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Talcott Parsons on Functions - Dictionary of Arguments

Habermas IV 363
Functions/Society/Systems/Parsons/Habermas: Because each institution (business, state administration, law, church, family) belongs to all social subsystems (economy, law, preservation of cultural patterns) in different aspects, none is suitable as a defining characteristic for each of these subsystems.
Functions/Parsons: he now defines them on a relatively abstract level as adaptation, goal achievement, integration and maintenance of structural patterns (see AGIL schema/Terminology). These are production services of the economy, organisational services of state administrations, integration services of law and the normalisation services of tradition.
Habermas IV 364
Problem: Parsons must explain why these four functional aspects are necessary and sufficient for the analysis of action systems.
Habermas IV 367
Since the scheme of the four basic functions in Parsons is no longer based on action theory and applies to living systems in general, the analytical components of the action themselves must now be seen as solutions to system problems.
IV 370
VsParsons: the division and assignment of functions in his system theory is arbitrary. J. Alexander asks, for example, why integration problems cannot be solved just as well by universalistic as by particularistic action orientations or why problems of the preservation of cultural patterns should not be solved just as well by orientation on the achievements instead of on the intrinsic qualities of a counterpart.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

ParCh I
Ch. Parsons
Philosophy of Mathematics in the Twentieth Century: Selected Essays Cambridge 2014

ParTa I
T. Parsons
The Structure of Social Action, Vol. 1 1967

ParTe I
Ter. Parsons
Indeterminate Identity: Metaphysics and Semantics 2000

Ha I
J. Habermas
Der philosophische Diskurs der Moderne Frankfurt 1988

Ha III
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. I Frankfurt/M. 1981

Ha IV
Jürgen Habermas
Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns Bd. II Frankfurt/M. 1981


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