I Am An Impure Thinker - Assessment of Speech and Reality

Assessment of Speech and Reality

In the forward of the book, W. H. Auden writes:

Rosenstock-Huessy has uncovered many truths hidden from his predecessors.... Whatever he may have to say about God, Man, the World, Time, etc., Rosenstock-Huessy always starts out from his own experience as a human being, who must pass through successive stages between birth and death, learning something essential from each one of them.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote of the author:

Rosenstock-Huessy refuses to do anything in the usual way. But you may well turn yourself over to him. Behind everything stands the committed responsibility of a great teacher who opens our eyes.

In his book, By Way of Response, Martin E. Marty writes:

Let me lead into them by comparing a person's life to what a favorite philosopher of mine, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, once wrote about a volume. "One book is about one thing; at least the good ones are." The most rich and varied lives I contend, are also "about" one thing. Not Rosenstock-Huessy's at first glance: "I am an impure thinker, I am hurt, swayed, shaken, elated, disillusioned, shocked, comforted, and I have to transmit my mental experiences lest I die. And although I may die." An impure thinker he was, but never an undirected one. His life was finally about his motto, respondeo etsi mutabor, "I respond although I shall be changed." Responding did not mean being an antenna constantly turning for a signal. His life was not like a sponge or blotter that only soaks up substance from others, a mirror to bounce back images. A forceful ego was there, as assuredly as in José Ortega y Gasset's self-summary, "I am I and my circumstances." This points to a perfect tension between the freedom of self and the fate of environment.

In his book, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition, Harold J. Berman cites I am an Impure Thinker as contributing to the insights on the discussion of law and revolution.

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