Monthly Archives: September 2016

meaning

“Communication systems develop a special way to deal with complexity, i.e., introducing a representation of the complexity of the world into the system. I call this representation of complexity “meaning”—avoiding all subjective, psychological, or transcendental connotations of this term. The function of meaning is to provide access to all possible topics of communication. Meaning places all concrete items into a horizon of further possibilities and finally into the world of all possibilities. Whatever shows up as an actual event refers to other possibilities, to other ways of related actions and experiences within the horizon of further possibilities. Each meaningful item reconstructs the world by the difference between the actual and the possible. Security, however, lies only in the actual. It can be increased only by indirection, by passing on to other meanings while retaining the possibility of returning to its present position. Again, a self-referential, recursive structure is needed to combine complexity and security.” (Niklas Luhmann, Essays on Self-Reference, p.146)

discourse and speech

“Philosophical discourse never manages to ‘be’ pure discourse. It is never reducible to communicability and communication. Speech here orients discourse (more or less), speech that seeks to change something and not simply communicate something acquired and established. Philosophy was act, project. And thus image and poetry. Thus history and historicity. If it exhausts itself, if it supersedes itself, this is by redeeming and realizing this project.” (Henri Lefebvre, Metaphilosophy, p.270)