# z#1747

The contribution by Luc Ciompi (see also Ciompi 2002), which triggered the discussion, points to a remarkable gap in research not only in the work of Luhmann, but also in Systems Theory in general.

Fascinated by the notion of Autopoiesis and by the concept of operational and thus informational closure of self-referential systems (Ashby 1974, 18f.; Maturana / Varela 1980), this theory has largely neglected the observation and exploration of energetic and causal couplings between systems and their environments.

This neglect has at least been noted in the responsive concept of "Structural Coupling" (Luhmann 1995), but not really corrected. Of course, the neglect is not only well founded, but even explicitly the program of systems theory, since the observation of energetic and causal coupling confronts a complexity of phenomena that overwhelms the observer and forces a switch from "Understanding" to "Control" (that is: Memory) (Morin 1972; Ashby 1958).

But this is precisely what neither systems theory nor a sociology worked with their resources spares to explore forms of memory in social systems that run more on the preparation of emotions than on intellectual control. For only then would it be possible to investigate the question of the ways in which systems have both to monitor and to use complex causal and energetic relations. Presumably, Emotions are only one of the relevant management techniques here.

See Emotion.