• Mihaela RĂDOI Department of Sociology and Social Work, Faculty of Philosophy and Social-Political Sciences, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi, Carol I 11, 700506, Iaşi, Romania;


Zeletin, the life, the work, the sociological view, the reform


Ştefan Zeletin (1882- 1934) – a philosopher, an economist and a sociologist – is one of the household names of Romanian interwar liberalism. He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and Classical Philology in Iaşi, and in 1914 he defended his doctoral thesis (and was granted magna cum laude) at the University of Berlin. After finalizing his studies, Zeletin taught at the University of Iaşi. Concerning his work, Ştefan Zeletin did not have the same attitude towards the two aspects of his thought: philosophy and sociology. He considered himself a philosopher who failed to complete his system of thought only because of the tough circumstances. Persuaded that there is an organic connection – yet to be discovered – between the economic life of a country, on one hand, and the political, legal and cultural institutions, on the other, (Claudian 1935) Ștefan Zeletin began his sociological writings, which marked the political and cultural life of those times. The sociological and political works, which had made him known in several settings, were viewed by Zeletin as an episode within his activity, which he would have wanted to be focused on purely philosophical works. The author explains the approach to the practical aspects of social reality by the fact that he was determined to attend various events, which he felt the need to understand. An event that marked him deeply was the War of 1916-1918, to which he took part as an infantry officer; this event drew him closer to the often-disappointing reality of the Romanian society in an ongoing process of construction. “Hence, I decided to make the ultimate sacrifice: to renounce, for now, to any philosophical activity, to get to know our society just like it is and to try to give back to it something that may be in its interest. This also helped me fulfil an ardent desire I had felt on the front where, the carbine on my shoulder, I saw our society collapse like a cardboard castle.” (Zeletin 1927 p. 276) This article aims at unravelling several aspects regarding the life, the work and the sociological view of the author.


Claudian, A. (1935). Sociologia lui Ștefan Zeletin. [Ștefan Zeletin’s Sociology]. Revista de Filosofie, XX(3), 263-272.

Papacostea, C. (1935). Ștefan Zeletin – însemnări privitoare la viaţa şi opera lui [Ștefan Zeletin – notes concerning his life and work]. Revista de Filosofie, XX(3), 201-262.

Zeletin, Şt. (1915). Evanghelia naturii [The Gospel of Nature], vol. I, Institutul de Arte Grafice N. V. Ştefan and Co., Iaşi.

Zeletin, Şt. (1923). Religia naturii [The religion of Nature], Revista de filosofie, IX(2), 65-78 (http://dspace.bcucluj.ro/bitstream/123456789/27634/1/BCUCLUJ_FP_192906_ 1923_1924_009_002.pdf.)

Zeletin Şt. (1923). Semnele Vremii [The Signs of Epoch]. Dreptatea socială, I(1), 15 January, 31-32.

Zeletin, Șt. (1923). Noi principii de reformă a învăţământului [New Principles of Educational Reform], Arhiva pentru ştiinţă şi reformă socială, IV(6). Editura Institutul Social Român, București (http://www.digibuc.ro/colectii/arhiva-pentru-stiinta-si-reforma- sociala---1932-c8098).

Zeletin, Şt. (1924). Începuturile individualismului. Contribuţie la psihologia socială a culturii elene din a doua jumătate a secolului V a. Chr. [The beginnings of individualism. Contribution to the social psychology of Greek culture in the second half of the AD fifth century] Arhiva pentru ştiinţă şi reformă socială, V(3-4), 380–381. Editura Institutul Social Român, București (http://www.digibuc.ro/colectii/arhiva-pentru-stiinta-si-reforma-sociala---1932-c8098).

Zeletin, Șt. (1925). Burghezia română. Originea şi rolul ei istoric [Romanian Bourgeoisie. Origin and Historical Role]. Editura “Cultura naţională”, Biblioteca socială (edited by Dimitrie Gusti), București.

Zeletin, Șt. (1926). Naţionalizarea şcoalei [School Nationalization], Cartea vremii, Colecţie enciclopedică edited by Nichifor Crainic, Editura Fundaţiei Culturale “Princi-pele Carol”, București.

Zeletin, Șt. (1927). Economia politică şi instrucţie civică – pentru clasa a VIII-a de liceu [Manual of Political Economy and Civic Instruction for the Eighth High-school Form]. Editura Librăriei SOCEC, București.

Zeletin, Șt. (1927). Neoliberalismul. Studii asupra istoriei și politicei burgheziei române [Neoliberalism. Studies on the history and Politics of Romanian Bourgeoisie], Editura “Pagini agrare şi sociale”, București.

Zeletin, Șt. (1930). Gestul forte [Strong Gesture]. Ţara Noastră, X(25), 15 iunie (http://documente.bcucluj.ro/web/bibdigit/periodice/taranoastra/1930/BCUCLUJ_FP_451581_1930_010_025.pdf).

Zeletin, Șt. (1991). Burghezia română, originea și rolul ei istoric [Romanian Bourgeoisie. Origin and Historical Role], second edition, edited by C.D. Zeletin, Editura Humanitas, București.

Zeletin, Șt. (1992). Neoliberalismul [Neoliberalism], third edition, edited by C.D. Zeletin, Editura Scripta, București.

Zeletin, Șt. (1997). Burghezia română: originea și rolul ei istoric (1925). Neoliberalismul: studii asupra istoriei și politicii burgheziei române (1927). Edited by Cristian Preda, Bio-bibliographic notes by C.D. Zeletin, Introductory study by Cristian Preda, Nemira, București.

Zeltin, Șt. (2006). Din Ţara Măgarilor. Însemnări [Notes from the Country of Donkeys], Editura Nemira, București.

Zeletin, C.D. (2002). Ștefan Zeletin. Contribuții documentare. Corgal Press, Bacău.

Zvanciuc, V. (2006). Filosoful şi sociologul Ștefan Zeletin. An. Institutului de Istorie “G. Bariţ”, IV, 191-258.

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