Niklas Luhmann ranks as one of the most important sociologists and social theorists of the twentieth century. Through his many books he developed a highly original form of systems theory that has been hugely influential in a wide variety of disciplines. In Introduction to Systems Theory, Luhmann explains the key ideas of general and sociological systems theory and supplies a wealth of examples to illustrate his approach. The book offers a wide range of concepts and theorems that can be applied to politics and the economy, religion and science, art and education, organization and the family. Moreover, Luhmann s ideas address important contemporary issues in such diverse fields as cognitive science, ecology, and the study of social movements. This book provides all the necessary resources for readers to work through the foundations of systems theory no other work by Luhmann is as clear and accessible as this. There is also much here that will be of great interest to more advanced scholars and practitioners in sociology and the social sciences.
Niklas Luhmann was professor of sociology at the University of Bielefeld.
Translators Note and Acknowledgements 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 2. Parsons 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 6. Observing 7. Re-entry 8. Complexity 9. The Idea of Rationality III. Time IV. Meaning 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
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