Max Stirner

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Stirner, Max


(pen name of Johann Kaspar Schmidt). Born Oct. 25, 1806, in Bayreuth; died June 26, 1856, in Berlin. German Young Hegelian philosopher, ideologist of anarchism.

In his The Ego and His Own (1845), Stirner attempted to promulgate a solipsistic point of view in anthropology, ethics, and law. The theoretical point of departure for Stirner’s world view is his thesis of self-awareness as the creative force of history. Man’s ideals and social traits, according to Stirner, represent something universal, since all personality is the same. Hence everything relating to man in general does not relate to the given ego. The concepts of man, law, morality, and the like were treated by Stirner as “specters,” alienated forms of the individual consciousness. Denying all norms of conduct, Stirner asserted that the original sources of law and morality are the power and the might of the individual personality. The will of the individual establishes the truth of phenomena (”I am the criterion of truth”). Man should seek not social, but his own personal freedom, inasmuch as, according to Stirner, behind every social formation are concealed the egotistical interests of individual persons. Nihilism and anarchism proved to be the general result of Stirner’s views.

During the 1840’s and 1850’s, Stirner enjoyed a certain success among the petit bourgeois intelligentsia, and he exerted some influence on M. A. Bakunin and F. Nietzsche. K. Marx and F. Engels, in their The German Ideology (see Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 3, pp. 103–452), offered a devastating critique of Stirner’s subjective idealism and his petit bourgeois individualism and anarchism; they demonstrated the utter groundlessness of his criticism of communism.


Die Geschichte der Reaktion, parts 1–2. Berlin, 1852.
Der Einzige und sein Eigentum. Stuttgart, 1972.
In Russian translation:
Edinstvennyi i iego dostoianie. Moscow, 1906.


Plekhanov, G. V. “Anarkhizm i sotsializm.” Soch., vol. 4. Moscow, 1925.
Kurchinskii, M. A. Apostol egoizma: Maks Shtirner i ego filosofiia anarkhii. Petrograd, 1920.
Bagaturiia, G. A. “K istorii napisanüa, opublikovaniia i issledovaniia ’Nemetskoi ideologii’ Marksa i Engelsa.” In the collection Iz istorii formirovanüa i razvitiia marksizma. Moscow, 1959.
Oizerman.T. I. Formirovanie filosofii marksizma. Moscow, 1962.
Arvon, H. Aux sources de l’existentialisme M. Stirner. Paris, 1954. (Contains bibliography.)
Emge, K. A. M. Stirner: Eine geistig nicht bewältigte Tendenz. Mainz, 1964.


Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
These four thinkers are said to provide a "sort of microcosm" of the overall group of Young Hegelians, which also includes thinkers like David Strauss, Ludwig Feuerbach, Carl Nauwerck, Max Stirner, Friedrich Engels, August von Cieszkowski, Karl Schmidt, and Edgar Bauer.
This turn, represented by authors such as Todd May and Saul Newman, looks to Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida, and Lacan for inspiration and harkens back to Max Stirner and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon to characterize anarchism, approvingly, as a philosophical position based on idealism and individualism.
A+R STIRNER, Max Stirner, a German philosopher 1806-1856
A nihilistic life becomes, as the philosopher Max Stirner argued, something where the individual is the only law.
But the starting point for the tradition these essays focus on is Max Stirner, the most rabid critic of "society's superstitious faith in itself.
More to the point, Max Stirner published his extremely influential book, The Ego and His Own (Der Einzige und sein Eigenthum), in 1845, three years before The Communist Manifesto, though it wasn't translated into English until 1907.
Sandwich a redundancy between two absurdities, and you can turn David Boaz into Max Stirner.
The selection appears to have been chosen in order to demonstrate the ideological spectrum of American anarchist thought, as becomes immediately evident when comparing the two Europeans discussed: Max Stirner, the German philosopher of individualist anarchism, and Peter Kropotkin, the Russian advocate of mutual aid.
To these influences were added the European flavor of Herbert Spencer, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Max Stirner, and Michael Bakounin.
This volume, edited by Heuer (a "Jungian Training Analyst and Supervisor" and "Body psychotherapist" in private practice in the UK), aims to reintroduce the ideas of Gross to the field of psychoanalysis, although given Gross's engagement with the ideas of anarchists such as Max Stirner and Peter Kropotkin, his influence on writers such as writers such as D.
She contends that Paris Dada was a response to and interpretation of anarcho-individualism of the type promoted by Max Stirner, a tendency that itself was in many ways a response to the Bolshevik revolution and a turn away from insurrectionary, communal politics.
Horrible workers; Max Stirner, Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Johnson, and the Charles Manson circle; studies in moral experience and cultural expression.