Why Systems?

Theory Culture & Society, Vol. 18, pp. 59-74, 2001

18 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2011

Date Written: January 1, 2001


With reference to three seminal books on cybernetics, communication theory and the calculus of distinctions, the paper discusses some main threads in Niklas Luhmann’s sociological systems theoretical thinking. It argues that the systems theory, despite its still lively reputation in some quarters of the humanities, is not technocracy’s last attempt to cope with the complexity of modern society. Rather, it is an inquiry into the improbability of communication and into its translation into social structure, or better, into social form.

Keywords: communication, cybernetics, form, sociological theory, systems

Suggested Citation

Baecker, Dirk, Why Systems? (January 1, 2001). Theory Culture & Society, Vol. 18, pp. 59-74, 2001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1867406

Dirk Baecker (Contact Author)

Witten/Herdecke University ( email )


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