Edited by Jürgen G. Backhaus
Chapter 44: Lorenz von Stein (1815-90)
Heinz Grossekettler A survey of von Stein’s life and work Lorenz von Stein was born on 15 November 1815in Eckernforde, a small town in the present-day German Land of Schleswig-Holstein. He was the illegitimate son of von Wasner, an officer in the Danish army, and the wife of a sergeant by the name of Stein.’ His father assumed responsibility for his education, and sent him to a school founded by the Danish king for his army members’ sons. As a result of his exceptional gift, Lorenz von Stein was introduced to the King of Denmark who awarded him a scholarship. He won further scholarships and thus he was subsequently able to register as a law and philosophy student at the University of Kiel. He also spent some time at the University of Jena, where he devoted much thought to J.G. Fichte’s views on philosophy and economics, as well as his quest for a rational legal and political system. He then returned to Gel, where he took his final examination in law in 1839. While serving a period of articled clerkship in Copenhagen, he worked on a dissertation about the history of Danish civil procedure (von Stein, 1841) and in 1840 he was made a doctor of law in Kiel. The King of Denmark thereupon awarded him a travelling scholarship which enabled him to finance a stay in Berlin before going on to Paris. In Berlin, he moved in neo-Hegelian circles and made an intensive study of the political philosophy of...
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