Luhmann and Morality: A Reflection on the Sociology of Amorality
Author: Ramze Endut
Title: Luhmann and Morality: A Reflection on the Sociology of Amorality
UKM Ethnic Studies Paper Series No. 70 (December)
Niklas Luhmann was a German sociologist who works in the tradition of functional-structuralism or equivalence functionalism. This is clearly reflected in his social systems theory. By reducing society to its functionality, Luhmann is in line with other grand theorists, such as Hegel, Kant, and Marx. However, compared to those German thinkers, Luhmann is not interested in locating his theory based on moral communication. On the other hand, his social systems theory is amoral in nature. This framework could rescue social systems theory from being trapped in moral communication, which should rather the be elements of environment. With the sacred distinction of system/environment, social systems theory underlines a clear separation between the domain of morality (environment) and amorality (social systems). Unfortunately, this move places Luhmann as a post-humanist thinker since man and humanity do not have a structural role in social systems theory. Fortunately, as a result of proposing a higher level of amorality in social systems theory, therefore, society in the perspective of Luhmann is immuned to a certain extent of moral communication. This will eventually protect society from the complexity of environment, including the dark side of human nature.
Keywords: Luhmann, social systems theory, amorality, posthumanism