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Translator's Preface
Working on this translation has been a pleasurable challenge for me. Stirner uses straightforward, even fairly simple language, filled with passion and sarcasm, to express ideas that are difficult, though more in the fact that very few people would want to accept their implications than in their complexity. In wrestling with this work, I have had to make decisions about how best to get Stirners thinking across in English. The purpose of this preface is to explain some of those decisions. One of the central terms in Stirners thinking is der Einzige. I have chosen to translate this as the unique. Some have argued in favor of leaving this noun in German, and I understand their point, but in this text Stirner frequently connects the noun Einzige with the adjective einzige, and this connection would be lost if I left the noun in German. In addition, I think that leaving Einzige in German would give the text a more academic feeling, as if Stirner were inventing a specialized language, which he is not. For Stirner, Einzige is simply a name to use for something that is beyond definition, something that is unspeakable, so I decided not to translate it as the unique one. Such a translation would imply that unique says something definitive about some one, rather than merely being a name pointing toward something unsayable. I think that, in the unique, the fact that it is meant to be a mere name for something beyond language is made clearer. Because Stirner compares his use of der Einzige to the way one uses proper names, such as Ludwig, knowing perfectly well that the word Ludwig tells you nothing about the person so designated, and yet indicates clearly who you are talking about if those to whom you speak know Ludwig, I considered capitalizing unique as a proper name is capitalized, but have chosen not to do so for fear that some would instead read it as presenting the unique as an ideal, a higher reality, rather than simply as you and I in the here and now. In light of all this, I choose to translate the title of Stirner's book as The Unique and Its Own[1], a more correct translation than the current English title (The Ego and Its Own). I decided to keep leave all references to page numbers of citations from Der Einzige und Sein Eigentum as they werereflecting the page numbers in the original edition of the book. I also translated these citations directly, rather than going to Byingtons translation either in its original form or in the version edited by David Leopold (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought). I did this because I wanted to maintain a consistency in language between what Stirner has written here and his citations from his earlier book and to guarantee that Stirners references to various philosophical, political and theological ideas of his time were not lost. I also hope that someone will find the time to do an improved English translation of Stirners major work in the near future. Though Stirner does not invent a specialized language, his writings spring out of the context of the debates of the young Hegelians and other German philosophical and social radicals of the times. Thus, Stirner uses certain terms in Hegelian (or anti-Hegelian) ways. I have chosen to translate these terms as consistently as a good, readable translation would allow.[2] I want to mention a few of these. In English translations of Hegelian works, Begriff is generally either translated as notion or concept. I have chosen the latter translation, because it allows some of Stirners word play to appear more clearly in English. I have translated Entfremden as alienation although estrangement is an equally acceptable translation. I felt that my choice has more meaning to those likely to read this translation, within the context of present-day radical theoretical endeavors. In Hegelian usage, Wesen is translated as essence. In addition, in its frequent usage with Mensch, which itself can be translated as human being or merely human, it is clearly a reference to the species essence which Stirners critics claim to be inherent in the human being. Stirner turns this idea on its head in an interesting way by arguing that the real essence of each individual is, in fact, his or her concrete, actual, inconceivable, unspeakable, unique being in the immediate moment, the very opposite of the way Hegel and the other young Hegelians conceived it. Although the word Meinung only appears four times in this text, it is significant in Hegelian thought. The word is often translated as opinion, though it can also be translated as view, judgment, or estimation. Hegel often stresses the etymological link with mein (mine),[3] and Stirner is likely to have found it amusing. For Hegel, Meinung was merely of use for distinguishing particulars and was thus of no significance to universal Reason or universal Thought. For Stirner, these universals were spooks, and particulars (and more specifically myself in particular) were what mattered. So Meinung is how you and I

actually experience out world, or to put it more simply, each of us experiences it from our own point of view. To emphasize this, I have chosen to translate Meinung as view in this text. There are a few other choices I made in translation that I think need some comment. Mensch can be translated either as person or human being. In this text, Stirner uses it in the context of his critique of humanism, and so I decided it made the most sense to translate it as human being. In a couple of passages in this text, Stirner contrasts Mensch to Unmensch. In Byingtons translation of Der Einzige und Sein Eigentum, he chose to simply translate the latter word as unman. But in German, the word refers to a monster, and knowing Stirners enjoyment of playing with words and ideas in ways that are likely to get the goat of his opponents, I think that he most likely meant just that. To further emphasize Stirners intent of contrasting this with the abstract, conceptual human being, I chose to translate the term as inhuman monster. This leads to such delightful statements as: You are an inhuman monster, and this is why you are completely human, a real and actual human being, a complete human being. The German word Prdikat could be translated as predicate or attribute (among other possibilities). In this text, Stirner uses it specifically in reference to god or to humanity as the new god. Thus, he is using it in an anti-theological sense rather than a grammatical sense. I have thus chosen to use the theological term attribute rather than the grammatical term predicate to translate it. The word Vorstellung only appears twice in this work, and in both instances it is in reference to the ways that Stirners opponents chose to depict egoism. Though Vorstellung is often translated into English as representation, it has a far more active connotation than this English word. It is more an active depiction or conceptualization that one is inventing. Certainly this what Stirner is saying about his opponents. Thus, I have translated the word as depiction here. There is a passage in which Stirner criticizes Bedenken. One can translate this word as qualms, scruples, misgiving, or doubts. In this text, it is obvious that he is talking about moral scruples. In the context, Stirner uses a couple of other words in ways rather different from their usual present-day meanings. He uses Bedenklichkeit and Unbedenklichkeit in ways that in the context only make sense if they are translated as scrupulousness for the former word and unscrupulousness or lack of scruples for the latter. But in present-day German Bedenklichkeit is usually translated as seriousness, precariousness or anxiety; and Unbedanklichkeit is usually translated as harmlessness. Since in this passage, Stirner plays a lot on Bedenken, Denken and Gedenken (wordplay sadly lost in translation), it is possible that he was also playing with these other two termsimplying that scrupulousness causes anxiety and that a lack of scruples is harmless compared to the moral dogmas of scrupulousness. In any case, I chose translate the words in the way that would make sense in context, as scrupulousness for the first word, and unscrupulousness or lack of scruples for the second. Finally, I want to say that translating this work has been an act of egoistic love. I wanted to see a full English translation of it, and took the tools and means in hand to create it. I have had much enjoyment in doing so.

Wolfi Landstreicher

[1] However, outside of the title of Stirners book, I have chosen to translate the word Eigentum as property. The word can also translate as possession as in the phrase to acquire possession of the book or as ownership. It is useful to keep all these translations in mind when you read the word property in this text. [2] I made use of the following online glossaries of Hegelian terminology for this purpose: (Glossaries is at the end of this document.)

[3] G. W. F. Hegel, Thodore F. Geraets (translator), Wallis Arthur Suchting (translator), Henry Silton Harris (translator) The Encyclopaedia Logic: Part I of the Encyclopaedia of Philosophical Sciences with the Zustze (Indianapolis, 1991), in Notes to Glossary, p. 351.

Introduction (Under Construction)

Stirner's critics
by Max Stirner

The following three notable writings have come out against The Unique and Its Own: 1) Szeliga's critique in the March edition of the Northern German Gazette; 2) On The Essence of Christianity in Relation to The Unique and Its Own in the latest volume of Wigand's Quarterly Review; 3) A pamphlet, The Last Philosophers by M. Hess. Szeliga presents himself as a critic, Hess as a socialist and the author of the second piece as Feuerbach. A brief response might be useful, if not to the critics mentioned above, at least to some other readers of the book. The three opponents are in agreement about the terms that draw the most attention in Stirner's book, i.e., the unique and egoist. It will therefore be very useful to take advantage of this unity and first of all discuss the points mentioned. Szeliga, after first having in all seriousness allowed the unique to become and identified it with a man (page 4: The unique wasn't always unique, nor always a man, but was once a baby and then a young boy), makes him an individual of world history and finally, after a definition of spooks (from which it emerges that a spirit lacking thought is a body, and that the pure and simple body is the absence of thought), he finds that the unique is therefore the spook of spooks. It is true that he adds, For the critic who doesn't just see in universal history fixed ideas replacing each other, but creative thoughts continually developing, for the critic, however, the unique is not a spook, but an act of creative selfconsciousness, which had to arise in its time, in our time, and fulfill its determined task; but this act is merely a thought, a principle and a book. When Feuerbach deals with the unique, he limits himself to considering it as a unique individual, chosen from a class or species and opposed as sacred and inviolable to other individuals. In this choosing and opposing the essence of religion remains. This man, this unique, this incomparable being, this Jesus Christ, is only and exclusively God. This oak, this place, this bull, this day is sacred, not the others. He concludes: Chase the Unique in Heaven from your head, but also chase away the Unique on earth. Hess strictly only alludes to the unique. He first identifies Stirner with the unique, and then says of the Unique: He is the headless, heartless trunk, i.e., he has the illusion of being so, because in reality he doesn't just lack spirit, but body as well; he is nothing other than his illusions. And finally he pronounces his judgment on Stirner, the unique: He is boasting.

From this, the unique appears as the spook of all spooks, as the sacred individual, which one must chase from the head and as the pale boaster. Stirner names the unique and says at the same time that Names don't name it. He utters a name when he names the unique, and adds that the unique is only a name. So he thinks something other than what he says, just as, for example, when someone calls you Ludwig, he isn't thinking of a generic Ludwig, but of you, for whom he has no word. What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is neither a word, nor a thought, nor a concept. What he says is not the meaning, and what he means cannot be said. One flattered oneself that one spoke about the actual, individual human being when one spoke of the human being; but was this possible so long as one wanted to express this human being through something universal, through an attribute? To designate this human being, shouldn't one, perhaps, have recourse not to an attribute, but rather to a designation, to a name to take refuge in, where the view, i.e., the unspeakable, is the main thing? Some are reassured by real, complete individuality, which is still not free of the relation to the species; others by the spirit, which is likewise a determination, not complete indeterminacy. This indeterminacy only seems to be achieved in the unique, because it is given as the specific unique being, because when it is grasped as a concept, i.e., as an expression, it appears as a completely empty and undetermined name, and thus refers to a content outside of or beyond the concept. If one fixes it as a conceptand the opponents do thisone must attempt to give it a definition and will thus inevitably come upon something different from what was meant. It would be distinguished from other concepts and considered, for example, as the sole complete individual, so that it becomes easy to show it as nonsense. But can you define yourself; are you a concept? The human being, as a concept or an attribute, does not exhaust you, because it has a conceptual content of its own, because it says what is human and what a human being is, i.e., because it is capable of being defined so that you can remain completely out of play. Of course, you as a human being still have your part in the conceptual content of the human being, but you don't have it as you. The unique, however, has no content; it is indeterminacy in itself; only through you does it acquire content and determination. There is no conceptual development of the unique, one cannot build a philosophical system with it as a principle, the way one can with being, with thought, with the I. Rather it puts an end to all conceptual development. Anyone who considers it a principle, thinks that he can treat it philosophically or theoretically and inevitably takes useless potshots against it. Being, thought, the I, are only undetermined concepts, which receive their determinateness only through other concepts, i.e., through conceptual development. The unique, on the other hand, is a concept that lacks determination and cannot be made determinate by other concepts or receive a nearer content; it is not the principle of a series of concepts, but a word or concept that, as word or concept, is not capable of any development. The development of the unique is your self-development and my self-development, an utterly unique development, because your development is not at all my development. Only as a concept, i.e., only as development, are they one and the same; on the contrary, your development is just as distinct and unique as mine. Since you are the content of the unique, there is no more to think about a specific content of the unique, i.e., a conceptual content. What you are cannot be said through the word unique, just as by christening you with the name Ludwig, one doesn't intend to say what you are. With the unique, the rule of absolute thought, of thought with a conceptual content of its own, comes to an end, just as the concept and the conceptual world fades away when one uses the empty name: the name is the empty name to which only the view can give content. But it is not true, as Stirner's opponents present it, that in the unique there is only the lie of what has been called the egoistic world up to now; no, in its nakedness and its barrenness, in its shameless

candor, (see Szeliga, p. 34) the nakedness and barrenness of concepts and ideas come to light, the useless pomposity of its opponents is made clear. It becomes obvious that the biggest phrase is the one that seems to be the word most full of content. The unique is the frank, undeniable, clearphrase; it is the keystone of our phrase-world, this world whose beginning was the word. The unique is an expression with which, in all frankness and honesty, one recognizes that he is expressing nothing. Human being, spirit, the true individual, personality, etc. are expressions or attributes that are full to overflowing with content, phrases with the greatest wealth of ideas; compared with these sacred and noble phrases, the unique is the empty, unassuming and completely common phrase. The critics suspected something of the sort about the unique; they treated it as a phrase. But they considered the unique as if it claimed to be a sacred and noble phrase, and they disputed this claim. But it wasn't meant to be anything more than a common phrase, and therefore actual, which the inflated phrases of its opponents can never be, and therefore a desecration of phrase-making. The unique is a word, and everyone should always be able to think something when he uses a word; a word should have thought content. But the unique is a thoughtless word; it has no thought content. So then what is its content, if it is not thought? It is content that cannot exist a second time and so also cannot be expressed, because if it could be expressed, actually and wholly expressed, it would exist for a second time; it would exist in the expression. Since the content of the unique is not thought content, the unique cannot be thought or said; but since it cannot be said, it, this perfect phrase, is not even a phrase. Only when nothing is said about you and you are merely named, are you recognized as you. As soon as something is said about you, you are only recognized as that thing (human, spirit, christian, etc.). But the unique doesnt say anything because it is merely a name: it says only that you are you and nothing but you, that you are a unique you, or rather your self. Therefore, you have no attribute, but with this you are at the same time without determination, vocation, laws, etc. Speculation was directed toward finding an attribute so universal that everyone would be understood in it. However, such an attribute wasnt supposed to express in each instance what each one should be, but rather what he is. Therefore, if human was this attribute, one shouldnt mean by it something that everyone has to become, since otherwise all the things that one has not yet become would be excluded, but something that everyone is. Now, human also actually expresses what everyone is. But this What is an expression for what is universal in everyone, for what everyone has in common with each other, so it isnt an expression for everyone, it doesnt express who everyone is. Are you thoroughly defined when one says you are a human being? Has one expressed who you are completely? Does the attribute, human, fulfill the task of the attribute, which is to express the subject completely, or doesnt it, on the contrary, completely take subjectivity away from the subject, and doesnt it say what the subject is rather than saying who he is? Therefore, if the attribute should include everyone in itself, everyone should appear as subject, i.e., not only as what he is, but as who he is. But how can you present yourself as who you are, if you dont present yourself? Are you a doppelganger or do you exist only once? You are nowhere except in yourself, you are not in the world a second time, you are unique. You can emerge only if you appear in the flesh. You are unique, isnt this a sentence? If in the sentence you are human, you dont come in as the one who you are, do you actually come in as you in the sentence you are unique? The sentence you are unique means nothing but you are you, a sentence that logic calls nonsense, because it doesnt make judgments on anything, it doesnt say anything, because it is empty, a sentence that is not a sentence. (In

