When the economy differentiates as a function system, aristocratic privilege is lost. Moreover, the aristocrats cannot even process as information what is happening around them. They have no way of making sense of it.
If, for the sake of argument, we say that values have nothing to do with social change, where does that leave us? Setting out this way implies that we’re not necessarily looking for the truth. We are, rather, making the conditional proposition known as If p, then q. If changing values do not produce social change, we can attribute social change to something else.
Luhmann argued that the legal system does not seek justice; as a self-referential social system, the legal system doesn’t have a goal other than its own reproduction. Justice is a value, but modern function systems are not undergirded by values. Ethically or morally just outcomes are not important. All that really matters is following established procedure, or due process.
The Scottish Enlightenment embarked on nothing less than a massive reordering of human knowledge. It sought to transform every branch of learning—literature and the arts; the social sciences; biology, chemistry, geology, and the other physical and natural sciences—into a series of organized disciplines that could be taught and passed on to posterity.
In modern society, there is a division of labor between the legal system (the law) and the prison system. The law has been around thousands
Luhmann is forever talking about the second half of the 18th century as the pivotal era in the transition to modern society. More specifically, he mentions early 1760s, and the year 1763 comes up in various places. So what was going at this time?
If one is dissatisfied with Luhmann’s social theory because he has relatively little to say about the material world, technology, the body, or ordinary human