Published In

Culture, Theory and Critique

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2-6-2023


Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, cross of reality, tetrad, systems theory, inner-outer-past-future, space-time tetrad


This paper is a systems theoretic examination of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy’s “cross of reality,” a structure that fuses a spatial dyad of inner-outer and a temporal dyad of past-future into a space-time tetrad. This structure is compatible not only with the "human-centered" point of view that Rosenstock-Huessy favours, but also with the "world-centered" point of view inherent in science. The structure, based in his analysis of speech, is applied by him to a wide variety of individual and collective human phenomena, including language, religion, and social critique. To appropriate terminology used by physicists, the cross of reality could be viewed as Rosenstock-Huessy’s “theory of everything,” a framework for the social sciences and humanities that can be used to model entities, events, and processes. The cross diagrams some basic notions of systems theory. Rosenstock-Huessy’s critique of science is partially shared by systems thought, and the goal he posited for sociology of understanding and alleviating human suffering can gain support from systems ideas and methods.


This is the pre-print version of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Culture, Theory and Critique on 06 Feb 2023, available online:



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