Rosenstock-Huessy’s is a powerful and original mind. What is most important in his work is the understanding of the relevance of traditional values to a civilization still undergoing revolutionary transformations; and this contribution will gain rather than lose significance in the future.
Join us for an invigorating seminar that delves into the profound thought of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, a Jewish convert to Christianity, World War I veteran, and multifaceted thinker of the 20th century. A maverick philosopher and teacher, Rosenstock-Huessy emigrated from Nazi Germany to Harvard—where he was marginalized both for an interdisciplinary approach (before it was fashionable) and for unapologetically using the word “God” frequently in class. Thankfully he found a congenial home at Dartmouth College where his thought was given free reign until his death in 1973. Despite often being overlooked by conventional academia, his vast collection of works continues to resonate with contemporary scholars and has been praised as seminal by many critics.
The seminar promises to unlock the sui generis insights and methodologies that set Rosenstock-Huessy apart. His philosophical contributions defy easy categorization but open doors to understanding aspects of reality previously unnoticed. His ideas, stemming from unexpected cultural corners, offer a refreshing perspective on time, speech, and history—topics notoriously challenging to pin down.
Participants will explore Rosenstock’s enduring insights, focusing on his unique “grammatical method” of understanding. This approach safeguards against the modern tendency to reduce human reality to mere “scientific” statements. The discussion will also probe his perspective on the precedence of the second person over the first in our encounter with reality, his critique of prioritizing space over time, and his innovative “Cross of Reality” to reorient human consciousness.
Furthermore, the seminar will address Rosenstock-Huessy’s theories on the origin of language, emphasizing the primacy of hearing over seeing. It will also explore his alignment with other “speech thinkers” of the last century and his intricate understanding of history as a central theme converging all his insights.
This seminar invites scholars, students, and curious minds to engage with the challenging and inspiring works of this often-underappreciated thinker. It offers a stimulating journey into philosophical realms that continue to enrich and provoke our modern understanding of the cosmos and our place within it. Join us for this enlightening exploration that promises to be both intellectual revelation and tribute to one of the past century’s most intriguing and neglected minds.
1. The “Impure Thinker” that was Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Readings: » [Primary] ERH. “Teaching Too Late – Learning Too Early,” from I Am an Impure Thinker, 91-114; Wayne Cristaudo et al. “Introduction: Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy (1888–1973)”, in Culture, Theory and Critique, 2015, vol. 56, 1 (12 pages). » [Secondary] Peter Leithart. “The Relevance of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy,” First Things, 06.28.07 (seven pages); Wayne Cristaudo. “Why Rosenstock-Huessy Matters: Personal reflections on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of his death,” unpubl., 2023 (29 pages).
2. Philosophy, Language and 20th Century “Speech-Thinkers” Readings: » [Primary] ERH. “The Uni-Versity of Logic, Language, Literature,” chapter 3 of Speech and Reality, 67-97. » [Secondary] Harold Stahmer. ” ‘Speech-Letters’ and ‘Speech-Thinking’: Franz Rosenzweig and Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy,” Modern Judaism, Feb. 1984, 57-81.
3. The Grammar Before and Beyond Our Grade-School Primers Readings: » [Primary] ERH. “In Defense of the Grammatical Method,” chapter 1 in Speech and Reality, 9-44. “The Grammar of the Soul,” from Practical Knowledge of the Soul, ch. 5, 18-33. » [Secondary] ERH. “Grammatical Health,” “Genus (Gender) and Life,” and “Editor’s Postscript,” chapters 12, 13 and 14 of The Origin of Speech, 110-129.
4. Time vis-à-vis Space in the “Cross of Reality” Readings: » [Primary] ERH. “Articulated Speech,” chapter 2 from Speech and Reality, 45-66. » [Secondary] ERH. “The Penetration of the Cross,” ch. 7 in The Christian Future (165-198); Peter Leithart. “The Cross of Reality,” unpubl., 2017 (11 pages).
