Notes on an article by Niels Åkerstrøm Andersen and Paul Stenner

“In diverging from the classical biological view of the immune system as the part of the organism that defends it against external attacks, Luhmann closely follows developments within biology itself. He orients towards a systems theoretical form of biology that arguably escapes the oft-criticised biological reductionism – of which Durkheim and Parsons stand accused – that would model sociology so problematically upon biology.”

On discipline and grids

“[Evolutionary] advances reduce complexity in order to organize greater complexity on the basis of restriction. Thus a road network reduces the possibilities for movement to enable easier and faster movement and hence increase options for movement concretely available.”

social/cultural norms and discipline

“Western” society used to distinguish between good and evil, but that was supplanted by normal/abnormal. Good/evil is a digital distinction with no middle ground, but normal/abnormal produces a continuum. Individuals can be placed in this continuum subject to some kind of therapy to move them from abnormal to normal

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