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Max Stirner's Dialectical Egoism: A New Interpretation Hardcover – 16 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Lexington Books (16 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739141554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739141557
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,906,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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John F. Welsh provides us with a superb distillation of the thought of Max Stirner and the dialectical-egoist paradigm he developed. Through this brilliant study, Welsh demonstrates the power and breadth of dialectics as a radical mode of analysis and social transformation. -- Chris Matthew Sciabarra, New York University; author of Total Freedom: Toward a Dialectical Libertarianism A book of this kind has been long awaited. It is the first modern book-length sympathetic, yet balanced and scholarly, exposition of Max Stirner's thought and, in my opinion, the best book on Max Stirner on the market. John Welsh's Max Stirner's Dialectic Egoism contains new and useful arguments based on sound scholarship. Welsh shows a good grasp of what Stirner means and what he doesn't, and of the different interpretations of him up until the present. The text includes different interpretations and understandings of Stirner, an exegesis of Stirner's major work, The Ego and Its Own, insights of leading historians of philosophy, and a comparison of Stirner and his disciples. Overall, well researched and very informative! -- Svein Olav Nyberg, Agder University College Welsh is clearly aware of these central aspects of Stirner's project...He has...offered a very useful tool for anarchists, egoists and Stirner scholars, a tool that is well worth using. And it is not difficult to use. The language is fairly simple and straightforward. The content is well organized. I recommend the book for anyone interested in exploring what Stirner has to offer us in our confrontations with the ruling institutions. Modern Slavery Any reader of this journal, and anyone who has ever tried to grapple with Stirner, will enjoy and benefit from this book. Scholars and students seeking a clear, honest, up-to-date introduction to Stirner need look no further. Individual-minded individuals outside the academy will also find this book of use. I-Studies

About the Author

John F. Welsh was a professor at the University of Louisville and is currently working as an independent scholar.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 July 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought it due to Pauls review, and was caught up in the arguments from inception. The book has a large chapter on why Stirner has been casigated from inception, written out of modernity, consigned to a backwater. All founded on the critiques he offered as destroying everything previously and nearly everything afterwards. Stirner was a full stop in belief; his critiques being too incisive and destroying all belief systems- humanity= (spook) only exists as a reified essence, along with God (another spook) thereby debunking both the religious, anarchist and socialist views. All used to create meaning in the world where non exists. There are only egoists who can create meaning- individuals to you and me, who need to know themselves inside and out.

The notion of whether this ego is good or evil at inception, (Adler versus Freud as it turns out) is not an issue, as the concepts, good and evil are both spooks. How do you define good and evil as they are both qualities relating to religion and humanity? - two spooks. The ego is essentially concerned with themselves and nothing more so this dispenses with anarchism and the notion of communal values. It also dissolves society. So does the individual become entrapped in solipsism?

Inidividual create emotional bonds with other individuals and so you have the basis of a new subjectivity, differing from all prevous conceptsion.

The various critiques of Stirner are ad hominem attacks, particularly from Marx in the "German Ideology" published by the Marx Engels Institute in the 20th Century. Marx provided the defining text on Stirner and begins to explain why he has been studiously ignored. The attack on him has largely been personal; oh did he have a poor personal life?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul on 4 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book seriously needs another proofread. Also, it has mistakenly given Max Stirner's baptism date for his birth date. One might call such a mistake sloppy. But such quibbles are ultimately unimportant. This is, by far, the best and most insightful book on Max Stirner and the philosophy of Egoism ever written. This book is an absolutely essential companion to the better scholarly editions of The Ego and its Own, and will spin your head around all by itself. No drivel about "what would an egoist do if he saw a child drowning?" or any of that claptrap. This book gets to the heart of Stirner's attack on the new 'supreme being' of modernity -- "Humanity" and all that concept entails. Includes important additional chapters on Benjamin Tucker, James L Walker, Dora Marsden and Freddie Nietzsche. I'd suggest you check John F Welsh's web site for further details. Then I suggest you buy this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read for Stirner Enthusiasts 20 April 2013
By Christopher Crawford - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Max Stirner's Dialectical Egoism is by far the best book I have come across on the subject of Max Stirner's philosophy. Welsh clearly explores Stirner's notions of ownness, the unique one and the union of egoists. He goes on to explore how Benjamin Tucker, James L Walker and Dora Marsden used elements of Stirner's philosophy to develop their own critiques of modernity. He ends with a comparison of Stirner's ownness and unique one with Nietzsche's will to power and Übermensch.

My one criticism is Welsh didn't really explore the phenomenological elements of Stirner's philosophy. But this book is still the best examination of Stirner's ideas that I have encountered.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in Stirner, Egoism and Individualism.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is the place to start 17 Nov. 2012
By Stan Burnett - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
John Welsh does an extraordinary job of analyzing and bringing coherence to the study of Max Stirner. This book is now the very first place to start your study of Stirner.
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