Publication 8045

Luhmann N. (1990) The improbability of communication. Chapter 4 in: Essays on self-reference. Columbia University Press, New York: 86–98. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/8045
Excerpt: Without communication there can be no hut-flan relations, indeed no human life. Communication theory cannot therefore be confined to examining only certain sectors of life in society. It is not enough to engage in exhaustive discussion of particular techniques of communication, even though, because of their very novelty, such techniques and their consequences are attracting special attention in contemporary society. It is equally inadequate to begin with a discussion of concepts. That would serve a useful purpose only if one already knew what the concept was intended to achieve and in what theoretical field it was to be applied. But no consensus on such points can be assumed, and I shall therefore begin by distinguishing two different theoretical approaches whereby a scientific theory can be constructed

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