Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. Series: Dover books on Western philosophy. By examining the role of the human ego, author Max Stirner chronicles the battle of the individual against the collective - showing how, throughout history, the latter invariably leads to oppression. Stirner begins with a study of the individual ego and then traces its subjugation from ancient times to the nineteenth century.
Nothing escapes his indictment: the ancient philosophers, Christianity, monarchism, the bourgeouis state; all have fettered individuals with laws, morality, and obligations. Revolutions expunge one evil only to replace it with another, and Stirner predicted - years before the publication of Marx's Manifesto - that socialism would climax in the ultimate totalitarian state. For students of political science and philosophy, this book is essential reading. For those concerned about the encroachment of authority upon individual liberty, Stirner articulates a philosophy that remains unsurpassed in its scope.
Read more Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Credited with influencing the philosophies of Nietzsche and Ayn Rand and the development of libertarianism and existentialism, this prophetic work challenges the very notion of a common good as the driving force of civilization.
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- Azure no. 4, Summer 5758 / 1998!
- Los Cuatro Jinetes Del Apocalipsis (Spanish Edition).
- An encyclopedia of philosophy articles written by professional philosophers.;
- Cybill Disobedience.
Max Stirner ; James Joseph Martin. Dover books on Western philosophy. Print book : English View all editions and formats. Similar Items. Reprint of the ed. Editor's introduction -- Translator's preface -- All these things are nothing to me -- Part first: Man. I: A human life -- II. Men of the old time and the new. A: the ancients -- B: the moderns. The spirit -- The possessed -- The hierarchy -- C: the free. Political liberalism -- Social liberalism -- Humane liberalism -- Part second: I. Conscience in this sense is not necessarily the product of a process of rational consideration of the moral features of a situation or the applicable normative principles, rules or laws and can arise from parental, peer group, religious, state or corporate indoctrination , which may or may not be presently consciously acceptable to the person "traditional conscience".
The medieval Persian philosopher and physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi believed in a close relationship between conscience or spiritual integrity and physical health; rather than being self-indulgent, man should pursue knowledge, use his intellect and apply justice in his life. Some medieval Christian scholastics such as Bonaventure made a distinction between conscience as a rational faculty of the mind practical reason and inner awareness, an intuitive "spark" to do good, called synderesis arising from a remnant appreciation of absolute good and when consciously denied for example to perform an evil act , becoming a source of inner torment.
By debating test cases applying such understanding conscience was trained and refined i. In the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas regarded conscience as the application of moral knowledge to a particular case S. Thus, conscience was considered an act or judgment of practical reason that began with synderesis , the structured development of our innate remnant awareness of absolute good which he categorised as involving the five primary precepts proposed in his theory of Natural Law into an acquired habit of applying moral principles.
Aquinas reasoned that acting contrary to conscience is an evil action but an errant conscience is only blameworthy if it is the result of culpable or vincible ignorance of factors that one has a duty to have knowledge of. Thomas A Kempis in the medieval contemplative classic The Imitation of Christ ca stated that the glory of a good man is the witness of a good conscience.
A quiet conscience can endure much, and remains joyful in all trouble, but an evil conscience is always fearful and uneasy. Benedict de Spinoza in his Ethics , published after his death in , argued that most people, even those that consider themselves to exercise free will , make moral decisions on the basis of imperfect sensory information, inadequate understanding of their mind and will, as well as emotions which are both outcomes of their contingent physical existence and forms of thought defective from being chiefly impelled by self-preservation. As the sacred texts of ancient Hindu and Buddhist philosophy became available in German translations in the 18th and 19th centuries, they influenced philosophers such as Schopenhauer to hold that in a healthy mind only deeds oppress our conscience , not wishes and thoughts; "for it is only our deeds that hold us up to the mirror of our will"; the good conscience , thought Schopenhauer, we experience after every disinterested deed arises from direct recognition of our own inner being in the phenomenon of another, it affords us the verification "that our true self exists not only in our own person, this particular manifestation, but in everything that lives.
