Giovanni Leghissa (Università di Torino) is CYAS Visiting Professor at ETIS from 9 to 19 may 2023. He will be giving a 30 minute guest lecture in english on May 9th 2023 at MIR Neuville, and then a longer version seminar on May 11th at ETIS (3pm).
The first aim of the lecture is to outline the general assumptions of Luhmann’s system theory; to begin with, the notion of complexity will enable us to define not only the core of Luhmann’s theory from an epistemic point of view, but also the issue concerning the mutual relation between modernisation processes and technology. The general government of social communication by virtue of devices based on algorithms will receive specific attention. What is to be put in evidence in this context is the fact that the peculiar form of reduction of complexity made possible by algorithms, albeit presented and articulated as purely instrumental, cannot conceal its dependence on political presuppositions that are worth undergoing a radical deconstruction. The latter shall be deployed within a critique of the neoliberal stance, which – contrary to the common view – has nothing to do with a supposed fading of the political sphere in order to favour the expansion of markets; on the contrary, it presents itself rather as a political project whose goal is to engineer social conflicts and manage decisional processes. Neoliberalism amounts to a specific form of government that finds its legitimation in employing statistical calculus and a model of efficiency that derives from managerial practices within the enterprise. Precisely here it becomes possible to appreciate the theoretical advantage deriving from an analysis that points at showing how every reduction of complexity that can be gained from technological devices is far from lacking political significance.