5. Human Speech – Evolved Ululation, or the Posterity of Poetry? Readings: » [Primary] ERH. “The Authentic Moment of Speech,” “The Four Diseases of Speech,” and “Church and State of Primitive Man,” from The Origin of Speech, the first three chapters, 2-27. » [Secondary] ERH. “The Speech of the Community,” ch. 9 from Practical Knowledge of the Soul, 48-61; “The Four Phases of Speech,” and “The Quadrilateral of Human Logic,” from I Am an Impure Thinker, 53-68.
6. History and Its Revolutions Readings: » [Primary] selections from Out of Revolution. » [Secondary] Norman Fiering. “Heritage vs. History: ERH as a “Physician of Memory,” from Understanding Rosenstock-Huessy, 60-93.
7. “Judaism Despite Christianity” Readings: » [Primary] ERH. “Prologue/Epilogue to the Letters – 50 Years Later,” 71-76; 171-194, from Judaism Despite Christianity -The Letters on Christianity and Judaism between ERH and Franz Rosenzweig. » [Secondary] Raymond Huessy. “A Reflection on the 1916 Correspondence between Rosenstock and Rosenberg,” in The Fruit of Our Lips, 303-311.
8. The Christian Future Readings: » [Primary]chapters from ERH. The Christian Future, 1946, and passages from The Fruit of Our Lips, 2021. » [Secondary] Peter Leithart. “Future and the Christian Era,” Theopolis, 2017.
Lyceum Institute seminar costs are structured on a principle of financial subsidiarity. There are three payment levels, priced according to likely levels of income. If you wish to take a seminar but cannot afford the suggested rate, it is acceptable to sign up at a less-expensive level. The idea is: pay what you can. Those who can pay more, should, so that those who cannot pay as much, need not. Lyceum Institute members receive a further discount (see here for details).
One payment covers all 8 weeks.
If you prefer an alternative payment method (i.e., not PayPal), use our contact form and state whether you prefer to pay as a Participant, Patron, or Benefactor, and an invoice will be emailed to you.
[2023 Fall] Rosenstock’s Thought – Public Benefactor
Upper-tier payment. Recommended for those with full-time employment in well-paying professions and sufficient resources to provide a little more.
[2023 Fall] Rosenstock’s Thought – Public Patron
Middle-tier payment. Recommended for those with full-time employment and children, or for those in professions that do not pay as well as they ought, such as clergy and teachers.
[2023 Fall] Rosenstock’s Thought – Public Participant
Basic payment. Recommended for those who are currently students, with part-time employment, or who cannot afford to pay more at the moment.
On 17 September 2022 at 2pm ET (see event times around the world and join the live Q&A here), Claudia Jacques de Moraes Cardoso (PhD, MFA) will present on Navigating the Cybersemiotic Experience: From Deely to Brier. Claudia is a Brazilian-American interdisciplinary technoetic artist, designer, educator and researcher, based in New York. Her art and research focus is on Information in Human-Computer Interactions through the lens of Cybersemiotics. She teaches art and design, is a principal at Knowledge Art Studios, and serves as an academic editor for Technoetic Arts Journal and as art/web editor for Cybernetics & Human Knowing Journal.
Commentator: Carlos Vidales
Carlos Vidales is a Faculty Member of the Department of Social Communication Studies at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He is the author of several books, articles, and book chapters all related to semiotics and communication theory. He is a scholar of the International Communicology Institute, and the general coordinator of the undergraduate program in Public Communication at the University of Guadalajara. He is a member of the National Research System of the Mexican Council of Science and Technology. Managing Editor of the Journal Cybernetics and Human Knowing.
2022 International Open Seminar on Semiotics (IO2S) | Website
This collaborative international open scientific initiative and celebration is jointly organized by the Institute for Philosophical Studies of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Coimbra, the Lyceum Institute, the Deely Project, Saint Vincent College, the Iranian Society for Phenomenology at the Iranian Political Science Association, the International Association for Semiotics of Space and Time, the Institute for Scientific Information on Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Semiotic Society of America, the American Maritain Association, the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the International Society for Biosemiotic Studies and the Mansarda Acesa with the support of the FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P., of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal under the UID/FIL/00010/2020 project.