Dissociating Max Stirner's philosophy of egoism from the anarchist tradition: A defense of Stirner's philosophy

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Gansham T. Mansukhani

Defense Panel Chair

Napoleon Mabaquiao Jr.

Defense Panel Member

Maxell Aranilla
Lorenz Moises Festin


There are a number of contemporary debates that center on the issue, whether Max Stirner is identified with the anarchist tradition. There are authors who insist that Stirner espouses anarchism. On the other hand, there are also those who prove that Stirner is not an anarchist at all. This paper aims to show is that the identification of Stirner with anarchism is regarded as a major distortion and an injustice to the essence and fundamental principles of Stirnerian philosophical egoism. A careful and thorough analysis of Stirner’s philosophy shall reveal that Stirner’s doctrines are far fetched from anarchist theories. In fact, his doctrines approximate the thought system of the atheistic existentialists. In addition, Stirner’s philosophy comes close to the philosophy of Nietzsche who is not an anarchist. Given this, the researcher, through this dissertation, shall defend the assertion that Stirner cannot be regarded as an anarchist. This in effect, shall dispel the anarchistic interpretation of Stirner and, moreover, will restore the original essence of Stirner’s philosophical egoism. To achieve this objective, this study, shall present forms of arguments and counter argumentations which shall successfully refute the claims extolled by the authors who identify the philosophical ideas of Stirner with the doctrines of the anarchist theorists. This shall reveal that unlike the anarchists, Stirner did not at all concern himself on social political issues. His concerns emphasized solely on the mechanics of individual self development and self empowerment. With this, the researcher will be lead to the conclusive assertion that Stirner’s concept of “The Egoist” is inconsistent with the notion of an “Anarchist”. To elucidate, a Stirnerian egoist is best characterized as an “egoistic insurgent” or “egoistic rebel”. This form of characterization is regarded as polar to the ideals, dispositions and concerns of an anarchist. With this conclusion at hand, Stirner’s philosophy should not be interpreted as a political philosophy. Instead, it is regarded as a philosophy of the person. Thus, Stirner’s concerns were not about developing political theories. Rather, they are focused primarily on how can one be an authentic individual self. This underscores the dissociation of Stirner’s philosophical teachings from the anarchist tradition. This shall rejuvenate the true essence of Stirner’s philosophical egoism.

Abstract Format






Electronic File Format


Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer optical disc. ; 4 3/4 in.


Egoism; Anarchism; Max Stirner, 1806-1856

Upload Full Text


Embargo Period


This document is currently not available here.