Remembering Niklas Luhmann
Please add your comments about how Niklas Luhmann has influenced your life.
July 5, 2001
- I got in touch with Professor Luhmann´s thought during my master degree course, in 1993, under the orientation of Professor Tercio Sampaio Ferraz Jr., at PUC-SP (Catholic University of São Paulo-Brazil). I remember how glad were those moments, discussing Luhmann´s book Power (Macht). One year after, I had the opportunity to talk with him, in a Seminar here in Brazil - it was september 1994- and since that time I was an admirer of his simplicity and kindness. Today, teaching sociology of law, I have the possibility to remember his ideas with my students and also study and learn more from his work. Thank you for the opportunity to remember Herr Professor Niklas Luhmann. by Herbert Covre - Brazil
- As but a budding undergraduate student, I have been fortunate, or dare I say blessed, to have found the work of Luhmann at such a nascent stage in my intellectual development. His (translated) work bespeaks clarity and observations that resonate with what I've been pondering since I decided to enter the social sciences. I am greatly disappointed to know that I will never get to hear him speak. I hope he knows that he has done well for the world, and will be remembered. Bernie Hogan, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
November 3, 2000
- No tuve la oportunidad de conocer personalmente al profesor Luhmann, si accedí a sus lecturas gracias a la influencia ejercida por mi ex director de tesis, profesor juan luis pintos de la universidad de santiago de compostela (spain). Por lo tanto, le agradezco el haberme acercado a los trabajos de este gran teorico, y sobre todo a su sociología del riesgo. - Maria Antonia Trillo Blanco, Santiago, Spain.
August 31, 2000
- Die Arbeit Luhmanns lernte ich im Verlaufe meines Studiums der Sozialpädagogik kennen, in dessen Inhalt sie eine große Rolle spielt. Im Moment sitze ich an meiner Diplomarbeit zum Thema "Die systemische Familientherapie als eine praktische Umsetzung der Systemtheorie nach Niklas Luhmann", so beschäftige ich mich sehr intensiv mit seiner Theorie. Für mich sehr schlüssige und vor allem übertragbare, nicht sterile Aussagen, die er machte! Schade, daß ich ihn nicht einmal "live" erleben konnte!!! by Antje Hartmann of Germany
July 7, 2000
- "I met profesor Luhmann in Guadalajara, Mexico. 1992; he was there to talk about his theory. He was so kindto all of us. I can't forget his smile and his powerful arguments about the theory of systems and the Autopoisis. By that time I was a student in the University of Guadalajara. After the seminar of a WHOLE WEEK, he spent some time talking only with 6 of us during two hrs. He talked about his work in Lecce, Italy. He ate mexican food a lot. After the seminar he did not want to drive a car, he walked for the old streets of the city instead. ............ - - - His memory will be always with me." by Javier Torres, Chicago Illinois, USA.
June 28, 2000
- Sehr geeherte Herren, Ich heisse Zoran Gavrilovic und ich studire die Sociologie auf dem Universitat in Belgrad.Auf den Grundstudie habe ich mit die Luhman Sistemtheorie bekannte geworden.Mein die Wunsch ist, um ich die Studie zu machen, welcher die Anwendung die Lumans Sietemtheorie auf die jugoslavische Geselschaften ( 1945-1990 ) und ( 1990-2000 )sein wurden. Ich brauche die Informacionen uber die Profesoren, welcher mich Mentor waren.Ich kann in DAAD ein Stipendie bekomen,und ich in Deutscland kommen kan, dass ich mein die Idee verwirklichen. Written by Gavrilovic Zoran from Yugoslavia e-mail = email@example.com
October 21, 1999
- Luhmanns theory is an intriging, challenging and an inspiring one. His death somehow brings with it a kind of relief. First and foremost because he did get to finish his general theory of society, and secondly because his monstrous production now has come to an end. The theory lies before us, and should be investigated with scrutiny. - André Aronsen, Norway
September 11, 1999
- I'm greateful to Prof. Manfred Nitsch, Latein Amerika Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, for having aquainted me (a biologist) with the work of Niklas Luhmann during diskussions on land use planning and zoning in Brazil. Stimulated by these diskussions I have read Luhmann's Ecological Communication and a bit of Soziale Systeme, which opened my eyes for a new scientific landscape. I was very sad to read about his death in DAAD Letter, the beginning of this year. But I'm sure the seeds he sowed will grow and reproduce thanks to people like you. H. Schubart, Brasília, Brazil.
June 11, 1999
- Gestern habe ich Luhmann`s "Soziale Systeme ..." auf Russisch beendet zu uebersetzen! Ich denke, dass ist noch ein mal Beispeil, Luhmann wieder mit uns! by Irek from Ekaterinburg-Russia
May 19, 1999
- Luhmann's theory was presented to me in my first year in Law School (Faculdade de Direito do Recife) by Professor Marcelo Neves, who had been once directed by Herr Dr. Professor Niklas Luhmann in his doctorat studies. I had the chance of hearing Professor Luhmann speak on his systems theory in my own city of Recife. He was undoubtfully a great thinker, researcher and teacher. I am taking my LL.M in Université de Montréal, and up to today study autopoiesis very much. I try to apply his knoledge to the problems emerging in human relations in cyberspace, to see if really they cannot be solved by way of law, once they are not problematized at the global society level. It will be a lot harder without Professor Luhmann, he shall be greatly missed by me and many others. So long, Professor. by Mauro Leonardo Cunha from Pernambuco/Brazil
April 9, 1999
- Luhmann inpired me to investigate the relations of power in society, after I read their works, my conception of the society has changed radically. - Calvo Bernal from Colombia
March 29, 1999
- I discover recently Niklas Luhmann and i admit that was a original sociologist. His theory of autoreferential systems is very stimulating. Meanwhile, this kind of theory is too conservative for me. But i read few articles and his famous book Social System. However, Niklas Luhmann is not enough translated in french and english. I hope that will be sooner more translated because he is not well knows in Quebec. Everyone knows Parsons but no one know very well the contribution of Niklas Luhmann in the system theory. - Kevin,- Student in Université Laval in Quebec city. Excuse me for my poor english writing.
