Publication 4863

Kargl W. (1991) Gesellschaft ohne Subjekte oder Subjekte ohne Gesellschaft? Kritik der rechtssoziologischen Autopoiese-Kritik. Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie 12: 120–141.
The author seeks to clarify the most significant misconceptions produced by legal sociologists in discussions of the concept of autopoiesis and to overcome the remaining problems in the concept through a social theory grounded in cognitive action. – Against the criticisms of autopoiesis it is argued that the hypothesis of the closedness of the legal system is only related to the formal mechanism of the manipulation of the binary code ” legal/ illegal” and not to any concrete arrangements. Therefore, within the Iimits of binary coding, the legal system proves controllable via other social subsystems. However, on this basis the danger of reductionism through power theory or economics is still not eliminated. For this reason a person-oriented autopoiesis notion needs to be developed instead of the sociological autopoiesis notion, the former deriving the stability and the transformability of the social system from the cognitions of individuals acting in the system. Consequently, acting persons and not communications are described as the primary elements of the legal system.
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