On the Autonomous Cognitive Agency of Social Systems

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Samenvatting

We argue the case that human social systems are distinct cognitive agents operating in their own self-constructed environments. Our point of departure is Luhmann’s (1996) theory of social systems as self-organising relationships between communications. Applying to the Luhmannian model of social systems the enactive theory of cognition (Di Paolo et al., 2010) and Simondon’s (1992) theory of individuation results in a view of social systems as complex, individuating sequences of communicative interactions that together constitute distributed yet autonomous cognitive agencies. Our argument is based on a broader understanding of cognition as sense-making, which precedes the existence of a consolidated cognitive agent to whom the activity of sense- making can be attributed. Instead, we see cognitive activity as a process by which the actual agents are formed. This brings us to conclude that though there is `nobody there’ in the essentialist sense, human social systems constitute distributed yet distinct and integrated loci of autonomous cognitive activity.
Originele taal-2English
TitelThe Practice of Thinking
SubtitelCultivating the Extraordinary
RedacteurenMarta Lenartowicz, Weaver D.R. Weinbaum
UitgeverijAcademia Press
Pagina's251-275
ISBN van geprinte versie9789401469814
StatusPublished - 2021

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