I want to make a series of reflections centered on two particular works by Merton: the 1936 essay “The Unanticipated Consequences of Purposive Social Action” (UC) and the chapter on “Manifest and Latent Functions” (MLF) in Social Theory and Social Structure of 1949. The first of these has a significance in Merton’s work that has only recently has begun to receive due recognition. The conceptual richness of UC is such that Arnold Zingerle’s chapter leaves room for further observations. The second piece has been a classic since the beginning, a necessary stepping-stone for getting out of the method­ ological aridity of functionalism. Its influence has, in my opinion, crossed the methodological domain so well defined in Merton’s theo­ rizing, that it can make itself felt even in contexts not particularly in line with theories of the middle range (another pillar of Mertonian thinking) such as in the work of Niklas Luhmann (1970).1