Theories of Difference: Redescribing the Descriptions of Modernity ( Cultural Memory in the Present)

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Overview

“Luhmann’s thought has become more and more influential internationally as one of the very rare examples of the ability of social theory to enlarge its theoretical resources and thereby gain a new grasp of significant empirical phenomena. This book presents Luhmann as a thinker who advances existing difference theories by combining them with systems theory.”—Dirk Baecker, University of Witten/Herdecke

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Luhmann’s thought has become more and more influential internationally as one of the very rare examples of the ability of social theory to enlarge its theoretical resources and thereby gain a new grasp of significant empirical phenomena. This book presents Luhmann as a thinker who advances existing difference theories by combining them with systems theory.”—Dirk Baecker, University of Witten/Herdecke
Booknews
A substantial introduction by William Rasch (whose affiliation is not stated) precedes a collection of nine essays by Niklas Luhman, who was professor emeritus at the U. of Bielefeld and Germany's leading social theorist of the late 20th century. The essays are grouped in sections on Husserl, science, modernity; paradox and observation; and communication. A final "coda" essay, under the heading "Not in Frankfurt," is titled "I See Something You Don't See." Translations are by Joseph O'Neil, Elliott Schreiber, Kerstin Behnke, and William Whobrey. Indexing is by name only. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804741231
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: Cultural Memory in the Present Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,346,760
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Niklas Luhmann was Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Bielefeld. Stanford has published five other of his books, most recently The Reality of the Mass Media (2000)

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Self-Positing Society 1
Pt. I Husserl, Science, Modernity
1 The Modern Sciences and Phenomenology 33
2 The Modernity of Science 61
Pt. II Paradox and Observation
3 The Paradox of Observing Systems 79
4 Deconstruction as Second-Order Observing 94
5 Identity - What or How? 113
6 The Cognitive Program of Constructivism and the Reality That Remains Unknown 128
Pt. III Communication
7 What Is Communication? 155
8 How Can the Mind Participate in Communication? 169
Pt. IV Coda: "Not in Frankfurt"
9 I See Something You Don't See 187
Notes 197
Works Cited 213
Index 225
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