that we owe descriptions of the sensations of pregnant women. What is the meaning of this?

Although in recent times we have had revelations of the psychical life of half-women and three-quarter women, it is practically only about the male side of them that they have written. We have really only one clue; we have to rely upon the female element in men. The principle of sexually intermediate forms is the authority for what wek know about women through men. I shall define and complete the application of this principle later on. In its indefinite form, the principle would seem to imply that the most womanish man would be best able to describe woman, and that the description might be completed by the real woman. This, however, is extremely doubtful. I must point out that a man can have a considerable proportion of femaleness in him without necessarily, to the same extent, being able to portray intermediate forms. It is the more remarkable that the male can give a faithful account of the nature of the female; since, indeed, it must be admitted from the extreme maleness of successful portrayers of women that we cannot dispute the existence of this capacity in the abstract male; this power of the male over the female is a most remarkable problem, and we shall have to consider it later. For the present we must take it as a fact, and proceed to inquire in what lies the actual psychological difference between male and female.

It has been sought to attribute the fundamental difference of the sexes to the existence of a stronger sexual impulse in man, and to derive everything else from that. Apart from the question as to whether the phrase "sexual instinct" denotes a simple and real thing, it is to be doubted if there is proof of such a difference. It is not more probable than the ancient theories as to the influence of the "unsatisfied womb" in the female, or the "semen retentum" in men, and we have to be on guard against the current tendency to refer nearly everything to sublimated sexual instinct. No systematic theory could be founded on a generalisation so vague. It is most improbable that the greater or lesser strength of the sexual impulse determines other qualities.

As a matter of fact, the statements that men have stronger sexual impulses than women, or that women have them stronger than men, are false. The strength of the sexual impulse in a man does not depend upon the proportion of masculinity in his composition, and in the same way the degree of femininity of a woman does not determine her sexual impulse. These differences in mankind still await classification.

Contrary to the general opinion, there is no difference in the total sexual impulses of the sexes. However, if we examine the matter in respect to the two component forces into which Albert Moll analysed the impulse, we shall find that a difference does exist. These forces may be termed the "liberating" and the "uniting" impulses. The first appears in the form of the discomfort caused by the accumulation of ripe sexual cells; the second is the desire of the ripe individual for sexual completion. Both impulses are possessed by the male; in the female only the latter is present. The anatomy and the physiological processes of the sexes bear out the distinction.

In this connection it may be noted that only the most male youths are addicted to masturbation, and although it is often disputed, I believe that similar vices occur only among the maler of women, and are absent from the female nature.

I must now discuss the "uniting" impulse of women, for that plays the chief, if not the sole part in her sexuality. But it must not be supposed that this is greater in one sex than the other. Any such idea comes from a confusion between the desire for a thing and the stimulus towards the active part in securing what is desired. Throughout the animal and plant kingdom, the male reproductive cells are the motile, active agents, which move through space to seek out the passive female cells, and this physiological difference is sometimes confused with the actual wish for, or stimulus to, sexual union. And to add to the confusion, it happens, in the animal kingdom particularly, that the male, in addition to the directly sexual stimulus, has the instinct to pursue and bodily capture the female, whilst the latter has only the passive part to be taken possession of. These differences of habit must not be mistaken for real differences of desire.

It can be shown, moreover, that woman is sexually much more excitable (not more sensitive) physiologically than man.

The condition of sexual excitement is the supreme moment of a woman's life. The woman is devoted wholly to sexual matters, that is to say, to the spheres of begetting and of reproduction. Her relations to her husband and children complete her life, whereas the male is something more than sexual. In this respect, rather than in the relative strength of the sexual impulses, there is a real difference between the sexes. It is important to distinguish between the intensity with which sexual matters are pursued and the proportion of the total activities of life that are devoted to them and to their accessory cares. The greater absorption of the human female by the sphere of sexual activities is the most significant difference between the sexes.

The female, moreover, is completely occupied and content with sexual matters, whilst men are interested in much else, in war and sport, in social affairs and feasting, in philosophy and science, in business and politics, in religion and art. I do not mean to imply that this difference has always existed, as I do not think that important. As in the case of the Jewish question, it may be said that the Jews have their present character because it has been forced upon them, and that at one time they were different. It is now impossible to prove this, and we may leave it to those who believe in the modification by the environment to accept it. The historical evidence is equivocal on the point. In the question of women, we have to take people as they exist today. If, however, we happen to come on attributes that could not possibly have been grafted on them from without, we may believe that such have always been with them. Of contemporary women at least one thing is certain. Apart from an exception to be noted in chap. xii, it is certain that when the female occupies herself with matters outside the interests of sex, it is for the man that she loves or by whom she wishes to be loved. She takes no real interest in things themselves. It may happen that a real female learns Latin; if so, it is for some such purpose as to help her son who is at school. Desire for a subject and ability for it, interest in it, and the facility for acquiring it, are usually proportional. He who has slight muscles has no desire to wield an axe; those without the faculty for mathematics do not desire to study that subject. Talent seems to be rare and feeble in the real female (although possibly it is merely that the dominant sexuality prevents its development), with the result that woman has no power of forming the combinations which, although they do not actually make the individuality, certainly shape it.

Corresponding to true women, there are extremely female men who are to be found always in the apartments of the women, and who are interested in nothing but love and sexual matters. Such men, however, are not the Don Juans.

The female principle is, then, nothing more than sexuality; the male principle is sexual and something more. This difference is notable in the different way in which men and women enter the period of puberty. In the case of the male the onset of puberty is a crisis; he feels that something new and strange has come into his being, that something has been added to his powers and feelings independently of his will. The physiological stimulus to sexual activity appears to come from outside his being, to be independent of his will, and many men remember the disturbing event throughout their after lives. The woman, on the other hand, not only is not disturbed by the onset of puberty, but feels that her importance has been increased by it. The male, as a youth, has no longing for the onset of sexual maturity; the female, from the time when she is still quite a young girl, looks forward to that time as one from which everything is to be expected. Man's arrival at maturity is frequently accompanied by feelings of repulsion and disgust; the young female watches the development of her body at the approach of puberty with excitement and impatient delight. It seems as if the onset of puberty were a side path in the normal development of man, whereas in the case of woman it is the direct conclusion. There are few boys approaching puberty to whom the idea that they would marry (in the general sense, not a particular girl) would not appear ridiculous, whilst the smallest girl is almost invariably excited and interested in the question of her future marriage. For such reasons a woman assigns positive value only to her period of maturity in her own case and that of other women; in childhood, as in old age, she has no real relation to the world. The thought of her childhood is for her, later on, only the remembrance of her stupidity; she faces the approach of old age with dislike and abhorrence. The only real memories of her childhood are connected with sex, and these fade away in the intensely greater significance of her maturity. The passage of a woman from virginity is the great dividing point of her life, whilst the corresponding event in the case of a male has very little relation to the course of his life.

Woman is only sexual, man is partly sexual, and this difference reveals itself in various ways. The parts of the male body by stimulation of which sexuality is excited are limited in area, and are strongly localised, whilst in the case of the woman, they are diffused over her whole body, so that stimulation may take place almost from any part. When in the second chapter of Part I., I explained that sexuality is distributed over the whole body of both sexes, I did not mean that, therefore, the sense organs, through which the definite impulses are stimulated, were equally distributed. There are, certainly, areas of greater excitability, even in the case of the woman, but there is not, as in the man, a sharp division between the sexual areas and the body generally.

The morphological isolation of the sexual area from the rest of the body in the case of man, may be taken as symbolical of the relation of sex to his whole nature. Just as there is a contrast between the sexual and the sexless parts of a man's body, so there is a time-change in his sexuality. The female is always sexual, the male is sexual only intermittently. The sexual instinct is always active in woman (as to the apparent exceptions to this sexuality of women, I shall have to speak later on), whilst in man it is at rest from time to time. And thus it happens that the sexual impulse of the male is eruptive in character and so appears stronger. The real difference between the sexes is that in the male the desire is periodical, in the female continuous.

This exclusive and persisting sexuality of the female has important physical and psychical consequences. As the sexuality of the male is an adjunct to his life, it is possible for him to keep it in the physiological background, and out of his consciousness. And so a man can lay aside his sexuality and not have to reckon with it. A woman has not her sexuality limited to periods of time, nor to localised organs. And so it happens that a man can know about his sexuality, whilst a woman is unconscious of it and can in all good faith deny it, because she is nothing but sexuality, because she is sexuality itself.

It is impossible for women, because they are only sexual to recognise their sexuality, because recognition of anything requires duality. With man it is not only that he is not merely sexual, but anatomically and physiologically he can "detach" himself from it. That is why he has the power to enter into whatever sexual relations he desires; if he likes he can limit or increase such relations; he can refuse or assent to them. He can play the part of a Don Juan or a monk. He can assume which he will. To put it bluntly, man possesses sexual organs; her sexual organs possess woman.

We may, therefore, deduce from the previous arguments that man has the power of consciousness of his sexuality and so can act against it, whilst the woman appears to be without this power. This implies, moreover, that there is greater differentiation in man, as in him the sexual and the unsexual parts of his nature are sharply separated. The possibility or impossibility of being aware of a particular definite object is, however, hardly a part of the customary meaning of the word consciousness, which is generally used as implying that if a being is conscious he can be conscious of any object. This brings me to consider the nature of the female consciousness.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:09 pm

Male and Female Consciousness

. . . It is necessary to coin a name for those minds to which the duality of element and character becomes appreciable at no stage in the process. I propose for phychical data at the earliest stage of their existence the word Henid (from the Greek, because in them it is impossible to distinguish perception and sensation as two analytically separable factors, and because, therefore, there is no trace of duality in them).

Naturally the "henid" is an abstract conception and may not occur in the absolute form. How often psychical data in human beings actually stand at the absolute extreme of undifferent- iation is uncertain and unimportant; but the theory does not need to concern itself with the possibility of such an extreme. A common example from what has happened to all of us may serve to illustrate what a henid is. I may have a definite wish to say something particular, and then something distracts me, and the "it" I wanted to say or think has gone. Later on, by some process of association, the "it" is quite suddenly reproduced, and I know at once that it was what was on my tongue, but, so to speak, in a more perfect stage of development.

I fear lest some one may expect me to describe exactly what I mean by "henid." The wish can come only from a misconception. The very idea of a henid forbids its description; it is merely a something. . . . One cannot describe particular henids; one can only be conscious of their existence.

None the less henids are things as vital as elements and characters. Each henid is an individual and can be distinguished from other henids. Later on I shall show that probably the mental data of early childhood (certainly of the first fourteen months) are all henids, although perhaps not in the absolute sense. Throughout childhood these data do not reach far from the henid stage; in adults there is always a certain process of development going on. Probably the perceptions of some plants and animals are henids. In the case of mankind the development from the henid to the completely differentiated perception and idea is always possible, although such an ideal condition may seldom be attained. . . .

Now what is the relation between the investigation I have been making and the psychology of the sexes? What is the distinction between the male and the female (and to reach this has been the object of my digression) in the process of clarification?

Here is my answer:

The male has the same psychical data as the female, but in a more articulated form; where she thinks more or less in henids, he thinks in more or less clear and detailed presentations in which the elements are distinct from the tones of feeling. With the woman, thinking and feeling are identical, for man they are in opposition. The woman has many of her mental experiences as henids, whilst in man these have passed through a process of clarification. Woman is sentimental, and knows emotion but not mental excitement.

. . . It is certainly the case that whilst we are still near the henid stage we know much more certainly what a thing is not than what it is. Instinctive experience depends on henids. Naturally that condition implies uncertainty and indecision in judgment. Judgment comes towards the end of the process of clarification; the act of judgment is in itself a departure from the henid stage.

The most decisive proof for the correctness of the view that attributes henids to woman and differentiated thoughts to man, and that sees in this a fundamental sexual distinction, lies in the fact that wherever a new judgment is to be made, (not merely something already settled to be put into proverbial form) it is always the case that the female expects from man the clarification of her data, the interpretation of her henids. It is almost a tertiary sexual character of the male, and certainly it acts on the female as such, that she expects from him the interpretation and illumination of her thoughts. It is from this reason that so many girls say that they could only marry, or, at least, only love a man who was cleverer than themselves; that they would be repelled by a man who said that all they thought was right, and did not know better than they did. In short, the woman makes it a criterion of manliness that the man should be superior to herself mentally, that she should be influenced and dominated by the man; and this in itself is enough to ridicule all ideas of sexual equality.

The male lives consciously, the female lives unconsciously. This is certainly the necessary conclusion for the extreme cases. The woman receives her consciousness from the man; the function to bring into consciousness what was outside it is a sexual function of the typical man with regard to the typical woman, and is a necessary part of his ideal completeness. . . .
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:10 pm

Talent and Genius

There has been so much written about the nature of genius that, to avoid misunderstanding, it will be better to make a few general remarks before going into the subject.

And the first thing to do is to settle the question of talent. Genius and talent are nearly always connected in the popular idea, as if the first were a higher, or the highest, grade of the latter, and as if a man of very high and varied talents might be a sort of intermediate between the two. This view is entirely erroneous. Even if there were different degrees or grades of genius, they would have absolutely nothing to do with so-called "talent." A talent, for instance the mathematical talent, may be possessed by some one in a very high degree from birth; and he will be able to master the most difficult problems of that science with ease; but for this he will require no genius, which is the same as originality, individuality, and a condition of general productiveness.

On the other hand, there are men of great genius who have shown no special talent in any marked degree; for instance, men like Novalis or Jean Paul. Genius is distinctly not the superlative of talent; there is a world-wide difference between the two; they are of absolutely unlike nature; they can neither be measured by one another or compared to each other.

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.

Many ill-balanced people, and in particular women, regard genius and talent as identical. Women, indeed, have not the faculty of appreciating genius, although this is not the common view. Any extravagance that distinguishes a man from other men appeals equally to their sexual ambition; they confuse the dramatist with the actor, and make no distinction between the virtuoso and the artist. . . .

Great men take themselves and the world too seriously to become what is called merely intellectual. Men who are merely intellectual are insincere; they are people who have never really been deeply engrossed by things and who do not feel an overpowering desire for production. All that they care about is that their work should glitter and sparkle like a well-cut stone, not that it should illuminate anything. They are more occupied with what will be said of what they think than by the thoughts themselves. There are men who are willing to marry a woman they do not care about merely because she is admired by other men. Such a relation exists between many men and their thoughts. I cannot help thinking of one particular living author, a blaring, outrageous person, who fancies that he is roaring when he is only snarling. Unfortunately, Nietzsche (however superior he is to the man I have in mind) seems to have devoted himself chiefly to what he thought would shock the public. He is at his best when he is most unmindful of effect. His was the vanity of the mirror, saying to what it reflects, "See how faithfully I show you your image." In youth when a man is not yet certain of himself he may try to secure his own position by jostling others. Great men, however, are painfully aggressive only from necessity. They are not like a girl who is most pleased about a new dress because she knows that it will annoy her friends.

Genius! genius! how much mental disturbance and discomfort, hatred and envy, jealousy and pettiness, has it not aroused in the majority of men, and how much counterfeit and tinsel has the desire for it not occasioned?

I turn gladly from the imitations of genius to the thing itself and its true embodiment. But where can I begin? All the qualities that go to make genius are in so intimate connection that to begin with any one of them seems to lead to premature conclusions.

. . . If the road that I am about to take does not lead to every goal at once, it is only because that is the nature of roads.

Consider how much deeper a great poet can reach into the nature of man than an average person. Think of the extraordinary number of characters depicted by Shakespeare or Euripides, or the marvellous assortment of human beings that fill the pages of Zola. After the Penthesilea, Heinrich von Kleist created K,,tchen von Heilbronn, and Michael Angelo embodied from his imagination the Delphic Sibyls and the Leda. There have been few men so little devoted to art as Kant and Schelling, and yet these have written most profoundly and truly about it. 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. One must be like the mind one tries to grasp. It takes a thief to know a thief, and only an innocent man can understand another innocent man. The poseur only understands other poseurs, and sees nothing but pose in the actions of others; whilst the simple- minded fails to understand the most flagrant pose. To understand a man is really to be that man.

It would seem to follow that a man can best understand himself - a conclusion plainly absurd. No one can understand himself, for to do that he would have to get outside himself; the subject of the knowing and willing activity would have to become its own object. To grasp the universe it would be necessary to get a standpoint outside the universe, and the possibility of such a standpoint is incompatible with the idea of a universe. He who could understand himself could understand the world. I do not make the statement merely as an explanation: it contains an important truth, to the significance of which I shall recur. For the present I am content to assert that no one can understand his deepest, most intimate nature. This happens in actual practice; when one wishes to understand in a general way, it is always from other persons, never oneself, that one gets one's materials. The other person chosen must be similar in some respect, however different as a whole; and, making use of this similarity, he can recognise, represent, comprehend. So far as one understands a man, one is that man.

The man of genius takes his place in the above argument as he who understands incomparably more other beings than the average man. Goethe is said to have said of himself that there was no vice or crime of which he could not trace the tendency in himself, and that at some period of his life he could not have understood fully. The genius, therefore, is a more complicated, more richly endowed, more varied man; and a man is the closer to being a genius the more men he has in his personality, and the more really and strongly he has these others within him. If comprehension of those about him only flickers in him like a poor candle, then he is unable, like the great poet, to kindle a mighty flame in his heroes, to give distinction and character to his creations. The ideal of an artistic genius is to live in all men, to lose himself in all men, to reveal himself in multitudes; and so also the aim of the philosopher is to discover all others in himself, to fuse them into a unit which is his own unit. . . .

This protean character of genius is no more simultaneous than the bi-sexuality of which I have spoken. Even the greatest genius cannot understand the nature of all men at the same time, on one and the same day. The comprehensive and manifold rudiments which a man possesses in his mind can develop only slowly and by degrees with the gradual unfolding of his whole life. It appears almost as if there were a definite periodicity in his development. These periods, when they recur, however, are not exactly alike; they are not mere repetitions, but are intensifications of their predecessors, on a higher plane. No two moments in the life of an individual are exactly alike; there is between the later and the earlier periods only the similarity of the higher and lower parts of a spiral ascent. Thus it has frequently happened that famous men have conceived a piece of work in their early youth, laid it aside during manhood, and resumed and completed it in old age. Periods exist in every man, but in different degrees and with varying "amplitude." Just as the genius is the man who contains in himself the greatest number of others in the most active way, so the amplitude of a man's periods will be the greater the wider his mental relations may be. Illustrious men have often been told, by their teachers, in their youth "that they were always in one extreme or another." As if they could be anything else! These transitions in the case of unusual men often assume the character of a crisis. Goethe once spoke of the "recurrence of puberty" in an artist. The idea is obviously to be associated with the matter under discussion.

It results from their periodicity that, 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, in which he thinks of suicide; times in which, indeed, he may be sowing the seeds of a future harvest, but which are devoid of the stimulus to production; times which call forth the blind criticisms "How such a genius is degenerating!" "How he has played himself out!" "How he repeates himself!" and so forth.

It is just the same with other characteristics of the man of genius. Not only the material, but also the spirit, of his work is subject to periodic change. At one time he is inclined to a philosophical and scientific view; at another time the artistic influence is strongest; at one time his intervals are altogether in the direction of history and the growth of civilisation; later on it is "nature" (compare Nietzsche's "Studies in Infinity" with his "Zarathustra"); at another time he is a mystic, at yet another simplicity itself! (Bjornson and Maurice Maeterlinck are good modern examples.) In fact, the "amplitude" of the periods of famous men is so great, the different revelations of their nature so various, so many different individuals appear in them, that the periodicity of their mental life may be taken almost as diagnostic. . . .

The presence of a multitude of possibilities in great men has important consequences connected with the theory of henids that I elaborated in the last chapter. A man understands what he already has within himself much more quickly than what is foreign to him (were it otherwise there would be no intercourse possible: as it is we do not realise how often we fail to understand one another). To the genius, who understands so much more than the average man, much more will be apparent.

The schemer will readily recognise his fellow; an impassioned player easily reads the same power in another person; whilst those with no special powers will observe nothing. Art discerns itself best, as Wagner said. 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; if we inquire from psychology what is the most necessary condition for becoming conscious of a thing, for grasping it, we shall find the answer in "contrast." If everything were a uniform grey we should have no idea of colour; absolute unison of sound would soon produce sleep in all mankind; duality, the power which can differentiate, is the origin of the alert consciousness. Thus it happens that no one can understand himself were he to think of nothing else all his life, but he can understand another to whom he is partly alike, and from whom he is also partly quite different. Such a distribution of qualities is the condition most favourable for understanding. In short, to understand a man means to have equal parts of himself and of his opposite in one.

That things must be present in pairs of contrasts if we are to be conscious of one member of the pair is shown by the facts of our colour-vision. 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. The most high-spirited people understand and experience depression much more than those who are of level disposition. Any one with so keen a sense of delicacy and subtilty as Shakespeare must also be capable of extreme grossness.

