Guide to the Papers of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, 1870 - 2001Manuscript MS-522

Biography

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, born July 6, 1888 in Berlin, Germany, studied law at the University of Zurich and in 1909, at the age of 21, he received his doctorate in law from the University of Heidelberg. In 1912 he began teaching constitutional law and the history of law at the University of Leipzig. He was drafted into the army at the outbreak of World War I and worked on the German railroads servicing the battle at Verdun. After the war he left teaching and co-founded the first German factory newspaper, the 'Daimler Zeitung" at the Daimler auto company as well as the Patmos Publishing House which focused on new religious, philosophical and social perspectives. In 1924 he published "Practical Knowledge of the Soul" wherein he outlined for the first time his radically new method for the social sciences based on language, the spoken word, and his "grammatical approach," which he later called "metanomics." This method remained at the heart of all his later works and was expanded upon in his two volume "Soziologie" (1956-1958): Volume I, On the Forces of Common Life (when space governs), and Volume II, On the Forces of History (when the times are obeyed). He further elaborated these ideas in another two-volume book, "Die Sprache des Menschengeschlechts: Eine Leibhaftige Grammatik in Vier Teilen" (The Speech of Mankind: A Personal Grammar in Four Parts, 1963-1964). Rosenstock-Huessy received a second doctorate in philosophy from the University of Heidelberg in 1923 and taught at Breslau until 1933. He left Germany in 1933, as Hitler rose to power, for a lecturing post at Harvard University. In 1935 he accepted a faculty post at Dartmouth College, from which he retired in 1957. Rosenstock-Huessy also founded Camp William James in Tunbridge, Vermont. The Camp trained members for the Civilian Conservation Corps Rosenstock-Huessy died on February 24, 1973.

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