HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Ego and Its Own (1845)

by Max Stirner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
778828,105 (4.08)6
Max Stirner's The Ego and Its Own is striking and distinctive in both style and content. First published in 1844, Stirner's distinctive and powerful polemic sounded the death-knell of left Hegelianism, with its attack on Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno and Edgar Bauer, Moses Hess and others. It also constitutes an enduring critique of both liberalism and socialism from the perspective of an extreme eccentric individualism. Karl Marx was only one of many contemporaries provoked into a lengthy rebuttal of Stirner's argument. Stirner has been portrayed, variously, as a precursor of Nietzsche (both stylistically and substantively), a forerunner of existentialism and as an individualist anarchist. This edition of his work comprises a revised version of Steven Byington's much praised translation, together with an introduction and notes on the historical background to Stirner's text.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

English (6)  Dutch (2)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
$350-400 on Abe.
387 Pp Catalog At End. First Published In London In 1912, This Is An Early Modern Library Edition, 1919, Wth Toledano's Spine #1 (1917-1919), Brodzky Endpapers (1919-1925, And Catalog C5 (First Issued Fall 1918). First Published In Germany In The 1840'S, "This Book Contains The Most Revolutionary Philosophy Ever Written, Its Purpose Being To Totally Destroy The Idea Of Duty And To Assert The Supremacy Of The Will, And From This Standpoint To Effect A Transvaluation Of All Values And Displace The State By A Union Of Conscious Egoists" (From The English Edition's Dj Cover)
  susangeib | Jun 30, 2023 |
Stirner's leap from pedantic cynicism (his infamous spooks) to patronizing cynicism (mine mine mine) is not one I can get behind. He falls into the same hole that most "immanent" philosophies fall into, creating his own ideal Man to idolize right after tearing down all other ideals, just as Feuerbach did. It just happens that Stirner's Man is kind of a petty dickhead.

As an aside, his thoughts on Jews, "negroids," and "mongoloids" are pretty uncomfortable. I wish he hadn't picked up on the worst trends in Hegelian history there. ( )
  schumacherrr | Feb 21, 2022 |
I first read The Ego and His Own as an edgelord LaVeyan Satanist who enjoyed trolling philosophy professors who were only equipped to stunt on the average freshman. At that time I considered myself a defender of (Psychological) Egoism and often attributed to Thomas Hobbes what I had actually learned from Stirner. Oops.

Reading this book years later I am proud to say that I am more annoyed with Stirner than impressed. One could read this book as a metaphysical exercise of the self versus the environment. How the microcosmic principles are at odds with the macrocosmic and glean quite a bit of wisdom from this exercise. I say "could" because every other page Stirner likes to remind the reader that this is absolutely not his intent.

That's not to say that this book is without merit. Stirner brings some strong arguments to the table, and like I mentioned before, even seasoned philosophers often fail to refute them easily. Often Stirner will repeat an argument from logical, wordplay, or even theological perspectives. The annotations by James J. Martin are especially helpful by pointing out the wordplay from the original German, as such nuances are often lost in translation.

Now reduced to memes that miss the point, Stirner's concept of spooks deserves to be grappled with. With the onset of Artificial Intelligence, the sale of personal data, and an ever encroaching surveillance state; going against the author's wishes and extrapolating outside of his intended scope is also illuminating, if maybe quite necessary. Social Media seems to thrive on bending us against our wills by presenting the most attractive spooks to possess us; for just one example.

Stirner targets all forms of collectivism as his favorite spooks to tear apart, often by using extreme examples that may have been laughable at the time of writing but have become all too normal now. Our media bombardment of the atrocities of the rich take Stirner's arguments from the hypothetical to the biography of Epstein. This may have always been the case but never reported so widely in the past. The veil of naivety has been torn apart for all to see.

Stiner eventually proposes his own spook, the Union of Egoists, as a utopian and voluntary organization that dissolves as soon as one member does not benefit. Like most utopias of philosophers it stands on very shaky ground and appears from several angles to be contradictory to his central thesis. Perhaps this was some sort of compromise of concession, but it is by far one of the weakest arguments in the book.

