They can speak like Hegel. But they have no language left but the dialectical one. The countermeasure I have in mind is to make the theory
decisions as transparent as possible.
Niklas Luhmann, Introduction to SystemsTheory1
Damit fehlen ausreichende Anhaltspunkte für ein Ausschöpfen des
Möglichen, für Rationalisierung. Wir leben, wie man seit dem Erdbeben
von Lissabon weiß, nicht in der besten der möglichen Welten, sondern
in einer Welt voll besserer Möglichkeiten.
Niklas Luhmann, Theorie der Gesellschaft oder Sozialtechnologie2
Epistemology should be the axe that breaks the ice of a traditionalism that covers and obstructs scientific enlightenment. This book explores the arguments between critical theory and epistemology in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on the first and second generations of critical theorists and Luhmann's systems theory, it examines how each approaches epistemology. The book offers a critique of the Kantian base of critical theory's epistemology in conjunction with the latter's endeavour to define political potential through the social function of science. The concept of dialectics is explored as the negation of the irrational and, furthermore, as the open field of epistemological conflict between rationality and irrationality. The book traces the course of arguments that begin with Dilthey's philosophy of a rigorous science, develop with Husserl's phenomenology, Simmel's and Weber's interest in the scientific element within the social concerns of scientific advance. In structuralism, the fear of dialogue prevails. The book discusses the epistemological thought of Pierre Bourdieu and Gilles Deleuze in terms of their persistence in constructing an epistemological understanding of social practice free from the burdens of dialectics, reason and rationality. It also enquires into issues of normativity and modernity within a comparative perspective on modernism, postmodernism and critical theory. Whether in relation to communication deriving from the threefold schema of utterance- information- understanding or in relation to self- reflexivity, systems theory fails to define the bearer or the actor of the previous structural processes. Critical realism attempted to ground dialectics in realism.
Just as orthodox Marxism does little to effectively explain these processes,
most articulations of academic systemstheory are also of questionable value
in this endeavour. This book retains determinate aspects of the dialectical
approach to mediation found in some first-generation critical theory, but gives
Critical theory and sociological theory
dialectics a sociological inflection by applying it to the functioning of social
systems in contemporary world society. This approach enables researchers
to inquire into the reasons why de-differentiation does
. Established integration theories can be used to refine the
concept of juridification. The following section considers which are suited to the task: those
indebted to, or at least compatible with, systemstheory.
Section two recounts Habermas’s survey of action and systemstheories.
Though critical of functionalism, he has drawn inspiration from the systems-theoretic
approaches of Talcott Parsons and Niklas Luhmann. In depicting a complex and somewhat
decentralised administrative apparatus, for example, BFN could be seen as the most
theories can be used to refine the concept of juridification. The following
section considers which are suited to the task: those indebted to, or at least
compatible with, systemstheory.
Section two recounts Habermas’s survey of action and systemstheories.
Though critical of functionalism, he has drawn inspiration from the systemstheoretic approaches of Talcott Parsons and Niklas Luhmann. In depicting a
complex and somewhat decentralised administrative apparatus, for example,
BFN could be seen as the most ‘Luhmannian’ of Habermas’s texts, and thus
contrasted with the
their identity – which he
likened to the dynamic relations between a gas flame and its environment. Once the
flame has been lit, Polanyi explains, it will maintain its shape by a constant inflow
of combustible material and outflow of waste products: ‘To this extent, its identity
is not defined by its physical or chemical topography, but by the operational principles
which sustain it [added emphasis].’50
Noting that evolution works too slowly to observe any major functional changes
at first hand, Polanyi stresses the larger perspective that systemstheory affords
The emergence of ‘left-wing’ Scottish nationalism, 1956–81
Rory Scothorne and Ewan Gibbs
-Nairn thesis and World-Systemstheory. As well as the international
and intellectual significance of 1956, 1955 saw the all-time high Conservative
vote at a general election in Scotland of 50.1 per cent and the peak of Scottish
industrial employment soon followed.3 Our analysis therefore focuses on
the reception and deployment of ‘New Left’ ideas in Scotland between the
1960s and 1980s, particularly in the 1975 Red Paper on Scotland, edited by
Gordon Brown, and Stephen Maxwell’s The Case for Left-Wing Nationalism,
first published in 1981.4 This will include a consideration
This book examines the impact of Civil Rights, Black Power, the student, feminist and sexual-liberty movements on conceptualism and its legacies in the United States between the late 1960s and the 1990s. It focuses on the turn to political reference in practices originally concerned with abstract ideas. The book traces key strategies in contemporary art to the reciprocal influences of conceptualism and identity politics. The central concept is a reversal of the qualitative assessment made by artist and theorist Joseph Kosuth in 1969. The book overviews the 1960s-1970s shift from disciplinary-based Conceptual Art to an interdisciplinary conceptualism, crediting the influence of contemporaneous politics dominated by identity and issue-based politics. It offers a survey of Adrian Piper's early work, her analytic conceptual investigations, and her transition to a synthetic mode of working with explicit political reference. The book explores how Conceptual Art is political art, analysing several works by synthetic proposition artists. It then surveys several key 1980s events and exhibitions before taking in depth the 1993 Whitney Biennial as its central case study for understanding the debates of the 1980s and the 1990s. Examining the ways in which Hans Haacke's work referenced political subject matter, simultaneously changing the conception of the processes and roles of art-making and art, the book argues against critics who regarded his work to be "about" politics. It also looks at the works of Charles Gaines, David Hammons, Renée Green, Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, Silvia Kolbowski, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Lorna Simpson, and Andrea Fraser.
German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has written extensively on the European Union.
This is the only in-depth account of his project. Published now in a second
edition to coincide with the celebration of his ninetieth birthday, a new
preface considers Habermas’s writings on the eurozone and refugee crises,
populism and Brexit, and the presidency of Emmanuel Macron. Placing an
emphasis on the conception of the EU that informs Habermas’s political
prescriptions, the book is divided into two main parts. The first considers the
unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the
subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the
latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism, and
the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part
addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe – 'Europessimism'
is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that assailed the
project of modernity in the late twentieth century, and with renewed intensity
in the years since 9/11. Interdisciplinary in approach, this book engages
with European/EU studies, critical theory, political theory, international
relations, intellectual history, comparative literature, and philosophy. Concise
and clearly written, it will be of interest to students, scholars and
professionals with an interest in these disciplines, as well as to a broader
readership concerned with the future of Europe
. The procedure would
have three steps: (1) choose an ambitiously constructed theory; (2)
identify the blind spot in its initial distinction; and (3) choose a
second, strictly complementary non-congruent theory, with a leading
distinction ‘orthogonal’ to the first theory's
distinction and, accordingly, focusing on its blind spot, and vice
versa. Systemstheory versus deconstruction, systemstheory