The more types and their contrasts a man unites in his own mind the less will escape him, since observation follows comprehension, and the more he will see and understand what other men feel, think, and wish. There has never been a genius who was not a great discerner of men. The great man sees through the simpler man often at a glance, and would be able to characterise him completely.

Most men have this, that, or the other faculty or sense disproportionately developed. One man knows all the birds and tells their different voices most accurately. Another has a love for plants and is devoted to botany from his childhood. One man pores lovingly into the many layered rocks of the earth, and has only the vaguest appreciation of the skies; to another the attraction of cold, star-sown space is supreme. One man is repelled by the mountains and seeks the restless sea; another, like Nietzsche, gets no help from the tossing waters and hungers for the peace of the hills. Every man, however simple he may be, has some side of nature with which he is in special sympathy and for which his faculties are specially alert. And so the ideal genius, who has all men within him, has also all their preferences and all their dislikes. There is in him not only the universality of men, but of all nature. He is the man to whom all things tell their secrets, to whom most happens, and whom least escapes. He understands most things, and those most deeply, because he has the greatest number of things to contrast and compare them with. The genius is he who is conscious of most, and of that most acutely. And so without doubt his sensations must be most acute; but this must not be understood as implying, say, in the artist the keenest power of vision, in the composer the most acute hearing; the measure of genius is not to be taken from the acuteness of the sense organ but from that of the perceiving brain.

The consciousness of the genius is, then, the furthest removed from the henid stage. It has the greatest, most limpid clearness and distinctness. In this way genius declares itself to be a kind of higher masculinity, and thus the female cannot be possessed of genius. The conclusion of this chapter and the last is simply that the life of the male is a more highly conscious life than that of the female, and genius is identical with the highest and widest consciousness. This extremely comprehensive consciousness of the highest types of mankind is due to the enormous number of contrasting elements in their natures.

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.

It stands to reason that this infinite knowledge does not include theories and systems which have been formulated by science from facts, neither the history of the Spanish war of succession nor experiments in dia-magnetism.

The artist does not acquire his knowledge of the colours reflected on water by cloudy or sunny skies, by a course of optics, any more than it requires a deep study of characterology to judge other men. But the more gifted a man is, the more he has studied on his own account, and the more subjects he has made his own.

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. A musician, if truly great, is just as well able to be universal in his knowledge as a philosopher or a poet. Such an one was Beethoven. On the other hand, a musician may be as limited in the sphere of his activity as any average man of science. Such an one was Johann Strauss, who, in spite of his beautiful melodies, cannot be regarded as a genius if only because of the absence of constructive faculty in him. To come back to the main point; 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. There is something in genius common to all those who possess it; however much difference there may seem to be between the great philosopher, painter, musician, poet, or religious teacher. The particular talent through the medium of which the spirit of a man develops is of less importance than has generally been thought. The limits of the different arts can easily be passed, and much besides native inborn gifts have to be taken into account. The history of one art should be studied along with the history of other arts, and in that way many obscure events might be explained. It is outside my present purpose, however, to go into the question of what determines a genius to become, say, a mystic, or, say, a great delineator.

From genius itself, the common quality of all the different manifestations of genius, woman is debarred. I will discuss later as to whether such things are possible as pure scientific or technical genius as well as artistic and philosophical genius. There is good reason for a greater exactness in the use of the word. But that may come, and however clearly we may yet be able to describe it woman will have to be excluded from it. I am glad that the course of my inquiry has been such as to make it impossible for me to be charged with having framed such a definition of genius as necessarily to exclude women from it.

I may now sum up the conclusions of this chapter. Whilst woman has no consciousness of genius, except as manifested in one particular person, who imposes his personality on her, man has a deep capacity for realising it, a capacity which Carlyle, in his still little understood book on "Hero-Worship," has described so fully and permanently. In "Hero-Worship," moreover, the idea is definitely insisted on that genius is linked with manhood, that it represents an ideal masculinity in the highest form. Woman has no direct consciousness of it; she borrows a kind of imperfect consciousness from man. Woman, in short, has an unconscious life, man a conscious life, and the genius the most conscious life.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:10 pm

Talent and Memory

The following observation bears on my henid theory:

I made a note, half mechanically, of a page in a botanical work from which later on I was going to make an extract. Something was in my mind in henid form. What I thought, how I thought it, what was then knocking at the door of my consciousness, I could not remember a minute afterwards, in spite of the hardest effort. I take this case as a typical example of a henid.

The more deeply impressed, the more detailed a complex perception may be the more easily does it reproduce itself. Clearness of the consciousness is the preliminary condition for remembering, and the memory of the mental stimulation is proportional to the intensity of the consciousness. "I shall not forget that"; "I shall remember that all my life"; "That will never escape my memory again." Such phrases men use when things have made a deep impression on them, of moments in which they have gained wisdom or have become richer by an important experience. As the power of being reproduced is directly proportionate to the organisation of a mental impression, it is clear that there can be no recollection of an absolute henid.

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 he will 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. . . .

The great extent and acuteness of the memory of men of genius, which I propose to lay down dogmatically as a necessary inference from my theory, without attempting to prove it further, is not incompatible with their rapid loss of the facts impressed on them in school, the tables of Greek verbs, and so forth. Their memory is of what they have experienced, not of what they have learned. . . .

Only what is harmonious with some inborn quality will be retained. When a man remembers a thing, it is because he was capable of taking some interest in the thing; when he forgets, it is because he was uninterested. . . .

The ideal genius is one in whom perception and apprehension are identical in their field. Of course no such being actually exists. On the other hand, there is no man who has apprehended nothing that he has perceived. In this way we may take it that all degrees of genius (not talent) exist; no male is quite without a trace of genius. Complete genius is an ideal; no man is absolutely without the quality, and no man possesses it completely. Apprehension or absorption, and memory or retention, vary together in their extent and their permanence. There is an uninterrupted gradation from the man whose mentality is unconnected from moment to moment, and to whom no incidents can signify anything because there is within him nothing to compare them with (such an extreme, of course, does not exist) to the fully developed minds for which everything is unforgettable, because of the firm impressions made and the sureness with which they are absorbed. The extreme genius also does not exist, because even the greatest genius is not wholly a genius at every moment of his life.

What is at once a deduction from the necessary connection between memory and genius, and a proof of the actuality of the connection, lies in the extraordinary memory for minute details shown by the man of genius. Because of the universality of his mind, everything has only one interpretation for him, an interpretation often unsuspected at the time; and so things cling obstinately in his memory and remain there inextinguishably, although he may have taken not the smallest trouble to take note of them. And so one may almost take as another mark of the genius that the phrase "this is no longer true" has no meaning for him. There is nothing that is no longer true for him, probably just because he has a clearer idea than other men of the changes that come with time. . . .

From what one has thought or said, heard or read, felt or done, one can give the smallest possible to another, that the other does not already know. Consideration of the amount that a man can take in from another would seem to serve as a sort of objective measure of his genius, a measure that does not have to wait for an estimation of his actual creative efforts. I am not going to discuss the extent to which this theory opposes current views on education, but I recommend parents and teachers to pay attention to it. The extent to which a man can detect differences and resemblances must depend on his memories. This faculty will be best developed in those whose past permeates their present, all the moments of the life of whom are amalgamated. Such persons will have the greatest opportunities of detecting resemblances and so finding the material for comparisons. They will always seize hold of from the past what has the greatest resemblance to the present experience, and the two experiences will be combined in such a way that no similarities or differences will be concealed. And so they are able to maintain the past against the influence of the present. It is not without reason that from time immemorial the special merit of poetry has been considered to be its richness in beautiful comparisons and pictures, or that we turn to again and again, or await our favourite images with impatience when we read Homer or Shakespeare or Kloppstock. Today when, for the first time for a century and a half, Germany is without great poets or painters, and when none the less it is impossible to find any one who is not an "author," the power of clear and beautiful comparison seems to have gone. A period the nature of which can best be described in vague and dubious words, the philosophy of which has become in more than one sense the philosophy of the unconscious can contain nothing great. Consciousness is the mark of greatness, and before it the unconscious is dispersed as the sun disperses a mist. If only consciousness were to come to this age, how quickly voices that are now famous would become silent. It is only in full consciousness, in which the experience of the present assumes greater intensity by its union with all the experiences of the past, that imagination, the necessary quality for all philosophical as for all artistic effort, can find a place. It is untrue, therefore, that women have more imagination than men. The experiences on account of which men have assigned higher powers of imagination to women come entirely from the imaginative sexual life of women.

Where anything obviously depends on strong moulding women have not the smallest leaning towards its production, neither in philosophy nor in music, in the plastic arts nor in architecture. Where, however, a weak and vague sentimentality can be expressed with little effort, as in painting or verse- making, or in pseudo-mysticism and theosophy, women have sought and found a suitable field for their efforts. Their lack of productiveness in the former sphere is in harmony with the vagueness of the psychical life of women. Music is the nearest possible approach to the organisation of a sensation. Nothing is more definite, characteristic, and impressive than a melody, nothing that will more strongly resist obliteration. One remembers much longer what is sung than what is spoken, and the arias better than the recitatives.

Let us note specially here that the usual phrases of the defenders of women do not apply to the case of women. Music is not one of the arts to which women have had access only so recently that it is too soon to expect fruits; from the remotest antiquity women have sung and played. And yet . . .

It is to be remembered that even in the case of drawing and painting women have now had opportunities for at least two centuries. Every one knows how many girls learn to draw and sketch, and it cannot be said that there has not yet been time for results were results possible. As there are so few female painters with the smallest importance in the history of art, it must be that there is something in the nature of things against it. As a matter of fact, the painting and etching of women is no more than a sort of elegant, luxurious handiwork. The sensuous, physical element of colour is more suitable for them than the intellectual work of formal line-drawing, and hence it is, that whereas women have acquired some small distinction in painting they have gained none in drawing. The power of giving form to chaos is with those in whom the most universal memory has made the widest comprehension possible; it is a quality of the masculine genius.

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.

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.

It must not be forgotten that quite ordinary men in moments of excitement, in anger at some underhanded deed, have found words with which they never would have been credited. The greater part of what is called expression in art as in language depends on the fact that some individual more richly endowed, clarifies, organises, and exhibits some idea almost instantaneously, an idea which to a less endowed person was still in the henid form. The course of clarification is much shortened in the mind of the second person.

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. . . .

The request for an autobiography would put most men into a most painful position; they could scarcely tell if they were asked what they had done the day before. Memory with most people is quite spasmodic and purely associative. In the case of the man of genius every impression that he has received endures; he is always under the influence of his impressions; and so nearly all men of genius tend to suffer from fixed ideas. 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. . . .

. . . The individual moments in the life of a gifted man are not remembered as disconnected points, not as different particles of time, each one separated and defined from the following one, as the numerals one, two, and so on.

The result of self-observation shows that sleep, the limitations of consciousness, the gaps in memory, even special experiences, appear to be in some mysterious way one great whole; incidents do not follow each other like the tickings of a watch, but they pass along in a single unbroken stream. 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.

This particular continuity by which a man first realises that he exists, that he is, and that he is in the world, is all comprehensive in the genius, limited to a few important moments in the mediocre, and altogether lacking in woman. When a woman looks back over her life and lives again her experiences, there is presented no continuous, unbroken stream, but only a few scattered points. And what kind of points? They are just those which accord with woman's natural instincts. Of what these interests exclusively consist the second chapter gave a preliminary idea; and those who remember the ideas in question will not be astonished at the following facts: The female is altogether with one class of recollections - those connected with the sexual impulse and reproduction. She thinks of her lovers and proposals, of her marriage day, of every child as if it were a doll; of the flowers which she received at every ball, the number, size, and price of the bouquets; of every serenade; of every verse which (as she fondly imagines) was written for her; of every phrase by which a lover has impressed her; but above all - with an exactness which is as contemptible as it is disquieting to herself - of every compliment without exception that has ever been paid her.

That is all that the real woman recalls of her life. But it is just those things which human beings never forget, and those they cannot remember that give clue to knowledge of their life and character. . . .

As proof of the fact [of the discontinuity in the psychical life of women] I will at present quote nothing more than the statement of Lotze, which has so often caused astonishment, that women much more readily submit themselves to new relationships and more easily accommodate themselves to them than men, in whom the parvenu can be seen much longer, whereas one might not be able to tell the peasant from the peeress, the woman brought up in poor surroundings from the patrician's daughter. Later on I shall deal more exhaustively with this subject.

At any rate, it will now be seen why (if neither vanity, desire for gossip, nor imitation drives them to it) only the better men write down recollections of their lives, and how I perceive in this a strong evidence of the connection between memory and giftedness. It is not as if every man of genius wished to write an autobiography: the incitement to autobiography comes from special, very deep-seated psychological conditions. But on the other hand, the writing of a full autobiography, if it is the outcome of a genuine desire, is always the sign of a superior man. For real faithful memory is the source of reverence. The really great would resist any temptation to give up his past in the exchange for material advantage or mental health; the greatest treasures of the world, even happiness itself, he would not take in exchange for his memories.

The desire for a draught of the waters of Lethe is the trait of mediocre or inferior natures. And however much a really great man, as Goethe says, may condemn and abhor his past failings, and although he sees others clinging fast to theirs, he will never smile at those past actions and failings of his own, or make merry over his early mode of life and thought.

The class of persons now so much in evidence, who claim to have "conquered" their pasts, have the smallest possible claim to the word "conquer." They are those who idly relate that they formerly believed this or the other, but have now "overcome" their beliefs, whereas they are as little in earnest about the present as they were about the past. They see only the mechanism, not the soul of things, and at no stage what they believe themselves to have conquered was deep in their natures.

In contrast with these it may be noticed with what painful care great men render even the, apparently, most minute details in their own biographies: for them the past and present are equal; with others neither of the two are real.

The famous man realises how everything, even the smallest, most secondary, matters played an important part in his life, how they have helped his development, and to this fact is due his extraordinary reverence for his own memories. And such an autobiography is not written all at once, as it were, with one event treated like another, and without meditation; nor does the idea of it suddenly occur to a man; the material for such a work by a great man, so to speak, is always at hand. . . .

To sum up, I may say:

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

In the course of further investigation this dictum will be seen to have a deep significance even apart from its bearing on the universality, comprehension, and comparison exhibited by the genius.

The position of woman in these matters is not difficult to explain. A real woman never becomes conscious of a destiny, of her own destiny; she is not heroic; she fights most for her possessions, and there is nothing tragic in the struggle as her own fate is decided with the fate of her possessions.

Inasmuch as woman is without continuity, she can have no true reverence; as a fact, reverence is a purely male virtue. A man is first reverent about himself, and self-respect is the first stage in reverence for all things. But it costs a woman very little to break off with her past; if the word irony could be fittingly used here, one might say that a man does not easily regard his past with irony and superiority as women appear to do - and not only after marriage.

Later on I shall show how women are exactly the opposite of that which reverence means. I would rather be silent about the reverence of widows.

The superstition of women is psychologically absolutely different from the superstitions of famous men.

The reverent relation to one's own past, which depends on a real continuity of memory, and which is possible only by comprehension, can be shown in relation to a still wider and deeper subject.

Whether a man has a real relationship to his own past or not, involves the question as to whether he has a desire for immortality, or if the idea of death is indifferent to him.

The desire for immortality is today, as a rule, treated shamefully, and in a very different spirit.

. . . The man who values his past, who holds his mental life in greater respect than his corporeal life, is not willing to give up his consciousness at death. And so this organic primary desire for immortality is strongest in men of genius, in the men whose pasts are richest. . . .

The relation between the continuity of memory and the desire for immortality is borne out by the fact that woman is devoid of the desire for immortality. It is to be noted that those persons are quite wrong who have attributed the desire for immortality to the fear of death. Women are as much afraid of death as are men, but they have not the longing for immortality.

My attempted explanation of the psychological desire for immortality is as yet more an indication of the connection between the desire and memory than a deduction from a higher natural law. It will always be found that the connection actually exists; the more a man lives in his past (not, as a superficial reader might guess, in his future) the more intense will be his longing for immortality. The lack of the desire for immortality in women is to be associated with the lack in them of reverence for their own personality. . . .

Memory makes experience timeless; the essence is that it should transcend time. A man can only remember the past because memory is free from the control of time, because events which in nature are functions of time, in the spirit have conquered time. . . .

It is just because a living creature - not necessarily a human being - by being endowed with memory is not wholly absorbed by the experiences of the moment that it can, so to speak, oppose itself to time, take cognisance of it, and make it the subject of observation. Were the being wholly abandoned to the experience of the moment and not saved from it by memory then it would change with time and be a floating bubble in the stream of events; it could never be conscious of time, for consciousness implies duality. The mind must have transcended time to grasp it, it must have stood outside it in order to be able to reflect upon it. This does not apply merely to special moments of time, as, for instance, to the case that we cannot be conscious of sorrow until the sorrow is over, but it is a part of the conception of time. If we could not free ourselves from time, we could have no knowledge of time.

In order to understand the condition of timelessness let us reflect on what memory rescues from time. What transcends time is only what is of interest to the individual, what has meaning for him; in fact, all that he assigns value to. We remember only the things that have some value for us even if we are unconscious of that value. It is the value that creates the timelessness. We forget everything that has no value for us even if we are unconscious of that absence of value.

What has value, then, is timeless; or, to put it the other way, a thing has the more value the less it is a function of time. In all the world value is in proportion to independence of time; only things that are timeless have a positive value. Although this is not what I take to be the deepest and fullest meaning of value, it is, at least, the first special law of the theory of values.

A hasty survey of common facts will suffice to prove this relation between value and duration. We are always inclined to pay little attention to the views of those whom we have known only a short time, and, as a rule, we think little of the hasty judgments of those who easily change their ideas. On the other hand, uncompromising fixedness gains respect, even if it assume the form of vindictiveness or obstinacy. . . . A man dislikes to be told that he is always changing; but let it be put that he is simply showing new sides of his character and he will be proud of the permanence through the changes. He who is tired of life, for whom life has ceased to be of interest, is interesting to no one. The fear of the extinction of a name or of a family is well known.

So also statute laws and customs lose in value if their validity is expressly limited in time; and if two people are making a bargain, they will be the more ready to distrust one another if the bargain is to be only of short duration. In fact, the value that we attach to things depends to a large extent on our estimate of their durability.

This law of values is the chief reason why men are interested in their death and their future. The desire for value shows itself in the efforts to free things from time, and this pressure is exerted even in the case of things which sooner or later must change, as, for instance, riches and position and everything that we call the goods of this world. Here lies the psychological motive for the making of wills and the bestowal of property. The motive is not care for relatives, because a man without relatives very often is more anxious to settle his goods, not feeling, perhaps, like the head of a family, that in any event his existence will have some kind of permanence, that traces of him will be left after his own death. . . .

Form and timelessness, or individuation and duration, are the two factors which compose value. . . .

The first general conclusion to be made is that the desire for timelessness, a craving for value, pervades all spheres of human activity. And this desire for real value, which is deeply bound up with the desire for power, is completely absent in the woman. It is only in comparatively rare cases that old women trouble to make exact directions about the disposition of their property, a fact in obvious relation with the absence in them of the desire for immortality.

Over the dispositions of a man there is the weight of something solemn and impressive - something which makes him respected by other men.

The desire for immortality itself is merely a specific case of the general law that only timeless things have a positive value. On this is founded its connection with memory. The permanence with which experiences stay with a man is proportional to the significance which they had for him. Putting it in paradoxical form, I may say: Value is created by the past. Only that which has a positive value remains protected by memory from the jaws of time; and so it may be with the individual psychical life as a whole. If it is to have a positive value, it must not be a function of time, but must subdue time by eternal duration after physical death. This draws us uncomparably nearer the innermost motive of the desire for immortality. The complete loss of significance which a rich, individual, fully-lived life would suffer if it were all to end with death, and the consequent senselessness of everything, as Goethe said, in other words, to Eckermann (February 14, 1829) lead to the demand for immortality. The strongest craving for immortality is possessed by the genius, and this is explained by all the other facts which have been discussed as to his nature.

Memory only fully vanquishes time when it appears in a universal form, as in universal men.

The genius is thus the only timeless man - at least, this and nothing else is his ideal of himself; he is, as is proved by his passionate and urgent desire for immortality, just the man with the strongest demand for timelessness, with the greatest desire for value. (It is often a cause for astonishment that men with quite ordinary, even vulgar, natures experience no fear of death. But it is quite explicable: it is not the fear of death which creates the desire for immortality, but the desire for immortality which causes fear of death.)

And now we are face to face with an almost astonishing coincidence. The timelessness of the genius will not only be manifest in relation to the single moments of his life, but also in relation to what is known as "his generation," or, in a narrower sense, "his time." As a matter of fact, he has no relations at all with it. The age does not create the genius it requires. The genius is not the product of his age, is not to be explained by it, and we do him no honour if we attempt to account for him by it.