By this the heart feels itself enlarged, as by egotism it is contracted. Immanuel Kant , a central figure of the Age of Enlightenment , likewise claimed that two things filled his mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily they were reflected on: "the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me John Plamenatz in his critical examination of Rousseau 's work considered that conscience was there defined as the feeling that urges us, in spite of contrary passions, towards two harmonies: the one within our minds and between our passions, and the other within society and between its members; "the weakest can appeal to it in the strongest, and the appeal, though often unsuccessful, is always disturbing.
However, corrupted by power or wealth we may be, either as possessors of them or as victims, there is something in us serving to remind us that this corruption is against nature. Other philosophers expressed a more sceptical and pragmatic view of the operation of "conscience" in society. Josiah Royce — built on the transcendental idealism view of conscience, viewing it as the ideal of life which constitutes our moral personality, our plan of being ourself, of making common sense ethical decisions.
The Ego and His Own
But, he thought, this was only true insofar as our conscience also required loyalty to "a mysterious higher or deeper self. It protests against a doing which imperils the unity of this being with itself. As Hannah Arendt pointed out, however, following the utilitarian John Stuart Mill on this point : a bad conscience does not necessarily signify a bad character; in fact only those who affirm a commitment to applying moral standards will be troubled with remorse, guilt or shame by a bad conscience and their need to regain integrity and wholeness of the self.
One reason, she held, was that conscience , as we understand it in moral or legal matters, is supposedly always present within us, just like consciousness : "and this conscience is also supposed to tell us what to do and what to repent; before it became the lumen naturale or Kant 's practical reason, it was the voice of God. Albert Einstein , as a self-professed adherent of humanism and rationalism , likewise viewed an enlightened religious person as one whose conscience reflects that he "has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings and aspirations to which he clings because of their super-personal value.
But an inner voice tells me that it is not the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings one closer to the secrets of the Old One. I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice. Simone Weil who fought for the French resistance the Maquis argued in her final book The Need for Roots : Prelude to a Declaration of Duties Towards Mankind that for society to become more just and protective of liberty, obligations should take precedence over rights in moral and political philosophy and a spiritual awakening should occur in the conscience of most citizens, so that social obligations are viewed as fundamentally having a transcendent origin and a beneficent impact on human character when fulfilled.
For, having incorporated the rules into their own being, the prohibited possibilities no longer present themselves to the mind, and have not to be rejected. Alternatives to such metaphysical and idealist opinions about conscience arose from realist and materialist perspectives such as those of Charles Darwin.
Darwin suggested that "any animal whatever, endowed with well-marked social instincts, the parental and filial affections being here included, would inevitably acquire a moral sense or conscience, as soon as its intellectual powers had become as well, or as nearly as well developed, as in man. Such an inquiry, he believed, fell wholly within the scope of the existing social sciences.
For others, however, an action seems to be properly termed 'internally right', merely because they have previously regarded it as right, the idea of 'rightness' being present in some way to his or her mind, but not necessarily among his or her deliberately constructed motives. A Very Easy Death. Penguin Books. Michael Walzer claimed that the growth of religious toleration in Western nations arose amongst other things, from the general recognition that private conscience signified some inner divine presence regardless of the religious faith professed and from the general respectability, piety, self-limitation, and sectarian discipline which marked most of the men who claimed the rights of conscience.
A good life need not be an especially reflective one; most of the best lives are just lived rather than studied. But there are moments that cry out for self-assertion, when a passive bowing to fate or a mechanical decision out of deference or convenience is treachery, because it forfeits dignity for ease.
The philosopher Peter Singer considers that usually when we describe an action as conscientious in the critical sense we do so in order to deny either that the relevant agent was motivated by selfish desires, like greed or ambition, or that he acted on whim or impulse. Moral anti-realists debate whether the moral facts necessary to activate conscience supervene on natural facts with a posteriori necessity; or arise a priori because moral facts have a primary intension and naturally identical worlds may be presumed morally identical.
