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Shakes up postmodern criticism with paradigms from the social and techno-sciences. The rubric of systems theory brings together conceptual models and approaches in the sciences and social sciences that study complexity. It attempts to provide a coherent means of describing all systems, whether organic or inorganic, and offers a theory of knowledge that can account for the integration of humans in the social, informational, and ecological systems in which we are enmeshed. Observing Complexity brings the major concepts and foremost thinkers of systems theory into interaction with the major figures of postmodern theory. The format is multiplex and open-a rich montage, including interviews, exemplary essays, and staged dialogues. The writers’ aim is not to solidify theory but to provide a thorough explication and an open-ended exploration of how systems theory can address, in a fresh and productive way, theoretical questions that too often have led to impasses between different schools of postmodern theory. Contributors: Drucilla Cornell, Rutgers U; Jonathan Elmer, Indiana U; N. Katherine Hayles, UCLA; Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Cornell U; Eva Knodt; Marjorie Levinson, U of Michigan; Niklas Luhmann; Brian Massumi, SUNY, Albany.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction: Systems Theory and the Politics of Postmodernity
  2. William Rasch, Cary Wolfe
  3. pp. 1-32
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  1. I. Systems Theory and/or Postmodernism? Historical, Political, and Ethical Frames
  2. pp. 33-34
  1. 1. Why Does Society Describe Itself as Postmodern?
  2. Niklas Luhmann
  3. pp. 35-50
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  1. 2. No Exit? (Response to Luhmann)
  2. Peter Uwe Hohendahl
  3. pp. 51-56
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  1. 3. Pre- and Post-Dialectical Materialisms: Modeling Praxis without Subjects and Objects
  2. Marjorie Levinson
  3. pp. 57-72
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  1. 4. Immanent Systems, Transcendental Temptations, and the Limits of Ethics
  2. William Rasch
  3. pp. 73-98
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  1. 5. Rethinking the Beyond within the Real (Response to Rasch)
  2. Drucilla Cornell
  3. pp. 99-108
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  1. II. Of Realism and Recursivity: Systems Theory and the Postmodern Episteme
  2. pp. 109-110
  1. 6. Theory of a Different Order: A Conversation with Katherine Hayles and Niklas Luhmann
  2. Niklas Luhmann, N. Katherine Hayles, William Rasch, Eva Knodt, Cary Wolfe
  3. pp. 111-136
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  1. 7. Making the Cut: The Interplay of Narrative and System, or What Systems Theory Can't See
  2. N. Katharine Hayles
  3. pp. 137-162
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  1. 8. In Search of Posthumanist Theory: The Second-Order Cybernetics of Maturana and Varela
  2. Gary Wolfe
  3. pp. 163-196
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  1. III. Systems Theory in Resonance with Major Postmodernists
  2. pp. 197-198
  1. 9. The Limit of Modernity: Luhmann and Lyotard on Exclusion
  2. William Rasch
  3. pp. 199-214
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  1. 10. Blinded Me with Science: Motifs of Observation and Temporality in Lacan and Luhmann
  2. Jonathan Elmer
  3. pp. 215-246
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  1. 11. Making Contingency Safe for Liberalism: The Pragmatics of Epistemology in Rorty and Luhmann
  2. Gary Wolfe
  3. pp. 247-272
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  1. 12. The Autonomy of Affect
  2. Brian Massumi
  3. pp. 273-298
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 299-300
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  1. Permissions
  2. pp. 301-302
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 303-308
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780816652914
Related ISBN
9780816632985
MARC Record
OCLC
614986231
Pages
316
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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