Carlyle justly noted how many epochs had called for great men, how badly they had needed them, and how they still did not obtain them. . . .

And as the causes of its appearance do not lie in any one age, so also the consequences are not limited by time. The achievements of genius live for ever, and time cannot change them. By his works a man of genius is granted immortality on the earth, and thus in a threefold manner he has transcended time. His universal comprehension and memory forbid the annihilation of his experiences with the passing of the moment in which each occurred; his birth is independent of his age, and his work never dies.

The coming of genius remains a mystery, and men reverently abandon their efforts to explain it. And as the causes of its appearance do not lie in any one age, so also the consequences are not limited by time. The achievements of genius live for ever, and time cannot change them. By his works a man of genius is granted immortality on the earth, and thus in a threefold manner he has transcended time. His universal comprehension and memory forbid the annihilation of his experiences with the passing of the moment in which each occurred; his birth is independent of his age, and his work never dies.

. . . The history of the human race (naturally I mean the history of its mind and not merely its wars) is readily intelligible on the theory of the appearance of genius, and of the imitation by the more monkey-like individuals of the conduct of those with genius. The chief stages, no doubt, were house- building, agriculture, and above all, speech. Every single word has been the invention of a single man, as, indeed, we still see, if we leave out of consideration the merely technical terms. How else could language have arisen? The earliest words were "onomatopoetic"; a sound similar to the exciting cause was evolved almost without the will of the speaker, in direct response to the sensuous stimulation. All the other words were originally metaphors, or comparisons, a kind of primitive poetry, for all prose has come from poetry. Many, perhaps the majority of the greatest geniuses, have remained unknown. Think of the proverbs, now almost commonplaces, such as "one good turn deserves another." These were said for the first time by some great man. How many quotations from the classics, or sayings of Christ, have passed into the common language, so that we have to think twice before we can remember who were the authors of them. Language is as little the work of the multitude as our ballads. Every form of speech owes much that is not acknowledged to individuals of another language. Because of the universality of genius, the words and phrases that he invents are useful not only to those who use the language in which he wrote them. 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.

The genius is not a critic of language, but its creator, as he is the creator of all the mental achievements which are the material of culture and which make up the objective mind, the spirit of the peoples. The "timeless" men are those who make history, for history can be made only by those who are not floating with the stream. It is only those who are unconditioned by time who have real value, and whose productions have an enduring force. And the events that become forces of culture become so only because they have an enduring value.

If we make a criterion of genius the exhibition of this threefold "timelessness" we shall have a measure by which it is easy to test all claimants. Lombroso and Turck have expanded the popular view which ascribes genius to all whose intellectual or practical achievements are much above the average. Kant and Schelling have insisted on the more exclusive doctrine that genius can be predicated only of the great creative artists. The truth probably lies between the two. I am inclined to think that only great artists and great philosophers (amongst the latter, I include, above all, the great religious teachers) have proved a claim to genius. Neither the "man of action" nor "the man of science" has any claim.

Men of action, famous politicians and generals, may possess a few traits resembling genius (particularly a specially good knowledge of men and an enormous capacity for remembering people). The psychology of such traits will be dealt with later; they are confused with genius only by those whom the externals of greatness dazzle. The man of genius almost typically renounces such external greatness because of the real greatness within him. The really great man has the strongest sense of values; the distinguished general is absorbed by the desire for power. The former seeks to link power with real value; the latter desires that power itself should be valued. Great generals and great politicians, like the bird of Phoenix, are born out of fiery chaos and like it disappear again in the chaos. The great emperor or the great demagogue is the only man who lives entirely in the present; he does not dream of a more beautiful, better future; his mind does not dwell on his own past which has already passed, and so in the two ways most possible to man, he does not transcend time, but lives only in the moment. 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. And so the great emperor is no more than a phenomenon of nature, whereas the genius is outside nature and is an incorporation of the mind. The works of men of action crumble at the death of their authors, if indeed they have not already decayed, or they survive only a brief time leaving no traces behind them except what the chronicles record as having been done and later undone. The emperor creates no works that survive time, passing into eternity; such creations come from genius. 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. The great man has a history, the emperor is only a part of history. The great man transcends time; time creates and time destroys the emperor.

The great man of science, unless he is also a philosopher (I think of such names as Newton and Gauss, Linnaeus and Darwin, Copernicus and Galileo), deserves the title of genius as little as the man of action. Men of science are not universal; they deal only with a branch or branches of knowledge. This is not due, as is sometimes said, merely to the extreme modern specialisation that makes it impossible to master everything. Even in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries there are still amongst the learned men individuals with a knowledge as many- sided as that of Aristotle or Leibnitz; the names of von Humboldt and William Wundt at once come to my mind. The absence of genius comes from something much more deeply seated in the men of science, and in science itself, from a cause which I shall explain in the eighth chapter. Probably some one may be disposed to argue that if even the most distinguished men of science have not a knowledge so universal as that of the philosopher, there are some who stand on the outermost fringes of philosophy, and to whom it is yet difficult to deny the word genius. I think of such men as Fichte, Schleiermacher, Carlyle, and Nietzsche. Which of the merely scientific has felt in himself an unconditioned comprehension of all men and of all things, or even the capacity to verify any single thing in his mind and by his mind? On the contrary, has not the whole history of the science of the last thousand years been directed against this? This is the reason why men of science are necessarily one-sided. No man of science, unless he is also a philosopher, however eminent his achievements, has that continuous unforgetting life that the genius exhibits, and this is because of his want of universality.

Finally, it is to be observed that the investigations of the scientific are always in definite relation to the knowledge of their day. The scientific man takes possession of a definite store of experimental or observed knowledge, increases or alters it more or less, and then hands it on. And much will be taken away from his achievements, much will silently disappear; his treatises may make a brave show in libraries, but they cease to be actively alive. On the other hand, we can ascribe to the work of the great philosopher, as to that of the great artist, an imperishable, unchangeable presentation of the world, not disappearing with time, and which, because it was the expression of a great mind, will always find a school of men to adhere to it. There still exist disciples of Plato and Aristotle, of Spinoza and Berkeley and Bruno, but there are now none who denote themselves as followers of Galileo or Helmholtz, of Ptolemy or Copernicus. It is a misuse of terms, due to erroneous ideas, to speak of the "classics" of science or of pedagogy in the sense that we speak of the classics of philosophy and art.

The great philosopher bears the name of genius deservedly and with honour. And if it will always be the greatest pain to the philosopher that he is not an artist, so the artist envies the philosopher his tenacious and controlled strength of systematic thought, and it is not surprising that the artist has taken pleasure in depicting Prometheus and Faust, Prospera and Cyprian, Paul the Apostle and Il Penseroso. The philosopher and the artist are alternate sides of one another.

We must not be too lavish in attributing genius to those who are philosophers or we shall not escape the reproach of being merely partisans of philosophy against science. Such a partisanship is foreign to my purpose, and, I hope, to this book. It would only be absurd to discuss the claims to genius of such men as Anaxagoras, Geulinex, Baader, or Emerson. I deny genius either too such unoriginally profound writers as Angelus Silesius, Philo and Jacobi, or to original yet superficial persons such as Comte Feuerbach, Hume, Herbart, Locke, and Karneades. The history of art is equally full of preposterous valuations, whilst, on the other hand, the history of science is extremely free from false estimations. The history of science busies itself very little with the biographies of its protagonists; its object is a system of objective, collective knowledge in which the individual is swept away. The service of science demands the greatest sacrifice, for in it the individual human being renounces all claim to eternity as such.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:11 pm

Memory, Logic and Ethics

The title that I have given to this chapter at once opens the way to misinterpretation. It might appear as if the author supports the view that logical and ethical values were the objects exclusively of empirical psychology, psychical phenomena, like perception and sensation, and that logic and ethics, therefore, were subsections of psychology and based upon psychology.

I declare at once that I call this view, the so-called psychologismus, at once false and injurious. It is false because it can lead to nothing; and injurious because, while it hardly touches logic and ethics, it overthrows psychology itself. The exclusion of logic and ethics from the foundations of psychology, and the insertion of them in an appendix, is one of the results of the overgrowth of the doctrine of empirical perception, of that strange heap of dead, fleshless bones which is known as empirical psychology, and from which all real experience has been excluded. I have nothing to do with the empirical school, and in this matter lean towards the transcendentalism of Kant.

As the object of my work, however, is to discover the differences between different members of humanity, and not to discuss categories that would hold good for the angels in heaven, I shall not follow Kant closely, but remain more directly in psychological paths.

The justification of the title of this chapter must be reached along other lines. The tedious, because entirely new, demonstration of the earlier part of my work has shown that the human memory stands in intimate relation with things hitherto supposed unconnected with it - such things as time, value, genius, immortality. I have attempted to show that memory stands in intimate connection with all these. There must be some strong reason for the complete absence of earlier allusions to this side of the subject. I believe the reason to be no more than the inadequacy and slovenliness which hitherto have spoiled theories of memory.

. . . As memory has been shown to be a special character unconnected with the lower spheres of psychical life, and the exclusive property of human beings, it is not surprising that it is closely related to such higher things as the idea of value and time, and the craving for immortality, which is absent in animals, and possible to men only in so far as they possess the quality of genius. If memory be an essentially human thing, part of the deepest being of humanity, finding expression in mankind's most peculiar qualities, then it will not be surprising if memory be also related to the phenomena of logic and ethics. I have now to explore this relationship.

I may set out from the old proverb that liars have bad memories. It is certain that the pathological liar has practically no memory. About male liars I shall have more to say; they are not common, however. But if we remember what was said as to the absence of memory amongst women we shall not be surprised at the existence of the numerous proverbs and common sayings about the untruthfulness of women. It is evident that a being whose memory is very slight, and who can recall only in the most imperfect fashion what it has said or done, or suffered, must lie easily if it has the gift of speech. The impulse to untruthfulness will be hard to resist if there is a practical object to be gained, and if the influence that comes from a full conscious reality of the past be not present. The impulse to lie is stronger in woman, because, unlike that of man, her memory is not continuous, whilst her life is discrete, unconnected, discontinuous, swayed by the sensations and perceptions of the moment instead of dominating them. Unlike man, her experiences float past without being referred, so to speak, to a definite, permanent centre; she does not feel herself, past and present, to be one and the same throughout all her life. It happens almost to every man that sometimes he "does not understand himself"; indeed, with very many men, it happens (leaving out of the question the facts of psychical periodicity) that if they think over their pasts in their minds they find it very difficult to refer all the events to a single conscious personality; they do not grasp how it could have been that they, being what they feel themselves at the time to be, could ever have done or felt or thought this, that, or the other. And yet in spite of the difficulty, they know that they had gone through these experiences. The feeling of identity in all circumstances of life is quite wanting in the true woman, because her memory, even if exceptionally good, is devoid of continuity. The consciousness of identity of the male, even although he may fail to understand his own past, manifests itself in the very desire to understand that past. Women, if they look back on their earlier lives, never understand themselves, and do not even wish to understand themselves, and this reveals itself in the scanty interest they give to the attempts of man to understand them. The woman does not interest herself about herself, and hence there have been no female psychologists, no psychology of women written by a woman, and she is incapable of grasping the anxious desire of the man to understand the beginning, middle, and end of his individual life in their relation to each other, and to interpret the whole as a continual, logical, necessary sequence.

At this point there is a natural transition to logic. A creature like woman, the absolute woman, who is not conscious of her own identity at different stages of her life, has no evidence of her own identity at different stages of her life, has no evidence of the identity of the subject-matter of thought at different times. If in her mind the two stages of a change cannot be present simultaneously by means of memory, it is impossible for her to make the comparison and note the change. A being whose memory is never sufficiently good as to make it psychologically possible to perceive identity through the lapse of time, so as to enable her, for instance, to pursue a quantity through a long mathematical reckoning; such a creature in the extreme case would be unable to control her memory for even the moment of time required to say that A will still be A in the next moment, to pronounce judgment on the identity A = A, or on the opposite proposition that A is not equal to A, for that proposition also requires a continuous memory of A to make the comparison possible.

I have been making no mere joke, no facetious sophism or paradoxical proposition. I assert that the judgment of identity depends on conceptions, never on mere perceptions and complexes of perceptions, and the conceptions, as logical conceptions, are independent of time, retaining their constancy, whether I, as a psychological entity, think them constant or not. . . .

I have already shown that the continuous memory is the vanquisher of time, and, indeed, is necessary even for the idea of time to be formed. And so the continuous memory is the psychological expression of the logical proposition of identity. The absolute woman, in whom memory is absent, cannot take the proposition of identity, or its contradictory, or the exclusion of the alternative, as axiomatic.

Besides these three conditions of logical thought, the fourth condition, the containing of the conclusion in the major premiss, is possible only through memory. That proposition is the groundwork of the syllogism. The premisses psychologically precede the conclusion, and must be retained by the thinking person whilst the minor premiss applies the law of identity or of non-identity. The grounds for the conclusion must lie in the past. And for this reason continuity which dominates the mental processes of man is bound up with causality. Every psychological application of the relation of a conclusion to its premisses implies the continuity of memory to guarantee the identity of the propositions. As woman has no continuous memory she can have no principium rationis sufficientis.

And so it appears that woman is without logic.

George Simmel has held this familiar statement to be erroneous, inasmuch as women have been known to draw conclusions with the strongest consistency. That a woman in a concrete case can unrelentingly pursue a given course at the stimulation of some object is no more a proof that she understands the syllogism, than is her habit of perpetually recurring to disproved arguments a proof that the law of identity is an axiom for her. The point at issue is whether or no they recognise the logical axioms as the criteria of the validity of their thoughts, as the directors of their process of thinking, whether they make or do not make these the rule of conduct and the principle of judgment. A woman cannot grasp that one must act from principle; as she has no continuity she does not experience the necessity for logical support of her mental processes. Hence the ease with which women assume opinions. If a woman gives vent to an opinion, or statement, and a man is so foolish as to take it seriously and to ask her for the proof of it, she regards the request as unkind and offensive, and as impugning her character. A man feels ashamed of himself, feels himself guilty if he has neglected to verify a thought, whether or no that thought has been uttered by him; he feels the obligation to keep to the logical standard which he has set up for himself. Woman resents any attempt to require from her that her thoughts should be logical. She may be regarded as "logically insane."

The most common defect which one could discover in the conversation of a woman, if one really wished to apply to it the standard of logic (a feat that man habitually shuns, so showing his contempt for a woman's logic) is the quaternio terminorum, that form of equivocation which is the result of an incapacity to retain definite presentations; in other words, the result of a failure to grasp the law of identity. Woman is unaware of this; she does not realise the law nor make it a criterion of thought. Man feels himself bound to logic; the woman is without this feeling. It is only this feeling of guilt that guarantees man's efforts to think logically. Probably the most profound saying of Descartes, and yet one that has been widely misunderstood, is that all errors are crimes.

The source of all error in life is failure of memory. Thus logic and ethics, both of which deal with the furtherance of truth and join in its highest service, are dependent on memory. The conception dawns on us that Plato was not so far wrong when he connected discernment with memory. Memory, it is true, is not a logical and ethical act, but it is a logical and ethical phenomenon. A man who has had a vivid and deep perception regards it as a fault, if some half-hour afterwards he is thinking of something different, even if external influences have intervened. A man thinks himself unconscientious and blameworthy if he notices that he has not thought of a particular portion of his life for a long time. Memory, moreover, is linked with morality, because it is only through memory that repentance is possible. All forgetfulness is in itself immoral. And so reverence is a moral exercise; it is a duty to forget nothing, and for this reason we should reverence the dead. Equally from logical and ethical motives, man tries to carry logic into his past, in order that past and present may become one.

It is with something of a shock that we realise here that we approach the deep connection between logic and ethics, long ago suggested by Socrates and Plato, discovered anew by Kant and Fichte, but lost sight of by living workers.

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. Such a creature if endowed with speech will lie without knowing it, without the possibility of knowing it; Veritas norma sui et falsa est. There is nothing more upsetting to a man that to find, when he has discovered a woman in a lie, and he has asked her, "Why did you lie about it?" that she simply does not understand the question, but simply looks at him and laughingly tries to soothe him, or bursts into tears.

The subject does not end with the part played by memory. Lying is common enough amongst men. And lies can be told in spite of a full remembrance of the subject which for some purpose someone wishes to be informed about. Indeed, it might almost be said that the only persons who can lie are those who misrepresent facts in spite of a superior knowledge and consciousness of them.

Truth must first be regarded as the real value of logic and ethics before it is correct to speak of deviations from truth for special motives as lies from the moral point of view. Those who have not this high conception should be adjudged as guilty rather of vagueness and exaggeration than of lying; they are not immoral but non-moral. And in this sense the woman is non- moral.

The root of such an absolute misconception of truth must lie deep. The continuous memory against which alone a man can be false, is not the real source of the effort for truth, the desire for truth, the basal ethical-logical phenomenon, but only stands in intimate relation with it.

That which enables man to have a real relation to truth and which removes his temptation to lie, must be something independent of all time, something absolutely unchangeable, which as faithfully reproduces the old as if it were new, because it is permanent itself; it can only be that source in which all discrete experiences unite and which creates from the first a continuous existence. It is what produces the feeling of responsibility which oppresses all men, young and old, as to their actions, which makes them know that they are responsible, which leads to the phenomena of repentance and consciousness of sin, which calls to account before an eternal and ever present self things that are long past, its judgment being subtler and more comprehensive than that of any court of law or of the laws of society, and which is exerted by the individual himself quite independently of all social codes (so condemning the moral psychology which would derive morality from the social life of man). Society recognises the idea of illegality, but not of sin; it presses for punishment without wishing to produce repentance; lying is punished by the law only in its ceremonious form of perjury, and error has never been placed under its ban. Social ethics with its conception of duty to our neighbour and to society, and practical exclusion from consideration of the other fifteen hundred million human beings, cannot extend the realm of morality, when it begins by limiting it in this arbitrary fashion.

What is this "centre of apperception" that is superior to time and change?

It can be nothing less than what raises man above himself (as a part of the world of sense) which joins him to an order of things that only the reason can grasp, and that puts the whole world of sense at his feet. It is nothing else than personality.

The most sublime book in the world, the "Criticism of Practical Reason," has referred morality to an intelligent ego, distinct from all empirical consciousness. I must now turn to that side of my subject.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:11 pm

Logic, Ethics and The Ego

Logic deals with the true significance of the principle of identity (also with that of contradiction; the exact relation of these two, and the various modes of stating it are controversial matters outside the present subject). The proposition A = A is axiomatic and self-evident. It is the primitive measure of truth for all other propositions; however much we may think over it we must return to this fundamental proposition. It is the principle of distinction between truth and error; and he who regards it as meaningless tautology, as was the case with Hegel and many of the later empiricists (this being not the only surprising point of contact between two schools apparently so different) is right in a fashion, but has misunderstood the nature of the proposition. A = A, the principle of all truth, cannot itself be a special truth. He who finds the proposition of identity or that of non-identity meaningless does so by his own fault. He must have expected to find in these propositions special ideas, a source of positive knowledge. But they are not in themselves knowledge, separate acts of thought, but the common standard for all acts of thought. And so they cannot be compared with other acts of thought. The rule of the process of thought must be outside thought. The proposition of identity does not add to our knowledge; it does not increase but rather founds a kingdom. The proposition of identity is either meaningless or means everything. . . .

Pure logical thought cannot occur in the case of men; it would be an attribute of deity. A human being must always think partly psychologically because he possesses not only reason but also senses, and his thought cannot free itself from temporal experiences but must remain bound by them. Logic, however, is the supreme standard by which the individual can test his own psychological ideas and those of others. When two men are discussing anything it is the conception and not the varying individual presentations of it that they aim at. The conception, then, is the standard of value for the individual presentations. The mode in which the psychological generalisation comes into existence is quite independent of the conceptions and has no significance in respect to it. The logical character which invests the conception with dignity and power is not derived from experience, for experience can give only vague and wavering generalisations. Absolute constancy and absolute coherence which cannot come from experience are the essence of the conception of that power concealed in the depths of the human mind whose handiwork we try hard but in vain to see in nature. Conceptions are the only true realities, and the conception is not in nature; it is the rule of the essence not of the actual existence.

When I enunciate the proposition A = A, the meaning of the proposition is not that a special individual A of experience or of thought is like itself. The judgment of identity does not depend on the existence of an A. It means only that if an A exists, or even if it does not exist, then A = A. Something is posited, the existence of A = A whether or no A itself exists. It cannot be the result of experience, as Mill supposed, for it is independent of the existence of A. But an existence has been posited; it is not the existence of the object; it must be the existence of the subject. The reality of the existence is not in the first A or the second A, but in the simultaneous identity of the two. And so the proposition A = A is no other than the proposition "I am."

