Talk:Max Stirner

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Did anyone read this article or has access to it?[edit]

An article has just been published making some claims that run counter to almost everything that is being said here, some of the statements seem too far-stretched to be taken seriously, but it might be well worth exploring:

Max Stirner, Hegel and the young hegelians: a reassessment


Max Stirner is generally considered a nihilist, anarchist, precursor to Nietzsche, existentialism and even post-structuralism. Few are the scholars who try to analyse his stands from within its Young Hegelian context without, however, taking all his references to Hegel and the Young Hegelians as expressions of his own alleged Hegelianism. This article argues in favour of a radically different reading of Stirner considering his magnum opus “Der Einzige und sein Eigentum” as in part a carefully constructed parody of Hegelianism deliberately exposing its outwornness as a system of thought. Stirner's alleged Hegelianism becomes intelligible when we consider it as a formal element in his criticism of Bauer's philosophy of self-consciousness. From within this framework it becomes quite clear what Stirner meant with such notions as “ownness” and “egoism”. They were part of his radical criticism of the implicit teleology of Hegelian dialectics as it found according to him its highmark in Bauer. In short, this article puts the literature on Stirner into question and tries for the first time in 30 years to dismantle Stirner's entire undertaking in “Der Einzige und sein Eigentum” by considering it first and foremost a radical criticism of Hegelianism and eventually the whole of philosophy while fully engaged in the debates of his time.


I would say that is an obvious point, and it is only surprising because so few of the commentators on Stirner have read any of the salient primary-source-texts. Long tracts of _Ego..._ are just ridiculing Hegel and Kant, with similar portions poking fun at Feuerbach. However, if you don't know who he is making fun of, (1) you won't get the joke, (2) you might not know that it is a joke and --(3) this is made worse by poor translation of German sarcasm (often using the "Conjunctive" voices to indicate paraphrasing one's opponent, etc.). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

An obvious point? I checked the Cambridge University Press edition of 'The Ego' and nothing of the sort is mentioned. Maybe someone should access that article and give us a brief overview. It sounds very puzzling to me, but could drastically alter our perception of Stirner. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:53, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

The Unique One and His Property[edit]

the funny thing is you might as well translate it as the real self and it's belongings. with some articulate pun on eigentum so to suggest: the self be longing's, must be budhist;), guess he didn't like freud either:) (talk) 13:53, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

"The Unique One and His Property" misses the shocking egoism/solipsism intended in the German title, "der Einzige" is usually translated as "the only one" when used as a noun. - (talk) 09:05, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

It doesn't literally translate into '"His" Property' any more than it literally translates into 'The Only Male.' It's a masculine noun, therefore uses the masculine pronoun. The translation is "It's Property." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:647:4800:4130:68E1:34F1:930F:7B60 (talk) 05:47, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

'Stirner's claim that the state is an illegitimate institution'[edit]


The statement is preposterous.

Stirner would sooner annihilate legitimacy than ascribe "illegitimacy". The concept of (il)legitimacy rests on law--a spook (in Stirner's terms).

To label something as illegitimate, one would first have to accept the existence of a natural standard--the very antithesis of Stirner's egoism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

yeah this would have to have a direct citation, not some cryptic allusion, to even merit consideration to put one's pet anarchic theory into an line about Stirner himself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dondoolee (talkcontribs) 21:17, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

No Citation[edit]

The similarities between Nietzsche and Stirner are mentioned "(though arguably superficial)". This addendum is not cited from any source, although I am sure I have read it somewhere else before. However, even if published it is still a claim that needs to be supported by evidence. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:10, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

Stirner and Communism[edit]

"Stirner's argument explores and extends the limits of criticism, aiming his critique especially at those of his contemporaries, particularly Ludwig Feuerbach, and at popular ideologies, including religion, liberalism and humanism (which he regarded as analogous to religion with the abstract Man or humanity as the supreme being), nationalism, statism, capitalism, and socialism and communism (of the statist/planned variety)."

I take issue with the assertion that Stirner was only critical of State Communism considering he was also critical of Anarchism, which was and remains predominantly collectivist, the opposite of individualism and egoism.

I agree, if somone can show a passage in the book where Stirner specifically critics only state communism, than it stands. But Stirner did no such thing, he pointed out "communism" in the generic sense, and it doesn't matter what "real communism", just what words Stirner used - and he didn't seem to make a distinction

Egoism was not opposite from collectivism. It was opposite from blind collectivism, he did not oppose people cooperating together as long as they did not forget their individual self-interest. Similarly, with the property rights advocated by Stirner is a society where everybody has that which one can keep (and no more by the use of other people), we essentially have a communist society. --Voidkom (talk) 20:06, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Voidkom. The way I see it, Stirner was not against spooks, but rather against subjecting oneself to spooks because they are the true and right thing to do rather than because oneself wants to. The focus is on strengthening the Unique, and while the Unique can probably never be sure it is its own desire and not latent spook, it is still important for it to become as self aware as possible.--

Stirner Portrait[edit]

Got rid of the Stirner portrait - it wasn't an historical portrait, just a fan picture — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dondoolee (talkcontribs) 23:43, 22 February 2012 (UTC)