Weininger, Otto

PSYCHOLOGIST (AUSTRIA)
BORN 3 Apr 1880, Wien - DIED 4 Oct 1903, Wien: Schwarzspanierstrasse 15
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Evangelischer Friedhof Matzleinsdorf, 10. Triesterstraße 1 (Gruppe 14, 126)

Jewish author. His father wanted him to study languages, but at the University of Vienna he studied at the Philosophical Faculty. Evenso he learned several modern languages. He always raised questions and liked to discuss them all night. His friends never sam him read contemporary newspapers.

In 1901 he went to Sigmund Freud with an outline for his work "Geschlecht und Charakter" ("Sex and Character"). It was a work about bisexuality and in didn't treat women and Jews kindly. Freud refused to write a recommendation and advised him to collect empirical evidence for the next ten years. Freud didn't tell him that he wanted to publish on bisexuality himself. It is possible that Weininger had taken his thesis of human bisexuality from Freuds work.

After "Geschlecht und Character" was published he went to Italy to await the results of the publication. He was hoping to become famous, but nothing happened. In 1903 he committed suicide in the house where Beethoven died in 1827. After his death Freud said he thought the young man had a touch of genius. August Strindberg thought it was a frightening book and acknowledged Weininger's opinion that man was superior over woman. Some people considered him to have been a madman, but after his death his work was of influence to other thinkers like Ludwig Wittgenstein. In later years the nazi's used it where it suited them.

Related persons
• influenced Canetti, Elias
• was influenced by Chamberlain, Houston Stewart
• quarreled with Freud, Sigmund
• influenced Kraus, Karl
• influenced Schnitzler, Arthur

Sources
• Bauer, Werner T., Wiener Friedhofsführer, Genaue Beschreibung sämtlicher Begräbnisstätten nebst einer Geschichte des Wiener Bestattungswesens, Falter Verlag, Wien, 1991
Weininger, Otto
Otto Weininger's life and influence

Images

The grave of Otto Weininger at the Evangelischer Friedhof Matzleinsdorf.
Picture by Androom (26 Aug 2002)

 


Weiser, Grete

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 13 Jan 2006