From the psychological point of view, the real meaning of the proposition of identity is not so difficult to interpret. It is clear that to be able to say A = A, to establish the permanence of the conception through the changes of experience, there must be something unchangeable, and this can be only the subject. Were I part of the stream of change I could not verify that the A had remained unchanged, had remained itself. Were I part of the change, I could not recognise the change. Fichte was right when he stated that the existence of the ego was to be found concealed in pure logic, inasmuch as the ego is the condition of intelligible existence.

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, and so he can find it. The duty of cognition involves the possibility of cognition, the freedom of thought, and the hope of ascertaining truth. In the fact that logic is the condition of the mind lies the proof that thought is free and can reach its goal. . . .

Truth, purity, faithfulness, uprightness, with reference to oneself; these give the only conceivable ethics. Duty is only duty to oneself, duty of the empirical ego to the intelligible ego. These appear in the form of two imperatives that will always put to shame every kind of psychologismus - the logical law and the moral law. The internal direction, the categorical imperatives of logic and morality which dominate all the codes of social utilitarianism are factors that no empiricism can explain. All empiricism and scepticism, positivism and relativism, instinctively feel that their principal difficulties lie in logic and ethics. And so perpetually renewed and fruitless efforts are made to explain this inward discipline empirically and psychologically.

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, which is overshadowed in the one case by error, in the other by untruth. All ethics are possible only by the laws of logic, and logic is no more than the ethical side of law. Not only virtue, but also insight, not only sanctity but also wisdom, are the duties and tasks of mankind. Through the union of these alone comes perfection.

Ethics, however, the laws of which are postulates, cannot be made the basis of a logical proof of existence. Ethics are not logical in the same sense that logic is ethical. Logic proves the absolute actual existence of the ego; ethics control the form which the actuality assumes. Ethics dominate logic and make logic part of their contents. . . .

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. . . .

The secret of Kant's "Critique of Practical Reason" is that 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; he has the law in him, and so he himself is the law, and no mere changing caprice. The desire is in him to be only the law, to be the law that is himself, without afterthought or forethought. This is the awful conclusion, he has no longer the sense that there can be duty for him. Nothing is superior to him, to the isolated unity. . . .
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:12 pm

The "I" Problem and Genius

. . . There has been no great man who, at least some time in the course of his life, and generally earlier in proportion to his greatness, has not had a moment in which he was absolutely convinced of the possession of an ego in the highest sense. . . .

The great man may become conscious of his "I" first through the love of a woman, for the great man loves more intensely than the ordinary man; or it may be from the contrast given by a sense of guilt or the knowledge of having failed; these, too, the great man feels more intensely than smaller-minded people. It may lead him to a sense of unity with the all, to the seeing of all things in God, or, and this is more likely, it may reveal to him the frightful dualism of nature and spirit in the universe, and produce in him the need, the craving, for a solution of it, for the secret inner wonder. But always it leads the great man to the beginning of a presentation of the world for himself and by himself, without the help of the thought of others.

This intuitive vision of the world is not a great synthesis elaborated at his writing-table in his library from all the books that have been written; it is something that has been experienced, and as a whole it is clear and intelligible, although details may still be obscure and contradictory. The excitation of the ego is the only source of this intuitive vision of the world as a whole in the case of the artist as in that of the philosopher. And, however different they may be, if they are really intuitive visions of the cosmos, they have this in common, something that comes only from the excitation of the ego, the faith that every great man possesses, the conviction of his possession of an "I" or soul, which is solitary in the universe, which faces the universe and comprehends it.

From the time of this first excitation of his ego, the great man, in spite of lapses due to the most terrible feeling, the feeling of mortality, will live in and by his soul.

And it is for this reason, as well as from the sense of his creative powers, that the great man has so intense a self- consciousness. Nothing can be more unintelligent than to talk of the modesty of great men, of their inability to recognise what is within them. There is no great man who does not well know how far he differs from others (except during these periodical fits of depression to which I have already alluded). . . .

The conception genius concludes universality. If there were an absolute genius (a convenient fiction) there would be nothing to which he could not have a vivid, intimate, and complete relation. Genius, as I have already shown, would have universal comprehension, and through its perfect memory would be independent of time. To comprehend anything one must have within one something similar. A man notices, understands, and comprehends only those things with which he has some kinship. The genius is the man with the most intense, most vivid, most conscious, most continuous, and most individual ego. The ego is the central point, the unit of comprehension, the synthesis of all manifoldness.

The ego of the genius accordingly is simply itself universal comprehension, the centre of infinite space; the great man contains the whole universe within himself; genius is the living microcosm. He is not an intricate mosaic, a chemical combination of an infinite number of elements; the argument in chap. iv. as to his relation to other men and things must not be taken in that sense; he is everything. In him and through him all psychical manifestations cohere and are real experiences, not an elaborate piece-work, a whole put together from parts in the fashion of science. For the genius the ego is the all, lives as the all; the genius sees nature and all existences as whole; the relations of things flash on him intuitively; he has not to build bridges of stones between them. And so the genius cannot be an empirical psychologist slowly collecting details and linking them by associations; he cannot be a physicist, envisaging the world as a compound of atoms and molecules.

It is absolutely from his vision of the whole, in which the genius always lives, that he gets his sense of the parts. He values everything within him or without him by the standard of this vision, a vision that for him is no function of time, but a part of eternity. And so the man of genius is the profound man, and profound only in proportion to his genius. That is why his views are more valuable than those of all others. He constructs from everything his ego that holds the universe, whilst others never reach a full consciousness of this inner self, and so, for him, all things have significance, all things are symbolical. For him breathing is something more than the coming and going of gases through the walls of the capillaries; the blue of the sky is more than the partial polarisation of diffused and reflected light; snakes are not merely reptiles that have lost limbs. If it were possible for one single man to have achieved all the scientific discoveries that have ever been made, if everything that has been done by the following: Archimedes and Lagrange, Johannes Muller and Karl Ernst von Baer, Newton and Laplace, Konrad Sprengel and Cuvier, Thucydides and Niebuhr, Friedrich August Wolf and Franz Bopp, and by many more famous men of science, could have been achieved by one man in the short span of human life, he would still not be entitled to the denomination of genius, for none of these have pierced the depths. The scientist takes phenomena for what they obviously are; the great man or genius for what they signify. Sea and mountain, light and darkness, spring and autumn, cypress and palm, dove and swan are symbols to him, he not only thinks that there is, but he recognises in them something deeper. The ride of the Valkyrie is not produced by atmospheric pressure and the magic fire is not the outcome of a process of oxidation.

And all this is possible for him because the outer world is as full and strongly connected as the inner in him, the external world in fact seems to be only a special aspect of his inner life; the universe and the ego have become one in him, and he is not obliged to set his experience together piece by piece according to rule. The greatest poly-historian, on the contrary, does nothing but add branch to branch and yet creates no completed structure. That is another reason why the great scientist is lower that the great artist, the great philosopher. The infinity of the universe is responded to in the genius by a true sense of infinity in his own breast; he holds chaos and cosmos, all details and all totality, all plurality, and all singularity in himself.

A man may be called a genius when he lives in conscious connection with the whole universe. It is only then that the genius becomes the really divine spark in mankind. . . .

All mankind have some of the quality of genius, and no man has it entirely. Genius is a condition to which one man draws close whilst another is further away, which is attained by some in early days, but with others only at the end of life.

The man to whom we have accorded the possession of genius, is only he who has begun to see, and to open the eyes of others. That they can see with their own eyes proves that they were only standing before the door.

Even the ordinary man, even as such, can stand in an indirect relationship to everything: his idea of the "whole" is only a glimpse, he does not succeed in identifying himself with it. But he is not without the possibility of following this identification in another, and so attaining a composite image. Through some vision of the world he can bind himself to the universal, and by diligent cultivation he can make each detail a part of himself. Nothing is quite strange to him, and in all a band of sympathy exists between him and the things of the world. . . .

Man is the only creature, he is the creature in Nature, that has in himself a relation to every thing.

He to whom this relationship brings understanding and the most complete consciousness, not to many things or to few things, but to all things, the man who of his own individuality has thought out everything, is called a genius. He in whom the possibility of this is present, in whom an interest in everything could be aroused, yet who only, of his own accord, concerns himself with a few, we call merely a man. . . .

The genius is the complete man; the manhood that is latent in all men is in him fully developed.

Man himself is the All, and so unlike a mere part, dependent on other parts; he is not assigned a definite place in a system of natural laws, but he himself is the meaning of the law and is therefore free, just as the world whole being itself, the All does not condition itself but is unconditioned. The man of genius is he who forgets nothing because he does not forget himself, and because forgetting, being a functional subjection to time, is neither free nor ethical. He is not brought forward on the wave of a historical movement as its child, to be swallowed up by the next wave, because all, all the past and all the future is contained in his inward vision. He it is whose consciousness of immortality is most strong because the fear of death has no terror for him. He it is who lives in the most sympathetic relation to symbols and values because he weighs and interprets by these all that is within him and all that is outside him. He is the freest and the wisest and the most moral of men, and for these reasons he suffers most of all from what is still unconscious, what is chaos, what is fatality within him.

How does the morality of great men reveal itself in their relations to other men? This, according to the popular view, is the only form which morality can assume, apart from contraventions of the penal code. And certainly in this respect, great men have displayed the most dubious qualities. Have they not laid themselves open to accusations of base ingratitude, extreme harshness, and much worse faults?

It is certainly true that the greater an artist or philosopher may be, the more ruthless he will be in keeping faith with himself, in this very way often disappointing the expectations of those with whom he comes in contact in every day life; these cannot follow his higher flights and so try to bind the eagle to earth (Goethe and Lavater) and in this way many great men have been branded as immoral. . . .

The statement that a great man is most moral towards himself stands on sure ground; he will not allow alien views to be imposed on him, so obscuring the judgment of his own ego; he will not passively accept the interpretation of another, of an alien ego, quite different from his own, and if ever he has allowed himself to be influenced, the thought will always be painful to him. A conscious lie that he has told will harass him throughout his life, and he will be unable to shake off the memory in Dionysian fashion. But men of genius will suffer most when they become aware afterwards that they have unconsciously helped to spread a lie in their talk or conduct with others. Other men, who do not possess this organic thirst for truth, are always deeply involved in lies and errors, and so do not understand the bitter revolt of great men against the "lie of life."

The great man, he who stands high, he in whom the ego, unconditioned by time, is dominant, seeks to maintain his own value in the presence of his intelligible ego by his intellectual and moral conscience. His pride is towards himself; there is the desire in him to impress his own self by his thoughts, actions, and creations. This pride is the pride peculiar to genius, possessing its own standard of value, and it is independent of the judgment of others, since it possesses in itself a higher tribunal. Soft and ascetic natures (Pascal is an example) sometimes suffer from this self-pride, and yet try in vain to shake it off. This self-pride will always be associated with pride before others, but the two forms are really in perpetual conflict.

Can it be said that this strong adaption to duty towards oneself prejudices the sense of duty towards one's neighbours? Do not the two stand as alternatives, so that he who always keeps faith with himself must break it with others? By no means. As there is only one truth, so there can be only one desire for truth - what Carlyle called sincerity - that a man has or has not with regard both to himself and to the world; it is never one of two, a view of the world differing from a view of oneself, a self- study without a world-study; there is only one duty and only one morality. Man acts either morally or immorally, and if he is moral towards himself he is moral towards others. . . .

Sympathy is, perhaps, the surest sign of a disposition, but it is not the moral purpose inspiring an action. Morality must imply conscious knowledge of the moral purpose and of value as opposed to worthlessness. Socrates was right in this, and Kant is the only modern philosopher who has followed him. Sympathy is a non-logical sensation, and has no claim to respect. . . .

How does the famous man stand in this respect? He who understands the most men, because he is most universal in disposition, and who lives in the closest relation to the universe at large, who most earnestly desires to understand its purpose, will be most likely to act well towards his neighbour.

As a matter of fact, no one thinks so much or so intently as he about other people (even although he has only seen them for a moment), and no one tries so hard to understand them if he does not feel that he already has them within him in all their significance. Inasmuch as he has a continuous past, a complete ego of his own, he can create the past which he did not know for others. He follows the strongest bent of his inner being if he thinks about them, for he seeks only to come to the truth about them by understanding them. He sees that human beings are all members of an intelligible world, and which there is no narrow egoism or altruism. This is the only explanation of how it is that great men stand in vital, understanding relationship, not only with those round about them, but with all the personalities of history who have preceded them; this is the only reason why great artists have grasped historical personalities so much better and more intensively than scientific historians. There has been no great man who has not stood in a personal relationship to Napoleon, Plato, or Mahomet. It is in this way that he shows his respect and true reverence for those who have lived before him. . . .

. . . The greater a man is the greater efforts he will make to understand things that are most strange to him, whilst the ordinary man readily thinks that he understands a thing, although it may be something he does not at all understand, so that he fails to perceive the unfamiliar spirit which is appealing to him from some object of art or from a philosophy, and at most attains a superficial relation to the subject, but does not rise to the inspiration of its creator. The great man who attains to the highest rungs of consciousness does not easily identify himself and his opinion with anything he reads, whilst those with a lesser clarity of mind adopt, and imagine that they absorb, things that in reality are very different. 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, he, according to the ethics of Kant, will trace, anticipate, and therefore respect the personality in his companion (as part of the intelligible universe), and will not merely be scandalised by him. The psychological condition of all practical altruism, therefore is theoretical individualism.

Here lies the bridge between moral conduct towards oneself and moral conduct towards one's neighbour, the apparent want of which in the Kantian philosophy Schopenhauer unjustly regarded as a fault, and asserted to arise necessarily out of Kant's first principles.

It is easy to give proofs. Only brutalised criminals and insane persons take absolutely no interest in their fellow men; they live as if they were alone in the world, and the presence of strangers has no effect on them. But for him who possesses a self there is a self in his neighbour, and only the man who has lost the logical and ethical centre of his being behaves to a second man as if the latter were not a man and had no personality of his own. "I" and "thou" are complementary terms. A man soonest gains consciousness of himself when he is with other men. This is why a man is prouder in the presence of other men than when he is alone, whilst it is in his hours of solitude that his self-confidence is damped. Lastly, he who destroys himself destroys at the same time the whole universe, and he who murders another commits the greatest crime because he murders himself in his victim. Absolute selfishness is, in practice, a horror, which should rather be called nihilism; if there is no "thou," there is certainly no "I", and that would mean there is nothing.

There is in the psychological disposition of the man of genius that which makes it impossible to use other men as a means to an end. And this is it: he who feels his own personality, feels it also in others. For him the Tat-tvam-asi is no beautiful hypothesis, but a reality. The highest individualism is the highest universalism. . . .

We are preparing for a real ethical relation to our fellow men when we make them conscious that each of them possesses a higher self, a soul, and that they must realise the souls in others.

This relation is, however, manifested in the most curious manner in the man of genius. No one suffers so much as he 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. . . .

I think that I have proved at every point that genius is simply the higher morality. The great man is not only the truest to himself, the most unforgetful, the one to whom errors and lies are most hateful and intolerable; he is also the most social, at the same time the most self-contained, and the most open man. The genius is altogether a higher form, not merely intellectually, but also morally. In his own person, the genius reveals the idea of mankind. He represents what man is; he is the subject whose object is the whole universe which he makes endure for all time.

Let there be no mistake. Consciousness and consciousness alone is in itself moral; all unconsciousness is immoral, and all immorality is unconscious. The "immoral genius," the "great wicked man," is, therefore, a mythical animal, invented by great men in certain moments of their lives as a possibility, in order (very much against the will of the Creator) to serve as a bogey for nervous and timid natures, with which they frighten themselves and other children. . . .

Universal comprehension, full consciousness, and perfect timelessness are an ideal condition, ideal even for gifted men; genius is an innate imperative, which never becomes a fully accomplished fact in human beings. Hence it is that a man of genius will be the last man to feel himself in the position to say of himself: "I am a genius." Genius is, in its essence, nothing but the full completion of the idea of a man, and, therefore, every man ought to have some quality of it, and it should be regarded as a possible principle for every one.

Genius is the highest morality, and, therefore, it is every one's duty. Genius is to be attained by a supreme act of the will, in which the whole universe is affirmed in the individual. Genius is something which "men of genius" take upon themselves; it is the greatest exertion and the greatest pride, the greatest misery and the greatest ecstasy to a man. A man may become a genius if he wishes to.

But at once it will certainly be said: "Very many men would like very much to be 'original geniuses,'" and their wish has no effect. But if these men who "would like very much" had a livelier sense of what is signified by their wish, if they were aware that genius is identical with universal responsibility - and until that is grasped it will only be a wish and not a determination - it is highly probable that a very large number of these men would cease to wish to become geniuses.

The reason why madness overtakes so many men of genius - fools believe it comes from the influence of Venus, or the spinal degeneration of neurasthenics - is that for many the burden becomes too heavy, the task of bearing the whole world on the shoulders, like Atlas, intolerable for the smaller, but never for the really mighty minds. But the higher a man mounts, the greater may be his fall; all genius is a conquering of chaos, mystery, and darkness, and if it degenerates and goes to pieces, the ruin is greater in proportion to the success. The genius which runs to madness is no longer genius; it has chosen happiness instead of morality. All madness is the outcome of the insupportability of suffering attached to all consciousness. . . .
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:12 pm

Male and Female Psychology

It is now time to return to the actual subject of this investigation in order to see how far its explanation has been helped by the lengthy digressions, which must often have seemed wide of the mark.

The consequence of the fundamental principles that have been developed are of such radical importance to the psychology of the sexes that, even if the former deductions have been assented to, the present conclusions may find no acceptance. This is not the place to analyse such a possibility; but in order to protect the theory I am now going to set up, from all objections, I shall fully substantiate it in the fullest possible manner by convincing arguments.

Shortly speaking the matter stands as follows: I have shown that logical and ethical phenomena come together in the conception of truth as the ultimate good, and posit the existence of an intelligible ego or a soul, as a form of being of the highest super-empirical reality. In such a being as the absolute female there are no logical and ethical phenomena, and, therefore, the ground for the assumption of a soul is absent. The absolute female knows neither the logical nor the moral imperative, and the words law and duty, duty towards herself, are words which are least familiar to her. The inference that she is wanting in super-sensual personality is fully justified. The absolute female has no ego.

In a certain sense this is an end of the investigation, a final conclusion to which all analysis of the female leads. And although this conclusion, put thus concisely, seems harsh and intolerant, paradoxical and too abrupt in its novelty, it must be remembered that the author is not the first who has taken such a view; he is more in the position of one who has discovered the philosophical grounds for an opinion of long standing.

The Chinese from time immemorial have denied that women possess a personal soul. If a Chinaman is asked how many children he has, he counts only the boys, and will say none if he has only daughters. Mahomet excluded women from Paradise for the same reason, and on this view depends the degraded position of women in Oriental countries.

Amongst the philosophers, the opinions of Aristotle must first be considered. He held that in procreation the male principle was the formative active agent, the "logos," whilst the female was the passive material. When we remember that Aristotle used the word "soul" for the active, formative, causative principle, it is plain that his idea was akin to mine, although, as he actually expressed it, it related only to the reproductive process; it is clear, moreover, that he, like all the Greek philosophers except Euripides, paid no heed to women, and did not consider her qualities from any other point of view than that of her share in reproduction.

Amongst the fathers of the Church, Tertullian and Origen certainly had a very low opinion of woman, and St. Augustine, except for his relations with his mother, seems to have shared their view. At the Renaissance the Aristotelian conceptions gained many new adherents, amongst whom Jean Wier (1518-1588) may be cited specially. At that period there was general, more sensible and intuitive understanding on the subject, which is now treated as merely curious, contemporary science having bowed the knee to other than Aristotelian gods.

In recent years Henrik Ibsen (in the characters of Anitra, Rita, and Irene) and August Strindberg have given utterance to this view. But the popularity of the idea of the soullessness of woman has been most attained by the wonderful fairy tales of Fouqu,, who obtained the material for them from Paracelsus, after deep study, and which have been set to music by E.T.A. Hoffman, Girschner, and Albert Lorzing.

Undine, the soulless Undine, is the platonic idea of woman. In spite of all bisexuality she most really resembles the actuality. The well-known phrase, "Women have no character," really means the same thing. Personality and individuality (intelligible), ego and soul, will and (intelligible) character, all these are different expressions of the same actuality, an actuality the male of mankind attains, the female lacks.

But since the soul of man is the microcosm, and great men are those who live entirely in and through their souls, the whole universe thus having its being in them, the female must be described as absolutely without the quality of genius. The male has everything within him, and, as Pico of Mirandola put it, only specialises in this or that part of himself. It is possible for him to attain to the loftiest heights, or to sink to the lowest depths; he can become like animals, or plants, or even like women, and so there exist woman-like female men.

