Publication 5137

Schmidt S. J. (1994) "System" and "observer": Two key concepts in (future) literary studies. LUMIS-Schriften 39. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/5137
General systems theory (since L. von Bertalanffy) has offered various options how to conceptualise systems. Opposing N. Luhmann’s narrow conception of system I propose to combine systemsand actor-theoretical approaches in order to model social systems (including literature) as non-linearly interrelated complexes of systems where causal structures depend – among others – upon the decision of goal-oriented subsystems, viz. actors whose sociality is introduced into the system via culture. The second part of this paper is devoted to some consequences arriving from the observer problem; e.g. the mutual construction of system and environment, the relation observer: meaning vis a vis the operational closure of cognitive systems, and a constructivist reading of the concept ‘empirical’.

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