Stein, Lorenz von (lōˈrĕnts fən shtĪn) [key], 1815–90, German economist and sociologist. He studied jurisprudence at the Univ. of Kiel and at Paris and taught (1846–51) at the Univ. of Kiel, but his advocacy of independence for his native Schleswig caused his dismissal. From 1855 until his death he taught at the Univ. of Vienna. He influenced the practice of public finance but is perhaps best known for his sociological ideas, set forth in the third edition of his history of the social movement in France (3 vol., 1850, tr. 1964). He outlined an economic interpretation of history that included concepts of the proletariat and of class struggle. Despite a similarity of these ideas with those of Marxism, the extent of Stein's influence on Karl Marx is uncertain.
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