the book on page 232, the absurd sentence is considered as infinite or indeterminate; here however, after the page, it is considered as an identical sentence.) What the logician treats with contempt is undoubtedly illogical or merely formally logical; but it is also, considered logically, only a phrase; it is logic dying in a phrase. The unique should only be the last, dying expression (attribute) of you and me, the expression that turns into a view: an expression that is no longer such, that falls silent, that is mute. Youunique! What thought content is here, what sentence content? None! Whoever wants to deduce a precise thought-content of the Unique as if it were a concept, whoever thinks that with unique one has said about you what you are, would show that they believe in phrases, because they dont recognize phrases as phrases, and would also show that they seek specific content in phrases. You, inconceivable and inexpressible, are the phrase content, the phrase owner, the phrase embodied; you are the who, the one of the phrase. In the unique, science can dissolve into life, in which your this becomes who and this who no longer seeks itself in the word, in the Logos, in the attribute. Szeliga takes the pain to show that the unique measured by its own principle of seeing spooks everywhere becomes the spook of all spooks. He senses that the unique is an empty phrase, but he overlooks the fact that he himself, Szeliga, is the content of the phrase. The unique in Heaven, which Feuerbach places beside the unique on earth, is the phrase without a phrase-owner. The unique considered here is God. This is the thing that guaranteed that religion would last, that it had the unique at least in thought and as a phrase, that it saw it in Heaven. But the heavenly unique is only a unique in which no one has an interest, whereas Feuerbach instead, whether he likes it or not, is interested in Stirners unique, because he would have to treat it oddly, if he wanted to chase his own unique from his head. If the heavenly unique were one that existed in its own head rather than in Feuerbachs, it would be difficult to chase this unique from its head. Hess says of the unique: hes boasting. Undoubtedly, the unique, this obvious phrase, is an empty boast; it is Feuerbachs phrase without the phrase-owner. But isnt it a pathetic boast to call a long and broad thing a boast only because one cant find anything in it but the boast? Is Hess, this unique Hess, therefore nothing but a boast? Most certainly not! The critics display even more irritation against the egoist than against the unique. Instead of delving into egoism as Stirner meant it, they stop at their usual childish depiction of it and roll out to everyone the well-known catalogue of sins. Look at egoism, the horrible sin that this Stirner wants to recommend to us. Against the Christian definition: God is love, critics in old Jerusalem could rise up and cry: So now you see that the Christians are announcing a pagan God; because if God is love, then he is the pagan god Amor, the god of love! What need do the Jewish critics have to deal with love and the God who is love, when they have spit on the love-god, on Amor for so long? Szeliga characterizes the egoist like this: The egoist hopes for a carefree, happy life. He marries a rich girland now he has a jealous, chatterbox wifein other words his hope was realized and it was an illusion. Feuerbach says: There is a well-founded difference between what is called egoistic, self-interested love, and what is called unselfish love. What? In a few words this: in self-interested love, the object is your courtesan; in unselfish love, she is your beloved. I find satisfaction in both, but in the first I subordinate the essence to a part; in the second I instead subordinate the part, the means, the organ to the whole, to the

essence. Thus, I satisfy myself, my full, entire essence. In short, in selfish love, I sacrifice the higher thing to the lower thing, a higher pleasure to a lower pleasure, but in unselfish love, I sacrifice the lower thing to the higher thing. Hess asks: First of all, what is egoism in general, and what is the difference between the egoistic life and the life of love? This question already reveals his kinship with the other two. How can one assert such a contrast between egoistic life and the life of love against Stirner, since for him the two get along quite well? Hess continues: Egoistic life is the life of the animal world, which tears itself down and devours itself. The animal world is precisely the natural history of life that tears itself down and destroys itself, and all our history up to now is nothing but the history of the social animal world. But what distinguishes the social animal world from the animal world of the forest? Nothing but its consciousness. The history of the social animal world is precisely the history of the consciousness of the animal world, and as the predator is the final point of the natural animal world, so the conscious predator is the highest point of the social animal world. As egoism is mutual alienation of the species, so the consciousness of this alienation (egoistic consciousness) is religious consciousness. The animal world of the forest has no religion, simply because it lacks consciousness of its egoism, of its alienation, i.e., consciousness of sin. The earliest consciousness of humanity is consciousness of sin.When egoistic theory, egoistic consciousness, religion and philosophy had reached their peak, egoistic practice also had to reach its peak. It has reached it in the modern, Christian, shopkeepers world. This is the ultimate point of the social animal world.The free competition of our modern shopkeepers world is not only the perfect form of modern murder with robbery, but is at the same time the consciousness of the mutual, human alienation. Todays shopkeepers world is the mediated form of conscious and basic egoism, corresponding to its essence. These are quite popular characterizations of egoism, and one is only surprised that Stirner didnt make such simple reflections and let himself abandon the hateful monster, considering how stupid, vulgar and predatorily murderous egoism is. If he had thought, like Szeliga, that the egoist is nothing but a numbskull who marries a rich girl and ends up with a bickering wife, if he would have seen, like Feuerbach, that the egoist cant have a sweetheart, or if he would have recognized, like Hess, the human-beast in egoism or would have sniffed out the predatory murderer there, how could he not have conceived a profound horror and a legitimate indignation towards it! Murder with robbery alone is already such infamy that it really is enough for Hess to cry out this single phrase against Stirners egoist in order to raise all honest people against him and have them on Hesss side: the phrase is well chosenand moving for a moral heart, like the cry of heretic for a mass of true believers. Stirner dares to say that Feuerbach, Hess and Szeliga are egoists. Indeed, he is content here with saying nothing more than if he had said Feuerbach does absolutely nothing but the Feuerbachian, Hess does nothing but the Hessian, and Szeliga does nothing but the Szeligan; but he has given them an infamous label. Does Feuerbach live in a world other than his own? Does he perhaps live in Hesss world, in Szeligas world, in Stirners world? Since Feuerbach lives in this world, since it surrounds him, isnt it the world that is felt, seen, thought by him, i.e., in a Feuerbachian way? He doesnt just live in the middle of it, but is himself its middle; he is the center of his world. And like Feuerbach, no one lives in any other world than his own, and like Feuerbach, everyone is the center of his own world. World is only what he himself is not, but what belongs to him, is in a relationship with him, exists for him. Everything turns around you; you are the center of the outer world and of the thought world. Your world extends as far as your capacity, and what you grasp is your own simply because you grasp it. You, the unique, are the unique only together with your property. Meanwhile, it doesnt escape you that what is yours is still itself its own at the same time, i.e., it has its own existence; it is the unique the same as you. At this point you forget yourself in sweet selfforgetfulness.

But when you forget yourself, do you then disappear? When you dont think of yourself, have you utterly ceased to exist? When you look in your friends eyes or reflect upon the joy you would like to bring him, when you gaze up at the stars, meditate upon their laws or perhaps send them a greeting, which they bring to a lonely little room, when you lose yourself in the activity of the infusion of tiny animals under a microscope, when you rush to help someone in danger of burning or drowning without considering the danger you yourself are risking, then indeed you dont think of yourself, you forget yourself. But do you exist only when you think of yourself, and do you dissipate when you forget yourself? Do you exist only through self-consciousness? Who doesnt forget himself constantly, who doesnt lose sight of himself thousands of times in an hour? This self-forgetfulness, this losing of oneself, is for us only a mode of self-enjoyment, it is only the pleasure we take in our world, in our property, i.e. world-pleasure. It is not in this self-forgetfulness, but in forgetting that the world is our world, that unselfishness, i.e., duped egoism, has its basis. You throw yourself down before a higher, absolute world and waste yourself. Unselfishness is not self-forgetfulness in the sense of no longer thinking of oneself and no longer being concerned with oneself, but in the other sense of forgetting that the world is ours, of forgetting that one is the center or owner of this world, that it is our property. Fear and timidity toward the world as a higher world is cowardly, humble egoism, egoism in its slavish form, which doesnt dare to grumble, which secretly creeps about and denies itself; it is self-denial. Our world and the sacred worldherein lies the difference between straightforward egoism and the selfdenying egoism that cannot be confessed and crawls about incognito. What happens with Feuerbachs example of the courtesan and the beloved? In the first case, one has a commercial relationship without personal interest (and doesnt it happen in countless other, completely different cases of commercial relationships that one can only be satisfied if one has an interest in the person with whom one deals, if one has a personal interest?), in the second case one has a personal interest. But what is the meaning of the second relationship? Most likely mutual interest with the person. If this interest between the people disappears from the relationship, it would become meaningless, because this interest is its only meaning. So what is marriage, which is praised as a sacred relationship, if not the fixation of an interesting relationship despite the danger that it could become dull and meaningless? People say that one shouldnt get divorced frivolously. But why not? Because frivolity is a sin if it concerns a sacred thing. There must be no frivolity! So then there is an egoist, who is cheated out of his frivolity and condemns himself to go on living in an uninteresting but sacred relationship. From the egoistic union, a sacred bond has developed; the mutual interest the people had for each other ceases, but the bond without interest remains. Another example of the uninteresting is work, which passes for ones lifework, for the human calling. This is the origin of the prejudice that one has to earn his bread, and that it is shameful to have bread without having worked a bit to get it: this is the pride of the wage. Work has no merit in itself and does no honor to anyone, just as the life of the idler brings him no disgrace. Either you take an interest in work activity, and this interest doesnt let you rest, you have to be active: and then work is your desire, your special pleasure without placing it above the laziness of the idler which is his pleasure. Or you use work to pursue another interest, a result or a wage, and you submit to work only as a means to this end; and then work is not interesting in itself and has no pretension of being so, and you can recognize that it is not anything valuable or sacred in itself, but simply something that is now unavoidable for gaining the desired result, the wage. But the work that is considered as an honor for the human being and as his calling has become the creator of economics and remains the mistress of sacred socialism, where, in its quality as human labor, it is supposed to develop human capacities, and where this development is a human calling, an absolute interest. (We will have more to say about this further on).

The belief that something other than self-interest might justify applying oneself to a given thing, the belief that leaves self-interest behind, generates a lack of interest, sin understood as a tendencies towards ones own interest. Only in the face of sacred interest does ones own interest become private interest, abominable egoism, sinStirner points out the difference between sacred interest and ones own interest briefly on page 224: I can sin against the former, the latter I can only throw away. Sacred interest is the uninteresting, because it is an absolute interest, or an interest for its own sake, and its all the same whether you take an interest in it or not. You are supposed to make it your interest; it is not originally yours, it doesnt spring from you, but is an eternal, universal, purely human interest. It is uninteresting, because there is no consideration in it for you or your interest; it is an interest without interested parties, because it is a universal or human interest. And because you are not its owner, but are supposed to become its follower and servant, egoism comes to an end before it, and lack of interest begins. If you take just one sacred interest to heart, youll be caught and duped about your own interests. Call the interest that you follow now sacred, and tomorrow you will be its slave. All behavior toward anything considered absolutely interesting, or valuable in and for itself, is religious behavior or, more simply, religion. The interesting can only be interesting through your interest, the valuable can only have value insofar as you give it value, whereas, on the other hand, what is interesting despite you is an uninteresting thing, what is valuable despite you is a valueless thing. The interest of those spirits, like that of society, of the human being, of the human essence, of the people as a whole, their essential interest, is an alien interest and should be your interest. The interest of the beloved is your interest and is of interest to you only so long as it remains your interest. Only when it stops being an interest of yours can it become a sacred interest, which should be yours although it is not yours. The relationship that was interesting up to that point now becomes a disinterested and uninteresting relationship. In commercial and personal relationships, your interest comes first, and all sacrifices happen only to benefit this interest of yours, while on the contrary, in the religious relationship, the religious interest of the absolute or of the spirit, i.e., the interest alien to you, comes first, and your interests should be sacrificed to this alien interest. Therefore, duped egoism consists in the belief in an absolute interest, which does not spring from the egoist, i.e., is not interesting to him, but rather arises imperiously and firmly against him, an eternal interest. Here the egoist is duped, because his own interest, private interest, is not only left unconsidered, but is even condemned, and yet egoism remains, because he welcomes this alien or absolute interest only in the hope that it will grant him some pleasure. This absolute interest, which is supposed to be interesting without interested persons, and which is also therefore not the uniques thing, but for which instead human beings are supposed to view themselves as vessels of honor and as weapons and tools, Stirner calls simply the sacred. Indeed, the sacred is absolutely uninteresting, because it has the pretension of being interesting even though no one is interested in it; it is also the universal, i.e., the thing of interest that lacks a subject, because it is not ones own interest, the interest of a unique. In other words, this universal interest is more than youa higher thing; it is also without youan absolute; it is an interest for itselfalien to you; it demands that you serve it and finds you willing, if you let yourself be beguiled. To stay with Feuerbachs touching definition of the courtesan, there are those who would gladly be lewd, because physical desire never gives them rest. But they are told, do you know what lewdness is? It is a sin, a vulgarity; it defiles us. If they were to say we dont want lewd interests to cause us to neglect other

