Otto Weininger on MTV

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Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:47 pm

Otto Weininger on MTV

I've heard some interpretations of Weininger's suicide. All of them that I've heard are wrong. Here is the elevated interpretation of the logic behind his choice to shoot himself in the heart.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:47 am

Pretty cool video. Also liked the music quite a bit. Tell me, is Sex and Character a book that should be read straight through or is it the sort of book that can be read in parts? And if so, what is a good chapter to read? I have it but I haven't done much more than read random pages.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:13 pm

I did not read it straight through, and the part of the book that consumed me was the part where he compared two types of female - the mother-type and the prostitute-type. Reading that part of the book was like coming across a crystal clear pond of cold water after walking a hot desert for miles. Also, his ideas on the emancipation of women, his interest in metaphorical thinking, and the way he values an Apollonian and Dionysian perspective are close to heart of what I've spent my life studying.

The part of his book where he gets a bit mathematical and formulaic is not really my area of interest - that's more for a biologist and scientist.

My talent lies more in psychology, art, music, metaphor and pure analytic reasoning.

If you've had experience with a variety of women, you'll surely find some truth in Weininger's framework of prostitute and mother. The definitions are relatively complex, so don't get turned off by the superficial appearance of the words. He certainly does not see women as stupid or simple, he conceives of them realistically. My own experience is that women are complex, but the problem is that they are often a mystery to themselves. If a woman does have some self knowledge, she is often secretive about it, to maintain control.

I was actually planning to dig further in the book this week and maybe even develop the wikipedia article on Weininger a bit more.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby jupiviv » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:01 pm

Talking Ass wrote:Tell me, is Sex and Character a book that should be read straight through or is it the sort of book that can be read in parts? And if so, what is a good chapter to read? I have it but I haven't done much more than read random pages.


I think you have to read the whole book, because he devised it so that each chapter follows from the next, and sometimes develops ideas introduced earlier.

However, the chapters on the self, genius, logic and ethics are brilliant. That's where he lays down the foundations of his thought. When I first read the book those chapters impressed me the most. Following that, I'd read the ones on male and female psychology. The last three chapters are also very important. The motherhood and prostitution chapter isn't important if you just want to learn about his main ideas. In the first part he explains how all people are bisexual, so that's important as well.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby jupiviv » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:09 pm

Cory Duchesne wrote:He certainly does not see women as stupid or simple


He does, actually. :-) Not in the ordinary sense, but in terms of genius. He basically says that even though there can be a brilliant female harpsichord player, there can't be a female Bach.

"Woman’s mind is neither deep nor high, neither acute nor direct, but the precise opposite of all this. As far as we can see at present, she has no “mind” at all: woman as a whole is mindless, or mindlessness itself. But that is not being feeble-minded in the customary sense of the word, that is, lacking the simplest practical purchase on everyday life. When it comes to achieving obvious, selfish aims, cunning, calculation, cleverness are found much more regularly and constantly in W than in M. A woman is never as stupid as a man can sometimes be."
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:35 am

yes, woman is unconscious in the most profound sense of the word. There is no analytic, absolute identity, but rather, an ever changing identification with a constantly rotating and fluctuating stream of manifestations, which means lots of moods and changing opinions.

A man identifies with the underlying rational principles (the analysis) of life, whereas a woman identifies with the sensory world itself.

The prostitute aspect of woman (by Weininger's definition) can come across as very spiritual, and in some sense she is much more motherly to a philosopher, and will sacrifice herself to his benefit, because she has the intelligence to see genius, but not to embody it herself.

The mother type has a more difficult time loving a philosopher or artist because she is much more analytic about worldly concerns. She is more preoccupied with her own control and survival, for her children. More paranoid, self sufficient, dominant.

My suspicions are that, ironically, despite the mother type doesn't seem to have as an intuitive appreciation of the psychedelic and mystical, the mother type may have more capacity to have a masculine rebirth - a conscious identity, but it would be a process of profound suffering that would require an emotional bond to a good philosopher. But such philosophers are usually paired with the prostitute type.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:02 am

He has not really offered a definition of 'prostitute' that I can discern.

It would also seem that the sort of woman desired by the QRS type (those who have much ambivalence toward women generally, and possibly for reasons not known and not discussed...) is in fact the 'prostitute' type: Kelly Jones comes to mind. A willing slave to a dominant male idea...

First rule: never try to turn a good prostitute into a mother. Why exchange 'freedom' for 'slavery'? ;-)
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby jupiviv » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:29 am

Cory Duchesne wrote:A man identifies with the underlying rational principles (the analysis) of life, whereas a woman identifies with the sensory world itself.


