System-Autopoiesis-Form: An Introduction to Luhmann's 'Introduction to Systems Theory'
Editor's Preface to the German Edition
I. Sociology and Systems Theory
1. The Functionalism of System Maintenance
II. General Systems Theory
1. The Theory of Open Systems
2. System as Difference (Formal Analysis)
3. Operational Closure
4. Self-Organization, Autopoiesis
5. Structural Coupling
9. The Idea of Rationality
V. Psychic and Social Systems
1. Problems of "Action Theory"
2. Two Modes of Operation of Autopoiesis
VI. Communication as a Self-Observing Operation
VII. Double Contingency, Structure, Conflict
Suggested Further Readings
'These lectures, published here in English for the first time, show Luhmann at the height of his powers. They offer a unique insight into the engine room of arguably the world's most famous systems theorist. It is indeed a brilliant mind that is at work here; very few other social scientists would be able to perform at such a level. Particularly for students and readers who are not familiar with Luhmann's style of thought, this is an ideal introduction to systems theory by the man himself.'
Andreas Hess, University College Dublin
'Niklas Luhmann is the closest the social sciences have come, in a long time, to an actual thinker. This book is an indispensable introduction to Luhmann’s unique version of systems theory and required reading to all concerned about theoretical sociology. It offers a rare glimpse into the experimental workings of an extraordinary sociological mind at work.'
Stephan Fuchs, University of Virginia
- Niklas Luhmann (1927-1998) ranks as one of the most important sociologists and social theorists of the 20th century.
- In recent years, Luhmann's systems theory has gained resonance in a wide variety of disciplines.
- This book offers precise conceptual analyses and a wealth of examples to clarify the theoretical foundations of general and sociological systems theory.
- Offers a wide range of concepts and theorems that pertain equally to politics and the economy, religion and science, art and education, the family and personal life.