interests that are even more important to us than the enjoyment of the senses, this would not be a religious consideration, and they would make their sacrifice not to chastity, but to other benefits of which they cannot deprive themselves. But if instead they deny their natural impulse for the sake of chastity, this occurs due to religious considerations. What interest do they have in chastity? Unquestionably, no natural interest, because their nature advises them to be lewd: their actual, unmistakable and undeniable interest is lewdness. But chastity is a scruple of their spirit, because it is an interest of the spirit, a spiritual interest: it is an absolute interest before which natural and private interests must remain silent, and which makes the spirit scrupulous. Now some throw off this scruple with a jerk and the cry: How stupid! because, however scrupulous or religious they may be, here an instinct tells them that the spirit is a grouchy despot opposed to natural desirewhereas others overcome this scruple by thinking more deeply and even reassure themselves theoretically: the former overcome the scruples; the latterthanks to their virtuosity of thinking (which makes thinking a need and a thing of interest for them)dissolve the scruple. Thus, lewdness and the courtesan only look so bad because they offend the eternal interest of chastity.[1] The spirit alone has raised difficulties and created scruples; and from this it seems to follow that they could only be eliminated by means of the spirit or thought. How bad it would be for those poor souls who have let themselves be talked into accepting these scruples without possessing the strength of thought necessary to become the masters of the same! How horrible if, in this instance they would have to wait until pure critique gave them their freedom! But sometimes these people help themselves with a healthy, homemade levity, which is just as good for their needs as free thought is for pure critique, since the critic, as a virtuoso of thought, possesses an undeniable impulse to overcome scruples through thought. Scruples are as much an everyday occurrence as talking and chatting; so what could one say against them? Nothing; only everyday scruples are not sacred scruples. Everyday scruples come and go, but sacred scruples last and are absolute; they are scruples in the absolute sense (dogmas, articles of faith, basic principles). Against them, the egoist, the desecrator, rebels and tests his egoistic force against their sacred force. All free thought is a desecration of scruples and an egoistic effort against their sacred force. If, after a few attacks, much free thought has come to a stop, after a few attacks, before a new sacred scruple, which would disgrace egoism, nonetheless free thought in its freest form (pure critique) will not stop before any absolute scruple, and with egoistic perseverance desecrates one scrupulous sanctity after another. But since this freest thought is only egoistic thought, only mental freedom, it becomes a sacred power of thought and announces the Gospel that only in thought can one find redemption. Now even thought itself appears only as a sacred thing, as a human calling, as a sacred scruple: hereafter, only a scruple (a realization) dissolves scruples. If scruples could only be dissolved through thought, people would never be mature enough to dissolve them. Scrupulousness, even if it has achieved the pure scruple or purity of critique, is still only religiosity; the religious is the scrupulous. But it remains scrupulousness, when one thinks one is only able to put an end to scruples through scruples, when one despises a convenient lack of scruples as the egoistic aversion to work of the mass. In scrupulous egoism, all that is missing for putting the emphasis on egoism rather than scrupulousness and seeing egoism as the victor is the recognition of the lack of scruples. So it doesnt matter whether it wins through thought or through a lack of scruples. Is thought perhaps rejected through this? No, only its sanctity is denied, it is rejected as a purpose and a calling. As a means it is left to everyone who gains might through this means. The aim of thought is rather the loss of scruples, because the thinker in every instance starts out, with his thought on this, to finally find the right point or to get beyond thought and put an end to this matter. But if one sanctifies the labor of thought, or, what is the same, calls it human, one no less gives a calling to human beings than if one prescribed faith to them, and this leads them away from the lack of scruples, rather than leading them to it as the real or egoistic meaning of thought. One misleads people into scrupulousness and deliberation, as

one promises them well-being in thought; weak thinkers who let themselves be misled can do nothing more than comfort themselves with some thought due to their weak thinking, i.e., they can only become believers. Instead of making light of scruples, they become scrupulous, because they imagine that their well-being lies in thought. (Footnote: The religious turmoil of our times has its reason in this: it is a immediate expression of this scrupulousness). But scruples, which thought created, now exist and can certainly be eliminated through thought. But this thought, this critique, achieves this aim only when it is egoistic thought, egoistic critique, i.e., when egoism or self-interest is asserted against scruples or against the uninteresting, when self-interest is openly professed, and the egoist criticizes from the egoistic viewpoint, rather than from the christian, socialist, humanist, human, free thought, spiritual, etc., viewpoint (i.e., like a christian, a socialist, etc.), because the self-interest of the unique, thus your self-interest, gets trampled underfoot precisely in the sacred, or human, world, and this same world, which Hess and Szeliga for example, reproach as being egoist, on the contrary has bound the egoist to the whipping post for thousands of years and fanatically sacrificed egoism to every sacred thing that has rained down from the realm of thought and faith. We dont live in an egoistic world, but in a world that is completely sacred down to its lowest scrap of property. It might seem that it must, indeed, be left to every individual to rid himself of scruples as he knows how, but that it is still the task of history to dissolve scruples through critical reflection. But this is just what Stirner denies. Against this task of history, he maintains that the history of scruples and the reflections that relate to them is coming to an end. Not the task of dissolving, but the capriciousness that makes short work of scruples, not the force of thought, but the force of a lack of scruples seems to come into play. Thinking can serve only to reinforce and ensure the lack of scruples. Free thought had its starting point in unscrupulous egoistic revolt against sacred scruples; it started from the lack of scruples. Anyone who thinks freely makes no scruples over the most sacred of scruples: the lack of scruples is the spirit and the egoistic worth of free thought. The worth of this thought lies not in the thinker, but in the egoist, who egoistically places his own power, the force of thought, above sacred scruples, and this doesnt weaken you and me at all. To describe this lack of scruples, Stirner uses (p. 197) expressions like jerk, leap, jubilant whoop, and says the vast significance of unthinking jubilation could not be recognized in the long night of thinking and believing. He meant nothing less by this than, first of all, the hidden, egoistic basis of each and every critique of a sacred thing, even the blindest and most obsessed, but in the second place, the easy form of egoistic critique, which he tried to carry out by means of his force of thought (a naked virtuosity). He strove to show how a person without scruples could use thought as a critique of scruples from his own viewpoint, as the unique. Stirner didnt leave the deliverance of the world in the hands of thinkers and the scrupulous anymore. Jubilation and rejoicing becomes a bit ridiculous when one contrasts them with the mass and volume of deep scruples that still cannot be overcome with so little effort. Of course, the mass of scruples accumulated in history and continually reawakened by thinkers cannot be eliminated with mere rejoicing. Thinkers cannot get past it if their thinking does not receive full satisfaction at the same time, since the satisfaction of their thinking is their actual interest. Thought must not be suppressed by jubilation, in the way that, from the point of view of faith, it is supposed to be suppressed by faith. Anyway, as an actual interest and, therefore, your interest, you cant let it be suppressed. Since you have the need to think, you cannot limit yourself to driving scruples out through jubilation; you also need to think them away. But it is from this need that Stirners egoistic thought has arisen, and he made a first effort, even if still very clumsy, to relate the interests of thought to unscrupulous egoism, and his book was supposed to show that uncouth jubilation still has the potential, if necessary, to become critical jubilation, an egoistic critique. Self-interest forms the basis of egoism. But isnt self-interest in the same way a mere name, a concept empty of content, utterly lacking any conceptual development, like the unique? The opponents look at selfinterest and egoism as a principle. This would require them to understand self-interest as an absolute. Thought can be a principle, but then it must develop as absolute thought, as eternal reason; the I, should it be a principle, must, as the absolute I, form the basis of a system built upon it. So one could even make an

absolute of self-interest and derive from it as human interest a philosophy of self-interest; yes, morality is actually the system of human interest. Reason is one and the same: what is reasonable remains reasonable despite all folly and errors; private reason has no right against universal and eternal reason. You should and must submit to reason. Thought is one and the same: what is actually thought is a logical truth and despite the opposing manias of millions of human beings is still the unchanging truth; private thought, ones view, must remain silent before eternal thought. You should and must submit to truth. Every human being is reasonable, every human being is human only due to thought (the philosopher says: thought distinguishes the human being from the beast). Thus, self-interest is also a universal thing, and every human being is a self-interested human being. Eternal interest as human interest kicks out against private interest, develops as the principle of morality and sacred socialism, among other things, and subjugates your interest to the law of eternal interest. It appears in multiple forms, for example, as state interest, church interest, human interest, the interest of all, in short, as true interest. Now, does Stirner have his principle in this interest, in the interest? Or, contrarily, doesnt he arouse your unique interest against the eternally interesting againstthe uninteresting? And is your self-interest a principle, a logicalthought? Like the unique, it is a phrasein the realm of thought; but in you it is unique like you yourself. It is necessary to say a further word about the human being. As it seems, Stirners book is written against the human being. He has drawn the harshest judgments for this, as for the word egoist, and has aroused the most stubborn prejudices. Yes, the book actually is written against the human being, and yet Stirner could have gone after the same target without offending people so severely if he had reversed the subject and said that he wrote against the inhuman monster. But then he would have been at fault if someone misunderstood him in the opposite, i.e., the emotional way, and placed him on the list of those who raise their voice for the true human being. But Stirner says: the human being is the inhuman monster; what the one is, the other is; what is said against the one, is said against the other. If a concept lacks an essence, nothing will ever be found that completely fits that concept. If you are lacking in the concept of human being, it will immediately expose that you are something individual, something that cannot be expressed by the term human being, thus, in every instance, an individual human being. If someone now expects you to be completely human and nothing but human, nonetheless you wouldnt be able to strip yourself of your individuality, and precisely because of this individuality, you would be an inhuman monster, i.e. a human being who is not truly human, or a human being who is actually an inhuman monster. The concept of human being would have its reality only in the inhuman monster. The fact that every actual human being, measured by the concept of human being, is an inhuman monster, was expressed by religion with the claim that all human beings are sinners (the consciousness of sin); today the sinner is called an egoist. And what has one decided in consequence of this judgment? To redeem the sinner, to overcome egoism, to find and realize the true human being. One rejected the individual, i.e., the unique, in favor of the concept; one rejected the inhuman monster in favor of the human being, and didnt recognize that the inhuman monster is the true and only possible reality of the human being. One absolutely wanted a truly human reality of human beings. But one aspired to an absurdity. The human being is real and actual in the inhuman monster; every inhuman monster isa human being. But you are an inhuman monster only as the reality of the human being, an inhuman monster only in comparison to the concept of human being. You are an inhuman monster, and this is why you are completely human, a real and actual human being, a complete human being. But you are even more than a complete human being, you are an individual, a unique human being. Human being and inhuman monster, these contrasts from the religious world lose their divine and diabolical, and thus their sacred and absolute, meaning, in you, the unique.

The human being, which our saints agonize so much to recognize, insofar as they always preach that one should recognize the human being in the human being, gets recognized completely and actually only when it is recognized as the inhuman monster. If it is recognized as such, all religious or human impositions cease, and the domination of the good, the hierarchy, comes to an end, because the unique, the altogether common human being (not Feuerbachs virtuous common man[2]), is at the same time the complete human being. While Stirner writes against the human being, at the same time and in the same breath, he writes against the inhuman monster, as opposed to the human being; but he doesnt write against the human being who is an inhuman monster or the inhuman monster who is a human beingi.e., he writes for the utterly common unique, who is a complete human being for himself anyhow, because he is an inhuman monster. Only pious people, sacred socialists, etc., only saints of every kind prevent the human being from being recognized and appreciated in the human being. They alone paralyze pure human intercourse, as they have always limited common egoistic intercourse and strive to limit it. They have introduced a sacred intercourse, and where possible they would like to make it the Holy of Holies. Actually, Szeliga also says various things about what the egoist and egoism are, but he has exhausted the topic with his example of the rich girl and the nagging wife. He depicts the egoist as having a horror of work, as a man who hopes that roasted pigeons will fly into his mouth, who preserves nothing worthy of the name of hope, etc. By this he means a man who wants to live comfortably. If instead hed defined the egoist as a sleepyhead, it would have been even clearer and simpler. Just as Szeliga betrays that his egoist can only be measured by an absolute, insofar as he measures him by real hopes, Feuerbach, who is generally more the master of the appropriate word, repeats the same thing in an even more determined way, saying of the selfish person (the egoist) that he sacrifices what is higher to what is lower; and of the unselfish person that he sacrifices the lower thing to the higher thing. What is higher and lower? Isnt it something which is directed toward you and of which you are the measure? If something was worthwhile for you, and precisely for you in this momentbecause you are you only in the moment, only in the moment are you actual; as a universal you, you would instead be another in each momentif it counted for you at this moment as somewhat higher than something else, you would not sacrifice it to the latter. Rather, in each moment, you sacrifice only what in that precise moment seems lower or less important to you. Thus, if Feuerbachs higher thing is supposed to have a meaning, it has to be a higher thing separate and free from you, from the moment; it has to be an absolute higher thing. An absolute higher thing is such that you are not asked if it is the higher thing for you; rather it is the higher thing despite you. Only in this way can one speak of a higher thing and a more elevated enjoyment that is sacrificed. In Feuerbach, such a higher thing is the enjoyment of the beloved in contrast to the enjoyment of the courtesan, or the lover in contrast to the courtesan; the first is higher, the second lower. If for you perhaps the courtesan is the higher pleasure, because for you in the moment, she is the only pleasure you desire, what does this matter to great noble hearts like Feuerbach, who take pleasure only in the beloved and decree, with the measure of their pure hearts, the beloved must be the higher thing! Only the one who is attached to a beloved, and not a courtesan, satisfies his full, complete essence. And in what does this full, complete essence consist? Certainly not in your essence of the moment, in what you are right now in essence, nor even in the essence that you are generally, but rather in the human essence. For the human essence the beloved is the highest.So who is the egoist in Feuerbachs sense? The one who sins against the higher thing against the absolute higher thing (i.e., higher in spite of your opposing interest), against the uninteresting; thus, the egoist isthe sinner. The same would be true of Szeligas egoist, if he had more power over his expressions. Hess is the one who says most unequivocally that the egoist is the sinner. Of course, in saying this, Hess also confesses in a complete and undisguised way that he has not, even distantly, understood what Stirners book is getting at. Doesnt Stirner deny that the egoist is the sinner and that conscious egoism (conscious is the sense that Hess intends it) is the consciousness of sin? If a European kills a crocodile, he acts as an egoist against crocodiles, but he has no scruples about doing this, and he is not accused of sin for it. If instead an ancient Egyptian, who considered the crocodile to be sacred, had nonetheless killed one in self-