Love him or hate him, Stirner deserves to be read. His work serves as the shadow, or dark night of the modern soul, that only grows larger and repeats the more we ignore it. These are not concepts that you can ignore and make them go away, they are forever right behind you. His visceral writing may be off putting for many, but an avoidance of his arguments only speaks to an unwillingness to step outside the comfort of your own personal prejudices. A behavior that does nothing to dismiss his stance, and instead reinforces it. ( )
3 vote Ophiphos | Dec 25, 2020 |
Ho voluto avere nella mia biblioteca cartacea questo libro da poco uscito in una nuova edizione Bompiani, in testo a fronte. Quasi mille pagine. Il libro in altre edizioni lo si può trovare in rete e scaricare il testo gratis. Sono varie le edizioni, ma questa curata da Sossio Giametta mi sembra la più aggiornata oltre che moderna.

Ho letto diverse recensioni su GR in lingue diverse e non mi resta che dire la mia su di un libro il cui autore all'inizio scrive che ha "fondato la sua causa sul nulla". Ma poi si scopre che parla della vita dell'uomo, degli uomini antichi e quelli moderni. Scrive degli ossessi, dello spirito e della gerarchia, dei liberi, del liberalismo politico, di quello sociale e di quello umanistico. La prima parte la dedica all'uomo. La seconda invece si occupa dell'io.

Individualità propria, l'individuo proprietario, la sua potenza, i suoi rapporti, il godimento di se stesso. Alla fine arriva al nocciolo: "l'Unico". Una causa fondata su di esso, anzi su di lui: il NULLA. Ma per Stirner evidentemente il "nulla" vale per il "tutto". Se devo sintetizzare il suo pensiero dirò che Stirner è abbastanza arrogante da cercare di rispondere ai canonici "chi-cosa-quando-dove-perchè" riguardanti l'uomo e la sua vita.

Ci riesce? Non lo so. So che ha avuto il coraggio di provarci senza mai tradire il suo IO, la sua entità, il suo individualismo, che per alcuni è chiamato anarchia, per me invece è solo ricerca. Se date una occhiata alle etichette che ho scelto per classificare questo libro, vi renderete conto di quello che contiene questa opera scritta in pieno ottocento, da un tizio che è stato malfamato ed esaltato, considerato repellente, sguaiato, spaccone, smargiasso, degenerato, zotico, egomane, psicopatico grave, sgradevole, sofista, nauseante ... potrei continuare.

Per me resta un genio. Vi assicuro che nonostante gli abbia assegnato tutte quelle etichette, questo Max Stirner, che poi non si chiamava nemmeno così, è stato tanto assaltato quanto esaltato. Leggerlo in testo a fronte per me è una salutare avventura. Una opportunità, per rispolverare quella lingua che è tanto infernale quanto speciale, la mia "ur-sprache". Ho detto tutto ... ( )
  AntonioGallo | Oct 9, 2019 |
This is a work of unabashed egoism, the sort of unrestrained self-interest that makes Ayn Rand look like a 'pinko hippie'. It's fascinating, even if you want to hate Stirner's guts afterwards. He cites Ancient Greek and ecclesiastic history, and uses puns and quotations as much as logical arguments.

The Ego and Its Own starts with a polemic on all collective institutions, all dogmas, all beliefs, all religions, all political philosophies. One of his most astonishing (and perhaps correct) assertions is that modern ideologies take the place of what religion was in the ancient world - see Communism, Fascism setting themselves up as semi-divine cults of a fundamentalist nature. All dying for an idea, a spirit, a dogma - which he dismisses as 'spooks'. Spooks which alienate the person from themselves.

He even attacks the most basic of social customs - whether or not it is right to marry your sister, and praising the benefits of lying. It is the ethical code of either superhumans or sociopaths.

Marx and Engels devoted some 300 pages to refuting him in The German Ideology. Stirner remains relatively unknown, but influential, being the precursor to modern nihilism, existentialism

How exactly would interpersonal relationships and society exist in an entirely egoistic world? He tenderly submits a few suggestions on love based on mutual interest - a step above the quasi-rape fantasies of Atlas Shrugged. Although there is a nagging thought that anarcho-capitalism might work in the same way - a billion weasels trying to screw each other.

