Niklas Luhmann and the Sociological Turn in Constructivism

Constructivist Foundations 8 (1):1-4 (2012)

Alexander Riegler
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Context: Niklas Luhmann is considered to be a major proponent of the constructivist movement who based his highly complex sociological theory on constructivist concepts such as Maturana’s autopoiesis and Spencer Brown’s distinction. Problem: Despite heavily borrowing from constructivism, there are doubts as to whether his epistemological standpoint was properly constructivist. Method: In six papers and 14 Open Peer Commentaries, Luhmann’s epistemological understanding, understanding of science, and use and development of constructivist concepts is examined. Results: The authors’ papers and commentaries cover a broad range of topics including the concepts of the observer, meaning, environment, and structural coupling
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