By Niklas Luhmann
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Extra info for Essays on Self-Reference
If we refer them back to bases-that are capable of abstraction: they consist not of concrete persons but of meaningfully identified acts. What we would have to come to understand is this increased capacity for the construction of. complex and contingent possibilities and for selective orientation on them. theory lies in the notion of a system that differentiates structure and process and thereby organize selections. , personalities arid social systems—all differ in the way they accomplish this, with one fundamental difference being that meaning-based/conscious experience processing makes available a greater—in principle, unlimited—complexity as a selection domain.
83 In meaning systems, this advance allows for the onset of new and more rapid processes of evolution which further develop the special potential of meaningfully ordered experience. Possibility production, selection, and stabilization can all be found here in other 68 MEANING AS BASIC CONCEPT forms. This can be illustrated by looking at the legal sphere of society. development is generally borne by (1) the functional differentiation of society, giving rise in individual functional areas to increasingly daring and increasingly differing norm projections, and thus to a surplus of possibilities for legal regulation; (2) by correspondingly formulated, at first judicial and then legislative, procedures for establishing decisions that select those laws that are to be in force; and (3) by legal dogmas and findings in the form of legal maxims, which stabilize the chosen laws and allow them to be passed on, and which in this way also help control (without strictly determining) which possibilities will be projected and selected.
We gain some insight into this thesis itself if we note that insight had by then already been reduced to necessarily intersubjectively transferable instances of knowledge. knowing subject posits himself as producer, or more precisely: as initiator of a 62 MEANING AS BASIC CONCEPT production process that others are also capable of initiating according to specifiable rules. Interest in this structure, and, by the way, the "technical" aspect of this structure, 68 are not concerned with the mechanics of the production process as such, but rather with the abstraction of the position of subject.