Niklas Luhmann stellte mit seinem Werk „Soziale Systeme” ein Theoriegebäude vor, das zur Beschreibung sozialer, psychischer und biologischer. Niklas Luhmanns Systemtheorie und Charles S. Peirces Zeichentheorie [Niklas Luhmann's Systems Theory and Charles S. Peirce's Theory of Semiotics. This article deals with several current proposals to apply Niklas Luhmann's theory of social systems to the sociology of war. In a recent contribution to this journal.


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Here, Luhmann refers to the British mathematician G. Spencer-Brown 's logic of distinctions that Maturana and Niklas luhmann systemtheorie had earlier identified as a model for the functioning of any cognitive process.

The supreme criterion guiding the "self-creation" of any given system is a defining binary code. This binary code is not to be confused with the computers operation: Although Luhmann first developed his understanding of social systems theory under Parsons' influence, he soon niklas luhmann systemtheorie away from the Parsonian concept.


The most important niklas luhmann systemtheorie is that Parsons framed systems as forms of actionin accordance with the AGIL paradigm.

Parsons' systems theory treats systems as operationally openand interactive through an input and output schema.

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Influenced by second-order cyberneticsLuhmann instead treats systems as autopoietic and operationally closed [15] [16]. Systems must continually construct themselves and their perspective of reality through processing the distinction between system and environmentand niklas luhmann systemtheorie themselves as the product of their own elements.

Social systems are defined by Luhmann not as action but as recursive communication.

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Modern society is defined as a world system consisting of the sum total of all communication happening niklas luhmann systemtheorie once [17]and individual function systems such as the economy, politics, science, love, art, the media, etc.

Another difference is that Parsons asks how certain subsystems contribute to the functioning of overall society. Luhmann starts with the differentiation of the systems themselves out of a nondescript environment.

While he does observe how certain systems fulfill functions that contribute to "society" as a whole, he dispenses with the assumption of a priori cultural or normative consensus or "complimentary purpose" which niklas luhmann systemtheorie common to Durkheim and Parsons' conceptualization of a social function [19].

For Luhmann, functional differentiation is a consequence of selective pressure under temporalized complexity, and it occurs as function systems independently establish their own ecological niches by performing niklas luhmann systemtheorie function [20]. Functions are therefore not the coordinated components of the organic social whole, but rather contingent and selective responses to reference problems which obey no higher principle of order and could have been responded to in other ways.

Finally, the systems' autopoietic closure is another fundamental difference from Parsons' concept. Each system works strictly according to its very own code niklas luhmann systemtheorie can observe other systems only by applying its code to their operations.

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For example, the code of the economy involves the application of the distinction between payment and non-payment. Other system operations appear niklas luhmann systemtheorie the economic field of references only insofar as this economic code can be applied to them.

Hence, a political decision becomes an economic operation when it is observed as a government spending money or not. Likewise, a legal judgement may also be an economic operation when settlement of a contractual dispute niklas luhmann systemtheorie one niklas luhmann systemtheorie to pay for the goods or services they had acquired.

The codes of the economy, politics and law operate autonomously, but their "interpenetration" [21] is evident when observing "events" [22] which simultaneously involve the participation of more than one system.

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One seemingly peculiar, but within the overall framework strictly logical, axiom of Luhmann's theory is the human being's position outside any social system, initially developed by Parsons.

In Luhmann's terms, human beings are neither part of society nor of any specific systems, just as they are not part of a conversation. Luhmann niklas luhmann systemtheorie once said concisely that he was "not interested in people". That is not to say that people were not a matter for Luhmann, but rather, the communicative actions of people are constituted niklas luhmann systemtheorie not defined by society, and society is constituted but not defined by the communicative actions of people: Thus, sociology can explain how persons can change society; the influence of the niklas luhmann systemtheorie the people on the system the societythe so-called "structural coupling".

In fact Luhmann himself replied to the relevant criticism by stating that "In fact the theory of autopoietic systems could bear the title Taking Individuals Seriously, certainly more seriously than our humanistic tradition" Niklas Luhmann, Operational Closure and Structural Coupling: This approach has attracted criticism from those who argue that Luhmann has at no point demonstrated the operational closure of social systems, or in fact that autopoietic social systems actually exist.

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