A major challenge confronting contemporary theory is to overcome its fixation on written narratives and the culture of print. In this presentation of a general theory of systems, Niklas Luhmann, Germany's most prominent and controversial social thinker, sets out a contribution to sociology that reworks our understanding of meaning and communication. For Luhmann, the end of metanarratives does not mean the end of theory, but a challenge to theory, an invitation to open itself to theoretical developments in a number of disciplines that, for quite some time, have been successfully working with cybernetic models that no longer require the fiction of the external observer. He links social theory to recent theoretical developments in scientific disciplines as diverse as modern physics, information theory, general systems theory, neurophysiology, phenomenology, and cognitive science. One of the most important contributions to social theory of recent decades, it has implications for many disciplines beyond sociology.
Published in 1996
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