HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
BUITENDAG, Nico. Contrasting differences in identity and agency between narrative and autopoietic systems. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2013, vol.69, n.1, pp.01-09. ISSN 2072-8050.
The article aims at contrasting the autopoietic understanding of an individual and her or his actions as described by Niklas Luhmann with Paul Ricoeur's notion of narrative identity, focusing on people as legal subjects. The article assumes that when legal subjects necessitate ethical engagement and evaluation, the law could cease to deal with problems in a mere legalistic fashion but is allowed the freedom to appeal to norms of justice external to itself as in other natural law theories. Through narrative identity the deeds of role players are to be understood in greater complexity than what a self-referential legal system is comfortable in dealing with.