Blute Blog

Blute's blog about evolutionary theory: biological, sociocultural and gene-culture.

Niklas Luhmann still publishing!

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A few days ago I received one of those notices from research gate that an article of mine had been cited in a journal article in 2021 by the German sociologist, Niklas Luhmann no less. I was aware that he had cited an early article on mine on “Sociocultural Evolution: An Untried Theory” in one of his books and I had reviewed a book of his (“Theories of Distinction: Redescribing the Descriptions of Modernity” translated and introduced by William Rasch) in the Canadian Journal of Sociology in 2002. Still, that was nice given that he was probably the most prominent sociological theorist in Europe in the Parsonian era. Nice, except that he had died in 1998!

John Simpson kindly contacted an ex-colleague of his who reads German. The journal was “Soziale Systeme” 24(1-2):71-105 with the issue actually dated 2019 and the article (title translated) was “The paradox of system differentiation and the evolution of society” .It would appear that the entire issue of the journal is composed of articles by Luhmann. Given that he published some 40 books and hundreds of journal articles while alive and was said to write 3 hours a day, every day, it should not be surprising that he left more writing when he died that someone has resurrected. I doubt that any of us alive today will still be publishing more than 20 years after our death!

Written by Marion Blute

December 8, 2021 at 10:45 am

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