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Luhmann Explained: From Souls to Systems…
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Luhmann Explained: From Souls to Systems (Ideas Explained)

by Hans-Georg Moeller

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We live in a functionally differentiated society. The mass media, the economy, politics, etc are all separate complex, self organizing and self-reproducing systems.

To each system the others are just the environment, they influence the system, but not in any direct, simply input-output related way. The systems has it's own rules / ways of digesting the input and creating things from it that make sense to it.

Just like a living organism takes it's food and energy from the environment, and creates Picasso's with it. Who could have guessed such a relation between input (potatoes) and output?

Anyway, this view goes a long way in making clear why politics so often seems to come to nothing, or why the economy takes its own fearful course.

The book is not very factual however, if you want to know more about the abstract theory of complex adaptive systems. Or want to know how exactly (e.g.) the mass media is an example of such a system. ( )
  freetrader | Feb 26, 2009 |
Zero stars for chapter 1, two stars for the rest of the book.

Chapter 1 on "What is social systems theory?" is worse than useless. It is worthless trash based on an amazingly stupid misunderstanding and misuse of systems theory. If you know enough to see what is wrong with it you do not need to read it, and if not you may be misinformed and misled.

Some readers may find some things of use in the rest of the book. I found the chapter on the Luhmann-Habermas debate worth reading. ( )
  johnclaydon | Jun 30, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812695984, Paperback)

What are systems? What is society? What happens to human beings in a hypermodern world? Niklas Luhmann addressed these questions in depth. This book introduces his social systems theory which explains specific functions like economy and mass media from a cybernetic perspective, integrating various schools of thought including sociology, philosophy, and biology. Luhmann Explained explores the great thinker’s radical analysis of “world society.” The book gives special attention to the present-day relevance of Luhmann's theory with respect to globalization, electronic mass media, ethics, and new forms of protest.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:42 -0400)

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