The woman, on the other hand, can never become a man. In this consists the most important limitation to the assertions in the first part of this work. Whilst I know of many men who are practically completely psychically female, not merely half so, and have seen a considerable number of women with masculine traits, I have never yet seen a single woman who was not fundamentally female, even when this femaleness has been concealed by various accessories from the person herself, not to speak of others. One must be (chap. i. part I.) either man or woman, however many peculiarities of both sexes one may have, and this "being," the problem of this work from the start, is determined by one's relation to ethics and logic; but whilst there are people who are anatomically men and psychically women, there is no such thing as a person who is physically female and psychically male, notwithstanding the extreme maleness of their outward appearance and the unwomanliness of their expression.

We may now give, with certainty, a conclusive answer to the question as to the giftedness of the sexes: there are women with undoubted traits of genius, but there is no female genius, and there never has been one (not even amongst those masculine women of history which were dealt with in the first part), and there never can be one. Those who are in favour of laxity in these matters, and are anxious to extend and enlarge the idea of genius in order to make it possible to include women, would simply by such action destroy the concept of genius. If it is in any way possible to frame a definition of genius that would thoroughly cover the ground, I believe that my definition succeeds. And how, then, could a soulless being possess genius? The possession of genius is identical with profundity; and if any one were to try to combine woman and profundity as subject and predicate, he would be contradicted on all sides. A female genius is a contradiction in terms, for genius is simply intensified, perfectly developed, universally conscious maleness.

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.

(It would be a simple matter to introduce at this point a list of the works of the most famous women, and show by a few examples how little they deserve the title of genius. But it would be a wearisome task, and any one who would make use of such a list can easily procure it for himself, so that I shall not do so.)

The proof of the soullessness of woman is closely connected with much of what was contained in the earlier chapters. The third chapter explained that woman has her experiences in the form of henids, whilst those of men are in an organised form, so that the consciousness of the female is lower in grade than that of the male. Consciousness, however, is psychologically a fundamental part of the theory of knowledge. From the point of view of the theory of knowledge, consciousness and the possession of a continuous ego, of a transcendental subjective soul, are identical conceptions. Every ego exists only so far as it is self-conscious, conscious of the contents of its own thoughts; all real existence is conscious existence. I can now make an important contribution to the theory of henids. The organised contents of the thoughts of the male are not merely those of the female articulated and formed, they are not what was potential in the female becoming actual; from the very first there is a qualitative difference. The psychical contents of the male, even whilst they are still in the henid stage that they always try to emerge from, are already partly conceptual, and it is probable that even perceptions in the male have a direct tendency towards conceptions. In the female, on the other hand, there is no trace of conception either in recognition or in thinking.

The logical axioms are the foundation of all formation of mental conceptions, and women are devoid of these; the principle of identity is not for them an inevitable standard, nor do they fence off all other possibilities from their conception by using the principle of contradictories. This want of definiteness in the ideas of women is the source of that "sensitiveness" which gives the widest scope to vague associations and allows the most radically different things to be grouped together. And even women with the best and least limited memories never free themselves from this kind of association by feelings. For instance, if they "feel reminded" by a word of some definite colour, or by a human being of some definite thing to eat - forms of association common with women - they rest content with the subjective association, and do not try to find out the source of the comparison, and if there is any relation in it to actual fact. The complacency and self-satisfaction of women corresponds with what has been called their intellectual unscrupulousnesss, and will be referred to again in connection with their want of the power to form concepts. This subjection to waves of feeling, this want of respect for conceptions, this self-appreciation without any attempt to avoid shallowness, characterise as essentially female the changeable styles of many modern painters and novelists. Male thought is fundamentally different from female thought in its craving for definite form, and all art that consists of moods is essentially a formless art.

The psychical contents of man's thoughts, therefore, are more than the explicit realisation of what women think in henids. Woman's thought is a sliding and gliding through subjects, a superficial tasting of things that a man, who studies the depths, would scarcely notice; it is an extravagant and dainty method of skimming which has no grasp of accuracy. A woman's thought is superficial, and touch is the most highly developed of the female senses, the most notable characteristic of the woman which she can bring to a high state by her unaided efforts. Touch necessitates a limiting of the interest to superficialities, it is a vague effect of the whole and does not depend on definite details. When a woman "understands" a man (of the possibility or impossibility of any real understanding I shall speak later), she is simply, so to speak tasting (however wanting in taste the comparison may be) what he has thought about her. Since, on her own part, there is no sharp differentiation, it is plain that she will often think that she herself has been understood when there is no more present than a vague similarity of perceptions. The incongruity between the man and woman depends, in a special measure, on the fact that the contents of the thoughts of the man are not merely those of the woman in a higher state of differentiation, but that the two have totally distinct sequences of thought applied to the same object, conceptual thought in the one and indistinct sensing in the other; and when what is called "understanding" in the two cases is compared, the comparison is not between a fully organised integrated thought and a lower stage of the same process; but in the understanding of man and woman there is on the one side a conceptual thought, on the other side an unconceptual "feeling," a henid.

The unconceptual nature of the thinking of a woman is simply the result of her less perfect consciousness, of her want of an ego. It is the conception that unites the mere complex of perceptions into an object, and this it does independently of the presence of an actual perception. The existence of the complex of perceptions is dependent on the will; the will can shut the eyes and stop the ears so that the person no longer sees nor hears, but may get drunk or go to sleep and forget. It is the conception which brings freedom from the eternally subjective, eternally psychological relativity of the actual perceptions, and which creates the things in themselves. By its power of forming conceptions the intellect can spontaneously separate itself from the object; conversely, it is only when there is a comprehending function that subject and object can be separated and so distinguished; in all other cases there is only a mass of like and unlike images present mingling together without law and order. The conception creates definite realities from the floating images, the object from the perception, the object which stands like an enemy opposite the subject that the subject may measure its strength upon it. The conception is thus the creator of reality; it is the "transcendental object" of Kant's "Critique of Reason," but it always involves a transcendental "subject."

It is impossible to say of a mere complex of perceptions that it is like itself; in the moment that I have made the judgment of identity, the complex of perceptions has become a concept. And so the conception gives their value to all processes of verification and all syllogisms; the conception makes the contents of thought free by binding them. It gives freedom both to the subject and object; for the two freedoms involve each other. All freedom is in reality self-binding, both in logic and in ethics. Man is free only when he himself is the law. And so the function of making concepts is the power by which man gives himself dignity; he honours himself by giving freedom to the objective world, by making it part of the objective body of knowledge to which recourse may be had when two men differ. The woman cannot in this way set herself over against realities, she and they swing together capriciously; she cannot give freedom to her objects as she herself is not free.

The mode in which perceptions acquire independence in conceptions is the means of getting free from subjectivity. The conception is that about which I think, write, and speak. And in this way there comes the belief that I can make judgments concerning it. Hume, Huxley, and other "immanent" psychologists, tried to identify the conception with a mere generalisation, so making no distinction between logical and psychological thought. In doing this they ignored the power of making judgments. In every judgment there is an act of verification or of contradiction, an approval or rejection, and the standard for these judgments, the idea of truth, must be something external to that on what it is acting. If there are nothing but perceptions, then all perceptions must have an equal validity, and there can be no standard by which to form a real world. Empiricism in this fashion really destroys the reality of experience, and what is called positivism is no more than nihilism. The idea of a standard of truth, the idea of truth, cannot lie in experience. In every judgment this idea of the existence of truth is implicit. The claim to real knowledge depends on this capacity to judge, involves the conception of the possibility of truth in the judgment.

This claim to be able to reach knowledge is no more than to say that the subject can judge of the object, can say that the object is true. The objects on which we make judgments are conceptions; the conception is what we know. The conception places a subject and an object against one another, and the judgment then creates a relation between the two. The attainment of truth simply means that the subject can judge rightly of the object, and so the function of making judgments is what places the ego in relation to the all possible. And thus we reach an answer to the old problem as to whether conception or judgment has precedence; the answer is that the two are necessary to one another. The faculty of making conceptions cleaves subject and object and unites them again.

A being like the female, without the power of making concepts, is unable to make judgments. In her "mind" subjective and objective are not separated; there is no possibility of making judgments, and no possibility of reaching, or of desiring, truth. No woman is really interested in science; she may deceive herself and many good men, but bad psychologists, by thinking so. It may be taken as certain, that whenever a woman has done something of any little importance in the scientific world (Sophie Germain, Mary Somerville, &c.) it is always because of some man in the background whom they desire to please in this way. . . .

But there have never been any great discoveries in the world of science made by women, because the facility for truth only proceeds from a desire for truth, and the former is always in proportion to the latter. Woman's sense of reality is much less than man's, in spite of much repetition of the contrary opinion. With women the pursuit of knowledge is always subordinated to something else, and if this alien impulse is sufficiently strong they can see sharply and unerringly, but woman will never be able to see the value of truth in itself and in relation to her own self. Where there is some check to what she wishes (perhaps unconsciously) a woman becomes quite uncritical and loses all touch with reality. This is why women so often believe themselves to have been the victims of sexual overtures; this is the reason of the extreme frequency of hallucinations of the sense sense of touch in women, of the intensive reality of which it is almost impossible for a man to form an idea. This also is why the imagination of women is composed of lies and errors, whilst the imagination of the philosopher is the highest form of truth.

The idea of truth is the foundation of everything that deserves the name of judgment. Knowledge is simply the making of judgments, and thought itself is simply another name for judgment. Deduction is the necessary process in making judgments, and involves the propositions of identity and contradictories, and, as I have shown, these propositions are not axiomatic for women.

A psychological proof that the power of making judgments is a masculine trait lies in the fact that the woman recognises it as such, and that it acts on her as a tertiary sexual character of the male. A woman always expects definite convictions in a man, and appropriates them; she has no understanding of indecision in a man. She always expects a man to talk, and a man's speech is to her a sign of his manliness. It is true that woman has the gift of speech, but she has not the art of talking; she converses (flirts) or chatters, but she does not talk. She is most dangerous, however, when she is dumb, for men are only too inclined to take her quiescence for silence.

The absolute female, then, is devoid not only of the logical rules, but of the functions of making concepts and judgments which depend on them. As the very nature of the conceptual faculty consists in posing subject against object, and as the subject takes its deepest and fullest meaning from its power of forming judgments on its objects, it is clear that women cannot be recognised as possessing even the subject.

I must add to the exposition of the non-logical nature of the female some statements as to her non-moral nature. The profound falseness of woman, the result of the want in her of a permanent relation to the idea of truth or to the idea of value, would prove a subject of discussion so exhaustive that I must go to work another way. There are such endless imitations of ethics, such confusing copies of morality, that women are often said to be on a moral plane higher than that of man. I have already pointed out the need to distinguish between the non-moral and the immoral, and I now repeat that with regard to women we can talk only of the non-moral, of the complete absence of a moral sense. It is a well-known fact of criminal statistics and of daily life that there are very few female criminals. The apologists of the morality of women always point to this fact.

But in deciding the question as to the morality of women we have to consider not if a particular person has objectively sinned against the idea, but if the person has or has not a subjective centre of being that can enter into a relation with the idea, a relation the value of which is lowered when a sin is committed. No doubt the male criminal inherits his criminal instincts, but none the less he is conscious in spite of theories of "moral insanity" - that by his action he has lowered the value of his claim on life. All criminals are cowardly in this matter, and there is none of them that thinks he has raised his value and his self-consciousness by his crime, or that would try to justify it to himself.

The male criminal has from birth a relation to the idea of value just like any other man, but the criminal impulse, when it succeeds in dominating him, destroys this almost completely. Woman, on the contrary, often believes herself to have acted justly when, as a matter of fact, she has just done the greatest possible act of meanness; whilst the true criminal remains mute before reproach, a woman can at once give indignant expression to her astonishment and anger that any one should question her perfect right to act in this or that way. Women are convinced of their own integrity without ever having sat in judgment on it. The criminal does not, it is true, reflect on himself, but he never urges his own integrity; he is much more inclined to get rid of the thought of his integrity, (A male even feels guilty when he has not actually done wrong. He can always accept the approaches of others as to deception, thieving, and so on, even if he has never committed such acts, because he knows he is capable of them. So also he feels himself "caught" when anyone is arrested) because it might remind him of his guilt; and in this is the proof that he had a relation to the idea (of truth), and only objects to be reminded of his unfaithfulness to his better self. No male criminal has ever believed that his punishment was unjust. A woman, on the contrary, is convinced of the animosity of her accuser, and if she does not wish to be convinced of it, no one can persuade her that she has done wrong.

If any one talks to her it usually happens that she bursts into tears, begs for pardon, and "confesses her fault," and may really believe that she feels her guilt; but only when she desires to do so, and the outbreak of tears has given her a certain sort of satisfaction. The male criminal is callous; he does not spin round in a trice, as a woman would do in a similar instance if her accuser knew how to handle her skilfully.

The personal torture which arises from guilt, which cries aloud in its anguish at having brought such a stain upon herself, no woman knows, and an apparent exception (the penitent, who becomes a self-mortifying devotee,) will certainly prove that a woman only feels a vicarious guilt.

I am not arguing that woman is evil and anti-moral; I state that she cannot be really evil; she is merely non-moral.

Womanly compassion and female modesty are the two other phenomena which are generally urged by the defenders of female virtue. It is especially from womanly kindness, womanly sympathy, that the beautiful descriptions of the soul of woman have gained most support, and the final argument of all belief in the superior morality of woman is the conception of her as the hospital nurse, the tender sister. I am sorry to have to mention this point, and should not have done so, but I have been forced to do so by a verbal objection made to me, which can be easily foreseen.

It is very shortsighted of any one to consider the nurse as a proof of the sympathy of women, because it really implies the opposite. For a man could never stand the sight of the sufferings of the sick; he would suffer so intensely that he would be completely upset and incapable of lengthy attendance on them. Any one who has watched nursing sisters is astonished at their equanimity and "sweetness" even in the presence of most terrible death throes; and it is well that it is so, for man, who cannot stand suffering and death, would make a very bad nurse. A man would want to assuage the pain and ward off death; in a word, he would want to help; where there is nothing to be done he is better away; it is only then that nursing is justified and that woman offers herself for it. But it would be quite wrong to regard this capacity of women in an ethical aspect.

Here it may be said that for woman the problem of solitude and society does not exist. She is well adapted for social relations (as, for instance, those of a companion or sick- nurse), simply because for her there is no transition from solitude to society. In the case of a man, the choice between solitude and society is serious when it has to be made. The woman gives up no solitude when she nurses the sick, as she would have to do were she to deserve moral credit for her action; a woman is never in a condition of solitude, and knows neither the love of it nor the fear of it. The woman is always living in a condition of fusion with all the human beings she knows, even when she is alone; she is not a ""monad," for all monads are sharply marked off from other existences. Women have no definite inidividual limits; they are not unlimited in the sense that geniuses have no limits, being one with the whole world; they are unlimited only in the sense that they are not marked off from the common stock of mankind.

This sense of continuity with the rest of mankind is a sexual character of the female, and displays itself in the desire to touch, to be in contact with, the object of her pity; the mode in which her tenderness expresses itself is a kind of animal sense of contact. It shows the absence of the sharp line that separates one real personality from another. The woman does not respect the sorrow of her neighbour by silence; she tries to raise him from his grief by speech, feeling that she must be in physical, rather than spiritual, contact with him.

This diffused life, one of the most fundamental qualities of the female nature, is the cause of the impressibility of all women, their unreserved and shameless readiness to shed tears on the most ordinary occasion. It is not without reason that we associate wailing with women, and think little of a man who sheds tears in public. A woman weeps with those that weep and laughs with those that laugh - unless she herself is the cause of the laughter - so that the greater part of female sympathy is ready-made.

It is only women who demand pity from other people, who weep before them and claim their sympathy. This is one of the strongest pieces of evidence for the psychical shamelessness of women. A woman provokes the compassion of strangers in order to weep with them and be able to pity herself more than she already does. It is not too much to say that even when a woman weeps alone she is weeping with those that she knows would pity her and so intensifying her self-pity by the thought of the pity of others. Self-pity is eminently a female characteristic; a woman will associate herself with others, make herself the object of pity for these others, and then at once, deeply stirred, begin to weep with them about herself, the poor thing. Perhaps nothing so stirs the feeling of shame in a man as to detect in himself the impulse towards this self-pity, this state of mind in which the subject becomes the object.

As Schopenhauer put it, female sympathy is a matter of sobbing and wailing on the slightest provocation, without the smallest attempt to control the emotion; on the other hand, all true sorrow, like true sympathy, just because it is real sorrow, must be reserved; no sorrow can really be so reserved as sympathy and love, for these make us most fully conscious of the limits of each personality. Love and its bashfulness will be considered later on; in the meantime let us be assured that in sympathy, in genuine masculine sympathy, there is always a strong feeling of reserve, a sense almost of guilt, because one's friend is worse off than oneself, because I am not he, but a being separated from his being by extraneous circumstances. A man's sympathy is the principle of individuality blushing for itself; and hence man's sympathy is reserved whilst that of woman is aggressive.

The existence of modesty in women has been discussed already to a certain extent; I shall have more to say about it in relation with hysteria. But it is difficult to see how it can be maintained that this is a female virtue, if one reflect on the readiness with which women accept the habit of wearing low- necked dresses wherever custom prescribes it. A person is either modest or immodest, and modesty is not a quality which can be assumed or discarded from hour to hour.

Strong evidence of the want of modesty in woman is to be derived from the fact that women dress and undress in the presence of one another with the greatest freedom, whilst men try to avoid similar circumstances. Moreover, when women are alone together, they are very ready to discuss their physical qualities, especially with regard to their attractiveness for men; whilst men, practically without exception, avoid all notice of one another's sexual characters.

I shall return to this subject again. In the meantime I wish to refer to the argument of the second chapter in this connection. One must be fully conscious of a thing before one can have a feeling of shame about it, and so differentiation is as necessary for the sense of shame as for consciousness. The female, who is only sexual, can appear to be asexual because she is sexuality itself, and so her sexuality does not stand out separately from the rest of her being, either in space or in time, as in the case of the male. Woman can give an impression of being modest because there is nothing in her to contrast with her sexuality. And so the woman is always naked or never naked - we may express it either way - never naked, because the true feeling of nakedness is impossible to her; always naked, because there is not in her the material for the sense of relativity by which she could become aware of her nakedness and so make possible the desire to cover it.

What I have been discussing depends on the actual meaning of the word "ego" to a woman. If a woman were asked what she meant by her "ego" she would certainly think of her body. Her superficies, that is the woman's ego. The ego of the female is quite correctly described by Mach in his "Anti-metaphysical Remarks."

The ego of a woman is the cause of the vanity which is specific of women. The analogue of this in the male is an emanation of the set of his will towards his conception of the good, and its objective expression is a sensitiveness, a desire that no one shall call in question the possibility of attaining this supreme good. It is his personality that gives to man his value and his freedom from the conditions of time. This supreme good, which is beyond price, because, in the words of Kant, there can be found no equivalent for it, is the dignity of man. Women, in spite of what Schiller has said, have no dignity, and the word "lady" was invented to supply this defect, and her pride will find its expression in what she regards as the supreme good, that is to say, in the preservation, improvement, and display of her personal beauty. The pride of the female is something quite peculiar to herself, something foreign even to the most handsome man, an obsession by her own body; a pleasure which displays itself, even in the least handsome girl, by admiring herself in the mirror, by stroking herself and playing with her own hair, but which comes to its full measure only in the effect that her body has on man. A woman has no true solitude, because she is always conscious of herself only in relation to others. The other side of the vanity of women is the desire to feel that her body is admired, or, rather, sexually coveted, by a man.

This desire is so strong that there are many women to whom it is sufficient merely to know that they are coveted.

The vanity of women is, then, always in relation to others; a woman lives only in the thoughts of others about her. The sensibility of women is directed to this. A woman never forgets that some one thought her ugly; a woman never considers herself ugly; the successes of others at the most only make her think of herself as perhaps less attractive. But no woman ever believes herself to be anything but beautiful and desirable when she looks at herself in the glass; she never accepts her own ugliness as a painful reality as a man would, and never ceases to try to persuade others of the contrary.

What is the source of this form of vanity, peculiar to the female? It comes from the absence of an intelligible ego, the only begetter of a constant and positive sense of value; it is, in fact, that she is devoid of a sense of personal value. As she sets no store by herself or on herself, she endeavours to attain to a value in the eyes of others by exciting their desire and admiration. The only thing which has any absolute and ultimate value in the world is the soul. "Ye are better than many sparrows" were Christ's words to mankind. A woman does not value herself by the constancy and freedom of her personality; but this is the only possible method for every creature possessing an ego. But if a real woman, and this is certainly the case, can only value herself at the rate of the man who has fixed his choice on her; if it is only through her husband or lover that she can attain to a value not only in social and material things, but also in her innermost nature, it follows that she possesses no personal value, she is devoid of man's sense of the value of his own personality for itself. And so women always get their sense of value from something outside themselves, from their money or estates, the number and richness of their garments, the position of their box at the opera, their children, and, above all, their husbands or lovers. When a woman is quarrelling with another woman, her final weapon, and the weapon she finds most effective and discomfiting, is to proclaim her superior social position, her wealth or title, and, above all, her youthfulness and the devotion of her husband or lover; whereas a man in similar case would lay himself open to contempt if he relied on anything except his own personal individuality.

