***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
<http://www.leydesdorff.net/durban06/index.htm> Anticipation and the
Non-linear Dynamics of
Meaning-Processing in Social Systems
Paper to be presented at the World Congress of Sociology, Durban, July 2006
Social order does not exist as a stable phenomenon, but can be considered as
"an order of reproduced expectations." When anticipations operate upon one
another, they can generate a non-linear dynamics which processes meaning.
Although specific meanings can be stabilized, for example in social
institutions, all meaning arises from a global horizon of possible meanings.
Using Luhmann's (1984) social systems theory and Rosen's (1985) theory of
anticipatory systems, I submit algorithms for modeling the non-linear
dynamics of meaning in social systems. First, a self-referential system can
use a model of itself for the anticipation. Under the condition of
functional differentiation, the social system can be expected to entertain a
set of models; each model can also contain a model of the other models. Two
anticipatory mechanisms are then possible: a transversal one between the
models, and a longitudinal one providing the system with a variety of
meanings. A system containing two anticipatory mechanisms can become
hyper-incursive. Without making decisions, however, a hyper-incursive system
would be overloaded with uncertainty. Under this pressure, informed
decisions tend to replace the "natural preferences" of agents and a
knowledge-based order can increasingly be shaped.
** draft available at <http://www.leydesdorff.net/durban06/index.htm>
** apologies for cross-postings
Amsterdam School of Communications Research (ASCoR)
Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX Amsterdam
Tel.: +31-20-525 6598; fax: +31-20-525 3681
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask];
SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.