February 28, 1999
- Niklas Luhmann was one of the greatest sociologist in the latest fifthy years. Now, the huge work at last finished, we regards him as the first class thinker he was. Our task is to continue (perhaps, to criticize) their provocative opera aperta. Prof. Antonio Pérez García, Montevideo, Uruguay.
February 9, 1999
- With the death of Luhmann, we lost a wonderful sociologist; he was one of the greatest recent thinkers in the sociology. Together with Parsons, he was one of the most prominent inventers of the social systemtheory. However, thanks to his ideas, the sociological world has become richer ! from Belgium
January 30, 1999
- Entré en contacto con la magnífica obra de Luhmann a través de una magna cátedra impartida por el Dr. Raffaelle di Giorgi, del Centro de Estudios del Riesgo de Lecce, Italia. Fue una sacudida para todos los que estábamos acostumbrados al enmohecido y acartonado bagaje conceptual de la sociología y la teoría del derecho. En mi país y en el mundo académico la obra de Luhmann es prácticamente desconocida (salvo por brillantes excepciones, como la de Javier Torres o Héctor Fix-Fierro), y ello nos obliga a difundir y discutir su difícil y extraordinariamente rica obra en nuestro medio. Mijangos Pablo, México, D.F.
December 03, 1998
- I am not a fan of Luhmann, not at all. But his death is taking away an intersting person, somebody who fought and argumented for his theory till he died. I am sorry about his dead. Mike Steffen Schäfer, Germany.
November 25, 1998
- As others have remarked, the death of people one has not known personally, at least as this is conventionally understood, may nevertheless touch oneself personally. The death of Niklas Luhmann had this peculiar effect on me, and ironically his own theories of man as connected to and interconnected in social systems contributes to explain why that can happen. We live in an always precarious and mysterious relationship to the world around us, be it the biology that sustains us, the sociality that communicate about us, or the consciousness we have of these and other things. We always have to come to terms with surroundings with which we can never truly identify, we reach out towards it through all the differences we can imagine and those we can latch on to in the common imagination of society. Luhmann taught us much about this, and thereby also, indirectly, much about ourselves. It is encouraging to see that there are people interested in the work of Niklas Luhmann also! - in the United States. I wish you the best of luck in your efforts! Iver Orstavik, Norway.
November 19, 1998
- Dear Mike and others who are influenced by the sad news about the death of what I am calling the greatest thinker in our century, Niklas Luhmann. Luhmanns thoughts has been the light in my work on understanding the world. He has given us a theory that do not reduce human life, that do not determinate what meaning humans gives to the world, and yet the theory of social systems makes it possible to understand the human life. A life in a complex and contingent world whiteout any fix point to help us in understanding it, but the information and utterance of the communication, the observation of observation, our reflection and selection of meaning. A world where humans just when they are cooperating in the best way, must exclude them self, to maintain the autopoiesis of there psychic systems. A dynamic world where it is difficult to navigate, where our inner complexity must match the outer and where both continually chance. Good-bye and thank you Luhmann. Jesper Tække, Denmark
November 15, 1998
I have to admit: I haven't read one book of Mr. Luhmann. I even think I always mixed him up with Habermas. And I don't like Habermas. I hope I do not offend someone when I say: His death did help me: Luhmann is not Habermas, therefore I have to read a book of Luhmann. Ruben, Switzerland.
November 14, 1998
- Luhmann was just great; a wonderful thinker of this century! He gave me most stimulating new insights how our society could surprise us in future! Henk Goorhuis, Switzerland
- The world has lost his exactest observer. His theorie will live on in our minds. More than any other scientist Luhman has changed my personal way of observing this world, maybe more then any man at all.... Thorsten Krohn, Germany/Hamburg.
November 11, 1998
I received word today that Niklas Luhmann died on Friday, Nov. 6, 1998. Although I have never met him in person, I feel that I have lost a friend. I corresponded with Luhmann while working on my Fielding dissertation, Niklas Luhmann: A theoretical illustration of his definition of differentiation. Luhmann is very well know in Europe and rivals the stature of Habermas. He is know for his second-order cybernetic social systems theory.
Personal Responses I have received from friends::
1. I am so sorry. What a loss. At least you had contact with him before he died. We should name a scholarship after him or dedicate your next book to him. Or something. What a great man! Marlene From: (Sacramento)
2. that seems like a major, major loss, to you, to all of us, to the world. thank you so much for telling me. I am saddened by the loss of a major thinker and creative human being and friend of yours. - jeremy From: (New York)
3. I know what you are feeling, Mike. Death is always tough to handle. But through your work and dedication, Luhmann's efforts will live on and will be passed on to others who will not have "known" him as you have.
You still have the gift of your interactions and correspondence; that didn't die. Ward From: (Minnesota)
4. I suppose you have heard about the death of Niklas Luhmann by now. He died after a long sickness on last Friday. It´s a sad moment. ... I don´t care what his critics say, Luhmann´s theory works ! Frederick From: (Germany)
5. Michael, I am sorry to hear this news. I've read enough of Luhmann's works to begin to feel like I new him and would have enjoyed talking with him. Pat and Allen From:
6. Sorry for your loss. When there's one of a kind in such a field as yours, it's like loosing a Platonic professor! Merrill From: (California).
Created on 11/12/98
Revised September 14, 2008 Webmaster