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Title: Systems theory's systems: Strengths, weaknesses and a remedy
Authors: Schmidt, V.H. 
Issue Date: Dec-2005
Citation: Schmidt, V.H. (2005-12). Systems theory's systems: Strengths, weaknesses and a remedy. Zeitschrift fur Soziologie 34 (6) : 406-424. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The article concerns itself with Luhmann's concept of societal function systems and shows that Luhmann uses this concept with two fundamentally different meanings. Both versions cover important aspects of social reality and hence are indispensable for an adequate social theory. Yet, their respective definitions make them mutually incompatible, resulting not only in deep conceptual flaws and self-contradictions, but also giving rise to two conflicting social theories within the same body of work whose difference remains unacknowledged. Two proposals for solving the problem are discussed. The author suggests that Luhmann's concept of function systems be disaggregated in line with Weber's distinction between value spheres and life orders that, he claims, would permit us to retain key insights Luhmann offers about both aspects of reality without forcing us to give up central premises underlying his thought, which are contradictory only when applied to the same subject matter. © Lucius & Lucius Verlag Stuttgart.
Source Title: Zeitschrift fur Soziologie
ISSN: 03401804
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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