defense, he would have, indeed, defended his skin as an egoist, but at the same time, he would have committed a sin; his egoism would have been sin,he, the egoist, a sinner.From this, it should be obvious that the egoist is necessarily a sinner before what is sacred, before what is higher; if he asserts his egoism against the sacred, this is, as such, a sin. On the other hand, though, that is only a sin insofar as it is measured by the criterion of the sacred, and the only egoist who drags the consciousness of sin along with him is the one who is possessed at the same time by the consciousness of the sacred. A European who kills a crocodile is aware of his egoism in doing this, i.e., he acts as a conscious egoist; but he doesnt imagine that his egoism is a sin and he laughs at the Egyptians consciousness of sin. Against the sacred, the egoist is always a sinner; toward the sacred, he cant become anything other thana criminal. The sacred crocodile marks the human egoist as the human sinner. The egoist can cast off the sinner and the sin from himself only if he desecrates the sacred, just as the European beats the crocodile to death without sin because His Holiness, the Crocodile, is for him a crocodile without holiness. Hess says: Todays mercantile world is the conscious and basic mediated form of egoism, corresponding to its essence. This present world, which is full of philanthropy, completely agrees with socialism in principle (see, for example, in the Gesellschaftsspiegel [Society Mirror] or the Westphlischen Dampfboot [Westphalian Steamboat][3], how socialist principles are completely the same as the Sunday thoughts and ideals of all good citizens or bourgeois)this world in which the great majority can be brought to give up their advantages in the name of sacred things and where the ideals of brotherhood, philanthropy, right, justice, the ideals of being and doing for others, etc., dont just pass from one person to another, but are a horrible and ruinous seriousnessthis world that yearns for true humanity and hopes to finally find true redemption through socialists, communists, philanthropists of every sortthis world in which socialist endeavors are nothing but the obvious sense of the shopkeepers soul and are wellreceived by all right-thinking peoplethis world whose principle is the welfare of all people and the welfare of humanity, and that only dreams of this welfare because it doesnt yet know how it is supposed to produce this welfare and does not yet trust in the socialist actualization of its pet ideathis world that lashes out violently against all egoism, Hess vilifies as an egoistic world. And yet, he is right. Because the world is agitating against the devil, the devil sits on its neck. Only Hess should have reckoned sacred socialism along with this egoistic, sin-conscious world. Hess calls free competition the complete form of murder with robbery and also the complete consciousness of the mutual human alienation (i.e., egoism). Here again, egoism should still be guilty. Why then did one decide on competition? Because it seemed useful to each and all. And why do socialists now want to abolish it? Because it doesnt provide the hoped-for usefulness, because the majority do badly from it, because everyone wants to improve his position and because the abolition of competition seems advisable for this purpose. Is egoism the basic principle of competition, or, on the contrary, havent egoists just miscalculated about this? Dont they have to give it up precisely because it doesnt satisfy their egoism? People introduced competition because they saw it as well-being for all; they agreed upon it and experimented collectively with it. This thing, this isolation and separation, is itself a product of association, agreement, shared convictions, and it didnt just isolate people, but also connected them. It was a legal status, but this law was a common tie, a social federation. In competition, people come to agreement perhaps in the way that hunters on a hunt may find it good for the hunt and for each of their respective purposes to scatter throughout the forest and hunt in isolation. But what is most useful is open to argument. And now, sure enough, it turns outand, by the way, socialists werent the first ones to discover itthat in competition, not everyone finds his profit, his desired private advantage, his value, his actual interest. But this comes out only through egoistic or selfish calculations. But meanwhile, some have prepared their own depiction of egoism and think of it as simply isolation. But what in the world does egoism have to do with isolation? Do I become an egoist like this, by fleeing from people? I may isolate myself or get lonely, but Im not, for this reason, a hair more egoistic than

others who remain among people and enjoy contact with them. If I isolate myself, this is because I no longer find pleasure in society, but if instead I remain among people, it is because they still offer me a lot. Remaining is no less egoistic than isolating oneself. Of course, in competition everyone stands alone; but if competition disappeared because people see that cooperation is more useful than isolation, wouldnt everyone still be an egoist in association and seek his own advantage? Someone will object that one seeks it at the expense of others. But one wont seek it at the expense of others, because others no longer want to be such fools as to let anyone live at their expense. But the egoist is someone who thinks only of himself!This would be someone who doesnt know and relish all the joys that come from participation with others, i.e., from thinking of others as well, someone who lack countless pleasuresthus a poor sort. But why should this desolate loner be an egoist in comparison to richer sorts? Certainly, for a long time, we were able to get used to considering poverty a disgrace, as a crime, and the sacred socialists have clearly proven that the poor are treated like a criminals. But sacred socialists treat those who are in their eyes contemptibly poor in this way, just as much as the bourgeoisie do it to their poor. But why should the person who is poorer with respect to a certain interest be called more egoistic than the one who possesses that interest? Is the oyster more egoistic that the dog; is the Moor more egoistic than the German; is the poor, scorned, Jewish junkman more egoistic than the enthusiastic socialist; is the vandal who destroys artworks for which he feels nothing more egoistic than the art connoisseur who treats the same works with great love and care because he has a feeling and interest for them? And now if someonewe leave it open whether such a one can be shown to existdoesnt find any human interest in human beings, if he doesnt know how to appreciate them as human beings, wouldnt he be a poorer egoist with regard to this interest rather than being, as the enemies of egoism claim, a model of egoism? One who loves a human being is richer, thanks to this love, than another who doesnt love anyone. But there is no distinction between egoism and non-egoism in this at all, because both are only pursuing their own interest. But everyone should have an interest in human beings, love for human beings! But see how far you get with this should, with this law of love. For two millennia this commandment has been led people by the heart, and still today, socialists complain that our proletarians get treated with less love than the slaves of the ancients, and yet these same socialists still raise their voices quite loudly in favor of thislaw of love. If you want people to take an interest in you, draw it out of them and dont remain uninteresting sacred beings holding out your sacred humanity like a sacred robe and crying like beggars: Respect our humanity, that is sacred! Egoism, as Stirner uses it, is not opposed to love nor to thought; it is no enemy of the sweet life of love, nor of devotion and sacrifice; it is no enemy of intimate warmth, but it is also no enemy of critique, nor of socialism, nor, in short, of any actual interest. It doesnt exclude any interest. It is directed against only disinterestedness and the uninteresting; not against love, but against sacred love, not against thought, but against sacred thought, not against socialists, but against sacred socialists, etc. The exclusiveness of the egoist, which some want to pass off as isolation, separation, loneliness, is on the contrary full participation in the interesting byexclusion of the uninteresting. No one gives Stirner credit for his global intercourse and his union of egoists from the largest section of his book, My Intercourse. *

With regard to the three opponents specifically mentioned it would be a tedious task to go through all the twisted passages of their writings. In the same way, I have little intention at this time of more closely examining the principles that they represent or would like to represent, specifically Feuerbachs philosophy, pure critique and socialism. Each of these deserves a treatise of its own, for which another occasion may well be found. Therefore, we add only a few considerations.


Szeliga starts this way: Pure critique has shown, etc., as if Stirner hadnt spoken about this subject (e.g., on page 469 of The Unique). In the first two pages, Szeliga presents himself as the critic whom critique leads to sit down as one with the object being observed, to recognize it as mind born of mind, enter into the innermost depths of the essence he is to fight, etc. Szeliga hasnt in the least entered into the innermost depths of Stirners book, as weve shown, and so we would like to consider him here not as the pure critic, but simply as one of the mass who wrote a review of the book. Well look to see if Szeliga does what he would have critique do, without noting whether critique would do the same thing, and so instead of saying, for example, this critique will follow the life course of the unique, we will say: Szeliga will follow, etc. When Szeliga expresses one of his thoughts in a completely conceptual way with the word ape, one could say that pure critique expresses a similar thought with a different word; but words arent indifferent for either Szeliga or critique, and one would be doing wrong to critique if one tried to impose Szeligas ape upon its thought which might be differently nuanced: the ape is the true expression of thought only for Szeliga. From page 24 to page 32, Szeliga expressly takes the cause of pure critique. But wouldnt pure critique perhaps find this poetic manner of taking its cause quite awkward? We dont welcome his invocation of the Critical Muse, which is supposed to have inspired or gave rise to him, and pass over everything that he says in praise of his muse, even the new action of self-perfecting for which the unique (i.e., Stirner, whom Szeliga, Feuerbach and Hess call the unique) gives him the opportunity. One can see how Szeliga is able to keep up with the life course of the unique if one compares, for example, the first paragraph on page 6 of his writing with pages 468-478 of The Unique [in My SelfEnjoyment]. Szeliga opposes the courage of thinking to Stirners thoughtlessness[4] as if to a kind of cowardice. But why doesnt he enter into the innermost depths of the essence he is to fight; why doesnt he examine whether this thoughtlessness doesnt get along quite well with the courage of thinking? He should have precisely sat down as one with the object being observed. But who could ever enjoy sitting down as one with an object as despicable as thoughtlessness. The mere need to name it makes one want to spit it out. Stirner says of pure critique: From the standpoint of thought, there is no force at all that can be higher than your own, and it is a pleasure to see how easily and playfully this dragon devours every other worm of thought[5]. Since Szeliga presents the thing as if Stirner was also acting as a critic, he thinks that the unique (like an ape) entices the Dragoncritiqueand spurs it to devour the worms of thought, starting with those of freedom and unselfishness. But what critique does Stirner apply? Most likely not pure critique, because this, according to Szeligas own words, only fights against particular freedom against true freedom, in order to educate ourselves to the idea of true, human freedom in general. What does Stirners egoistic, and so not at all pure, critique have to do with the idea of unselfish, true, human freedom, with the freedom which is not a fixed Idea, because (a very pointed reason) it is not fixed in the state or in society or in a creed or in any other particularity, but is recognized in every human being, in all self-consciousness, and leaves to everyone the measure his freedom, but at the same time measures him

according to its measure? (The idea of freedom, which recognizes itself and measures every human being according to the mass, in which he is included. Just as God recognizes himself and measures human beings according to the mass, giving each their measure of freedom as he divides them into the unrepentant and the elect.) On the other hand, the unique should have loosed the dragon, critique, against another worm of thought, right and law. But again, this is not pure critique, but self-interested critique. If Stirner practiced pure critique, then he would have to, as Szeliga expresses it, demand the renunciation of privilege, of right based on violence, the renunciation of egoism; thus, he would have to lead true, human right in the struggle against that based on violence, and admonish people that they should adhere to the true right. Stirner never uses pure critique, never goads this dragon to do anything, has no need of it and never achieves his results by means of the progressive purity of critique. Otherwise, he would also have to imagine like Szeliga, for example, that love must be a new creation which critique tries to lead to the heights. Stirner doesnt have such Szeligian magnificence, as true freedom, the suppression of egoism, the new creation of love, in mind at all. As we said, well pass over the passages in which Szeliga really campaigns against Stirner for the cause of critique, as one would have to attack nearly every sentence. Work avoidance, laziness, idle essence, corruption play a particularly lovely role in these passages; but then he also speaks of the science of human beings which the human being must create from the concept of human being, and on page 32 he says: The human being to discover is no longer a category, and therefore not something particular outside of the human being. If Szeliga had understood that since the unique is a completely empty term or category, it is therefore no longer a category, he might have acknowledged it as the name of that which for him is still nameless. But I fear he doesnt know what hes saying when he says: no longer a category. Finally, the new act of self-perfection, in which the unique gave opportunity to pure critique, consists in this, that the world, which the unique completes, has in him and through him given its fullest denial, and that critique can only bid farewell to it, to this old exhausted, shattered, corrupted world. Such a courteous self-perfection!