John Ralston Saul expressed the view in The Unconscious Civilization that in contemporary developed nations many people have acquiesced in turning over their sense of right and wrong, their critical conscience , to technical experts; willingly restricting their moral freedom of choice to limited consumer actions ruled by the ideology of the free market, while citizen participation in public affairs is limited to the isolated act of voting and private-interest lobbying turns even elected representatives against the public interest.
Some argue on religious or philosophical grounds that it is blameworthy to act against conscience , even if the judgement of conscience is likely to be erroneous say because it is inadequately informed about the facts, or prevailing moral humanist or religious , professional ethical, legal and human rights norms. English humanist lawyers in the 16th and 17th centuries interpreted conscience as a collection of universal principles given to man by god at creation to be applied by reason; this gradually reforming the medieval Roman law -based system with forms of action, written pleadings, use of juries and patterns of litigation such as Demurrer and Assumpsit that displayed an increased concern for elements of right and wrong on the actual facts.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
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They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. It has been argued that these articles provide international legal obligations protecting conscientious objectors from service in the military. John Rawls in his A Theory of Justice defines a conscientious objector as an individual prepared to undertake, in public and often despite widespread condemnation , an action of civil disobedience to a legal rule justifying it also in public by reference to contrary foundational social virtues such as justice as liberty or fairness and the principles of morality and law derived from them.
Civil Disobedience. In the Second World War , Great Britain granted conscientious-objection status not just to complete pacifists , but to those who objected to fighting in that particular war; this was done partly out of genuine respect, but also to avoid the disgraceful and futile persecutions of conscientious objectors that occurred during the First World War.
Amnesty International organises campaigns to protect those arrested and or incarcerated as a prisoner of conscience because of their conscientious beliefs, particularly concerning intellectual, political and artistic freedom of expression and association. In legislation, a conscience clause is a provision in a statute that excuses a health professional from complying with the law for example legalising surgical or pharmaceutical abortion if it is incompatible with religious or conscientious beliefs.
Many conscientious objectors are so for religious reasons—notably, members of the historic peace churches are pacifist by doctrine.
Hegel: Social and Political Thought | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Other objections can stem from a deep sense of responsibility toward humanity as a whole, or from the conviction that even acceptance of work under military orders acknowledges the principle of conscription that should be everywhere condemned before the world can ever become safe for real democracy. Conscience , according to Johnson, was nothing more than a conviction felt by ourselves of something to be done or something to be avoided; in questions of simple unperplexed morality, conscience is very often a guide that may be trusted.
Civil disobedience as non-violent protest or civil resistance are also acts of conscience, but are designed by those who undertake them chiefly to change, by appealing to the majority and democratic processes, laws or government policies perceived to be incoherent with fundamental social virtues and principles such as justice, equality or respect for intrinsic human dignity. Hansen , environmental leader Phil Radford and Professor Bill McKibben were arrested for opposing a tar sands oil pipeline   and Canadian renewable energy professor Mark Jaccard was arrested for opposing mountain-top coal mining;  in his book Storms of my Grandchildren Hansen calls for similar civil resistance on a global scale to help replace the 'business-as-usual' Kyoto Protocol cap and trade system, with a progressive carbon tax at emission source on the oil, gas and coal industries — revenue being paid as dividends to low carbon footprint families.
Religion and politics in 19th century Germany
Notable historical examples of conscientious noncompliance in a different professional context included the manipulation of the visa process in by Japanese Consul-General Chiune Sugihara in Kaunas the temporary capital of Lithuania between Germany and the Soviet Union and by Raoul Wallenberg in Hungary in  to allow Jews to escape almost certain death.
We are your bad conscience. The White Rose will not leave you in peace! World conscience is the universalist idea that with ready global communication, all people on earth will no longer be morally estranged from one another, whether it be culturally, ethnically, or geographically; instead they will conceive ethics from the utopian point of view of the universe , eternity or infinity , rather than have their duties and obligations defined by forces arising solely within the restrictive boundaries of 'blood and territory.