Monday, January 2, 2012

Luhmann's First Slip

Here is a picture of the first slip of paper in Luhmann's slip box:
Mindener Tageblatt
As well as I can make out, it reads:
1 Introduction
It must be attempted to explain the criteria and concepts as clearly as is possible so that their inadequacy and imperfection becomes clear. [?] to 1/4a/6
Apparently, there are two Zettel with the number 1, so this is only one of them.

I should perhaps explain that I have no deep or abiding interest in Luhmann's theory of systems itself. I find his approach to note-taking primarily interesting for historical and philosophical reasons.


James Schmidt said...

Does "first" here mean temporally first or first in the (subsequent?) ordering of cards? It seems a bit peculiar to think of his beginning his card file with the first card in it.

MK said...

As far as i know, there was NO subsequent ordering of cards in Luhmann's system. In fact, there could not possibly have been, since the whole thing depended on absolutely fixed places of the cards. So, number 1 was probably the first.

It also looks it!

will said...

Hi MK,
I've been trying to track down Luhmann's original essay on his slip-card system, but the German book it was published in is rather hard to track down. Do you happen to have a copy you could scan and/or share?