FEUERBACH Whether Stirner has read and understood Feuerbachs The Essence of Christianity could only be demonstrated by a particular critique of that book, which shouldnt be set forth here. Therefore, well limit ourselves to a few points. Feuerbach believes that he is speaking in Stirners sense when he says: This is precisely a sign of Feuerbachs religiosity, of his restriction, that he is still infatuated with an object, that he still wants something, still loves somethinga sign that he has still not risen to the absolute idealism of egoism. But has Feuerbach even looked at the following passages from The Unique? The meaning of the law of love may be this: every human being must have Something that stands above him. (p. 381). This Something of sacred love is the spook. The one who is full of sacred (religious, moral, human) love, loves only the spook, etc. (p. 383). A bit later, on pages 383-395, for example: It is not as my feeling that love becomes an obsession, but through the alienation of the object, through the absolute love-worthy object, etc. My love is my own when it exists in a particular and egoist interest; consequently, the object of my love is actually my object or my property. Ill stick with the old love song and love my object, thence my something. Where Stirner says: I have based my cause on nothing, Feuerbach makes it the Nothing, and so concludes from this that the egoist is a pious atheist. However, the Nothing is a definition of God. Here Feuerbach plays with a word with which Szeliga (on page 33 of the Nordeutsche Bltter) struggles in a Feuerbachian way. Furthermore, Feuerbach says on page 31 of The Essence of Christianity: The only true

atheist is the one for whom the attributes of the divine essence, like love, wisdom, justice are nothing, and not the one for whom only the subject of these attributes is nothing. Doesnt Stirner achieve this, especially if the Nothing is not loaded on him in place of nothing? Feuerbach asks: How does Feuerbach allow (divine) attributes to remain? and answers: Not in this way, as attributes of God, no, but as attributes of nature and humanity, as natural, human properties. When these attributes are transferred from God into the human being, they immediately lose their divine character. Stirner answers against it: Feuerbach allows the attributes to exist as idealsas essential determinations of the species, which are imperfect in individual human beings and only become perfect in the mass of the species, as the essential perfection of perfect human beings, thus as ideals for individual human beings. He doesnt allow them to continue to exist as divine attributes, insofar as he doesnt attribute them to their subject, God, but as human attributes, insofar as he transfers them from God to the human being. Now Stirner directs his attack precisely against the human, and Feuerbach ingenuously comes back with the human being and means that if only the attributes were made human, or moved into the human being, they would immediately become completely profane and common. But human attributes are not at all more common and profane than divine attributes, and Feuerbach is still a long way from being a true atheist in the way he defines it, nor does he want to be one. The basic illusion, Feuerbach says, is God as subject. But Stirner has shown that the basic illusion is rather the idea of essential perfection, and that Feuerbach, who supports this basic prejudice with all his might, is therefore, precisely, a true christian. Feuerbach shows, he continues, that the divine is not divine, God is not God, but only the human essence loving itself, affirming itself and appreciating itself to the highest degree. But who is this human essence? Stirner has shown that this human essence is precisely the spook that is also called the human being, and that you, the unique essence, are led to speak as a Feuerbachian by the attaching of this human essence to self-affirmation. The point of contention that Stirner raised is thus again completely evaded. The theme, the core of Feuerbachs writing, he continues, is the abolition of the split into an essential and non-essential Ithe deification of the human being, i.e., the positioning, the recognition of the whole human being from head to foot. Isnt the divinity of the individual specifically announced at the end as the shattered secret of religion? The only writing in which the slogan of modern times, the personality, individuality, has ceased to be a senseless phrase is precisely The Essence of Christianity. But what the whole human being is, what the individual, personality, individuality are, is shown in the following: For Feuerbach, the individual is the absolute, that is, the true, actual essence. But why doesnt he say: this exclusive individual? Because, in that case, he wouldnt know what he wantedfrom that standpoint, which he denies, he would sink back into the religious standpoint.So the whole human being is not this human being, not the common, criminal, self-seeking human being. Of course, Feuerbach would fall into the religious standpoint that he rejects if he described this exclusive individual as the absolute essence. But it wouldnt be because he was saying something about this individual, but rather because he describes him as something religious (the absolute essence) or rather uses his religious attributes for this, and secondly because he sets up an individual as sacred and untouchable by all other individuals. Thus, with the words cited above, nothing is said against Stirner, since Stirner does not talk about a sacred and untouchable individual, nor of an incomparable and exclusive individual that is God or can become God; it doesnt occur to him to deny that the individual is communist. In fact, Stirner has granted validity to the words individual and particular person because he lets them sink into the expression unique. But in doing so, he does what he recognizes specifically in the part of his book entitled My Power, saying on page 275: In the end, I still have to take back half the style of expression that I wanted to make use of only so long as, etc. When later, against Stirners statement, I am more than a human being, Feuerbach raises the question: Are you also more than male?, one must indeed write off the entire masculine position. He continues like this: Is your essence or rathersince the egoist scorns the word essence, even though he uses it[Stirner inserts:] perhaps Stirner only cleanses it of the duplicity it has, for example, in Feuerbach, where it seems as if he is actually talking of you and me when he speaks of our essence, whereas instead he is talking

about a completely subordinate essence, namely the human essence, which he thus makes into something higher and nobler. Instead of having you in mindthe essence, you, you who are an essence, instead he concerns himself with the human being as your essence and has the human being in mind instead of you. Stirner uses the word essence, for example on page 56, saying: You, yourself, with your essence, are of value to me, for your essence is not something higher, it is not higher and more universal than you. It is unique, as you are, because it is you.[end of Stirners insertion] is your I not masculine? Can you sever masculinity from what is called mind? Isnt your brain, the most sacred and elevated organ of your body, definitively masculine? Are your feelings, your thoughts unmanly? Are you merely a male animal, a dog, an ape, a stallion? What else is your unique, incomparable, and consequently sexless I, but an undigested residue of the old christian supernaturalism? If Stirner had said: You are more than a living essence or animal, this would mean, you are still an animal, but animality does not exhaust what you are. In the same way, he says: You are more than a human being, therefore you are also a human being; you are more than a male, but you are also a male; but humanity and masculinity do not express you exhaustively, and you can therefore be indifferent to everything that is held up to you as true humanity or true masculinity. But you can always be tortured and have tortured yourself with these pretentious duties. Still today, holy people intend to grab hold of you with them. Feuerbach is certainly no mere animal male, but then is he nothing more than a human male? Did he write The Essence of Christianity as a male, and did he require nothing more than to be a male to write this book? Instead, wasnt this unique Feuerbach needed for that, and could even another Feuerbach, Friedrich, for examplewho is still also a malehave brought it off? Since he is this unique Feuerbach, he is also, at the same time, a human being, a male, a living essence, a Franconian, etc. But he is more than all this, since these attributes have reality only through his uniqueness. He is a unique male, a unique human being, etc.; indeed, he is an incomparable male, an incomparable human being. So what does Feuerbach want with his consequently sexless I? Since Feuerbach is more than male, is he consequently sexless? Feuerbachs holiest, most elevated organ is undoubtedly manly, definitively manly, and it is also, among other things, Caucasian, German, etc. But all this is only true, because it is a unique thing, a distinct, unique thing, an organ or brain which will not come forth a second time anywhere in the world, however full the world may be of organs, of organs as such or of absolute organs. And is this unique Feuerbach supposed to be an undigested residue of old christian supernaturalism? From this, it is also quite clear that Stirner does not, as Feuerbach says, separate his I in thought from his sensible, male essence just as the refutation Feuerbach makes on page 200 of [Wigands] Quarterly would collapse if Feuerbach didnt present the unique wrongly, as lacking individuality as he depicts it as sexless. To realize the species means to actualize an arrangement, a capacity, a determination for human nature generally. Rather, the species is already realized through this arrangement; whereas what you make of this arrangement is a realization of your own. Your hand is fully realized for the purposes of the species, otherwise it wouldnt be a hand, but perhaps a paw. But when you train your hands, you do not perfect them for the purposes of the species, you do not realize the species that is already real and perfect, because your hand is what the species or the species-concept of hand implies, and is thus a perfect handbut you make of them what and how you want and are able to make them; you shape your will and power into them; you make the species hand into your own, unique, particular hand. Good is what accords with the human being, what fits it; bad, despicable, what contradicts it. Ethical relationships, e.g., marriage, are thus not sacred for their own sake, but only for the sake of human beings, because they are relationships between human beings, and thus are the self-affirmation, the self-enjoyment of the human essence. But what if one were an inhuman monster who didnt think these ethical relations were fitting for him? Feuerbach will demonstrate to him that they are fitting for the human being, the actual sensual, individual human essence, and so also must fit him. This demonstration is so thorough and

practical that already for thousands of years, it has populated the prisons with inhuman monsters, i.e., with people who did not find fitting for them what was nonetheless fitting for the human essence. Of course, Feuerbach is not a materialist (Stirner never says he is, but only speaks of his materialism clothed with the property of idealism); he is not a materialist, because, although he imagines that he is talking about the actual human being, he doesnt say a thing about it. But he is also not an idealist, because though he constantly talks about the human essence, an idea, he makes out that he is talking about the sensual human essence. He claims to be neither a materialist not an idealist, and Ill grant him this. But we will also grant what he himself wants to be, and passes himself off as, in the end: he is a common man, a communist. Stirner has already seen him as such, e.g., p 413. About the point upon which alone this all would hang, namely Stirners assertion that the human essence is not Feuerbachs or Stirners or any other particular human beings essence, just as the cards are not the essence of the house of cards; Feuerbach circles about this point, indeed, he doesnt get it at all. He sticks with his categories of species and individual, I and thou, human being and human essence, with complete complacency.

HESS Hess has the historical development of German philosophy behind him in his pamphlet, The Last Philosophers, but has before him the development of the philosophers Feuerbach, Bruno Bauer and Stirner, disengaged from life and knows from his own development, not exactly disengaged from life, that the development of these philosophers had to turn into nonsense. But is a development disengaged from life not nonsense, and is a development not disengaged from life not likewise nonsense? But, no, he has sense, because he flatters the sense of the great masses which imagine that underneath the philosopher there is always one who understands nothing of life. Hess begins this way: It never occurs to anyone to maintain that the astronomer is the solar system that he has understood. But the individual human being, who has understood nature and history, is supposed to be the species, the all, according to our last German philosophers. But how, if the latter also never occurs to anyone? Who has ever said that the individual human being is the species because he has understood nature and history? Hess has said this and no one else. He even cites Stirner as a reference, here: As the individual is all nature, so is he also the whole species. But did Stirner say that the individual first had to understand in order to be able to be the entire species? Rather, Hess, this individual, actually is the entire human species and can serve, with skin and hair, as a source for Stirners statement. What would Hess be if he were not perfectly human, if he lacked even the smallest thing for being human? He could be anything except a human being;he could be an angel, a beast or a depiction of a human being, but he can only be a human being if he is a perfect human being. The human being can be no more perfect than Hess is, there is no more perfect human being thanHess. Hess is the perfect human being, or if one wants to use the superlative, the most perfect human being. Everything, all that belongs to the human being is in Hess. Not even the smallest crumb of what makes a human being human is missing in Hess. Of course, the case is similar for every goose, every dog, every horse. So is there no human being more perfect than Hess? As a human beingnone. As a human being, Hess is as perfect asevery human being, and the human species contains nothing that Hess does not contain; he carries it all around with him. Here is another fact, that Hess is not just a human being, but an utterly unique human being. However, this uniqueness never benefits the human being, because the human being can never become more perfect than it is.We dont want to go into this further, since what is said above is enough to show how strikingly Hess can find Stirner guilty of nonsense simply with an understood solar system. In an even clearer

way, on page 11 of his pamphlet, Hess exposes Stirners nonsense and shouts with satisfaction: This is the logic of the new wisdom! Hesss expositions on the development of Christianity, as socialist historical intuitions, dont matter here; his characterization of Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer is utterly the sort that would have to come from one who has laid philosophy aside. He says of socialism that it carries out the realization and negation of philosophy seriously and speaks not only of that, but of philosophy as a mere apprenticeship to negate and to realize in social life. He could have also added that socialism wants to realize not only philosophy, but also religion and Christianity. Nothing easier than this, when, like Hess, one knows life, in particular the misery of life. When the manufacturer, Hardy, in The Wandering Jew, falls into misery, he is completely open to the teachings of the Jesuits, particularly when he could hear all the same teachings, but in a human, melodious form, from the human priest Gabriel. Gabriels lessons are more pernicious than Rodins. Hess quotes a passage from Stirners book, page 341, and deduces from it that Stirner has nothing against practically existing egoism, except the lack of consciousness of egoism. But Stirner doesnt at all say what Hess makes him say, that all the errors of present day egoists consist in not being conscious of their egoism. In the passage cited, Stirner says: If only the consciousness of this existed. Of what? Not of egoism, but of the fact that grabbing is not a sin. And after twisting Stirners words, Hess dedicates the entire second half of his pamphlet to the struggle against conscious egoism. Stirner says in the middle of the passage that Hess quotes: One should simply know this, that the technique of grabbing is not contemptible, but the clear act in which some egoists agree among themselves to express themselves. Hess omits this, because he has no more understanding of egoists agreeing among themselves than what Marx already said earlier about shopkeepers and universal rights (for example in the Deutsch-Franzsischen Jahrbchern); Hess repeats this, but with none of the keen skill of his predecessor.Stirners conscious egoist doesnt merely not adhere to the consciousness of sin, but also to the consciousness of law, or of universal human rights. Hess finishes with Stirner like this: No, you precocious child, I dont at all create and love in order to enjoy, I love from love, I create from a creators desire, from a vital instinct, from an immediate natural desire. When I love in order to enjoy, then I not only do not love, but I also do not enjoy, etc. But does Stirner challenge such trivialities anywhere? Doesnt Hess rather attribute nonsense to him in order to be able to call him a precocious child? In other words, Precocious child is the final judgment to which Hess comes, and he repeats it in the conclusion. Through such final judgments, he manages to put the historical development of German philosophy behind him. On page 14, Hess lets the species break up into individuals, families, tribes, people, races. This disintegration, he says, this alienation is the first form of the existence of the species. To come into existence, the species must individualize itself. From whence only Hess knows all that the species must do. Form of existence of the species, alienation of the species, individualization of the species, he gets all this from the philosophy that he has put behind him, and to top it off, commits his beloved robbery with murder insofar as he robs this, for example, from Feuerbach and at the same time murders everything in it that is actually philosophy. He could have learned precisely from Stirner that the pompous phrase alienation of the species is nonsense, but where could he have gotten the weapons against Stirner if not from philosophy, which he has put behind him, of course, through a socialist robbery with murder? Hess closes the second part of his book with the discovery that Stirners ideal is bourgeois society, which takes the state to itself . Hegel has shown that egoism is at home in bourgeois society. Whoever has now put Hegelian philosophy behind him, also knows, from this philosophy behind him, that anyone who recommends egoism has his ideal in bourgeois society. He will later take the opportunity to speak extensively about bourgeois society; then it will seem that it is no more the site of egoism than the family is the site of selflessness. The sense of bourgeois society is rather the life of commerce, a life that can be pursued by saints in sacred formsas happens all the time todayas by egoists in an egoistic formas

