CRASSH and HPS are delighted to host Louis Sass for this lecture which, for this occasion, brings the regular HPS seminar to CRASSH.
'Individuality is the fall of man, and its symbol is the falling star.'
(Weininger, OLT 149)
My focus will be on the most abstract and foundational level of Weininger's theorising, which is his post-Kantian or hyper-Kantian conception of the essential nature of human consciousness and the transcendental ego. I shall discuss Weininger's affinities with, as well as divergences from, the thought of Kant, Fichte, and the German idealist tradition in general. My focus will be on the inherent contradictions, both logical and existential, which Weininger's extreme, one-dimensional view seems to have entailed, and which may have contributed to his suicide at age 23. Weininger's work and life can be seen as a fable of the impossibility, and ultimate unlivability, of a mode of being that would reject the embedded and embodied nature of human selfhood.