A woman identifies with almost nothing, since the idea of the self requires consciousness. I would say women mostly identify with the things that others expect them to identify with, or the things that make them feel secure and happy.

The prostitute aspect of woman (by Weininger's definition) can come across as very spiritual, and in some sense she is much more motherly to a philosopher, and will sacrifice herself to his benefit, because she has the intelligence to see genius, but not to embody it herself.


To me the prostitute type means any kind of sex that doesn't result in children. Weininger was wrong to say that prostitution doesn't occur in the animal kingdom, because quite a few animals perform actions analogous to masturbation, and sometimes try to have sex with other species of animals if their sex drive is strong enough and no members of the opposite sex are present around them.

It's like when a cat plays around with a rat and then leaves it half dead without eating it - it's built to kill rats, so sometimes that instinct triggers even when there is no accompanying hunger. Similarly, humans are built to have sex, so sometimes the sex drive triggers without an accompanying desire for procreation. This is why the "7 sins" are a flawed ethical code, because all of them are desires which go beyond the mark that is normally held to be their fulfillment. But why is the fulfillment of these desires ethical, while the desires themselves are sins?
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:55 am

This clarifies at least a couple of things, not that I hadn't known it before. The only relationship I really ever wanted with women was that of 'prostitute', but I think Wieninger is constrained by 19 century etiquette and doesn't spell it out. This sort of relationship is one with all the possibilities.of human interaction.with (ideally) none of the burdens. And sexuality is turned into an amusement, a subdivision of sport. But it is not prostitution as it may have been in Weininger's day: you don't have to pay for her or keep her as your mistress. Or if you do the upkeep is minimal. The purpose of these women in my life was pretty.much only to serve my 'power', that is: my expansiveness, my 'transcendence'. They were attracted to the heat and energy, that was their compensation.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:53 am

Having mostly read Motherhood and Prostitution, and more carefully perused the chapters, I am rather horrifiedly shocked at the manner in with QRS have distorted the message here, and the potential use of this material, this analysis!

I also note that on almost every page there are references to and quotations from the great works of Western literature, art and philosphy which, sadly, 'the boys back home' feel they have no use for. Like with Kierkegaard, because they seem to have no solid grasp of content and context, the 'Kierkegaard' that emerges and is admired...is a caricature.

If Weininger is made into a sort of proto-Buddhist I think most of his relevancy is quickly wiped away.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:50 pm

jupiviv wrote:
The prostitute aspect of woman (by Weininger's definition) can come across as very spiritual, and in some sense she is much more motherly to a philosopher, and will sacrifice herself to his benefit, because she has the intelligence to see genius, but not to embody it herself.


To me the prostitute type means any kind of sex that doesn't result in children. Weininger was wrong to say that prostitution doesn't occur in the animal kingdom, because quite a few animals perform actions analogous to masturbation, and sometimes try to have sex with other species of animals if their sex drive is strong enough and no members of the opposite sex are present around them.


You have a wildly different interpretation than I do. You're taking this very literally to the point where I wouldn't even no where to begin to help you see things like I do, but it would appear very different.

His choice in the word "prostitute" is ironic, first of all.

For instance, the mother type engages in sex with her husband in return for material goods, she is very controlling and even mean.

The prostitute, on the other hand, enjoys sex and danger for it's own sake, but refuses to take any responsibility, which includes carelessness in parenting. She is not meant for children. Therefore, around the prostitute type are poets, philosophers, musicians, criminals and madmen. Any dangerous, risky lifestyle for a male grants him access mostly to these types of women.

The prostitute type is used for sex, support, inspiration, and little else. She is the muse and cheering companion.

The mother type is conscious of being used, and takes more responsibility for her role in the community, taking pride in her children and her husbands social standing. She is more worldly.

The prostitute lurks in the strange areas of life, and often transmits the genes of men who live on the edge.

The great cruelty to women in this day and age would be seducers who lure out "mother types" arousing their prostitute instincts, and then discarding them when the mother-type tries to bring back some measure of control. Mother types are to be handled as women who either will raise children, or who will undergo a male rebirth.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:55 pm

Talking Ass wrote:He has not really offered a definition of 'prostitute' that I can discern.

It would also seem that the sort of woman desired by the QRS type (those who have much ambivalence toward women generally, and possibly for reasons not known and not discussed...) is in fact the 'prostitute' type: Kelly Jones comes to mind. A willing slave to a dominant male idea...