happens now only in the activity of a few acting clandestinely. For Stirner, bourgeois society does not at all lie at the heart, and he doesnt at all think of extending it so that it engulfs the state and the family. So Hess could suspect such a thing about Stirner only because he came to him through Hegelian categories. The selfless Hess has become accustomed to a particular, gainful and advantageous phrase by noting repeatedly that the poor Berliners get hold of their wisdom from the Rhine, i.e., from Hess and the socialists there, and also from France, but unfortunately through stupidity, these beautiful things get ruined. So, for example, he says: Recently, there has been talk of the embodied individual among us; the actual human being, the realization of the idea, so that it can be no surprise to us if tidings of it have reached Berlin and there have moved certain philosophical heads from their bliss. But the philosophical heads have understood the thing philosophically.We had to mention this so much to spread what is, for us, a welldeserved reputation; we add also that already in the Rhenish Gazette, although not in recent times, the actual human being and similar topics were spoken about a lot, and exclusively by Rhenish correspondents. Immediately thereafter, Hess wants to make what he means by the actual, living human being conceivable to philosophers. Since he wants to make it conceivable, he reveals that his actual human being is a concept, thus not an actual human being. Rather, Hess himself is an actual human being, but we want to grant him what he means by an actual human being, since on the Rhine (among us), they speak about it enough. Stirner says: If you consume what is sacred, you have made it property! You digest the host and you get rid of it! Hess answers: As if we havent consumed our sacred property for a long time! Of course, we consumed property as a sacred thing, a sacred property; but we did not consume its sacredness. Stirner says: If you consume what is sacred (Hess doesnt take this with much precision and makes Stirner say sacred property instead of what is sacred), you make it property, etc., i.e., something (dirt, for example) that you can throw away. Reason and love are generally without reality, Hess makes Stirner say. But doesnt he speak of my reason, my love? In me they are real, they have reality. We may not develop our essence from the inside out, Stirner is supposed to say. Of course, you may develop your essence, but our essence, the human essence, that is another thing, which the whole first part of the book deals with. Anyway, Hess again makes no distinction between your essence and our essence, and in doing so, follows Feuerbach. Stirner is accused of knowing only the beginnings of socialism, and even these only through hearsay, otherwise he would have to know, for example, that on the political terrain communism has already been divided for quite some time into the two extremes of egoism (intrt personnel[6]) and humanism (dvouement[7]). This contrast that is so important for Hess, who may possibly know a thousand more things about socialism than Stirner, although the latter has seen through socialism better, was subordinated by Stirner, and could only have seemed important to him if his thinking about egoism was as thoroughly unclear as that of Hess. The fact that Stirner, by the way, knows nothing of society is something that all socialist and communists understand, and there is no need for Hess to prove it. If Stirner had known anything about it, how could he have dared to write against Your Holiness, and whats more, to write so ruthlessly, in so much detail! Anyone who hasnt read Stirners book immediately recognizes without question how precisely he judged and how little he needed to justify the following judgment: Stirners opposition to the state is the utterly common opposition of the liberal bourgeoisies who put the blame on the state when people fall into poverty and starve. Hess reprimands Stirner like this: Oh, unique, you are great, original, brilliant! But I would have been glad to see your union of egoists, even if only on paper. Since this isnt granted to me, I will allow myself to characterize the real concept of your union of egoists. He wants to characterize the concept of this

union, indeed, he does characterize it; saying authoritatively that it is the concept of introducing now in life the most uncouth form of egoism, wildness. Since the concept of this union is what interests him, he also explains that he wants to see it on paper. As he sees in the unique nothing but a concept, so naturally, this union, in which the unique is the vital point, also had to become a concept for him. But if one repeats Hesss own words to him: Recently, there has been talk of the unique among us, and tidings of it have also reached Kln; but the philosophical head in Kln has understood the thing philosophically, has a concept been preserved? But he goes further and shows that all our history up to now has been nothing but the history of egoistic unions, whose fruitancient slavery, medieval bondage and modern, fundamental, universal servitude are known to us all. First of all, here Hess puts egoistic unionbecause he needs to take it in precisely this way!in place of Stirners union of egoists. His readers, who he wants to persuadeone sees in his preface what type of people he has to persuade, namely people whose works, like those of Bruno Bauer, derive from an incitement to reaction, in other words, exceptionally smart and political heads)these readers, of course, immediately find it correct and beyond doubt that nothing but egoistic unions has ever existed.But is a union in which most of those involved are hoodwinked about their most natural and obvious interests, a union of egoists? Have egoists come together where one is the slave or serf of the other? There are, its true, egoists in such a society, and in this sense, it might in some aspects be called an egoistic union; but the slaves have not really sought this society from egoism, and are instead, in their egoistic hearts, against these lovely unions, as Hess calls them.Societies in which the needs of some get satisfied at the expense of others, in which, for example, some can satisfy their need for rest only by making others work until they are exhausted; or lead comfortable lives by making others live miserably or perhaps even starve; or live the high life because others are so addle-brained as to live in want, etc.Hess calls such societies egoistic unions, and since he is free of the secret police of his critical conscience, impartially and against police orders, he identifies this egoistic league of his with Stirners union of egoists. Stirner probably also needs the expression egoistic union, but it is explained first of all through the union of egoists, and secondly, it is explained correctly, whereas what Hess called by this name is rather a religious society, a community held in sacred respect through rights, laws and all the formalities or ceremonies of justice. It would be another thing indeed, if Hess wanted to see egoistic unions not on paper, but in life. Faust finds himself in the midst of such a union when he cries: Here I am human, here I can be human Goethe says it in black and white. If Hess attentively observed real life, to which he holds so much, he will see hundreds of such egoistic unions, some passing quickly, others lasting. Perhaps at this very moment, some children have come together just outside his window in a friendly game. If he looks at them, he will see a playful egoistic union. Perhaps Hess has a friend or a beloved; then he knows how one heart finds another, as their two hearts unite egoistically to delight (enjoy) each other, and how no one comes up short in this. Perhaps he meets a few good friends on the street and they ask him to accompany them to a tavern for wine; does he go along as a favor to them, or does he unite with them because it promises pleasure? Should they thank him heartily for the sacrifice, or do they know that all together they form an egoistic union for a little while? To be sure, Hess wouldnt pay attention to these trivial examples, they are so utterly physical and vastly distinct from sacred society, or rather from the fraternal, human society of sacred socialists. Hess says of Stirner: he remains constantly under the secret police of his critical conscience. What is he saying here, if not that when Stirner criticizes, he doesnt want to go on a binge of critique, to babble, but really just wants to criticize? Hess, however, would like to show how right he is in not being able to find any difference between Stirner and Bruno Bauer. But has he ever generally known how to find any difference other than that between sacred socialists and egoistic shopkeepers? And is even this difference anything more than histrionics? What need does he have to find a difference between Bruno Bauer and Stirner, since critique is undoubtedlycritique? Why, one might ask, does Hess have to concern himself with such strange birds, in whom, only with great difficult, will he ever find sense except by attributing his own senseto them, as he did in his pamphlet, and who, therefore, (as he says in his preface) had to turn into nonsensewhy since he has such a wide human field of the most human action before him?

* To close, it might not be inappropriate to remind the critics of Feuerbachs Critique of the Anti-Hegel, page 4.[8]

[1] Throughout this passage and the following several paragraphs, Stirner is playing on the words Bedenken (scruples) and Denken (thinking or thought), a bit of wordplay lost in translation. It also helps to know that Bedenken can also translate as reflection or doubt, and in some places, Stirner seems to play on all these meanings as well.translator [2] This is the single instance where I have chosen to translate Mensch as man, in order to emphasize the distinction Stirner is making. He is emphasizing that what is actually common to every human being is that he or she is unique, as opposed to Feuerbachs idealized concept of the common man.translator. [3] Two socialist/left democratic publications of the time. Moses Hess published the first oF these. [4] Or mindlessness, giving further evidence of Stirners familiarity with eastern philosophy. However, in context, thoughtlessness works better here.translator [5] Worm here is being used in its archaic sense of a specific type of dragon In the original Stirner uses Drachen and Wrm. I have used the corresponding terms in my translation.translator [6] personal interest, in French in the originaltranslator [7] devotion, in French in the originaltranslator

[8] Perhaps a reference to this appropriate passage: He always has other things than his opponent in his
head. He cannot assimilate his ideas and consequently cannot make them out with his understanding. They move in confusion like Epicurian atoms in the empty space of his own self. And his understanding is the accident that brings them together with special external expedient accents into an apparent whole. translators note

Hegel: Glossary
It is extremely useful to have access to a guide to Hegel's philosophical terminology. M. Inwood's A Hegel Dictionary is excellent for this purpose and remains invaluable at all stages in the study of Hegel. There is a helpful glossary in R. Solomon, In the Spirit of Hegel, pp. 273-87. See also H. Kainz's discussion of the translation of Hegel's terms in the Introduction to his selection from the Phenomenology, and the 'Notes to the Glossary' in Hegel's The Encyclopaedia Logic, ed. T. Geraets et al, pp. 347-52. The glossary below is drawn from these sources. It is to be noted that in Miller's translation of the Phenomenology the same German term is often translated in a variety of unrelated ways. ABSOLUTE adj., n. (absolut, das Absolute). Complete, self-contained, all-encompassing. Per Inwood, the Absolute 'is not something underlying the phenomenal world, but the conceptual system embedded in it'. ABSTRACT (abstrakt). One-sided, empty, devoid of content. Opposed to: concrete. For Hegel, a particular, as well as a universal, may be 'abstract', meaning (per Inwood) cut off from thought or other sensory items. ACTUAL, ACTUALITY (wirklich, Wirklichkeit). Fully-developed, matured. Actuality thus incorporates a reference to (teleological) necessity; for Hegel the contingent and irrational are not actual (they are, rather, appearance). In the case of spirit or truth, actual means 'for-itself', explicit. APPEARANCE (Schein; Erscheinung). Hegel has two terms translatable as appearance: Schein and Erscheinung. (Per Inwood:) Both are transient and dependent, and contrast with essence, but their relation to essence is different Schein is the mere 'shining forth' of an essence, whereas Erscheinung is its full disclosure in which nothing is hidden. Erscheinung nevertheless remains contingent rather than rational and necessary, and it contrasts with actuality and the Concept. Hegel's concept of appearance is thus different from Kant's: what Kant calls appearance (Erscheinung) is by Hegel's lights mere Schein. CONCRETE (konkret). The whole, the thing itself in its entirety. Opposed to: abstract. A universal, as well as a particular, may be concrete, meaning (per Inwood) 'grown together' with other universals or sensory items. CONCEPT (Begriff). Also translated (by Miller) as 'Notion'. The verb begreifen incorporates greifen, to seize. For Hegel, a concept is not (as it is for Kant) a representation of what several things have in common. Per Inwood, concepts are for Hegel not sharply distinct from the 'I' or from objects, nor from one another. When Hegel speaks of the Concept, he sometimes just means concepts in general, but he also uses it to mean, per Solomon, the most adequate conception of the

world as a whole. Per Geraets et al, the Concept refers to the movement of logical thinking in its self-comprehension. Solomon suggests that for Hegel the Concept sometimes has the force of 'our conception of concepts', and that it may also refer to the process of conceptual change, since for Hegel the identity of concepts is bound up with dialectical movement. Inwood suggests that Hegel sometimes assimilates the Concept to God. Kainz glosses the Concept as a 'grasping-together of opposites'. CONSCIOUSNESS (Bewutsein). Note that Hegel sometimes uses consciousness as a generic term for cognitive awareness, of which self-consciousness is one species; and sometimes as a species of consciousness in the generic sense, where it contrasts with self-consciousness. DETERMINE, DETERMINATION, DETERMINATE, DETERMINACY/DETERMINATENESS (bestimmen, Bestimmung, bestimmt, Bestimmtheit). To determine something is to conceptualise, articulate, identify, particularise, specify it. Solomon suggests that the term plays a similar role in Hegel to 'constitute' in Kant. Determination and determinacy presuppose negation i.e. (Inwood:) a thing is determinate only in so far as it contrasts with other things or concepts which are determined in a way in which it is not. The determinacy of a thing consists in its features, in the broadest possible sense. DIALECTIC (Dialektik). The form of movement of concepts, in which development takes place through opposed or contradictory stages. The development in question pertains to the subjectmatter of the Phenomenology, i.e. to forms of consciousness, and it is internal to them: it is selfdevelopment through self-criticism. Per Inwood, dialectic involves three steps: (1) one or more concepts are taken as fixed, sharply defined and distinct from one another = stage of understanding; (2) through reflection on them, a contradiction or contradictions emerge = stage of dialectical reason; (3) the result is a higher concept which embraces the earlier ones and resolves their contradiction = stage of speculative reason. Hegel thus inverts Kant's sense of dialectic as a logic of illusion. Geraets et al distinguish a broad use of dialectic, to refer to the entire movement of the self-articulation of thought, from a narrower use, which refers to the self-negations of the understanding. ESSENTIAL, ESSENCE (wesentlich, Wesen). The essence of a thing is what it really is, the thing in itself, its conceptual core. Essence contrasts with 'being' in a wide sense, and with appearance. In so far as essence is indeterminate, it is 'other than' appearance; in so far as it becomes determinate, the relation of essence to appearance is reciprocal, they are correlates. In application to consciousness, essence means (per Pinkard) its kind of rationality. EXPERIENCE (Erfahrung). In the Phenomenology, experience refers to the experience of consciousness on its way to Science. It does not have the usual implication of restriction to the sensory but rather hinges on thought; so it does not mean for Hegel what it means for the

