Freedom and the egoist : an analysis of freedom in Max Stirner's Der Einzige und sein Eigentum

Rowe, Robert S. (1991) Freedom and the egoist : an analysis of freedom in Max Stirner's Der Einzige und sein Eigentum. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

As a philosopher Max Stirner is remembered for only one book, Der Einziqe und Sein Eiqentum, first published in 1844. In it he portrays the standpoint of an individual dedicated exclusively to his own self-caring agenda. It is a portrayal distinguished by a radical affirmation of individual freedom which is so complete, as to challenge any traditional view of this most complex concept. -- The concept of ownness in Stirner's Der Einzige is an extremely difficult one to define. This thesis is an attempt to do as much through a comparative analysis of Stirner's text with several traditional philosophical standpoints. -- Chapter one examines the freedom advanced by idealism and humanism to which Stirner was so opposed. -- Chapter two discusses Stirner's meaning of a fixed idea, without an understanding of which it would be difficult to proceed in Der Einziqe. -- Chapters three and four form the main body of the thesis and attempt to describe the distinctions between freedom and ownness. As will be shown, these distinctions have profound ethical implications. -- Chapter five compares Stirner's ownness with the atheistic line of existential thought, specifically Jean-Paul Sartre. While existential freedom most closely resembles the true free existence Stirner calls ownness, we conclude, however, that freedom and ownness are incompatible categories. By Stirner's account, freedom is nothing more than an abstract ideal which ought to be abandoned altogether. Thus, an ambiguity appears in Der Einzige. The question to be resolved is whether ownness is something more than or prior to freedom or just freedom itself by another name.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5739
Item ID: 5739
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 73-75.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 1991
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Stirner, Max, 1806-1856. Einzige und sein Eigentum; Liberty

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