Marx Stirner’s The Ego and Its Own is an ideal archetype for the phenomenological historian. Stirner, a whiny Hegel’s-younger-brother figure, at other times an inbred cousin of Rousseau’s confessional persona (not that these are mutually exclusive). But the guy captures it-to Hegel’s owl of Minerva he is day old pizza. His philosophic musings are vulnerable, exposed, emo. There is little pretense of transcendence and only a dystopian stutter of transvaluation. He is utterly contingent, the Roseanne of 19th century German thought. As other philosophers cloaked mechanical duty in sheep’s clothing, Stirner arrived at the party late, without costume, and with the anxiety of a Karamazov trapped in Buster Bluth’s body.
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