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Risk: A Sociological Theory by Niklas Luhmann

By Niklas Luhmann

loads of cognizance has been dedicated to threat examine. Sociologists generally have constrained themselves to various recognitions of a society in danger and feature traced out the trails to catastrophe. The certain study has but to be undertaken. In hazard, now to be had in paperback, Niklas Luhmann develops a theoretical software for such learn. His premise is that the concept that of possibility initiatives crucial elements of our description of the longer term onto the current. possibility is conceived because the chance of triggering unforeseen, not going, and unsafe outcomes via a choice brought on by a call maker.

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The present itself is - if we schematize time in this manner - the invisibility of time, the unobservability of observation . We may of course understand it as a stretch of time, but then the delimitation of this stretch remains arbitrary. And to the extent that is technically possible, we can reduce it in size and mark it anew by the boundary separating the past and the future. This does not alter the principle that if we observe time with the aid of the distinction drawn between the past and the future , the present remains the blind spot in this observation, the 'everywhere and nowhere' of this concept of time.

Nicholas Rescher, in Risk: A Philosophical Introdu ction to the Theory ofRisk Evaluation and Management (Washington, 1983), although distinguishing between runnin g a risk and taking a risk (p. 6), himself makes hardly any further use of the distinction. , 1990), esp. p. , on the grounds that risk is precisely the danger that future loss could occur; it does not depend on the consc iousne ss of the decision maker. And indeed, it should not depend on consciousness as a purel y psychic phenomenon.

When we look back, we no longer understand why in a present now belonging to the past we had been so cautious or, as the case may be, why we had made such a risky decision. And from out of the future another present stares us in the face, in which we will in retrospect certainly come to a different appraisal of the risk situation we are experiencing in this present. But how we will see it remains uncertain . Time itself engenders this difference in assessment; no amount of ever-present calculation can do anything to counteract it.

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