I disagree. Kelly Jones is an example of a mother type, undoubtedly. The mother type is centred, grounded, controlling. She looks for role models who inspire an ideal of respectability and courage.

The prostitute is like a cloud blown around or blossoms uncontrollably under the bright sun. She thrives in an environment where control is lost, dancing, music, madness. She is the type to surround a rock star, poet, artist, even philosopher. She is used is the most literal and straightforward sense, completely at her expense, and to the benefit of the user.

The mother type, such as Kelly, is looking for a trade. She will give, but only to increase her own power. The mother type is masculine and wants increased control, power and self direction.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:11 pm

You have a wildly different interpretation than I do. ;-)

I see your point of course. Where we differ is that out of the Prostitute type comes or can come a woman interested in and capable of defining her own emancipation. A woman like that, it seems to me at first blush, mistakes an escape from motherhood, and sexual adventurism and self-empowerment, with that emancipation. But perhaps at a later stage it might shift to 'genuine emancipation' which Kelly certainly desires. In that sense I don't see Kelly as at all maternal. If she weren't constrained with religious or 'wisdom' considerations she might have moved in more Dionysian atmosphere.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:29 pm

Talking Ass wrote:You have a wildly different interpretation than I do. ;-)

I see your point of course. Where we differ is that out of the Prostitute type comes or can come a woman interested in and capable of defining her own emancipation. A woman like that, it seems to me at first blush, mistakes an escape from motherhood, and sexual adventurism and self-empowerment, with that emancipation.


It could include that, but it also includes living vicariously through men, not unlike a little child in awe of a sports hero. She is a cheer leader and groupie, but she might also have many interesting personality traits with that. I have nothing against it. It's arguably a form of emancipation, depending on how you define emancipation, but what Weininger means is taking full responsibility for ones self identity, not vicarious living through others. The prostitute type, in Weininger's framework, is entirely contraray to responsiblity. Hers is a zest for self abandonment and mindlessness, which is also why Weininger creates two subtypes of prostitute, one which gravitates towards the most unsavoury criminals (Ted Bundy types) or one which gravitates towards musicians and poets (groupie types).

Women like Angelina Jolie, Pamela Anderson or Marylin munroe might be a balanced blend between the two. Swinging back and forth from prostitute to mother instincts.

But perhaps at a later stage it might shift to 'genuine emancipation' which Kelly certainly desires. In that sense I don't see Kelly as at all maternal. If she weren't constrained with religious or 'wisdom' considerations she might have moved in more Dionysian atmosphere.


But Weininger did not associate his "mother type" with a maternal attitude toward adult men. He described her as "mean", stingy and withholding of sex. She is maternal toward children, that is her purpose.

Kelly Jones makes a philosophy lesson for children | youtube

not maternal?

You have to admire mother types. They take responsibility for the intellectual and material well being of others. They have heroic instincts.

I can also admire prostitute types - they can be relied upon as muses and company for strange adventures both in the mind and in the darker corners of the world.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:45 pm

I am inclined to disagree with you for a number of reasons. But first it.has to be said that his (W's) dichotomy is simplistic.and without shading. If it had more.shading.one could.speak of different admixtures for.surely.they must exist.

The highest for of the 'prostitute' is the consort, and he refers.to Aspasia, the consort of Pericles. Not quite of the sort you refer to. If I understand things correctly it is this sort of woman who would first have been defining herself as distinct from men or a man, and therefore is a herald for the 'emancipated woman'. According to his simplistic model, the mother sort he describes remains on a lower rung.

I am supposing that you are seeing this typology in relation to women you know now,.and attempting to work out a classification. I.am doing the same but in regard to studious, university-types who were by-and-large quite involved in the question of woman's emancipation.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:59 pm

The task of seeing admixtures and shading is not possible without establishing extreme poles, silly. :p

Weininger's approach of creating analytic extremes makes sense. He does it to give clarity to those trying to see the shading and nuance of personality.

It's like a compass - you need North and South established, but obviously you don't take the symbols literally.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:43 pm

Duh! Thanks!...

;-) (Said with lighthearted humor...)

But my point is that dichotomies are always problematic. Now if it were a triune division, that would allow for more interesting.combinations. Not that I.do not think he is right, but it.is tantamount to.saying Either a.woman is and.remains what she biologically is (mother) or she chooses (consciously or unconsciously) to subvert her Destiny, and become a.'prostitute' which is a.perverse relationship to a man. Essentially a Christian dichotomy, and I gather this was his orientation. Even Mary Magdelena from the Gospels fits into this story-line. But you know, some say MM was a mystic in her own right. And what about the Teresa de Jesus, the St Joans? Or are.they just different manifestations of groupies?

