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Wafting spheres: much ado about nothing

Wafting spheres: much ado about nothing The purpose of this paper is to implement the idea of the sphere on systems theory (type: Niklas Luhmann) and to test whether this theory can be used to gain a sharper approach to the complex of ideas of the sphere. The main theme is “the conceptual blurriness of the word sphere.” This essay analyzes the societal and historical semantics of the concept of sphere and nearby notions in the thought traditions in medieval society until the modern, i.e. the functionally differentiated society. Nearby notions as limitationality and boundary are discussed, as well as sphere as a “lexicalized metaphor.” At the end, the paper turns to the concept of sphere in modern society that is based on the distinction “public/private” and applies the discussion to the system of mass media.Design/methodology/approachThis paper can be classified as a “conceptual essay” that draws on basic systems theoretical concepts.FindingsThe result of the theoretical considerations is that the word “sphere” represents nothing more than a “catchword” and can hardly lay the groundwork for empirical and theoretical research that would be instructive with regard to the new media and their massive influence on society.Originality/valueThis paper was researched and written solely by the author. All sources are clearly identified. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Kybernetes Emerald Publishing

Wafting spheres: much ado about nothing

Kybernetes , Volume 50 (4): 11 – May 4, 2021

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References (19)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0368-492X
eISSN
0368-492X
DOI
10.1108/k-06-2020-0366
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to implement the idea of the sphere on systems theory (type: Niklas Luhmann) and to test whether this theory can be used to gain a sharper approach to the complex of ideas of the sphere. The main theme is “the conceptual blurriness of the word sphere.” This essay analyzes the societal and historical semantics of the concept of sphere and nearby notions in the thought traditions in medieval society until the modern, i.e. the functionally differentiated society. Nearby notions as limitationality and boundary are discussed, as well as sphere as a “lexicalized metaphor.” At the end, the paper turns to the concept of sphere in modern society that is based on the distinction “public/private” and applies the discussion to the system of mass media.Design/methodology/approachThis paper can be classified as a “conceptual essay” that draws on basic systems theoretical concepts.FindingsThe result of the theoretical considerations is that the word “sphere” represents nothing more than a “catchword” and can hardly lay the groundwork for empirical and theoretical research that would be instructive with regard to the new media and their massive influence on society.Originality/valueThis paper was researched and written solely by the author. All sources are clearly identified.

Journal

KybernetesEmerald Publishing

Published: May 4, 2021

Keywords: Systems theory; Bluriness; Sphere; Limitationality; Contingency; Boundary; Society

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