empiricists or for Kant. Hegel originally planned to give the Phenomenology the title 'Science of the Experience of Consciousness'. FOR ITSELF (fr sich). Reflective, explicit, self-comprehending, fully developed (Miller often translates fr sich as 'explicit'). Contrasts with: in itself, in-and-for-itself. IDEA (Idee). The unity of object and Concept; reality as sublated. The Idea is associated with the infinite, and equivalent to the Absolute. IMMEDIATE, IMMEDIACY (unmittelbar, Unmittelbarkeit). More usually in Hegel, a characteristic of things rather than an epistemological term, meaning: intuitive, naive, undeveloped, not worked through; simple, given, elementary, initial, unrelated to other things. Opposed to: mediate, mediation. IN ITSELF (an sich). Merely potential or implicit (Miller often translates an sich as 'implicit'). Something is 'in itself' when it is considered separately from other things, and (in the case of a form of consciousness) when it is unreflective. That is why, for Hegel, the in itself is mere potentiality: actuality requires determination, negation, relations with other things. Note that a thing may be 'in itself for us' (an sich fr uns), an expression Hegel uses often: this just means that we are considering it as it is separate from other things. Contrasts with: for itself, and in-and-foritself. IN AND FOR ITSELF (an und fr sich). Completely developed; both at home with itself, and finding itself in the other. It contrasts with mere being in itself and being for itself. Being in-andfor-itself is the condition of the Absolute, God, Spirit actualised. INDIVIDUAL, INDIVIDUALITY (einzeln, Einzelnheit). Also translated (by Kainz) as 'singular, singularity'. Distinct from particularity: individuality is the third stage (moment) of the Concept in Hegel's triad of universal particular individual. INFINITE adj., n. (unendlich, Unendlichkeit). Unconditioned, without restriction, not standing in need of explanation, absolute. Things relate to the infinite in so far as they are self-contained, autonomous, and fulfil their concept; they are finite in so far as they fall short of their concept. Infinite does not therefore refer to the endlessness of a (e.g. mathematical) series. Hegel in fact distinguishes the true (good) infinite from the false (bad) infinite: the true infinite, associated with reason, is the unconditioned, self-contained etc.; the false infinite, associated with the understanding, is the merely endless. The Concept is genuinely infinite; space and time exemplify the false infinite. INTUITION (Anschauung). A term of Kant's, referring to the immediate, non-conceptual

presentation of a thing. Hegel's attitude to the concept of intuition is mostly negative. MEDIATED, MEDIATION (vermittelt, Vermittlung). Mediation is working over, conceptualisation, reflection upon; the union of two terms by a third, especially the union of the universal and the particular in the individual. Opposed to: immediate, immediacy. MOMENT (Moment). An essential but partial aspect, a stage, a part of a whole. A moment is therefore not necessarily temporal. The three moments of the Concept are universality, particularity, and individuality. NEGATIVE, NEGATION, NEGATIVITY, NEGATE (negativ, Negation, Negativitt, negieren). Hegel use of negation, like his use of truth, is usually remote from its familiar sense in application to judgements or propositions: things and concepts are for Hegel negations of one another (negativities). The negative is that which is different from, opposed to, other than. Negation is for Hegel determinate, as determinate as what is negated, and the phrase 'determinate negation' figures often. Hegel's thought characteristically observes the dialectical sequence: (1) affirmation, (2) negation, (3) negation of negation = affirmation of something new. In application to consciousness, per Pinkard, negativity refers to the capacity of consciousness to critically undermine its own form of rationality; (determinate) negation is the skeptical undermining of a form of rationality. NOTION (Begriff). See CONCEPT. PARTICULAR, PARTICULARITY (besonder, Besonderheit). Distinct from individual: particularity is the second stage (moment) of the Concept in Hegel's triad of universal particular individual. REASON (Vernunft). Solomon suggests: purposive activity, conceptual and reflective thought, the use of concepts in self-understanding; the ultimate purpose of reason is to comprehend total unity, break down false or limited distinctions, and resolve conflicts. It is opposed to understanding. In so far as reason reveals contradictions in the products of the understanding, it is dialectical; in so far as it resolves these contradictions in higher unities, it is speculative. For Hegel therefore, in contrast with Kant, reason is cognitively superior to understanding even in the theoretical context. REFLECTION (Reflexion). Reflection operates on what is given in unreflective thought by engaging in abstraction and distinguishing the subject from its objects. It is allied with the understanding. In Hegel's terms, Kant's philosophy is (merely) a philosophy of reflection. SCIENCE (Wissenschaft). In Hegel, Science refers not to natural science but to philosophical

knowledge, which must be in a systematic, articulate form. Thus it refers to his own philosophy. The Phenomenology was originally to be titled 'Science of the Experience of Consciousness'. SPECULATIVE, SPECULATION (spekulativ, Spekulation). Hegel describes his philosophy as speculative. In Hegel speculative does not mean wild or lacking a warrant: it pertains to the point of view of reason above natural consciousness and the understanding, at which contradictions are resolved. Per Inwood, speculation sublates the opposition between the subjective and the objective. SPIRIT (Geist). The earliest English translation of the Phenomenology renders Geist as mind, but this has implications of individual psychology which are not intended by Hegel: the individual mind is only what Hegel calls subjective spirit. Objective spirit refers to the forms that spirit takes at a level above individual consciousness; it is thus associated with community and culture in general, including custom and law. There is also absolute spirit, which includes religion, art and philosophy, and is infinite. What all forms or levels of spirit share is that they are rational, constituted by thought and self-consciousness, and consist in process or purposive activity rather than thinghood. (To define spirit any further is to take a stand on the interpretation of Hegel.) SUBLATE (aufheben). Also translated as 'supersede' and 'sublimate'. It incorporates the senses of (i) to cancel out, abolish, do away with, or reverse (a judgement), (ii) to keep or preserve, and (iii) to lift or raise up. Sublation connotes progress, by virtue of (i)-(iii): when something is sublated, it is not done away with but retained and preserved in the higher product which supersedes it. Sublation involves mediation and (determinate) negation. Hegel speaks of both concepts and things as sublated. TRUE, TRUTH (wahr, Wahrheit). Being true is contrasted by Hegel with being merely correct (richtig). Mere correctness is the status of our ordinary (empirical, mathematical etc.) knowledge claims. Hegel talks of the truth of things other than judgements or propositions, e.g. of the truth of consciousness. The truth of something is its goal or telos: a thing is true when it is actual. Truth involves negation and sublation. Strictly, only the Absolute or Idea is true. UNDERSTANDING (Verstand). In Kant, the faculty of concepts, responsible for turning sensible data into (empirical) knowledge. In Hegel, understanding is the intellect qua fixing, isolating, and analysing; it is associated with concepts in the usual sense (e.g. Newton's concepts) rather than with the Hegelian Concept. For Hegel, as for Kant, understanding is distinct from reason, but unlike Kant, Hegel does not regard it as the supreme cognitive power in the sphere of theoretical knowledge: understanding is merely a stage, albeit a necessary one. UNIVERSAL, UNIVERSALITY (allgemein, Allgemeinheit). Hegel's use incorporates the familiar sense of universal as non-particular, without specific location in time and space; but he

differs from platonists in denying that universals are timeless self-subsistents, and from nominalists in denying that universals are mere abstractions. The stages (moments) of the Concept in Hegel's triad are the universal, the particular, and the individual: universality develops, first into particularity, and then into individuality. The universal constitutes the essence of a thing; when a thing is fully developed (actual), the universal is concrete. Hegel denies that thought can refer to unique individuals: it is exclusively concerned with universals.

i Notes on the translation and glossary Although Hegels Phnomenologie des Geistes is undoubtedly a work of genius and deserves the high reputation in the history of philosophy it has always had, even Hegels staunchest admirers have to admit that it is not a clearly written book. Indeed, even those who defend its ferocious idiom (as one contemporary philosopher has described it) surely must acknowledge that whatever other virtues that idiom possesses, its density is almost unrivaled. In translating such an obscurely written book, the translator (especially if he is otherwise favorably disposed to the books contents) is thus always under the temptation to make the author more easy-going in the translation than he was in the original. However, in the case of the Phenomenology, giving in to the temptation to make Hegels text more easy-going than it is in the original inevitably means that more of the translators interpretation of the text will be introduced than is otherwise desirable. To be sure, all translations are interpretations of a sort, but that is still no excuse to transform the normal amount of interpretive give and take into a license of sorts to make the book mean what the translator wants it to mean. Like many of Hegels other

translators, I too have often been tempted to take Hegel by the hand and tell him that, no, this is the way he should have said it. I hope that in all instances I will have resisted that temptation. I of course have my own interpretation of this book, but I hope that the current translation will make it easy for all the others who differ on such interpretive matters to be able to use this text to point out where they differ and why they differ without the translation itself making it unnecessarily more difficult for them to make their case.

ii One of the suppositions I have used in undertaking the translation is that Hegel is serious about his terminology, and that his claims to make philosophy into a science (a Wissenschaft, the systematic pursuit of knowledge) are fleshed out in his choice of terms. A reader of the original German sees certain phrases and key terms appear regularly on the page; that often indicates that there is something like an argument or at least a line of thought that is being developed or that comparisons between this stage of the narration and some other stage are being suggested. As far as possible, the English reader should be able to do the same thing and make up his or her own mind about whether there really is a distinct line of thought being put on display or whether Hegel is switching meanings or whether something else altogether is going on.

For example, there is Hegels usage of an sich and fr sich (in itself and for itself). The term, an sich, is of course best known to Anglophone philosophers in Kants use of it in the term, Ding an sich, the thing in itself. Fr sich, on the other hand, has an ordinary German usage where it often means something like on its own, or apart from, or even on its own account. (Jean-Paul Sartre also famously picked up the Hegelian terms, in itself and for itself to use in his own ontology of subjectivity and freedom in Being and Nothingness, and he thus gave those Hegelian terms a life outside of their more restricted Hegelian context.) Hegel usually uses fr sich in a fairly technical sense to call attention to type of self-relation, especially the kind that human agents have to themselves; but sometimes he uses it in its more ordinary sense (and sometimes in both senses at once), and he is almost always playing on both senses even when he employs it in his more technical usage. As I see it, the job of the Hegel-

iii translator is not to resolve the interpretive issues about what Hegel meant by, for example, fr sich, but only to make Hegels somewhat technical terms apparent to the reader and, within the idea of keeping the flow of the original text intact, to let the reader do as much of the interpreting as possible. Unfortunately, in the case of fr sich, the obvious connections between on its own and for itself cannot be made entirely clearly in the English; thus, I have rendered fr sich as for-itself in almost all cases. However, where I have switched the translation to its more colloquial sense of on its own, I have indicated this in a footnote. For an sich, earlier translators toyed with inherent or implicit as a translation of an sich, and explicit as a translation of fr sich. Many interpreters, though, think the distinction between in itself and for itself does not map very well at all into that between implicit and explicit. By leaving an sich and fr sich literally as in itself and for itself, this translation invites the reader to decide for him or herself whether explicit, for example, is the best way to render Hegels use of fr sich. Another, more colloquial way of rendering an sich would be on its own (which is roughly how Kants Ding an sich is to be taken: the thing on its own apart from the conditions under which we can experience it); if one took that route, then the distinction between fr sich (on its own) and an sich (on its own) would rendered invisible. Keeping Hegels terminology visible also means that I have to be relatively rigorous in distinguishing Hegels uses of an sich from in sich, although both could be equally well rendered as in itself. To do so, I have often translated in sich as within itself. However, since neither that distinction between in and within, nor the distinction between for itself and in itself are parts of ordinary English conversation (except perhaps among dyed in the wool Hegelians and

iv Sartreans), this makes the text a bit less colloquial than it otherwise would be, but it makes Hegels line of thought, I hope, a little more clear. Likewise, in many cases, I have chosen to translate Hegels deliberately odd German into deliberately odd English in order to preserve the sense of the text; Hegel often speaks of things like, das An-Sich (the in-itself), instead of that which exists in itself or what exists in-itself. To bring out Hegels intent, I sometimes also use the idiom of the in-itself, which sounds just about as odd in English as it does in German.

For a number of Hegels other usages, such as his use of aufheben, there simply is no good translation. Aufheben is an ordinary German word used by Hegel in a technical way, and it has no single counterpart in English; to translate the word differently in each context in which it is used would make it impossible for the English reader to be able to make out how that term figures in the ongoing argument; and to translate it consistently by only one of its meanings would not only make the text unnecessarily wooden, it would often falsify the meaning of the sentence. As Hegel himself notes, the German term carries two senses in different contexts, namely, to cancel (as in canceling ones insurance policy) and to save or preserve (as in save a place for me). Hegel tells his German readers that he intends to use the word in both senses, although in the context in which he usually employs the term, he most often clearly means cancel or negate, whereas in other cases he clearly means something more like preserve. To render aufheben into English, Hegel translators in the nineteenth century opted to revive an older term in English, sublate, which for all practical purposes had died out of English usage by the middle of the nineteenth century. Starting its semantic life in English

v (having been imported from the Latin) in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, it meant to remove or to take away, and it came to be used in discussions of logic, such that even an authority such as Sir William Hamilton used it in the mid-nineteenth century in his writings on logic and knowledge to mean negate. When Hegels first translators adopted the older term to translate Hegels use of aufheben, they simply stipulated that it was intended to carry both of its German meanings. Although many have suspected that their motives for using this term were a little suspect (one cannot avoid the suspicion that they thought it was supposed to indicate just how esoterically profound Hegel really was), it has nonetheless stuck, and there is no other very good alternative. The most obvious alternative is that of supersede, but that avoids the idea of preserving; and in many contexts, it is in fact misleading. One way of understanding Hegels usage here is to think of sublation as figuring in the kind of philosophical conversation in which one might say to an interlocutor, Your claim, X, is, as you have phrased it, not right; but if we reformulate it as, say, Xn, we can preserve the main point of your idea without having to buy into all of its problems. This is a typical move in a philosophical argument, and it is roughly equivalent to saying, We take your point and deny it, but because there is something to it, we preserve it in a changed format in our ongoing discussion. There is no single word in English to capture that sense, and since there is no ideal way of translating aufheben in any reasonably short way, I have decided to stick with sublate in the text and let the reader use his or her own best judgment as to what other term might in that context be substituted (that is, whether in this or that context, Hegel simply means negate, or whether in this or that context he only means preserve or whether he consistently means both at once). There is also a third sense of

vi aufheben, where it means to raise up, and many interpreters of Hegel have thought that this simply also had to be at work in Hegels usage. That may be, but Hegel himself only speaks of two meanings of the word in those places where he discusses why he has chosen that term. Whether the third meaning of to raise up is also at work is something the reader will have to decide for him or herself as they run across the various occurrences of sublate in the text.

