Hvordan er systemteorien mulig?

  • Ole Bjerg


How is Systems Theory possible? This article tries to undercover some of the fundamental premises of Niklas Luhmann’s Systems Theory by looking at its way of asking questions. The question: “how is communication possible?” is seen to be the theory’s core question, and the concept of autopoietic social systems the answer to this question. Inspired by Nietzsche’s critique of the Kantian question: “how are synthetic propositions a priori possible?” The article confronts System Theory with the question: “why is there being communicated?” I argue that Systems Theory is unable to answer this question without making some ontological assumptions about social systems. However these conflict with the theory’s insistence on a radical constructivist epistemology; and too these assumptions involve ascribing social systems with characteristics that we would ‘normally’ only use in connection with living beings. The article discusses perspectives of introducing the Heideggerian concept of Dasein into Systems Theory to deal with the shortcomings of the theory that are discussed.