The absence of the soul in woman may also be inferred from the following: Whilst a woman is stimulated to try to impress a man from the mere fact that he has paid no attention to her (Goethe gave this as a practical receipt), the whole life of a woman, in fact, being an expression of this side of her nature, a man, if a woman treats him rudely or indifferently, feels repelled by her. Nothing makes a man so happy as the love of a girl; even if he did not at first return her love, there is a great probability of love being aroused in him. The love of a man for whom she does not care is only a gratification of the vanity of a woman, or an awakening and rousing of slumbering desires. A woman extends her claims equally to all men on earth.

The shamelessness and heartlessness of women are shown in the way in which they talk of being loved. A man feels ashamed of being loved, because he is always in the position of being the active, free agent, and because he knows that he can never give himself entirely to love, and there is nothing about which he is so silent, even when there is no special reason for him to fear that he might compromise the lady by talking. A woman boasts about her love affairs, and parades them before other women in order to make them envious of her. Woman does not look upon a man's inclination for her so much as a tribute to her actual worth, or a deep insight into her nature, as the bestowing a value on her which she otherwise would not have, as the gift to her of an existence and essence with which she justifies herself before others.

The remark in an earlier chapter about the unfailing memory of woman for all the compliments she has ever received since childhood is explained by the foregoing facts. It is from compliments, first of all, that woman gets a sense of her "value," and that is why women expect men to be "polite." Politeness is the easiest form of pleasing a woman, and however little it costs a man it is dear to a woman, who never forgets an attention, and lives upon the most insipid flattery, even in her old age. One only remembers what possesses a value in one's eyes; it may safely be said that it is for compliments women have the most developed memory. The woman can attain a sense of value by these external aids, because she does not possess within her an inner standard of value which diminishes everything outside her. The phenomena of courtesy and chivalry are simply additional proofs that women have no souls, and that when a man is being "polite" to a woman he is simply ascribing to her the minimum sense of personal value, a form of deference to which importance is attached precisely in the measure that it is misunderstood.

The non-moral nature of woman reveals itself in the mode in which she can so easily forget an immoral action she has committed. It is almost characteristic of a woman that she cannot believe that she has done wrong, and so is able to deceive both herself and her husband. Men, on the other hand, remember nothing so well as the guilty episodes of their lives. Here memory reveals itself as eminently a moral phenomenon. forgiving and forgetting, not forgiving and understanding, go together. When one remembers a lie, one reproaches oneself afresh about it. A woman forgets, because she does not blame herself for an act of meanness, because she does not understand it, having no relation to the moral idea. It is not surprising that she is ready to lie. Women have been regarded as virtuous simply because the problem of morality has not presented itself to them; they have been held to be even more moral than man; this is simply because they do not understand immorality. The innocence of a child is not meritorious; if a patriarch could be innocent he might be praised for it.

Introspection is an attribute confined to males, if we leave out of account the hysterical self-reproaches of certain women - and consciousness of guilt and repentance are equally male. The penances that women lay on themselves, remarkable imitations of the sense of guilt, will be discussed when I come to deal with what passes for introspection in the female sex. The "subject" of introspection is the moral agent; it has a relation to the psychical phenomena only in so far as it sits in judgment on them.

It is quite in the nature of positivism that Comte denies the possibility of introspection, and throws ridicule on it. For certainly it is absurd that a psychical event and a judgment of it could coincide if the interpretations of the positivists be accepted. It is only on the assumption that there exists an ego unconditioned by time and intrinsically capable of moral judgments, endowed with memory and with the power of making comparisons, that we can justify the belief in the possibility of introspection.

If woman had a sense of personal value and the will to defend it against all external attacks she could not be jealous. Apparently all women are jealous, and jealousy depends on the failure to recognise the rights of others. Even the jealousy of a mother when she sees another woman's daughters married before her own depends simply on her want of the sense of justice.

Without justice there can be no society, so that jealousy is an absolutely unsocial quality. The formation of societies in reality presupposes the existence of true individuality. Woman has no faculty for the affairs of State or politics, as she has no social inclinations; and women's societies, from which men are excluded, are certain to break up after a short time. The family itself is not really a social structure; it is essentially unsocial, and men who give up their clubs and societies after marriage soon rejoin them. I had written this before the appearance of Heinrich Schurtz' valuable ethnological work, in which he shows that associations of men, and not the family, form the beginnings of society.

Pascal made the wonderful remark that human beings seek society only because they cannot bear solitude and wish to forget themselves. It is the fact expressed in these words which puts in harmony my earlier statement that women had not the faculty of solitude and my present statement that she is essentially unsociable.

If a woman possessed an "ego" she would have the sense of property both in her own case and that of others. The thieving instinct, however, is much more developed in men than in women. So-called "kleptomanics" (those who steal without necessity) are almost exclusively women. Women understand power and riches but not personal property. When the thefts of female kleptomaniacs are discovered, the women defend themselves by saying that it appeared to them as if everything belonged to them. It is chiefly women who use circulating libraries, especially those who could quite well afford to buy quantities of books; but, as matter of fact, they are not more strongly attracted by what they have bought than by what they have borrowed. In all these matters the relation between individuality and society comes into view; just as a man must have personality himself to appreciate the personalities of others, so also he must acquire a sense of personal right in his own property to respect the rights of others.

One's name and a strong devotion to it are even more dependent on personality than is the sense of property. The facts that confront us with reference to this are so salient that it is extraordinary to find so little notice taken of them. Women are not bound to their names with any strong bond. When they marry they give up their own name and assume that of their husband without any sense of loss. They allow their husbands and lovers to call them by new names, delighting in them; and even when a woman marries a man that she does not love, she has never been known to suffer any psychical shock at the change of name. The name is a symbol of individuality; it is only amongst the lowest races on the face of the earth, such as the bushmen of South Africa, that there are no personal names, because amongst such as these the desire for distinguishing individuals from the general stock is not felt. The fundamental namelessness of the woman is simply a sign of her undifferentiated personality.

An important observation may be mentioned here and may be confirmed by every one. Whenever a man enters a place where a woman is, and she observes him, or hears his step, or even only guesses he is near, she becomes another person. Her expression and her pose change with incredible swiftness; she "arranges her fringe" and her bodice, and rises, or pretends to be engrossed in her work. She is full of a half shameless, half-nervous expectation. In many cases one is only in doubt as to whether she is blushing for her shameless laugh, or laughing over her shameless blushing.

The soul, personality, character - as Schopenhauer with marvelous sight recognised - are identical with free-will. And as the female has no ego, she has no free-will. Only a creature with no will of its own, no character in the highest sense, could be so easily influenced by the mere proximity to a man as woman is, who remains in functional dependence on him instead of in free relationship to him. Woman is the best medium, the male her best hypnotiser. For this reason alone it is inconceivable why women can be considered good as doctors; for many doctors admit that their principal work up to the present - and it will always be the same - lies in the suggestive influence on their patients.

The female is uniformly more easily hypnotised than the male throughout the animal world, and it may be seen from the following how closely hypnotic phenomena are related to the most ordinary events. I have already described, in discussing female sympathy, how easy it is for laughter or tears to be induced in females. How impressed she is by everything in the newspapers! What a martyr she is to the silliest superstitions! How eagerly she tries every remedy recommended by her friends!

Whoever is lacking in character is lacking in convictions. The female, therefore, is credulous, uncritical, and quite unable to understand Protestantism. Christians are Catholics or Protestants before they are baptized, but, none the less, it would be unfair to describe Catholicism as feminine simply because it suits women better. The distinction between the Catholic and Protestant dispositions is a side of characterology that would require separate treatment.

It has been exhaustively proved that the female is soulless and possesses neither ego nor individuality, personality nor freedom, character nor will. This conclusion is of the highest significance in psychology. It implies that the psychology of the male and of the female must be treated separately. A purely empirical representation of the psychic life of the female is possible; in the case of the male, all the psychic life must be considered with reference to the ego.

The view of Hume (and Mach), which only admits that there are "impressions" and "thoughts", and has almost driven the psyche out of present day psychology, declares that the whole world is to be considered exclusively as a picture in a reflector, a sort of kaleidoscope; it merely reduces everything to a dance of the "elements," without thought or order; it denies the possibility of obtaining a secure standpoint for thought; it not only destroys the idea of truth, and accordingly of reality, the only claims on which philosophy rests, but it also is to blame for the wretched plight of modern psychology.

This modern psychology proudly styles itself the "psychology without the soul," in imitation of its much overrated founder, Friedrich Albert Lange. I think I have proved in this work that without the acknowledgment of a soul there would be no way of dealing with psychic phenomena; just as much in the case of the male who has a soul as in the case of the female who is soulless.

Modern psychology is eminently womanish, and that is why this comparative investigation of the sexes is so specially instructive, and it is not without reason that I have delayed pointing out this radical difference; it is only now that it can be seen what the acceptation of the ego implies, and how the confusing of masculine and feminine spiritual life (in the broadest and deepest sense) has been at the root of all the difficulties and errors into which those who have sought to establish a universal psychology have fallen.

I must now raise the question - is a psychology of the male possible as a science? The answer must be that it is not possible. I must be understood to reject all the investigations of the experimenters, and those who are still sick with the experimental fever may ask in wonder if all these have no value? Experimental psychology has not given a single explanation as to the deeper laws of masculine life; it can be regarded only as a series of sporadic empirical efforts, and its method is wrong inasmuch as it seeks to reach the kernel of things by surface examination, and as it cannot possibly give an explanation of the deep-seated source of all psychical phenomena. When it has attempted to discover the real nature of psychical phenomena by measurements of the physical phenomena that accompany them, it has succeeded in showing that even in the most favourable cases there is an inconstancy and variation. The fundamental possibility of reaching the mathematical idea of knowledge is that the data should be constant. As the mind itself is the creator of time and space, it is impossible to expect that geometry and arithmetic should explain the mind. . . .

The wild and repeated efforts to derive the will from psychological factors, from perception and feeling, are in themselves evidence that it cannot be taken as an empirical factor. The will, like the power of judgment, is associated inevitably with the existence of an ego, or soul. It is not a matter of experience, it transcends experience, and until psychology recognises this extraneous factor, it will remain no more than a methodical annex of physiology and biology. If the soul is only a complex of experiences it cannot be the factor that makes experiences possible. Modern psychology in reality denies the existence of the soul, but the soul rejects modern psychology. . . .

It is extraordinary how inquirers who have made no attempt to analyse such phenomena as shame and the sense of guilt, faith and hope, fear and repentance, love and hate, yearning and solitude, vanity and sensitiveness, ambition and the desire for immortality, have yet the courage simply to deny the ego because it does not flaunt itself like the colour of an orange or the taste of a peach. How can Mach and Hume account for such a thing as style, if individuality does not exist? Or again, consider this: no animal is made afraid by seeing its reflection in a glass, whilst there is no man who could spend his life in a room surrounded with mirrors. Can this fear, the fear of the doppelganger (It is notable that women are devoid of this fear; female doppelgangers are not heard of), be explained on Darwinian principles. The word doppelganger has only to be mentioned to raise a deep dread in the mind of any man. Empirical psychology cannot explain this; it reaches the depths. It cannot be explained, as Mach would explain the fear of little children, as an inheritance from some primitive, less secure stage of society. I have taken this example only to remind the empirical psychologists that there are many things inexplicable on their hypotheses.

Why is any man annoyed when he is described as a Wagnerite, a Nietzchite, a Herbartian, or so forth? He objects to be thought a mere echo. Even Ernst Mach is angry in anticipation at the thought that some friend will describe him as a Positivist, Idealist, or any other non-individual term. This feeling must not be confused with the results of the fact that a man may describe himself as a Wagnerite, and so forth. The latter is simply a deep approval of Wagnerism, because the approver is himself a Wagnerite. The man is conscious that his agreement is in reality a raising of the value of Wagnerism. And so also a man will say much about himself that he would not permit another to say of him. . . .

It cannot be right to consider such men as Pascal and Newton, on the one hand, as men of the highest genius, on the other, as limited by a mass of prejudices which we of the present generation have long overcome. Is the present generation with its electrical railways and empirical psychology so much higher than these earlier times? Is culture, if culture has any real value, to be compared with science, which is always social and never individual, and to be measured by the number of public libraries and laboratories? Is culture outside human beings and not always in human beings?

It is in striking harmony with the ascription to men alone of an ineffable, inexplicable personality, that in all the authenticated cases of double or multiple personality the subjects have been women. The absolute female is capable of sub-division; the male, even to the most complete characterology and the most acute experiment, is always an indivisible unit. The male has a central nucleus of his being which has no parts, and cannot be divided; the female is composite, and so can be dissociated and cleft.

And so it is most amusing to hear writers talking of the soul of the woman, of her heart and its mysteries, of the psyche of the modern woman. It seems almost as if even an accoucheur would have to prove his capacity by the strength of his belief in the soul of women. Most women, at least, delight to hear discussions on their souls, although they know, so far as they can be said to know anything, that the whole thing is a swindle. The woman as the Sphinx! Never was a more ridiculous, a more audacious fraud perpetrated. Man is infinitely more mysterious, incomparably more complicated.

It is only necessary to look at the faces of women one passes in the streets. There is scarcely one whose expression could not at once be summed up. The register of woman's feelings and disposition is so terribly poor, whereas men's countenances can scarcely be read after long and earnest scrutiny.

Finally, I come to the question as to whether there exists a complete parallelism or a condition of reciprocal interaction between mind and body. In the case of the female, psycho- physical parallelism exists in the form of a complete coordination between the mental and the physical; in women the capacity for mental exertion ceases with senile involution, just as it developed in connection with and in subservience to the sexual instincts. The intelligence of man never grows as old as that of the woman, and it is only in isolated cases that degeneration of the mind is linked with degeneration of the body. Least of all does mental degeneration accompany the bodily weakness of old age in those who have genius, the highest development of mental masculinity. . . .

In the earlier pages of my volume I contrasted the clarity of male thinking processes with their vagueness in woman, and later on showed that the power of orderly speech, in which logical judgments are expressed, acts on woman as a male sexual character. Whatever is sexually attractive to the female must be characteristic of the male. Firmness in a man's character makes a sexual impression on a woman, whilst she is repelled by the pliant man. People often speak of the moral influence exerted on men by women, when no more is meant than that women are striving to attain their sexual complements. Women demand manliness from men, and feel deeply disappointed and full of contempt if men fail them in this respect. However untruthful or great a flirt a woman may be, she is bitterly indignant if she discovers traces of coquetry or untruthfulness in a man. She may be as cowardly as she likes, but the man must be brave. It has been almost completely overlooked that this is only a sexual egotism seeking to secure the most satisfactory sexual complement. From the side of empirical observation, no stronger proof of the soullessness of woman could be drawn than that she demands a soul in man, that she who is not good in herself demands goodness from him. The soul is a masculine character, pleasing to women in the same way and for the same purpose as a masculine body or a well-trimmed moustache. I may be accused of stating the case coarsely, but it is none the less true. It is the man's will that in the last resort influences a woman most powerfully, and she has a strong faculty for perceiving whether a man's "I will" means mere bombast or actual decision. In the latter case the effect on her is prodigious.

How is it that woman, who is soulless herself, can discern the soul in man? How can she judge about his morality who is herself non-moral? How can she grasp his character when she has no character herself? How appreciate his will when she is herself without will?

These difficult problems lie before us, and their solutions must be placed on strong foundations, for there will be many attempts to destroy them.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:13 pm

Motherhood and Prostitution

The chief objection that will be urged against my views is that they cannot possibly be valid for all women. For some, or even for the majority, they will be accepted as true, but for the rest -

It was not my original intention to deal with the different kinds of women. Women may be regarded from many different points of view, and, of course, care must be taken not to press too hardly what is true for one extreme type. If the word character be accepted in its common, empirical signification, then there are differences in women's characters. All the properties of the male character find remarkable analogies in the female sex (an interesting case will be dealt with later on in this chapter); but in the male the character is always deeply rooted in the sphere of the intelligible, from which there has come about the lamentable confusion between the doctrine of the soul and characterology. The characterological differences amongst women are not rooted so deeply that they can develop into individuality; and probably there is no female quality that in the course of the life of a woman cannot be modified, repressed, or annihilated by the will of a man.

How far such differences in character may exist in cases that have the same degree of masculinity or of femininity I have not yet been at the pains to inquire. I have refrained deliberately from this task, because in my desire to prepare the way for a true orientation of all the difficult problems connected with my subject I have been anxious not to raise side issues or to burden the argument with collateral details.

The detailed characterology of women must wait for a detailed treatment, but even this work has not totally neglected the differences that exist amongst women; I shall hope to be acquitted of false generalisations if it be remembered that what I have been saying relates to the female element, and is true in the same proportion that women possess that element. However, as it is quite certain that a particular type of woman will be brought forward in opposition to my conclusion, it is necessary to consider carefully that type and its contrasting type.

To all the bad and defamatory things that I have said about women, the conception of woman as a mother will certainly be opposed. But those who adduce this argument will admit the justice of a simultaneous consideration of the type that is at the opposite pole from motherhood, as only in this way is it possible to define clearly in what motherhood consists and to delimit it from other types.

The type standing at the pole opposite to motherhood is the prostitute. The contrast is not any more inevitable than the contrast between man and woman, and certain limits and restrictions will have to be made. But allowing for these, women will now be treated as falling into two types, sometimes having in them more of the one type, sometimes the other. . . .

That motherhood and prostitution are at extreme poles appears probable simply from the fact that motherly women bear far more children, whilst the frivolous have few children, and prostitutes are practically sterile. It must be remembered, of course, that it is not only prostitutes who belong to the prostitute type; very many so-called respectable girls and married women belong to it. Accurate analysis of the type will show that it reaches far beyond the mere women of the streets. The street-walker differs from the respectable coquette and the celebrated hetaira only through her incapacity for differentiation, her complete want of memory, and her habit of living from moment to moment. If there were but one man and one woman on the earth, the prostitute type would reveal itself in the relations of the woman to the man. . . .

Prostitution is not a result of social conditions, but of some cause deep in the nature of women; prostitutes who have been "reclaimed" frequently, even if provided for, return to their old way of life. . . . I may note finally, that prostitution is not a modern growth; it has been known from the earliest times, and even was a part of some ancient religions, as, for instance, among the Phoenicians.

Prostitution cannot be considered as a state into which men have seduced women. Where there is no inclination for a certain course, the course will not be adopted. Prostitution is foreign to the male element, although the lives of men are often more laborious and unpleasant than those of women, and male prostitutes are always advanced sexually intermediate forms. The disposition for and inclination to prostitution is as organic in a woman as is the capacity for motherhood.

Of course, I do not mean to suggest that, when any woman becomes a prostitute, it is because of an irresistible, inborn craving. Probably most women have both possibilities in them, the mother and the prostitute. What is to happen in cases of doubt depends on the man who is able to make the woman a mother, not merely by the physical act but by a single look at her. Schopenhauer said that a man's existence dates from the moment when his father and mother fell in love. That is not true. The birth of a human being, ideally considered, dates from the moment when the mother first saw or heard the voice of the father of her child. . . .

If a man has an influence on a woman so great that her children of whom he is not the father resemble him, he must be the absolute sexual complement of the woman in question. If such cases are very rare, it is only because there is not much chance of the absolute sexual complements meeting. . . .

It is a rare chance if a woman meets a man so completely her sexual complement that his mere presence makes him the father of her children. And so it is conceivable in the case of many mothers and prostitutes that their fates have been reversed by accident. On the other hand, there must be many cases in which the woman remains true to the maternal type without meeting the necessary man, and also cases where a woman, even although she meets the man, may be driven none the less into the prostitute type by her natural instincts.

We have not to face the general occurrence of women as one or other of two distinct inborn types, the maternal type and the prostitute. The reality is found between the two. There are certainly no women absolutely devoid of the prostitute instinct to covet being sexually excited by any stranger. And there are equally certainly no women absolutely devoid of all maternal instincts, although I confess that I have found more cases approaching the absolute prostitute than the absolute mother.

The essence of motherhood consists, as the most superficial investigation will reveal, in that the getting of the child is the chief object of life, whereas in the prostitute sexual relations in themselves are the end. The investigation of the subject must be pursued by considering the relation of each type to the child and to sexual congress.

Consider the relation to the child first. The absolute prostitute thinks only of the man; the absolute mother thinks only of the child. The best test case is the relation to the daughter. It is only when there is no jealousy about her youth or greater beauty, no grudging about the admiration she wins, but an identification of herself with her daughter so complete that she is as pleased about her child's admirers as if they were her own, that a woman has a claim to the title of perfect mother.

