❮ Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy Live!

Volume 23: What Future The Professions (1960)

Four 1-hour lectures.

A profession means three things: a brotherhood of the people who do the same thing, a service to the people who are in need of it, and the recognition by the leaders of the community, that this service is done in the right manner by this group of colleagues.

—January 25, 1960

To turn the hearts of the children to their parents” means to make them into professional people. That is, to make them inherit a spirit, which they have invented, and which they do not discover themselves, despite all pragmatism.

—January 28, 1960

Rosenstock-Huessy’s central question is the problem of how thought is circulated and vitality is maintained. His underlying assumption is that any idea that is to live longer than one human life must be institutionalized. He applies the label “professional” to the practice and teaching of any services needed by the community ]—from those of a doctor, lawyer, or teacher to those of the plumber and carpenter. He argues that there are disastrous consequences when the relationships between the professionals and their colleagues, their clients, and the law break down.