Thyssen O. (1995) Some basic notions in the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann. Cybernetics and Human Knowing 3(2): 13–22.
Some basic notions in the systems theory of Niklas Luhmann.
Cybernetics and Human Knowing 3(2): 13–22.
An attempt is made to present and organize some basic concepts from the universal systems theory of Niklas Luhmann. Working in the theoretical tradition of autopoiesis and second order cybernetics the point of departure is not ontology but distinction and observation. The basic distinction is the distinction between system and environment. Concentrating on social systems the element of which are ephemeral communications Luhmann operates with concepts as self-reference, time, and paradox in constructivist systems science. As Luhmann considers modern society in functional subsystems such as economy, science and politics he presents a picture of society with no center and no important place for the individual.