Niklas Luhmann (1956 words)

Patrick Fortmann (Harvard University)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


Niklas Luhmann was not a literary critic in the strict sense of the word. In fact, the German sociologist was always fond of saying that he had but one project: the theory of society. Considering the size of his œuvre, encompassing roughly three dozens of books and more than three hundred articles, the claim appears modest rather than preposterous. Intellectually a successor to thinkers such as Max Weber and Georg Simmel, Luhmann devoted his career to developing an original, universal, and comprehensive theory of the social world: a “super-theory”, as he once described it, that would be at once limitless and focused in scope, for it would consider and describe nothing less than the world, but exclusively in its social aspects. …

Citation: Fortmann, Patrick. "Niklas Luhmann". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 April 2008 [, accessed 16 August 2022.]

12083 Niklas Luhmann 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.