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Jan Stanisław Lewiński (1885-1930) was an
economist and university lecturer. He left
Poland as a child. He studied in Antwerp,
London, Berlin and Brussels. During World
War I, he worked at one of the institutes at
the Cologne University. In the times of the
Second Polish Republic, he was a lecturer
at the Catholic University of Lublin and the
Higher School of Commerce (later: SGH
Warsaw School of Economics). He published
not only in his native language, but also in
German and English. He died in a tragic
accident in Vilnius.
Lewiński’s scientific interests were very broad. His works focused on theoretical issues, economic history and the history of economic thought. In this field, he appreciated the most the achievements of the physiocrats and classical economics.
The author of Zasady ekonomii politycznej [Principles of Political Economy] tried to integrate the concepts of different economic schools. He indicated the need to take into account both theoretical factors and empirical aspects in the analysis of individual economic issues. For this reason, he perceived the dispute between the historical school and the classical school as barren. He assumed that all a priori assumptions must be confronted with the observation of reality, since a one-sided view would constitute a serious methodological error.
Lewiński considered economics as a science expressing the principle of economy, where certain fixed and unchangeable principles exist – as in the natural sciences. The accomplishment of the main social objective depends on the distribution and exchange of wealth obtained through the process of efficient production.
Lewiński’s most significant works include the following books: L’evolution industrielle de la Belgique [The Industrial Evolution of Belgium], Pieniądz, kredyt i ceny [Money, Credit and Prices], Twórcy ekonomii politycznej [The Founders of Political Economy] and Zasady ekonomii politycznej.