I looked at Kelly's (typically and utterly stupid video, even if designed for a child) and think she is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. I think she is almost cruelly cynical and so she is really speaking to some.dull men she holds in her mind, not children. Still, no matter what, one has to respect her since she is attempting to do her own thing
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:20 am

Talking Ass wrote:But my point is that dichotomies are always problematic.


I think it's problematic when socializing in person with people, or in a dialogue setting, particularly with those who are very reactive and sensitive. David Bohm studied the human condition closely and near the end of his life strongly emphasized the rehmode, verb emphasis language

Later, when living and working in Britain, Bohm suggested to his students that they experiment with a new language that consisted only of verbs, which he called the rheomode, in an effort to do justice to the transcendental nature of the world. He recognized that our earliest perceptions of the world are of transformation and flow, but that something happens to us by the time we reach adulthood; in his opinion, the culprit was language. Bohm's ideas on the rheomode are fascinating, but the response from many professional linguists was discouraging. However, in the last year of his life, he met with a group of Native Americans (Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Ojibwa, Micmaq, and Soto), and was struck by their strongly verb-based languages and their "process-based vision of the world."


Of course, having an interest in this sort of thing cannot occur with a developed skill in creating dichotomies, or dualities. In fact, there is no consciousness without duality.

Now if it were a triune division, that would allow for more interesting.combinations. Not that I.do not think he is right, but it.is tantamount to.saying Either a.woman is and.remains what she biologically is (mother) or she chooses (consciously or unconsciously) to subvert her Destiny, and become a.'prostitute' which is a.perverse relationship to a man. Essentially a Christian dichotomy, and I gather this was his orientation. Even Mary Magdelena from the Gospels fits into this story-line. But you know, some say MM was a mystic in her own right. And what about the Teresa de Jesus, the St Joans? Or are.they just different manifestations of groupies?


Weininger's term "prostitute", as I say, is ironic. It is not denigrative or meant to imply perversity, but such a woman is offensive to society and to mother-type females. It's like Jim Morrison's girlfriend, or yes, Mary Magdelena - these women are tuned into mystic energy, they are very receptive to a poetic consciousness, and more tolerant of messy males who don't listen well. It's the extreme masculine paired with the extreme feminine. Jim Morrison | King Snake

The mother type is more literal minded, analytical. She is focused on survival and material accumulation, and ironically, the way she interacts with her husband, allowing sex only when he provides materially for her, is more similar to prostitution. So we can see some irony and humour in Weininger's world view. Such a woman is paired with men who prefer neatness, order and safety. It is the Alpha female paired with a literal minded male who wants safety and social position. Spiritually speaking, it's a disordered pairing, and much of the world's capitalist, rat-racing would be from this mother-son relationship. It's essentially a relationship designed for boys who do not want to grow up and stand on their own two feet. It's not about sex for these men, it's about the psychological opiate of having a mother, and ironically, this is where the true prostitution lies.

I looked at Kelly's (typically and utterly stupid video, even if designed for a child) and think she is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. I think she is almost cruelly cynical and so she is really speaking to some dull men she holds in her mind, not children. Still, no matter what, one has to respect her since she is attempting to do her own thing


It might be good for someone, who knows. Kelly does some good things. Her website is a definitely a quality resource for philosophy, and I enjoy many of her videos.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Kunga » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:27 am

What kind of personal experiences did Weininger have with women ?
Was his obsessive hatred towards women a result of having a broken heart ?
Was this paper, Sex and Character, his revenge ?

Are we reading the thoughts of the mentally ill ?



"In criticisng this work, allowance must be made for the incomplete nature of the material.Consequent.on.the.novelty.and.difficulty.
of the subject. " ~Otto



He obviously was a sensitive man, so sensitive, he couldn't bear the negative criticism, and it drove him to suicide. First, the suicide of woman [that criticised him/rejected him], and then the rejection/criticism of his peers, resulting in the final critique of himself.

He appeals to the intellectual[ego] of man because he is educated, and pacifies the ego that craves recognition of being wise and intelligent,
at the same time slipping an abstract repulsive seed of woman into their minds to corrupt their love of woman. Little do men know that it is the devil/pure evil trying to unbalance what's natural , as God intended [be fruitful and multiply]. He was demon possessed !
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Cory Duchesne » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:04 am

Kunga wrote:He obviously was a sensitive man, so sensitive, he couldn't bear the negative criticism, and it drove him to suicide.


