Gulliver intended to describe his experiences in the Land without One,Two,Three in letters to Newton, to the successors of Descartes, to Leibniz, and to the Bernoullis. One of these great minds, rushing from one discovery to the next, might have paused for a minute's reflection upon the way their own epochal ideas were expressed. It is a pity that, because of Gulliver's preparations for another voyage, those letters were never written." - - Karl Menger (1959)
After studying communication sciences, media studies in three countries, I had particularly cultivated my interest in phenomenological systems theory and cultural studies (most notably the work of Luhmann and Sloterdijk). After that I had taken a year off from academia, not only because I felt overwhelmed, but also to give attention to my inner aspirations to understand the 'structuredness of being', as I would sometimes put it. This was nothing more than an attempt to come closer to applying all this theoretical nonsense to everyday life. Others would say I was depressed but I wouldn't believe them. This chapter forms a somewhat incoherent summary of how I came to see the vital importance of a system that incorporated both the law of threes and eight dimensions.
Comparable to Luhmann's The Moral of Societ y (2008) I took an moral stance vis-a-vis moralistic beliefs in theory building. Luhmann had formulated (on page 66) that Popper's critical realism had been a totalizing super theory - because who picked the hypotheses to be falsified? - which had to transform this question of its limitationality into an assumed body of pre- knowledge, which could impossibly be tested itself (and which led to so much frustration among sharp-minded students to all faculties teaching traditional methods). Luhmann had described functionalism, or the circulatory assumption of a system distinguishing itself from its environment as a precondition for limited problem-solving, after which it was possible to position oneself as reductionist - specifically contingent towards the system of science as super theory.
Super-theories could never also claim to be exclusive. Instead they were totalizing. Totalizing theories, as Luhmann had stressed countless times, attempted to both guarantee unity and difference. Hence, there could not exist any disciplines forming a coherent unity within which each new entry - because of theoretical and empirical reasons - led to the accumulation of more knowledge. But it was evenly impossible that pluralism would rule a discipline like a plethora of incomparable theoretical orientations competing against each other. Totalizing theories integrate the opponent's attack and describe why this attack takes place in the first place.
Luhmann had historicized dialecticism in terms of a postponement of the social and time dimensions: at some point in time, a particular knowledge had 'done the rounds' to return to a point where it was either accepted or refuted. But to Luhmann this also meant the postponement of the moral question, which asked again about the pre-knowledge, that which had to be known before one let this process happen at all. And here Luhmann labeled dialecticism as a theory clearly belonging to a particular historical phase in time having performed a bridge function: dialecticism had figured out how to deal with the time dimension, however it had not understood the social nor the moral dimension very well. I had questioned whether Luhmann had not conflated his moral dimension with his temporal dimension, as his body of work had only distinguished three levels that went into sense-making:
The social dimension produced the difference between individual (Ego) and collective (Alter). That meant that, in a discussion, one could attribute the expressed information to the (presented) individual or institution who expressed it, but als