Volume 8 · Number 1 · Pages 12–13
Who Observes? An Appropriate Theory of Observation is in Demand

Heike Egner

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Open peer commentary on the article “Between Realism and Constructivism? Luhmann’s Ambivalent Epistemological Standpoint” by Armin Scholl. Upshot: One of the key aspects of constructivism is the role of the observer. As Scholl shows in his article, Luhmann shares this perspective, and beyond that opens up the concept of observation by transferring it from the micro level of individuals to the macro level of society. Luhmann goes even further by stating that all autopoietic and self-referential systems, i.e., all living, psychic, and social systems, can observe, leaving an anthropological view behind. With this, the question of the “who” in “who observes” gains new insights that, surprisingly, touch on one of the central research questions in quantum physics.


Egner H. (2012) Who observes? An appropriate theory of observation is in demand. Constructivist Foundations 8(1): 12–13. http://constructivist.info/8/1/012

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