And so both anarchists and Marxists can consider him an influence. He's fascinating enough to grapple with, and thus worth your time. ( )
1 vote HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stirner, MaxAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrento, JoãoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bragança de Miranda, José A.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Byington, Steven T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Byington, Steven TracyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cerinotti, AngelaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gajlewicz, JoannaTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
González Blanco, PedroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landstreicher, WolfiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leopold, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meyer, AhlrichAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, Sidney E.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zoccoli, EttoreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
La censura prussiana giudicò questo libro «troppo assurdo per essere pericoloso». Marx e Engels, invece, lo considerarono sufficientemente pericoloso per dedicargli più di trecento pagine persecutorie della "Ideologia tedesca". Nietzsche non lo nominò mai, ma confessò a un’amica di temere che un giorno lo avrebbero accusato di aver plagiato Stirner. Da più di un secolo le storie della filosofia lo definiscono «famigerato». In breve: "L’unico" è l’opera più scandalosa e inaccettabile della filosofia moderna.

Quando apparve, a Berlino, nel 1844, suscitò per alcuni mesi reazioni febbrili e appassionate, soprattutto nell’ambiente del radicalismo di sinistra, da cui nasceva, fra quei discendenti di Hegel che si apprestavano a diventare sovvertitori dell’ordine. Poi seguì un lungo silenzio. Infine una riscoperta vorace, negli ultimi anni dell’Ottocento, quando Stirner apparve da una parte come precursore di Nietzsche e dall’altra come profeta dell’anarchismo individualista. Ma anche se Stirner ha avuto una grande influenza sotterranea, che ha agito sui personaggi più disparati, da Dostoevskij a Traven, il mondo della cultura ufficiale lo ha sempre evitato. Non era chiaro se Stirner fosse da considerare un filosofo, un pazzo o un criminale. Ma nell’"Unico" queste voci parlano insieme, e questa irrevocabile, beffarda confusione dei soggetti e dei livelli è la prima peculiarità del libro.

L’"Unico" sviluppa ‘sino alle estreme conseguenze’ quella «critica» corrosiva che era stata, da Kant in poi, la parola magica della filosofia; articola un sistema paranoico; fonda le ragioni del delitto. Commistione che non è un capriccio di Stirner, ma rivela, finalmente senza coperture eufemistiche, un processo operante in tutto il pensiero moderno. Con le sue argomentazioni stridule, martellanti, ossessive, Stirner fa ruotare vorticosamente la macchina della metafisica: ne risulta una grandiosa parodia, preludio alla mutezza dell’«indicibile» unico. Ma l’attacco al pensiero discorsivo va insieme, per Stirner, a un micidiale attacco al «sussistente», alla società che lo circonda.

Provocatore e vagabondo della metafisica, Stirner osò vedere il mondo della secolarizzazione trionfante, che è anche il nostro, come un mondo profondamente bigotto. Il sacro, scacciato dai templi, si vendica caricando le più laiche categorie di una violenza devastatrice. La Società, l’Uomo, l’Umanità giustificano ora ogni tortura sul singolo che non si adegui al modello ‘giusto’. E il sarcasmo stirneriano, che oppone l’egoista singolo, marchiato come «mostro inumano», al santo egoismo della Società, trafigge anche le società ‘giuste’, promesse dai miglioratori dell’umanità (siano essi reazionari, progressisti, liberali o socialisti) con frecce che appaiono ancora oggi perfettamente appuntite. (Anzi, spesso si ha l’impressione che colpiscano fatti accaduti nel nostro secolo). Che la sua critica sfoci poi in un nominalismo assoluto, e manifestamente insostenibile, non sembra preoccupare Stirner. In certo modo è ciò che voleva: tutto l’"Unico" è un solo, immane paradosso su cui il pensiero continua a inciampare.

Roberto Capasso: "Cento lettere a uno sconosciuto", Adelphi
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Max Stirner's The Ego and Its Own is striking and distinctive in both style and content. First published in 1844, Stirner's distinctive and powerful polemic sounded the death-knell of left Hegelianism, with its attack on Ludwig Feuerbach, Bruno and Edgar Bauer, Moses Hess and others. It also constitutes an enduring critique of both liberalism and socialism from the perspective of an extreme eccentric individualism. Karl Marx was only one of many contemporaries provoked into a lengthy rebuttal of Stirner's argument. Stirner has been portrayed, variously, as a precursor of Nietzsche (both stylistically and substantively), a forerunner of existentialism and as an individualist anarchist. This edition of his work comprises a revised version of Steven Byington's much praised translation, together with an introduction and notes on the historical background to Stirner's text.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.08)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 5
2.5
3 11
3.5 1
4 21
4.5 4
5 28

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 201,829,501 books! | Top bar: Always visible