Likewise, Hegel uses Wesen to mean both essence and in its more ordinary sense of creature, or being. No single word is going to translate that term perfectly; I have opted to leave it at essence in many cases where being would be arguably as good a translation, and I have indicated in footnotes where the German term is Wesen, but I have rendered it as creature or being.

Hegel uses Ruhe and its cognates to mean not just peaceful, or calm but to contrast it with movement, Bewegung. As any reader of Hegel knows, there is something that is always in movement in the Phenomenology and something at rest. Even though it is somewhat awkward, I have tried to use versions of at rest for all those uses of Ruhe and its cognates in order for the reader to see where there is a contrast being drawn between movement and being at rest. Sometimes, I even render Ruhe as motionless. (Some think it is only the concepts or thought that are moving; others think it is things themselves that are in motion. Again, the purpose of a translator is not to resolve that issue.)

vii One of the ongoing difficulties over which Hegel interpreters like to differ is how to translate Hegels use of Wirklichkeit and its cognates. The term is ordinary German for reality, but if one renders it as reality, then one runs into two difficulties: First, one has no good way of distinguishing Hegels use of Wirklichkeit/reality from his use of Realitt/reality; second, Hegel uses Wirklichkeit in a technical sense that plays on its supposed etymology from wirken, to have an effect, and he uses it in a way that is supposed to bring to mind what is usually rendered in English as actuality when translating Aristotle. What is actual, one might say, is what is at work in reality, a sense captured nicely by Jean Hyppolites decision to translate Wirklichkeit in French as Effectivit. I have nonetheless rendered it here as actual in order to keep that link to Aristotelian thought (and to previous translations of Hegel), even though in many places the more ordinary real, reality and the like would make the text flow better. That decision unfortunately also means that I have to resort to the rather clumsy non-actual to render unwirklich rather than the more easy-going, unreal.

There is also the problem of rendering Erkennen and Wissen, both of which mean (in English) knowledge. This is one example where I have chosen not always to mark the different occurrences of Wissen and its cognates and Erkennen and its cognates by different terms. I have always rendered Wissen (and its cognates) as knowledge, knowing and so on; but only when Erkennen (and Erkenntnis) are used as nouns have I used the cumbersome term, cognition as the translation (although not always even in those cases). In German, there is nothing esoteric about the use of either term; but few people except philosophy professors (and, in fact, very few of them) use

viii cognition and cognize in their ordinary conversation. Nonetheless, there have been interpreters of Hegel who insist on marking the distinction with knowledge and cognition who will be unhappy with this decision. Even so, marking even some of the noun uses of Erkennen as cognition is itself a compromise, not a solution, and I hope that even that small compromise does not detract much from the flow of what is otherwise an obscure text in the first place. In many places, erkennen means

recognize in the sense of identify (and not in the sense of bestow some kind of status, which is the use of anerkennen). To avoid the possible confusions between

recognize and recognize (between erkennen and anerkennen), I have sometimes translated erkennen as discern. I have tried to note all the occurrence where

erkennen and its relatives are translated as something other than cognition with footnotes.

The term, Entuerung and its cognates, require special mention. This was the term that Luther used for his translation of Kenosis, the act of God humbling himself (as the King James translators had it) or of emptying himself (as some more modern translators have rendered it), so that, for Christians, God became flesh1; in choosing to use Entuerung, Hegel is relying on his readers knowledge of Luthers translation of the bible. Rather than use externalize, realize, or alienate (three popular

translations of that term), I have opted for the more theologically evocative, emptying even though in more ordinary German, Entuerung means to renounce, to divest,

See Philippians 2, 6-8 for the passage. In Luthers 1545 Bible, it goes: welcher, ob er wohl in gttlicher Gestalt war, hielt ers nicht fr einen Raub, Gott gleich sein, (7) sondern entuerte sich selbst und nahm Knechtsgestalt an, ward gleich wie ein andrer Mensch und an Gebrden als ein Mensch erfunden; (8) er erniedrigte sich selbst und ward gehorsam bis zum Tode, ja zum Tode am Kreuz.

ix or to give up but does not mean to empty. One reason for doing this is so that the other uses of renounce in the text (where it translates, for example, verzichten) are kept separate from the occurrences of the more theologically freighted, Entuerung. This particular decision about translation will perhaps irritate at least some readers, who will wonder why in the world one would translate a term as emptying when even the translator himself freely admits that in German it simply does not mean emptying. The justification is to bring Hegels German usage of Entuerung in line with English usage about how to render Kenosis. (One might, of course, have translated this theological talk as Gods divesting himself in becoming flesh, but that seems to me to carry all the wrong connotations at this point in time.) There are of course disputes about just how much Hegel meant for this term to be used in its religious sense at all; the translators goal cannot be to settle that dispute but only to make it as clear as possible where the term occurs, what its background associations are, and to let the readers decide for themselves.

Hegels use of the ordinary German term, Sittlichkeit, which could be easily be rendered as Morals or Morality (as Kant translators usually render Kants use of the same term) presents another conundrum. If one renders it morality, then one has no way of making what is for a Hegel a crucial distinction between that and Moralitt (morality). The term, Sittlichkeit, draws heavily on the term, Sitte, which can be

rendered as the mores of a time, and that might suggest that one adopt a new usage in English, moresness. Needless to say, that is completely unadvisable. Instead, I have

x chosen the term of art, ethical life, which has been used by other translators of Hegel to render Sittlichkeit.

There is another issue all too familiar to interpreters of Hegel: How to translate Vorstellung. The term colloquially means idea, and in some contexts it even means something like imagine. It makes its appearance in German Idealism in Kants use of it, where it has been rendered in first Critique translations as representation (following Kants own Latin rendition of it as repraesentatio). However, whereas in the first Critique, Kant claimed that there were two types of representations, namely, intuitions and concepts, Hegel typically contrasts representation (Vorstellung) with concept (Begriff). Moreover, in his practical philosophy, when Kant talks about freedom

consisting of acting in terms of our conception (or idea) of law, he typically uses Vorstellung for the word that English readers are familiar in that context as idea or conception. I have tended to render it representation and in many cases as

representational thought where I think Hegel is trying to contrast representational thought with conceptual thought; I also think that it makes Hegels text flow more easily (although flowing easily is clearly a relative term when it applies to any part of the Phenomenology). In a few places I have rendered it as imagine, but since I think that this might be a matter of possible dispute, I have always indicated that in a footnote. Likewise, I have on the whole rendered Anschauung as intuition to keep the

similarities and differences between Hegels use of this word and, to Anglophone readers, Kants use of the word (where Kant uses it to distinguish that type of representation from that of concepts).


To keep the relation to the Kantian vocabulary, I have also translated der Verstand as the understanding, the classic translation of what Kant regarded as one of the basic faculties of the mind. In some ways, intellect would be a better rendering of this phrase, and I have occasionally used that and indicated in a footnote that it translates Verstand. A related problem has to do with Hegels use of Bewutsein (consciousness). Much hinges on the distinctions he makes between consciousness, self-consciousness, and spirit. But when he uses very ordinary German terms such as zum Bewutsein kommen, or mit Bewutsein, which would ordinary simply be translated as aware of or consciously), he is often trying to make a point about what is going on in light of those distinctions. I have therefore often translated those phrases more literally than they would otherwise be rendered as coming to consciousness and with consciousness. That makes the text a bit more awkward than it would otherwise be, but it at least lets the reader note those types of occurrences.

There is also the problem of In-sich-gehen and In-sich-sein: Hegel uses these terms a lot near the end of the book. I have rendered in-sich-gehen as taking-the-inward-turn instead of the more literal and wooden, going-into-oneself or going-into-the-self. That raises a problem: What to do with In-sich-sein? To keep the link between the two, I have rendered it as inwardly-turned-being. I realize that this sounds a bit odd, but then so does In-sich-sein. It also makes the rigorous distinction between an sich and in sich as that between in itself and within itself break down a bit.


Likewise, one of Hegels key terms is that of consciousness or self-consciousness being bei sich. The term carries lots of different connotations, but I have rendered it as being at one with oneself. The term is crucial since in other works, Hegel goes so far as to claim that freedom itself consists in being bei sich in an other. I have usually indicated its presence in a footnote. I have decided to keep the independent paragraph numbering that was introduced by A.V. Miller in his translation. There is no such numbering system (or anything like it) in the original German text, but the system has proven itself to be useful for marking the place in the text for class discussions, and thus I have retained it. Unfortunately, Miller added and subtracted paragraphs in his English version that were not there in the German edition, so my numbering scheme, which follows the paragraph markings of the critical edition in German, is slightly different from the older Miller translation. Glossary allgemein Anderssein anerkennen anschauen, Anschauung An sich Ansichsein Arbeit auffassen, Auffassung aufheben, Aufhebung Ausbildung Bedeutung Bedrfnis Begeistung begreifen Begreifen Begriff bei sich universal, in general otherness recognize, recognition intuition in itself being in itself labor apprehend, apprehension sublate, sublation development, training meaning, significance need spiritual animation comprehend, conceptually comprehend comprehension concept in ones own sphere; at one with itself in its own sphere

xiii Besonder(s)(e) Besonderheit bestehen Bestehen bestimmen bestimmt Bestimmtheit Bestimmung Bewutsein Beziehung Bildung Bse darstellen Darstellung Dasein Ding eigentlich eigentmlich Einheit Einteilung einzeln Einzelne Einzelnheit Entuerung Entwicklung Entzweiung erfassen erkennen Erkennen erscheinen Erscheinung Existenz Extreme fr sich Frsichsein gebildet gediegen Gefhl Gegensatz Gegenstand Gegenstndlich Gegenteil Gehalt Geist geistig particular particularity consist durable existence determine, specify determinate, definite, determinateness determination, destiny consciousness relation cultural maturation; cultural education evil exhibit, present, account, turns out (to be), display, show exposition, account, display existence (also existenz) thing really, authentically, genuinely distinctive, peculiar to, unity division, classification, individual, singular the individual, singular individuality, singularity emptying development estrangement grasp take cognizance, cognize, discern cognition, cognizance appear appearance existence (also dasein) extreme term (in a syllogism) for itself being for itself culturally mature, culturally formed unalloyed, solid(ity), unmixed feeling opposition object objective contrary, opposite content, meaning(ful) spirit spiritual

xiv gelten Gemeinde (Gemeine) Gemeinwesen Gesetz Gesetzgebung Gesinnung Gestalt Gestaltung Gewissen Gewiheit Gleich, ungleich Grundsatz gltig handeln Handlung Herz Ich Idee Individualitt individuell Individuum Inhalt Innerlichkeit in sich In-sich-gehen Insichsein Kennen, Kenntnis Kraft Lehre Macht Masse Materie Moment Moral, Moralitt Objekt objektiv Person Prinzip Rsonieren, Rsonnement Realitt Recht Ruhe, ruhend Sache validly in force; valid religious community polity law legislation, law-giving disposition shape shape, shaping conscience certainty parity/disparity principle, proposition valid act action heart I Idea (capitalized) individuality (also Einzelheit and Einzelnheit) individual individual content inwardness within itself taking the inward turn inwardly turned being acquaint, acquaintance force doctrine power social spheres matter moment moral, morality object (see Gegenstand) objective (see gegenstndlich) person, legal person principle merely clever argument, merely clever argumentation reality law, right motionless, at rest subject matter, what matters, what is salient, salient subject matter, thing, thing

xv at stake, item, the salient thing, the thing at issue seeming to be, semblance seem to be being existent, what exists self-sufficient self-sufficiency self-feeling, feeling for its own self, selfassurance self-less, not selfless posit, place being that is essentially a self ethos, mores ethical ethical life ought estate estates substantial substance deed activity (see tun) activity, doing to do independent immediate(ly) distinguish distinction conduct, relate relation relations, sets of relations mediate inversion; topsy-turvy inversion topsy-turvy; inverted mediation reason the understanding, the intellect to understand actualize actualization represent, imagine representation, idea truth come-to-be, coming-to-be, becoming essence, being

Schein scheinen Sein Seiende selbstndig Selbstndigkeit Selbstgefhl selbstlos setzen Selbstwesen Sitte Sittlich Sittlichkeit Sollen Stand Stnde substantiell Substanz Tat Ttigkeit (das) Tun tun unabhngig unmittelbar Unterscheiden Unterschied Verhalten Verhltnis Verhltnisse vermitteln Verkehrung verkehrt Vermittlung Vernunft Verstand verstehen verwirklichen Verwirklichung vorstellen Vorstellung Wahrheit Werden Wesen

xvi Wille Willkr wirklich Wirkliches Wirklichkeit Wirksamkeit wissen Wissenschaft zufllig Zweck zweckmig the will arbitrary, arbitrary free choice actual the actual actuality effectiveness know science contingent purpose, end, aim purposive, useful