Despite all my attempts, I definitely have to declare that I can not with Luhmann. For some time, I thought that it could be a matter more of a negative reaction to the style more than the content.
So I tried to read The Science of Society. It may be that what seems to me esteríl in general terms, to be interesting in specific. And not turned out. The same grandiose statements, the same ads are on the giant complexity of thought that end up with applications that are banal, the same ability to discuss fundamentally what is said of a theme rather than the theme itself (i.and the social analysis of science is fundamentally an analysis of the self-understanding of science, there are few references and analysis of the social process in science works to tell the truth).
In fact, I found that the problem of Luhmann -and of his entire theory of systems – is that it effectively works only in the framework of self-understanding. Not that is stops being relevant, but the operations of the systems, if you will, are not their self-understandings: the economic system does not operate as the economy looks. In one of his texts, Luhmann -face of all the evidence of the importance of linkages and networks in modern economies – can no longer see them as remnants of other elements, such as ‘problems’ (his discussion treats as equivalent to corruption). In other words, sees the self-image of the operation of the market such as effectively the operation of the market. And so you can not.
Which leads us, in reality, the most critical issue -and the title of this entry – which in reality, for all that Luhmann speaks of the complexity of the systems, and how social systems operate to limit the complexity; Luhmann does not have analytical elements to work with the complexity. You have lots of words to talk about it, and many ways to say how relevant they are, but instrumental to work with complex systems do not have. It is a matter of compare with, to say any thing, the instrumental that is used in Santa Fe to work with complexity in systems (of all kinds, including social), to see that Luhmann only has a concept of complexity, not an analytical complexity. Its instrumental analytical is not for work complexity, but to work the subject (it is not for nothing that quote constantly to Husserl) and what that does is move the instrumental to the ‘systems’: The system in Luhmann is a subject, just that absent-minded from its initial base and the great innovation is to say that all the things we’d said in the subject we can say of other things.
In other words, it has a pseudo-sociology (limited to talk about of which in old terms is called ideology, and that Luhmann likes to re-name semantics) of the pseudo-extent (since you don’t have tools-theoretical, conceptual or empirical, to work effectively with the operations of complex systems). But in the end, there are worse things in the discipline for the case.