Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Habermas IV 333
Pattern variables/Terminology/Parsons: since Parsons neglects the mechanism of communication in building his theory of action, he must, under different premises, try to find an equivalent to the lifeworld with the three components culture, society and personality. He introduces the "pattern variables of value orientation": (1) Cultural values serve as a pattern for a choice between alternative courses of action: they determine the orientations of an actor by defining preferences without affecting the contingency of the decision.
Habermas IV 334/335
The pattern variables lie on the dimensions in which older sociology had described the transition from traditional to modern societies, i.e. the processes of social rationalization.
Habermas VI 336
Habermas: the pattern-variables are suitable for describing the fact that modern societies may consciously adopt contrary decision patterns for different areas of life and switch from a combination of preferences to the opposite. It should be possible to test how any cultural values structure the decision-making scope of actors through one of the a priori possible combinations of basic decisions.
Habermas IV 341
Def Allocation/Parsons: covers adaptation and target achievement functions, procurement, mobilisation, distribution and the effective use of scarce resources.
Def social integration/Parsons: extends to functions of preservation and integration of cultural values incorporated into the system of action. It is not measured by functional imperatives, but by consistency requirements.
Habermas IV 361
AGIL Schema/Parsons/Terminology/Habermas: (Since 1953):
Adaptation (behavioral system)
Goal attainment (personality)
Latency (Cultural System)
Integration (Social System).
HabermasVsParsons: in doing so, he disguised the interface that had been created by the merging of the two paradigms "action" and "system".
Habermas IV 366
Problem: Parsons has to analyze the coping with the problems simultaneously in the dimensions space and time. A system must secure its existence in relation to the environment and to itself (internal/external) as well as in relation to the start/end state.


1.Talcott Parsons, The Social System NY 1951, S. 78ff


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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.
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

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


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2020-09-28
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