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Max Stirner: Hanging Out with One’s Own

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Chapter Summary

The ideas of Max Stirner (1806-1856), which derive almost completely from his principal work, The Ego and Its Own (1844), have been compared with those of Nietzsche, existentialism, and anarchism, and were criticized in the author's time by thinkers of no less stature than Feuerbach and Marx. In The Essence of Christianity, Ludwig Feuerbach had sought to explain Christianity in terms of a reversal of the relationship between man and God. Although references to Stirner and The Ego and Its Own are included in many compendia of anarchist thought, there is substantial disagreement about whether or not Max Stirner was an anarchist. This chapter focuses on property, education, and Associations of Egoists. In joining an association of egoists, participants make no commitment to cooperative goals, and no altruistic motives are served - the assumption is merely that the each egoist may benefit from undertaking a shared contractual enterprise.

Keywords: anarchism; Christianity; egoists; Max Stirner; The Ego and Its Own



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