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Sex and Character: An Investigation of Fundamental Principles

Otto Weininger

Top 10 Best Quotes

“No men who really think deeply about women retain a high opinion of them”

“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.”

“Great men have always preferred women of the prostitute type.”

“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.”

“The great genius does not let his work be determined by the concrete finite conditions that surround him, whilst it is from these that the work of the statesman takes its direction and its termination. … It is the genius in reality and not the other who is the creator of history, for it is only the genius who is outside and unconditioned by history.”

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

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

“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.”

“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. . . . The scientist takes phenomena for what they obviously are; the great man or the 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 recognizes 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 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's real nature is never altered by education.”

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Book Keywords:

race, humor, women, inspirational, decision, conqueror, business, emperor, genious, leader, history, male, female, science, action, christianity, individual, men, judaism, culture, relationships, ambition, escape

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