Inter-subjectivity and Communication

Luhmann in this work, on the one hand, attempts to define the concept of communication conceived to be the basis of social theoretical foundations, while on the other, it argues along several lines for choosing the concept of communication, as oppose to the focus on inter-subjectivity of the tradition of subject philosophy, as a starting point of analysis. In the course of this elaboration Luhmann gives evidence again of his unprecedented knowledge of social philosophy and explores the underrepresented theoretical consequences of originating from the concept of subject. However, from a Luhmannian perspective not only the author’s definite distinction from the majority conception of the 20th century sociology shows up also in this question, but also Luhmann’s claim to develop a project of social analysis through reflecting on the European tradition of philosophy. What makes the work especially interesting is that Luhmann throughout the unfolding of his conception discusses all Husserl’s transcendental subjectivism, Habermas’ theory of communicative action as well as Karl-Otto Apel’s discursive ethics on their merits.

Released: Replika 66, 33–48.
Balázs Brunczel