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What Society? Invisible Machines, Control, and Niklas Luhmann's Theory of Society

What Society? Invisible Machines, Control, and Niklas Luhmann's Theory of Society WHAT SOCIETY? INVISIBLE MACHINES, CONTROL, AND NIKLAS LUHMANN’S THEORY OF SOCIETY CRISTINA IULI The ubiquity of notions of communication and control is a refl ex of the success that the discourse of Cybernetics as a regime of signifi cation gained from the second half of the twentieth century, when an epistemology based on the systemic relation between information, function and communication spread across heterogeneous disciplinary domains and eventually became an epistemological dominant. The emphasis on communication, in the specifi c declination that followed a well-known trajectory in the history of post-World War II fi rst and second order cybernetics, is crucial to Niklas Luhmann’s theory of society, which addresses modern society not in the conventional terms of classical sociology, as an organization of groups, individuals, or communities, but as a plurality of interdependent, self-organizing, and self-propelling functional systems whose operations consist of communica- tions, and which process and manage their environment through their own communication. Modern society, in Luhmann’s view, exists and is organized by the interactions of a series of functionally autonomous, specialized sub- systems—politics, law, science, art, education, etc.—that establish them- selves autologically by applying self-referential codes carrying the principle of selectivity by means of which they http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke uni_neb

What Society? Invisible Machines, Control, and Niklas Luhmann's Theory of Society

symploke , Volume 28 (1) – Nov 24, 2020

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © symploke
ISSN
1534-0627

Abstract

WHAT SOCIETY? INVISIBLE MACHINES, CONTROL, AND NIKLAS LUHMANN’S THEORY OF SOCIETY CRISTINA IULI The ubiquity of notions of communication and control is a refl ex of the success that the discourse of Cybernetics as a regime of signifi cation gained from the second half of the twentieth century, when an epistemology based on the systemic relation between information, function and communication spread across heterogeneous disciplinary domains and eventually became an epistemological dominant. The emphasis on communication, in the specifi c declination that followed a well-known trajectory in the history of post-World War II fi rst and second order cybernetics, is crucial to Niklas Luhmann’s theory of society, which addresses modern society not in the conventional terms of classical sociology, as an organization of groups, individuals, or communities, but as a plurality of interdependent, self-organizing, and self-propelling functional systems whose operations consist of communica- tions, and which process and manage their environment through their own communication. Modern society, in Luhmann’s view, exists and is organized by the interactions of a series of functionally autonomous, specialized sub- systems—politics, law, science, art, education, etc.—that establish them- selves autologically by applying self-referential codes carrying the principle of selectivity by means of which they

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symplokeuni_neb

Published: Nov 24, 2020

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