31 May 2007 | hasosch
The physiology of suicide
"Weiningers Nacht" portraits the last night in the life of the Austrian philosopher Dr. Otto Weininger (1880-1903) who got world-famous by his book "Sex and Character" (Vienna 1903), based on his PhD thesis, rejected by Sigmund Freud, but highly appreciated by Ludwig Wittgenstein and August Strindberg.
Weininger's basic assumption that he tried to prove psychologically and physiologically is the radical difference between men and women. According to Weininger, men are active, productive, conscious and moral/logical, while women are passive, unproductive, unconscious and amoral/alogical. Furthermore, there is no difference between logic and ethics. Weininger therefore rejected emancipation as only suitable for lesbians. In each man, according to Weininger, there is a genius and he has the duty to forego sexuality for an abstract love of God, being the absolute, which he finds within himself.
Weininger also identified the Jews with his feminine principle, the Christians with the masculine, what leaded him to reject Jewishness and in the end himself, since he was born from a Jewish father, but he refused the concept of race connected with Jewishness long before the Nazis. Hitler wrote about Weininger: "Dietrich Eckart told me that in all his life he had known just one good Jew: Dr. Weininger, who killed himself on the day when he realized that the Jew lives upon the decay of peoples" (Adolf Hitler, Monologue im Führerhauptquartier, ed. Werner Lochmann, Hamburg 1980, p. 148). On October 3rd 1903, Weininger was found fully dressed on the floor of his apartment, with a wound in his chest, in the house where Beethoven died, whom Weininger admired as the highest genius. As it is wonderfully shown in Manker's movie, Weininger considered his own death in the sense of the German psychiatrist Dr. Oskar Panizza who wrote that suicide is just a physiological act like sneezing or coughing.