The absolute mother (if such existed), who thinks only about the child, would become a mother by any man. It will be found that women who were devoted to dolls when they were children, and were kind and attentive to children in their own childhood, are least particular about their husbands, and are most ready to accept the first good match who takes any notice of them and who satisfies their parents and relatives. When such a maiden has become a mother, it matters not by whom, she ceases to pay any attention to any other men. The absolute prostitute, on the other hand, even when she is still a child, dislikes children; later on, she may pretend to care for them as a means of attracting men through the idea of mother and child. She is the woman whose desire is to please all men; and since there is no such thing as an ideally perfect type of mother, there are traces of this desire to please in every woman, as every man of the world will admit.

Here we can trace at least a formal resemblance between the two types. Both are careless as to the individuality of their sexual complement. The one accepts any possible man who can make her a mother, and once that has been achieved asks nothing more; on this ground only is she to be described as monogamous. The other is ready to yield herself to any man who stimulates her erotic desires; that is her only object. From this description of the two extreme types we may hope to gain some knowledge of the nature of actual women.

I have to admit that the popular opinion as to the monogamous nature of women as opposed to the essential polygamy of the male, an opinion I long held, is erroneous. The contrary is the case. One must not be misled by the fact that a woman will wait very long for a particular man, and where possible will choose him who can bestow most value on her, the most noble, the most famous, the ideal prince. Woman is distinguished by this desire for value from the animals, who have no regard for value either for themselves and through themselves, as in the case of a man, or for another and through another, as in the case of a woman. But this could be brought forward only by fools as in any way to the credit of woman, since, indeed, it shows most strongly that she is devoid of a feeling of personal value. The desire for this demands to be satisfied, but does not find satisfaction in the moral idea of monogamy. The man is able to pour forth value, to confer it on the woman; he can give it, he wishes to give it, but he cannot receive it. The woman seeks to create as much personal value as possible for herself, and so adheres to the man who can give her most of it; faithfulness of the man, however, rests on other grounds. He regards it as the completion of ideal love, as a fulfilment, even although it is questionable if that could be attained. His faithfulness springs from the purely masculine conception of truth, the continuity demanded by the intelligible ego. One often hears it said that women are more faithful than men; but man's faithfulness is a coercion which he exercises on himself, of his own free will, and with full consciousness. He may not adhere to this self-imposed contract, but his falling away from it will seem as a wrong to himself. When he breaks his faith he has suppressed the promptings of his real nature. For the woman unfaithfulness is an exciting game, in which the thought of morality plays no part, but which is controlled only by the desire for safety and reputation. There is no wife who has not been untrue to her husband in thought, and yet no woman reproaches herself with this. For a woman pledges her faith lightly and without any full consciousness of what she does, and breaks it just as lightly and thoughtlessly as she pledged it. The motive for honouring a pledge can be found only in man; for a woman does not understand the binding force of a given word. The examples of female faithfulness that can be adduced against this are of little value. They are either the slow result of the habit of sexual acquiescence, or a condition of actual slavery, dog-like, attentive, full of instinctive tenacious attachment, comparable with that necessity for actual contact which marks female sympathy.

The conception of faithfulness to one has been created by man. It arises from the masculine idea of individuality which remains unchanged by time, and, therefore, needs as its complement always one and the same person. The conception of faithfulness to one person is a lofty one, and finds a worthy expression in the sacramental marriage of the Catholic Church. I am not going to discuss the question of marriage or free-love. Marriage in its existing form is as incompatible as free-love with the highest interpretations of the moral law. And so divorce came into the world with marriage.

None the less marriage could have been invented only by man. No proprietary institution originated with women. The introduction of order into chaotic sexual relations could have come only through man's desire for it, and his power to establish it. There have been periods in the history of many primitive races in which women had a great influence; but the period of matriarchy was a period of polyandry.

The dissimilarity in the relations of mother and prostitute to their child is rich in important conclusions. A woman in whom the prostitute element is strong will perceive her son's manhood and always stand in a sexual relation to him. But as no woman is the perfect type of mother, there is something sexual in the relation of every mother and son. For this reason, I chose the relation of the mother to her daughter and not to her son, as the best measure of her type. There are many well-known physiological parallels between the relations of a mother to her children and of a wife to her husband.

Motherliness, like sexuality, is not an individual relation. When a woman is motherly the quality will be exercised not only on the child of her own body, but towards all men, although later on her interest in her own child may become all-absorbing and make her narrow, blind, and unjust in the event of a quarrel.

The relation of a motherly girl to her lover is interesting. Such a girl is inclined to be motherly towards the man she loves, especially towards that man who will afterwards become the father of her child; in fact, in a certain sense the man is her child. The deepest nature of the mother-type reveals itself in this identity of the mother and loving wife; the mothers form the enduring root-stock of our race from which the individual man arises, and in the face of which he recognises his own impermanence. It is this idea which enables the man to see in the mother, even while she is still a girl, something eternal, and which gives the pregnant woman a tremendous significance. The enduring security of the race lies in the mystery of this figure, in the presence of which man feels his own fleeting impermanence. In such minutes there may come to him a sense of freedom and peace, and in the mysterious silence of the idea, he may think that it is through the woman that he is in true relation with the universe. He becomes the child of his beloved one, a child whose mother smiles on him, understands him, and takes care of him (Siegfried and Brunnhilde, Act III). But this does not last long. (Siegfried tears himself from Brunnhilde). For a man only comes to his fulness when he frees himself from the race, when he raises himself above it. For paternity cannot satisfy the deepest longings of a man, and the idea that he is to be lost in the race is repellent to him. The most terrible chapter in the most comfortless of all the great books that have been written, the chapter on "Death and its Relation to the Indestructibility of our Nature," in Schopenhauer's "The World as Will and Idea," is where the permanence of the will to maintain the species is set down as the only real permanence.

It is the permanence of the race that gives the mother her courage and fearlessness in contrast with the cowardliness and fear of the prostitute. It is not the courage of individuality, the moral courage arising from an inner sense of freedom and personal value, but rather the desire that the race should be maintained which, acting through the mother, protects the husband and child. As courage and cowardice belong respectively to the mother and the prostitute, so is it with that other pair of contrasting ideas, hope and fear. The absolute mother stands in a persisting relation to hope; as she lives on through the race, she does not quail before death, whilst the prostitute has a lasting fear of it.

The mother feels herself in a sense superior to the man; she knows herself to be his anchor; as she is in a secure place, linked in the chain of the generations, she may be likened to a harbour from which each new individual sails forth to wander on the high seas. From the moment of conception onwards the mother is psychically and physically ready to feed and protect her child. And this protective superiority extends itself to her lover; she understands all that is simple and naive and childlike in him, whilst the prostitute understands best his caprices and refinements. The mother has the craving to teach her child, to give him everything, even when the child is represented by the lover; the prostitute strives to impose herself on the man, to receive everything from him. The mother as the upholder of the race is friendly to all its members; it is only when there is an exclusive choice to be made between her child and others that she becomes hard and relentless; and so she can be both more full of love and more bitter than the prostitute.

The mother is in complete relation with the continuity of the race; the prostitute is completely outside it. The mother is the sole advocate and priestess of the race. The will of the race to live is embodied in her, whilst the existence of the prostitute shows that Schopenhauer was pushing a generalisation too far when he declared that all sexuality had relation only to the future generation. That the mother cares only for the life of her own race is plain from the absence of consideration for animals shown by the best of mothers. A good mother, with the greatest peace of mind and content, will slaughter fowl after fowl for her family. The mother of children is a cruel step- mother to all other living things.

Another striking aspect of the mother's relation to the preservation of the race reveals itself in the matter of food. She cannot bear to see food wasted, however little may be left over; whilst the prostitute wilfully squanders the quantities of food and drink she demands. The mother is stingy and mean; the prostitute open-handed and lavish. The mother's object in life is to preserve the race, and her delight is to see her children eat and to encourage their appetites. And so she becomes the good housekeeper. Ceres was a good mother, a fact expressed in her Greek name, Demeter. The mother takes care of the body, but does not trouble about the mind. The relation between mother and child remains material from the kissing and hugging of childhood to the protective care of maturity. All her devotion is for the success and prosperity of her child in material things.

Maternal love, then cannot be truly represented as resting on moral grounds. Let any one ask himself if he does not believe that his mother's love would not be just as great for him if he were a totally different person. The individuality of the child has no part in the maternal love; the mere fact of its being her own child is sufficient, and so the love cannot be regarded as moral. In the love of a man for a woman, or between persons of the same sex, there is always some reference to the personal qualities of the individual; a mother's love extends itself indifferently to anything that she has borne. It destroys the moral conception if we realise that the love of a mother for her child remains the same whether the child becomes a saint or a sinner, a king or a beggar, an angel or a fiend. Precisely the same conclusion will be reached from reflecting how children think that they have a claim on their mother's love simply because she is their mother. Maternal love is non-moral because it has no relation to the individuality of the being on which it is bestowed, and there can be an ethical relation only between two individualities. The relation of mother and child is always a kind of physical reflex. If the little one suddenly screams or cries when the mother is in the next room, she will at once rush to it as if she herself had been hurt; and, as the children grow up, every wish or trouble of theirs is directly assumed and shared by the mother as if they were her own. There is an unbreakable link between the mother and child, physical, like the cord that united the two before childbirth. This is the real nature of the maternal relation; and, for my part, I protest against the fashion in which it is praised, its very indiscriminate character being made a merit. I believe myself that many great artists have recognised this, but have chosen to be silent about it.

Maternal love is an instinctive and natural impulse, and animals possess it in a degree as high as that of human beings. This alone is enough to show that it is not true love, that it is not of moral origin; for all morality proceeds from the intelligible character which animals, having no free will, do not possess. The ethical imperative can be heard only by a rational creature; there is no such thing as natural morality, for all morality must be self-conscious.

The prostitute's position outside the mere preservation of the race, the fact that she is not merely the channel and the indifferent protector of the chain of beings that passes through her, place the prostitute in a sense above the mother, so far at least as it is possible to speak of higher or lower from the ethical point of view when women are being discussed.

The matron whose whole time is taken up in looking after her husband and children, who is working in, or superintending the work of, the house, garden, or other forms of labour, ranks intellectually very low. The most highly developed women mentally, those who have been lauded in poetry, belong to the prostitute category; to these, the Aspasia-type, must be added the women of the romantic school, foremost among whom must be placed Karoline Michaelis-Bohmer-Forster-Schlegel-Schelling.

It coincides with what has been said that only those men are sexually attracted by the mother-type who have no desire for mental productivity. The man whose fatherhood is confined to the children of his loins is he whom we should expect to choose the motherly productive woman. Great men have always preferred women of the prostitute type. (Wherever I am using this term I refer, of course, not merely to mercenary women of the streets.) Their choice falls on the sterile woman, and, if there is issue, it is unfit and soon dies out. Ordinary fatherhood has as little to do with morality as motherhood. It is non-moral, as I shall show in chap. xiv.; and it is illogical, because it deals with illusions. No man ever knows to what extent he is the father of his own child. And its duration is short and fleeting; every generation and every race of human beings soon disappears.

The widespread and exclusive honouring of the motherly woman, the type most upheld as the one and only possible one for women, is accordingly quite unjustified. Although most men are certain that every woman can have her consummation only in motherhood, I must confess that the prostitute - not as a person, but as a phenomenon - is much more estimable in my opinion.

There are various causes of this universal reverence for the mother.

One of the chief reasons appears to be that the mother seems to the man nearer his ideal of chastity; but the woman who desires children is no more chaste than the man-coveting prostitute.

The man rewards the appearance of higher morality in the maternal type by raising her morally (although with no reason) and socially over the prostitute type. The latter does not submit to any valuations of the man nor to the ideal of chastity which he seeks for in the woman; secretly, as the woman of the world, lightly as the demi-mondaine, or flagrantly as the woman of the streets, she sets herself in opposition to them. This is the explanation of the social ostracisms, the practical outlawry which is the present almost universal fate of the prostitute. The mother readily submits to the moral impositions of man, simply because she is interested only in the child and the preservation of the race.

It is quite different with the prostitute. She lives her own life exactly as she pleases, even although it may bring with it the punishment of exclusion from society. She is not so brave as the mother, it is true, being thoroughly cowardly; but she has the correlative of cowardice, impudence, and she is not ashamed of her shamelessness. She is naturally inclined to polygamy, and always ready to attract more men than the one who would suffice as the founder of a family. She gives free play to the fulfilment of her desire, and feels a queen, and her most ardent wish is for more power. It is easy to grieve or shock the motherly woman; no one can injure or offend the prostitute; for the mother has her honour to defend as the guardian of the species, whilst the prostitute has forsworn all social respect, and prides herself in her freedom. The only thought that disturbs her is the possibility of losing her power. She expects, and cannot think otherwise than that every man wishes to possess her, that they think of nothing but her, and live for her. And certainly she possesses the greatest power over men, the only influence that has a strong effect on the life of humanity that is not ordered by the regulations of men.

In this lies the analogy between the prostitute and men who have been famous in politics. As it is only once in many centuries that a great conqueror arises, like Napoleon or Alexander, so it is with the great courtesan; but when she does appear she marches triumphantly across the world.

There is a relationship between such men and courtesans (every politician is to a certain extent a tribune of the people, and that in itself implies a kind of prostitution). They have the same feeling for power, the same demand to be in relations with all men, even the humblest. Just as the great conqueror believes that he confers a favour on any one to whom he talks, so also with the prostitute. Observe her as she talks to a policeman, or buys something in a shop, you see the sense of conferring a favour explicit in her. And men most readily accept this view that they are receiving favours from the politician or prostitute (one may recall how a great genius like Goethe regarded his meeting with Napoleon at Erfurt; and on the other side we have the myth of Pandora, and the story of the birth of Venus).

I may now return to the subject of great men of action which I opened in chap. v. Even so far-seeing a man as Carlyle has exalted the man of action, as, for instance, in his chapter on "The Hero as King." I have already shown that I cannot accept such a view. I may add here that all great men of action, even the greatest of them, such as Caesar, Cromwell, Napoleon, have not hesitated to employ falsehood; that Alexander the Great did not hesitate to defend one of his murders by sophistry. But untruthfulness is incompatible with genius. The "Memoirs of Napoleon," written at St. Helena, are full of mistatements and watery sophistry, and his last words, that "he had loved only France," were an altruistic pose. Napoleon, the greatest of the conquerors, is a sufficient proof that great men of action are criminals, and, therefore, not geniuses. One can understand him by thinking of the tremendous intensity with which he tried to escape from himself. There is this element in all the conquerors, great or small. Just because he had great gifts, greater than those of any emperor before him, he had greater difficulty in stifling the disapproving voice within him. The motive of his ambition was the craving to stifle his better self. A truly great man may honestly share in the desire for admiration or fame but personal ambition will not be his aim. He will not try to knit the whole world to himself by superficial, transitory bonds, to heap up all the things of the world in a pyramid over his name. The man of action shares with the epileptic the desire to be in criminal relation to everything around him, to make them appanages of his petty self. The great man feels himself defined and separate from the world, a monad amongst monads, and, as a true microcosm, he feels the world already within him; he realises in the fullest sense of personal experience that he has a definite, assured, intelligible relation to the world whole. The great tribune and the great courtesan do not feel that they are marked off from the world; they merge with it, and demand it all as decoration or adornment of their empirical persons, and they are incapable of love, affection, or friendship.

The king of the fairy tale who wished to conquer the stars is the perfect image of the conqueror. The great genius honours himself, and has not to live in a condition of give and take with the populace, as is necessary for the politician. The great politician makes his voice resound in the world, but he has also to sing in the streets; he may make the world his chessboard, but he has also to strut in a booth; he is no more a despot than he is a beggar for alms. He has to court the populace, and here he joins with the prostitute. The politician is a man of the streets. He must be completed by the public. It is the masses that he requires, not real individualities. If he is not clever he tries to be rid of the great men, or if, like Napoleon, he is cunning, he pretends to honour them in order that he may make them harmless. His dependence on the public makes some such course necessary. A politician cannot do all that he wishes, even if he is a Napoleon, and if, unlike Napoleon, he actually wished to realise ideals, he would soon be taught better by the public, his real master. The will of him who covets power is bound. . . .

Hitherto the phenomena of the great man of action have been regarded even by artists and philosophers as unique. I think that my analysis has shown that there is the strongest resemblance between them and prostitutes. To see an analogy between Antonius (Caesar) and Cleopatra may appear at first far- fetched, but none the less it exists. The great man of action has to despise his inner life, in order that he may live altogether "in the world," and he must perish, like the things of the world. The prostitute abandons the lasting purpose of her sex, to live in the instincts of the moment. The great prostitute and the great tribune are firebrands causing destruction all around them, leaving death and devastation in their paths, and pass like meteors unconnected with the course of human life, indifferent to its objects, and soon disappearing, whilst the genius and the mother work for the future in silence. The prostitute and the tribune may be called the enemies of God - they are both anti-moral phenomena.

Great men of action, then, must be excluded from the category of genius. The true genius, whether he be an artist or a philosopher, is always strongly marked by his relation to the constructive side of the world.

The motive that actuates the prostitute requires further investigation. The purpose of the motherly woman was easy to understand; she is the upholder of the race. But the fundamental idea of prostitution is much more mysterious, and no one can have meditated long on the subject without often doubting if it were possible to get an explanation. Perhaps the relation of the two types to the sexual act may assist the inquiry. I hope that no one will consider such a subject below the dignity of a philosopher. The spirit in which the inquiry is made is the chief matter. . . .

The maternal woman regards the sexual relations as means to an end; the prostitute considers them as the end itself. That sexual congress may have another purpose than mere reproduction is plain, as many animals and plants are devoid of it. On the other hand, in the animal kingdom, sexual congress is always in connection with reproduction, and is never simply lust; and, moreover, takes place only at times suitable for breeding. Desire is simply the means employed by nature to secure the continuity of the species.

Although sexual congress is an end in itself for the prostitute, it must not be assumed that it is meaningless in the mother- type. Women who are sexually anaesthetic no doubt exist in both classes, but they are very rare, and many apparent cases may really be phenomena of hysteria.

The final importance attached by the prostitute to the sexual act is made plain by the fact that it is only that type in which coquetry occurs. Coquetry has invariably a sexual significance. Its purpose is to picture to the man the conquest of the woman before it has occurred, in order to induce him to make the conquest an actual fact. The readiness of the type to coquet with every man is an expression of her nature; whether it proceeds further depends on merely accidental circumstances.

The maternal type regards the sexual act as the beginning of a series of important events, and so attaches value to it equally with the prostitute, although in a different fashion. The one is contented, completed, satisfied; her life is made richer and of fuller meaning to her by it. The other, for whom the act is everything, the compression and end of all life, is never satisfied, never to be satisfied, were she visited by all the men in the world.

The body of a woman, as I have already shown, is sexual throughout, and the special sexual acts are only intensifications of a distributed sensation. Here, also, the difference between the two types displays itself. The prostitute type in coquetting is merely using the general sexuality of her body as an end in itself; for her there is a difference only in degree between flirtation and sexual congress. The maternal type is equally sexual, but with a different purpose; all her life, through all her body, she is being impregnated. In this fact lies the explanation of the "impression" which I referred to as being indubitable, although it is denied by men of science and physicians.

Paternity is a diffused relation. Many instances, disputed by men of science, point to an influence not brought about directly by the reproductive cells. White women who have borne a child to a black man, are said if they bear children afterwards to white men, to have retained enough impression from the first mate to show an effect on the subsequent children. All such facts, grouped under the names of "telegony," "germinal infection," and so on, although disputed by scientists, speak for my view. And so also the motherly woman, throughout her whole life, is impressed by lovers, by voices, by words, by inanimate things. All the influences that come to her she turns to the purpose of her being, to the shaping of her child, and the "actual" father has to share his paternity with perhaps other men and many other things.

The woman is impregnated not only through the genital tract but through every fibre of her being. All life makes an impression on her and throws its image on her child. This universality, in the purely physical sphere, is analogous to genius.

It is quite different with the prostitute. Whilst the maternal woman turns the whole world, the love of her lover, and all the impressions that she receives to the purposes of the child, the prostitute absorbs everything for herself. But just as she has this absorbing need of the man, so the man can get something from her which he fails to find in the badly dressed, tasteless, preoccupied maternal type. Something within him requires pleasure, and this he gets from the daughters of joy. Unlike the mother, these think of the pleasures of the world, of dancing, of dressing, of theatres and concerts, of pleasure- resorts. They know the use of gold, turning it to luxury instead of to comfort, they flame through the world, making all its ways a triumphant march for their beautiful bodies.

The prostitute is the great seductress of the world, the female Don Juan, the being in the woman that knows the art of love, that cultivates it, teaches it, and enjoys it.