I highly doubt it was that simple. I'm generous about it.... the man was fundamentally an artist and a mystic, so his suicide was just the final note of his life. His life was whole, with a careful logic. The suicide was just to finish the act. His final thoughts on suicide are actually very profound and have a double meaning. The act of suicide is ethical, to kill the devil, but also to advance ones spiritual cause. Most of his writing in his note book is shamanic. It is poetic conscious, which he wanted to see paired with the spirit of music.

As he wrote himself - the artist is sexual, the scientist asexual. Weininger decided he wanted to see art prevail, with it's logic rooted in his science. So his spirit will undergo a synthesis, which is spiritual sexuality, and this was what he willed.

Any other denigrated interpretations are just focusing on the negative.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:18 am

He is one of those intense types who come arose out of the fin-de-siecle. He was.admired and appreciated by some of the second wave feminists (which Cory mentions in his video: Germaine Greer). Why don't you take a couple of hours to read one chapter, Kunga? Say chapter 10, Motherhood and Prostitution. Or chapter 12 The Nature of Woman and Her Significance in the Univeese. Then you would have some ground on which to debate.

To reduce Weininger's struggle and conflict to love-troubles is a.little facile though tempting. It is more high-minded than that, much more. In fact he is driven by a high-minded moral principal that is essentially inspired by Christianity. He would say (if I may ne permitted to paraphrase) that woman as she is known.and revealed is an immoral.creatire to whom 'divinity' had not yet reached. If it is possible to say that men had been divinized and came under the yoke (of high 'spirit'), it is now high time cor the same to occur in the world of women. But he is.cynical and tragical in outlook. Faithless that this can occur.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Talking Ass » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:25 am

And Kunga: show me someone who is not 'mentally ill'. Who speaks only the language of verbs. ;-)

I am alao inspired to know that I am not the only one who receives life-changing messages through the Television! Once, indeed, I made.a.major decision based on a segment of dialog I chanced to hear when I happened (I never watch it) to turn on the TeeVee. It was a dialogue from a sub-plot in an edition of StarTrek: The Next Generation.

If you (one) trusts the underlying order, that there is an order there to trust, one can indeed.fling oneself into it with an unusual abandon and the results are often miraculous...and very interestimg too.

Laird, I am curious what you think of the outlook of Bohm?
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Kunga » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:07 am

How could one not focus on the negative, when all his focusing was on the negative ?

I'm not done reading, so my interpretation is based on what I have gathered thus far.
As far as seeing him as a mystic/artist, all the mystical works I have read are uplifting and enriching...so far, all I
see from Weininger is an obsessive/compulsive reaction towards women.

His suicide was nothing other than the result of what happens when you are so mentally disturbed, the only way out is death. Why romanticise it as being a logical result of the mystic wanting to kill the negative forces inside him? Clearly he was just simply mentally ill. A mental illness caused by his misogyny....eating away at his soul

BTW, my experiencing a certain degree of mystisicm and the artistic within myself, relates to his intense bewilderment and justification
of spiritual anguish, I too have wanted death as a release from this suffering . But the Shaman inside me sees the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Cory Duchesne wrote:As he wrote himself - the artist is sexual, the scientist asexual. Weininger decided he wanted to see art prevail, with it's logic rooted in his science. So his spirit will undergo a synthesis, which is spiritual sexuality, and this was what he willed.


Too bad he didn't live to write a rebuttal, of his de-synthesising, un-spiritual, hysterical evaluation of woman....it would of balanced his
perception, and balanced his unbalanced mind.

But then there's the other can of worms....his anti-semitism. He was riddled with hatred, which only leads to spiritual death.
He knew he was posessed. That's what drove him to suicide.
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Kunga » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:18 am

Talking Ass wrote:show me someone who is not 'mentally ill'. Who speaks only the language of verbs. ;-)


Yes...I know, to not be mentally ill would in itself be a mental illness in this world of ills. To be sane is a mental illness...lol
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Re: Otto Weininger on MTV

Postby Kunga » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:29 am

Talking Ass wrote:If you (one) trusts the underlying order, that there is an order there to trust, one can indeed.fling oneself into it with an unusual abandon and the results are often miraculous...and very interestimg too.


Yes...I did that when I was younger...I was fearless & brave. I'm not as adventurous anymore. I am getting more fragile & weak. Probebly because I haven't been exercising my independance like before. I do trust the Universe.....




Talking Ass wrote: StarTrek:


As much as I love sci-fi, I always hated StarTrek. They were so uncreative....every alien looked allike...all had two eyes,two ears, and all other physical similarites to a human.....I thought it was boring.
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