Conceptual History and the Diagnostics of the Present

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    This article explores Niklas Luhmann’s semantic analytical strategy. With Luhmann we get a sociologically informed conceptual history in which Koselleck’s guiding distinction between conceptual history and social history is replaced with a distinction between semantic and social structure, where the latter should be interpreted as the form of communicative differentiation and structural coupling within society. Here the guiding idea is that the constitution of social systems and social forms is reflected in semantic development. I would like to present Luhmann’s concepts of semantics, but in a way that might improve its empirical sensitivity and thereby make it more adequate to the observation of contemporary semantic changes.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalManagement & Organizational History
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)248-267
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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