The conference committee invites contributions on the significance of moral communication in Niklas Luhmann’s social systems theory. As readers familiar with his work will recognise, Luhmann’s approach to morality is characterised by a profound moral scepticism and a certain neglect of moral communication not only as an occasional topic, but also as a distinct form of communication. As contemporary society is continuously producing moral communication, however, social systems theory is bound to adequately deal with this phenomenon if its claim to a universal theory is to be maintained. We therefore welcome contributions from scholars with an interest in moral communication at all levels of society.
The conference series has always been characterised by fruitful interactions of scholars with diverse paradigmatic and empirical backgrounds in disciplinary fields as different as political science, aesthetics, sociology, theology, history, economics, health, psychology, ecology, education, and organization studies.
Social systems theory is empirically open to new semantics, different codes, and multiple levels of analysis. Presentations could therefore focus, for example, on how the medium of morality emerges from situations of double contingency and/or in everyday communication; how the moral code of good/bad informs decision-making; how complexity is reduced and increased by morally coded communication; the paradoxes that emerge and unfold in conjunction with moral coding; the relationship between moral coding and computer coding (#computerethics #ethicsofartificialintelligence); the relation between ethics and morality; etc.
The conference invites presentations of both conceptual work and empirical studies. Contributions are welcome that either build on the work of Niklas Luhmann or compare or combine social system theory with other theories, thus further developing systems theory by including thoughts from other traditions (e.g. Foucault, Bourdieu, Deleuze, discourse analysis, critical theory, critical management studies, posthumanism, etc).
Abstracts of 400–800 words should be sent to the corresponding convenors* by June 15, 2020. Full papers should be circulated prior to the conference.
Video Lectures 2020:
Leon Conrad – Roots, Shoots, Fruits: The direct influence of J M Robertson’s work on George Spencer-Brown’s work and its indirect influence on Niklas Luhmann’s work
Krešimir Žažar – Fighting the Virus, ‘Hunting the Witches’ – Moralizing within the Public Discourses during the Corona Pandemic in Croatia
Lars Clausen - A Moral Cross?
Jacob A. Miller, Matthew R. Sanderson – Reading in sociological evolutionary theory and Peters’ communication’s chasm to Niklas Luhmann’s (1989) Ecological Communication to examine mainstream environmentalism’s moral codes
Margit Neisig – The fragile system-environment relation, moral or ethical heuristics, higher order autopoiesis and sophisticated digital tools: May nature, digital and social systems couple in a circular economy? – Blind spots, paradoxes and deparadoxation