Very deep-seated differences are linked with what I have been describing. The mother-woman craves for respectability in the man, not because she grasps its value as an idea, but because it is the supporter of the life of the world. She herself works, and is not idle like the prostitute; she is filled with care for the future, and so requires from the man a corresponding practical responsibility, and will not seduce him to pleasure. The prostitute, on the other hand, is most attracted by a careless, idle, dissipated man. A man that has lost self- restraint repels the mother-woman, is attractive to the prostitute. There are women who are dissatisfied with a son that is idle at school; there are others who encourage him. The diligent boy pleases the mother-woman, the idle and careless boy wins approval from the prostitute type. This distinction reaches high up amongst the respectable classes of society, but a salient example of it is seen in the fact that the "bullies" loved by women of the streets are usually criminals. The souteneur is always a criminal, a thief, a fraudulent person, or sometimes even a murderer.

I am almost on the point of saying that, however little woman is to be regarded as immoral (she is only non-moral), prostitution stands in some deep relation with crime, whilst motherhood is equally bound with the opposite tendency. We must avoid regarding the prostitute as the female analogue of the criminal; women, as I have already pointed out, are not criminals; they are too low in the moral scale for that designation. None the less, there is a constant connection between the prostitute type and crime. The great courtesan is comparable with that great criminal, the conqueror, and readily enters into actual relations with him; the petty courtesan entertains the thief and the pickpocket. The mother type is in fact the guardian of the life of the world, the prostitute type is its enemy. But just as the mother is in harmony, not with the soul but with the body, so the prostitute is no diabolic destroyer of the idea, but only a corrupter of empirical phenomena. Physical life and physical death, both of which are in intimate connection with the sexual act, are displayed by the woman in her two capacities of mother and prostitute.

It is still impossible to give a clearer solution than that which I have attempted, of the real significance of motherhood and prostitution. I am on an unfamiliar path, almost untrodden by any earlier wayfarer. Religious myths and philosophy alike have been unable to propound solutions. I have found some clues however. The anti-moral significance of prostitution is in harmony with the fact that it appears only amongst mankind. In all the animal kingdom the females are used only for reproduction; there are no true females that are sterile. There are analogies to prostitution, however, amongst male animals; one has only to think of the display and decoration of the peacock, of the shining glow-worm, of singing birds, of the love dances of many male birds. These secondary sexual manifestations, however, are mere advertisements of sexuality.

Prostitution is a human phenomenon; animals and plants are non- moral; they are never disposed to immorality and possess only motherhood. Here is a deep secret, hidden in the nature and origin of mankind. I ought to correct my earlier exposition by insisting that I have come to regard the prostitute element as a possibility in all women just as much as the merely animal capacity for motherhood. It is something which penetrates the nature of the human female, something with which the most animal- like mother is tinged, something which corresponds in the human female, to the characters that separate the human male from the animal male. Just as the immoral possibility of man is something that distinguishes him from the male animal, so the quality of the prostitute distinguishes the human female from the animal female. I shall have something to say as to the general relation of man to this element in woman, towards the end of my investigation.
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Re: Sex & Character, by Otto Weininger [MAIN PARTS]

Postby admin » Thu May 03, 2018 9:13 pm

Erotics and Aesthetics

The arguments which are in common use to justify a high opinion of woman have now been examined in all except a few points to which I shall recur, from the point of view of critical philosophy, and have been controverted. I hope that I have justified my deliberate choice of ground, although, indeed, Schopenhauer's fate should have been a warning to me. His depreciation of women in his philosophical work "On Women," has been frequently attributed to the circumstance that a beautiful Venetian girl, in whose company he was, fell in love with the extremely handsome personal appearance of Byron; as if a low opinion of women were not more likely to come to him who had had the best not the worst fortune with them.

The practice of merely calling any one who assails woman a misogynist, instead of refuting argument by argument, has much to commend it. Hatred is never impartial, and, therefore, to describe a man as having an animus against the object of his criticism, is at once to lay him open to the charge of insincerity, immorality, and partiality, and one that can be made with a hyperbole of accusation and evasion of the point, which only equal its lack of justification. This sort of answer never fails in its object, which is to exempt the vindicator from refuting the actual statements. It is the oldest and handiest weapon of the large majority of men, who never wish to see woman as she is. 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.

There is no doubt that it is a fallacious method in a theoretical argument to refer to one's opponent's psychological motives instead of bringing forward proofs to controvert his statements.

It is not necessary for me to say that in logical controversy the adversaries should place themselves under an impersonal conception of truth, and their aim should be to reach a result, irrespective of their own concrete opinions. If, however, in an argument, one side has come to a certain conclusion by a logical chain of reasoning, and the other side merely opposes the conclusion without having followed the reasoning process, it is at once fair and appropriate to examine the psychological motives which have induced the adversaries to abandon argument for abuse. I shall now put the champions of women to the test and see how much of their attitude is due to sentimentality, how much of it is disinterested, and how much due to selfish motives.

All objections raised against those who despise women arise from the erotic relations in which man stands to woman. This relationship is absolutely different from the purely sexual attraction which occurs in the animal world, and plays a most important part in human affairs. It is quite erroneous to say that sexuality and eroticism, sexual impulse and love, are fundamentally one and the same thing, the second an embellishing, refining, spiritualising sublimation of the first; although practically all medical men hold this view, and even such men as Kant and Schopenhauer thought so. . . .

As for Schopenhauer, he had little idea of the higher form of eroticism; his sexuality was of the gross order. This can be seen from the following: Schopenhauer's countenance shows very little kindliness and a good deal of fierceness (a circumstance which must have caused him great sorrow. There is no exhibition of ethical sympathy if one is very sorry for oneself. The most sympathetic persons are those who, like Kant and Nietzsche, have no particle of self-pity).

But it may be said with safety that only those who are most sympathetic are capable of a strong passion: those "who take no interest in things" are incapable of love. This does not imply that they have diabolical natures. They may, on the contrary, stand very high morally without knowing what their neighbours are thinking or doing, and without having a sense for other than sexual relations with women, as was the case with Schopenhauer. He was a man who knew only too well what the sexual impulse was, but he never was in love; if that were not so, the bias in his famous work, "The Metaphysics of Sexual Love," would be inexplicable; in it the most important doctrine is that the unconscious goal of all love is nothing more than "the formation of the next generation."

This view, as I hope to prove, is false. It is true that a love entirely without sexuality has never been known. However high a man may stand he is still a being with senses. What absolutely disposes of the opposite view is this: all love, as such - without going into aesthetic principles of love - is antagonistic to those elements (of the relationship) which press towards sexual union; in fact, such elements tend to negate love. Love and desire are two unlike, mutually exclusive, opposing conditions, and during the time a man really loves, the thought of physical union with the object of his love is insupportable. Because there is no hope which is entirely free from fear does not alter the fact that hope and fear are utterly opposite principles. It is just the same in the case of sexual impulse and love. The more erotic a man is the less he will be troubled with his sexuality, and vice versa.

If it be the case that there is no adoration utterly free from desire, there is no reason why the two should be identified, since it might be possible for a superior being to attain the highest phases of both. That person lies, or has never known what love is, who says he loves a woman whom he desires; so much difference is there between sexual impulse and love. This is what makes talk of love after marriage seem, in most cases, make-believe.

The following will show how obtuse the view of those is who persist, with unconscious cynicism, in maintaining the identity of love and sexual impulse. Sexual attraction increases with physical proximity; love is strongest in the absence of the loved one; it needs separation, a certain distance, to preserve it. In fact, what all the travels in the world could not achieve, what time could not accomplish, may be brought about by accidental, unintentional, physical contact with the beloved object, in which the sexual impulse is awakened, and which suffices to kill love on the spot. Then, again, in the case of more highly differentiated, great men, the type of girl desired, and the type of girl loved but never desired, are always totally different in face, form, and disposition; they are two different beings.

Then there is the "platonic love," which professors of psychiatry have such a poor opinion of. I should say rather, there is only "platonic" love, because any other so-called love belongs to the kingdom of the senses: it is the love of Beatrice, the worship of Madonna; the Babylonian woman is the symbol of sexual desire. . . .

Who is the object of the higher, maybe metaphysical form of love? Is it woman, as she has been represented in this work, who lacks all higher qualities, who gets her value from another, who has no power to attain value on her own account? Impossible. It is the ideally beautiful, the immaculate woman, who is loved in such high fashion. The source of this beauty and chastity in women must now be found. . . .

In aesthetics beauty is created by love; there is no determining law to love what is beautiful, and the beautiful does not present itself to human beings with any imperative command to love it. . . .

Woman's beauty is the love of man; they are not two things, but one and the same thing.

Just as hatefulness comes from hating, so love creates beauty. This is only another way of expressing the fact that beauty has as little to do with the sexual impulse as the sexual impulse has to do with love. Beauty is something that can neither be felt, touched, nor mixed with other things; it is only at a distance that it can be plainly discerned, and when it is approached it withdraws itself. The sexual impulse which seeks for sexual union with woman is a denial of such beauty; the woman who has been possessed and enjoyed, will never again be worshipped for her beauty.

I now come to the second question: what are the innocence and morality of a woman? . . .

If we now turn to gifted men, we shall see that in their case love frequently begins with self-mortification, humiliation, and restraint. A moral change sets in, a process of purification seems to emanate from the object loved, even if her lover has never spoken to her, or only seen her a few times in the distance. It is, then, impossible that this process should have its origin in that person: very often it may be a bread-and- butter miss, a stolid lump, more often a sensuous coquette, in whom no one can see the marvellous characteristics with which his love endows her, save her lover. Can any one believe that it is a concrete person who is loved? Does she not in reality serve as the starting point for incomparably greater emotions than she could inspire?

In love, man is only loving himself. Not his empirical self, not the weaknesses and vulgarities, not the failings and smallnesses which he outwardly exhibits; but all that he wants to be, all that he ought to be, his truest, deepest, intelligible nature, free from all fetters of necessity, from all taint of earth.

In his actual physical existence, this being is limited by space and time and by the shackles of the senses; however deep he may look into himself, he finds himself damaged and spotted, and sees nowhere the image of speckless purity for which he seeks. And yet there is nothing he covets so much as to realise his own ideal, to find his real higher self. And as he cannot find this true self within himself, he has to seek it without himself. He projects his ideal of an absolute worthy existence, the ideal that he is unable to isolate within himself, upon another human being, and this act, and this alone, is none other than love and the significance of love. Only a person who has done wrong and is conscious of it can love, and so a child can never love. It is only because love represents the highest, most unattainable goal of all longing, because it cannot be realised in experience but must remain an idea; only because it is localised on some other human being, and yet remains at a distance, so that the ideal never attains its realisation; only because of such conditions can love be associated with the awakening of the desire for purification, with the reaching after a goal that is purely spiritual, and so cannot be blemished by physical union with the beloved person; only thus, is love the highest and strongest effort of the will towards the supreme good; only thus does it bring the true being of man to a state between body and spirit, between the senses and the moral nature, between God and the beasts. A human being only finds himself when, in this fashion, he loves. And thus it comes about that only when they love do many men realise the existence of their own personality and of the personality of another, that "I" and "thou" become for them more than grammatical expressions. And so also comes about the great part played in their love story by the names of the two lovers. There is no doubt but that it is through love that many men first come to know of their own real nature, and to be convinced that they possess a soul.

It is this which makes a lover desire to keep his beloved at a distance - on no account to injure her purity by contact with him - in order to assure himself of her and of his own existence. Many an inflexible empiricist, coming under the influence of love, becomes an enthusiastic mystic; the most striking example being Auguste Comte, the founder of positivism, whose whole theories were revolutionised by his feelings for Clotilde de Vaux.

Love is a phenomenon of projection just as hate is, not a phenomenon of equation as friendship is. The latter presupposes an equality of both individuals: love always implies inequality, disproportion. To endow an individual with all that one might be and yet never can be, to make her ideal - that is love. Beauty is the symbol of this act of worship. It is this that so often surprises and angers a lover when he is convinced that beauty does not imply morality in a woman. He feels that the nature of the offence is increased by "such depravity" being possible in conjunction with such "beauty." He is not aware that the woman in question seems beautiful to him because he still loves her; otherwise the incongruity between the external and internal world would no longer pain him.

The reason an ordinary prostitute can never seem beautiful is because it is naturally impossible to endow her with the projection of value; she can satisfy only the taste of vulgar minds. She is the mate of the worst sort of men. In this we have the explanation of a relation utterly opposed to morality: woman in general is simply indifferent to ethics, she is non- moral, and, therefore, unlike the anti-moral criminal, who is instinctively disliked, or the devil who is hideous in every one's imagination, serves as a receptacle for projected worthiness; as she neither does good nor evil, she neither resists nor resents this imposition of the ideal on her personality. It is patent that woman's morality is acquired; but this morality is man's, which he in an access of supreme love and devotion has conveyed to her.

Since all beauty is always only the constantly renewed endeavour to embody the highest form of value, there is a pre-eminently satisfying element in it, in the face of which all desire, all self-seeking fade away.

All forms of beauty which appeal to man, by reason of the aesthetic function, are in reality also attempts on his part to realise the ideal. Beauty is the symbol of perfection in being. Therefore beauty is inviolable; it is static and not dynamic; so that any alteration with regard to it upsets and annuls the idea of it. The desire of personal worthiness, the love of perfection, materialise in the idea of beauty. And so the beauty of nature is born, a beauty that the criminal can never know, as ethics first create nature. Thus it is that nature always and everywhere, in its greatest and smallest forms, gives the impression of perfection. The natural law is only the mortal symbol of the moral law, as natural beauty is the manifestation of nobility of the soul; logic thus becomes the embodiment of ethics! Just as love creates a new woman for man instead of the real woman, so art, the eroticism of the All, creates out of chaos the plenitude of forms in the universe; and just as there is no natural beauty without form, without a law of nature, so also there is no art without form, no artistic beauty which does not conform to the laws of art. Natural beauty is no less a realisation of artistic beauty than the natural law is the fulfilment of the moral law, the natural reflection of that harmony whose image is enthroned in the soul of man. The nature which the artist regards as his teacher, is the law which he creates out of his own being.

I return to my own theme from these analyses of art, which are no more than elaborations of the thoughts of Kant and Schelling (and of Schiller writing under the influence). The main proposition for which I have argued is that man's belief in the morality of woman, his projection of his own soul upon her, and his conception of the woman as beautiful, are one and the same thing, the second being the sensuous side of the first.

It is thus intelligible, although an inversion of the truth, when, in morality, a beautiful soul is spoken of, or when, following Shaftesbury and Herbart, ethics are subordinated to aesthetics; following Socrates and Plato we may identify the good and the beautiful, but we must not forget that beauty is only a bodily image in which morality tries to represent itself, that all aesthetics are created by ethics.

Every individual and temporal presentation of this attempted incarnation must necessarily be illusory, and can have no more than a fictitious reality. And so all individual cases of beauty are impermanent; the love that is directed to a woman must perish with the age of the woman. The idea of beauty is the idea of nature and is permanent, whilst every beautiful thing, every part of nature, is perishable. The eternal can realise itself in the limited and the concrete only by an illusion; it is self-deception to seek the fullness of love in a woman. As all love that attaches itself to a person must be impermanent, the love of woman is doomed to unhappiness. All such love has this source of failure inherent in it. It is an heroic attempt to seek for permanent worth where there is no worth. The love that is attached to enduring worth is attached to the absolute, to the idea of God, whether that idea be a pantheistic conception of enduring nature, or remain transcendental; the love that attaches itself to an individual thing, as to a woman, must fail.

I have already partly explained why man takes this burden on himself. Just as hatred is a projection of our own evil qualities on other persons in order that we may stand apart from them and hate them; just as the devil was invented to serve as a vehicle of all the evil impulses in man; so love has the purpose of helping man in his battle for good, when he feels that he himself is not strong enough. Love and hate are alike forms of cowardice. In hate we picture to ourselves that our own hateful qualities exist in another, and by so doing we feel ourselves partly freed from them. In love we project what is good in us, and so having created a good and an evil image we are more able to compare and value them.

Lovers seek their own souls in the loved ones, and so love is free from the limits I described in the first part of this book, not being bound down by the conditions of merely sexual attraction. In spite of their real opposition, there is an analogy between erotics and sexuality. Sexuality uses the woman as the means to produce pleasure and children of the body; erotics uses her as the means to create worth and children of the soul. A little understood conception of Plato is full of the deepest meaning: that love is not directed towards beauty, but towards the procreation of beauty; that it seeks to win immortality for the things of the mind, just as the lower sexual impulses is directed towards the perpetuation of the species.

It is more than a merely formal analogy, a superficial, verbal resemblance, to speak of the fruitfulness of the mind, of its conception and reproduction, or, in the words of Plato, to speak of the children of the soul. As bodily sexuality is the effort of an organic being to perpetuate its own form, so love is the attempt to make permanent one's own soul or individuality. Sexuality and love are alike the effort to realise oneself, the one by a bodily image, the other by an image of the soul. But it is only the man of genius who can approach this entirely unsensuous love, and it is only he who seeks to produce eternal children in whom his deepest nature shall live for ever. . . .

The highest form of eroticism uses the woman not for herself but as a means to an end - to preserve the individuality of the artist. The artist has used the woman merely as the screen on which to project his own idea.

The real psychology of the loved woman is always a matter of indifference. In the moment when a man loves a woman, he neither understands her nor wishes to understand her, although understanding is the only moral basis of association in mankind. A human being cannot love another that he fully understands, because he would then necessarily see the imperfections which are an inevitable part of the human individual, and love can attach itself only to perfection. Love of a woman is possible only when it does not consider her real qualities, and so is able to replace the actual psychical reality by a different and quite imaginary reality. The attempt to realise one's ideal in a woman, instead of the woman herself, is a necessary destruction of the empirical personality of the woman. And so the attempt is cruel to the woman; it is the egoism of love that disregards the woman, and cares nothing for her real inner life.

Thus the parallel between sexuality and love is complete. Love is murder. The sexual impulse destroys the body and mind of the woman, and the psychical eroticism destroys her psychical existence. Ordinary sexuality regards the woman only as a means of gratifying passion or of begetting children. The higher eroticism is merciless to the woman, requiring her to be merely the vehicle of a projected personality, or the mother of psychical children. Love is not only anti-logical, as it denies the objective truth of the woman and requires only an illusory image of her, but it is anti-ethical with regard to her.

I am far from despising the heights to which this eroticism may reach, as, for instance, in Madonna worship. Who could blind his eyes to the amazing phenomenon presented by Dante? It was an extraordinary transference of his own ideal to the person of a concrete woman whom the artist had seen only once and when she was a young girl, and who for all he knew might have grown up into a Xantippe. The complete neglect of whatever worth the woman herself might have had, in order that she might better serve as the vehicle of his projected conception of worthiness, was never more clearly exhibited. And the three-fold immorality of this higher eroticism becomes more plain than ever. It is an unlimited selfishness with regard to the actual woman, as she is wholly rejected for the ideal woman. It is a felony towards the lover himself, inasmuch as he detaches virtue and worthiness from himself; and it is a deliberate turning away from the truth, a preferring of sham to reality.

The last form in which the immorality reveals itself is that love prevents the worthlessness of woman from being realised, inasmuch as it always replaced her by an imaginary projection. Madonna worship itself is fundamentally immoral, inasmuch as it is a shutting of the eyes to truth. The Madonna worship of the great artists is a destruction of woman, and is possible only by a complete neglect of the women as they exist in experience, a replacement of actuality by a symbol, a re-creation of woman to serve the purposes of man, and a murder of woman as she exists.

When a particular man attracts a particular woman the influence is not his beauty. Only man has an instinct for beauty, and the ideals of both manly beauty and of womanly beauty have been created by man, not by woman. The qualities that appeal to a woman are the signs of developed sexuality; those that repel her are the qualities of the higher mind. Woman is essentially a phallus worshipper, and her worship is permeated with a fear like that of a bird for a snake, of a man for the fabled Medusa head, as she feels that the object of her adoration is the power that will destroy her.

The course of my argument is now apparent. As logic and ethics have a relation only to man, it was not to be expected that woman would stand in any better position with regard to aesthetics. Aesthetics and logic are closely interconnected, as is apparent in philosophy, in mathematics, in artistic work, and in music. I have now shown the intimate relation of aesthetics to ethics. As Kant showed, aesthetics, just as much as ethics and logic, depend on the free will of the subject. As the woman has not free will, she cannot have the faculty of projecting beauty outside herself.

The foregoing involves the proposition that woman cannot love. Women have made no ideal of man to correspond with the male conception of the Madonna. What woman requires from man is not purity, chastity, morality, but something else. Woman is incapable of desiring virtue in a man.

It is almost an insoluble riddle that woman, herself incapable of love, should attract the love of man. It has seemed to me a possible myth or parable, that in the beginning, when men became men by some miraculous act of God, a soul was bestowed only on them. Men, when they love, are partly conscious of this deep injustice to woman, and make the fruitless but heroic effort to give her their own soul. But such a speculation is outside the limits of either science or philosophy.

I have now shown what woman does not wish; there remains to show what she does wish, and how this wish is diametrically opposed to the will of man.
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