*****  To join INSNA, visit  *****

The communication of meaning in social systems

pdf-version <> 

The sociological domain is different from the psychological one insofar as
meaning can be communicated at the supra-individual level (Schütz, 1932;
Luhmann, 1984). The computation of anticipatory systems enables us to
distinguish between these domains in terms of weakly and strongly
anticipatory systems with a structural coupling between them (Maturana,
1978). Anticipatory systems have been defined as systems which entertain
models of themselves (Rosen, 1984). The model provides meaning to the
modeled system from the perspective of hindsight, that is, by advancing
along the time axis towards possible future states. Strongly anticipatory
systems construct their own future states (Dubois, 1998a and b). The
dynamics of weak and strong anticipations can be simulated as incursion and
hyper-incursion, respectively. Hyper-incursion generates “horizons of
meaning” (Husserl, 1929) among which choices have to be made by incursive

Loet Leydesdorff & Sander Franse

** 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 
[log in to unmask] ; 

SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social
network researchers ( To unsubscribe, send
an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line
UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.