Four Days of Systems Theory I: Luhmann on Paradox

In Background Readings on October 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

627 pages of Luhmann not enough for you? Then check out his lucid essay “The Paradoxy of Observing Systems” (embedded after the jump). Not only does it provide a concise overview of the central point of contention in Social Systems, but the the start of the second section in particular has some resonance for our general course concerns: Paradox was invented–that is, discovered–more than two thousand years ago, at the beginning of serious experiments with second-order observing. Since that time we find two different, even contradictory uses, the one logical, the other rhetorical…

  1. What is communication theory, and what – in your opinion – is Luhmann’s most significant contribution to it?

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