Max Stirner


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German firebrand. Originally Johann Kasper Schmidt, Stirmer is remembered philosophically for Der Einziger und sein Eigenthum (1845, trs. as The Ego and His Own, 1907). This was an attack on left Hegelians, particularly Feuerbach, and on the persistence of outright fictions in the theory of the state. It championed not so much psychological egoism, as an ethic of self-mastery, autonomy, and freedom from the domination of society and other people. Engels and Marx devoted a great deal of The German Ideology to combating it. In recent years Stirner's idiosyncratic writing has been heralded as antipating both postmodern literary style, and doctrinally the worry that notions like rationality and objectivity are disguises for an inheritance of oppression and domination by semi-religious categories.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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