Luhmann's "Social Systems" Theory: Preliminary Fragments for a Theory of Translation
Frank & Timme GmbH, 01/01/2006 - 142 páginas
The present essay is an attempt to apply the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann's "Social Systems" theory to translation. Luhmann's book unfolds a theoretical view of human society as a closed system. In trying to apply it to translation as a practical communicative complexity, especially from the perspective of a functional model as e.g. the "skopos" theory, certain features discussed in Luhmann will prove to be helpful for a better understanding of the concept of translation, others must be reinterpreted for the present purpose. The "fragments" now published follow Luhmann's considerations as closely as possible, but refrain from drawing detailed parallels to "translation" as a complex system. Prof. Dr. Hans J. Vermeer taught Portuguese and translation theory at the universities of Mainz and Heidelberg. Retired since 1992, he nonetheless continued to accompany the development of translation theories and to teach in various universities abroad. His work comprises (mostly unpublished) lectures and contributions to conferences and publications on Translation Studies, medieval German specialized literature and South Asian languages.
Contradiction and Conflict
Society and Interaction
SelfReference and Rationality
Consequences for Epistemology
Index of Names
Structure and Time
according action activities actual adaptation allows assumed assumption attributed becomes behaviour boundaries brain called closed communication complexity concept connectivity consciousness consequences considered constitute contingency contradiction creates culture culture-specific decide decision depends differentiate distinguish double elements emerge emotions entities environment establish example existence expectations freedom function further German her/his holistic human important increases indefinite indicators individual influence instantaneous intended interaction interpenetration interpretation knowledge language leads least less linguistic Luhmann material meaning mentioned mesocosmic necessary object observation occur organisms perceived perception person perspective phenomena phenomenon possible present probabilities problem processes and events producer reaction real world reality received recipient reduction refers relations remains rules seems selection self-observation self-reference sense sides similar situation social system society speak stimulus structure subsystems taken temporal term theory translation understanding unity universe utterance virtuality writing
Página 26 - What is time then? If nobody asks me, I know: but if I were desirous to explain it to one that should ask me, plainly I know not.
Página 103 - These relations acquire structural value only because the relations realized at any given time present a selection from a plurality of combinatory possibilities and thus introduce both the advantages and the risks of a selective reduction. And only this selection can be held constant across change in elements, that is, can be reproduced with new elements. Thus structure, whatever else it may be, consists in how permissable relations are constrained within the system...
Página 106 - Action systems use time to force their continuing self-dissolution and thereby guarantee the selectivity of all selfrenewal; and they use this selectivity to enable self-renewal in an environment that makes continuously varying demands.
Página 66 - Sociality is not a special case of action; instead, action is constituted in social systems by means of communication and attribution as a reduction of complexity, as an indispensable self-simplification of the system.
Página 122 - slight accountability and capacity for being negated, thus great security about the commonality of an item of information (however diffuse) that one possesses".
Página 78 - Important examples are: truth, love, property /money, power/law; and also, in rudimentary form, religious belief, art, and, today, standardized "basic values." In all these cases this — in a very different way and for very different interactive constellations — is a matter of conditioning the selection of communication so that it also works as a means of motivation, that is, so that it can adequately secure acceptance of the proposed selection. The most...
Página 47 - Meaning always refers to meaning and never reaches out of itself for something else
Página 122 - information", for "communication" is another process, all the more as this capacity is achieved "through parallel processes of weakening, strengthening, and contrary utterance on a level of (intended or unintended) 'indirect