Bertalanffy´s Life

Karl Ludwig von Bertalanffy, the founding father of the General System Theory was born on September 19, 1901, in Atzgersdorf (near Vienna) and died on June 12, 1972 in Buffalo (New York).

He was

  • a biologist who dared to discover some of the laws that govern the riddle of life,
  • a philosopher, ahead his time, who searched universal laws of organization,
  • a scientist inherently ethical who aimed at improving the human condition,
  • a man acting as a citizen of the world, then learning to be aware of humanity’s enigmas,
  • an enlightened human, who encouraged his congeners to think ethically & ecologically.

It has been commented that apparently he preferred to live in the past. When listening music, his choice, was Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Verdi. He collected ancient coins and Renaissance postmarks. He didn’t like to see television neither went to movies; instead he was inclined to examine the slides of pictures that he used to take of classical architecture. He considered worthless to go to parties and didn’t learn chess, as he thought it was mentally distracting. Most of his time and also his spare time he was reading, making notes, and writing.

His life was the life of an intellectual adventurer exploring first in the mystery of the living world, and searching later how to contribute to the reconciliation of science and humanities, materialism and idealism, body and mind.

Along the years he always managed to assemble a diversity of singular and inspired reference points, which allowed him to draw analogies that other thinkers could never identify, simply because their expertise was limited to one or two fields.

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