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Human Digitalization

The digitalization of society is taking place in a process that is accelerating enormously. The combination of a dynamic globalised economy and increasingly efficient digital technology means that most people feel overwhelmed by this process – they can neither understand it technically nor integrate it into their everyday lives in a self-determined way. The question is therefore how people and society can steer this process.

We at the Bertalanffy Center assume that the intensive cooperation of system researchers, computer scientists, philosophers, life scientists (e.g. biologists, physicians, psychologists) and social and cultural scientists, together with private and professional users, can contribute. We have therefore developed a special work area for this purpose, which continues the work of Ludwig von Bertalanffy.

In 1967 Ludwig von Bertalanffy, biologist and philosopher, published his critical view of the application of technical systems theory and cybernetics to living systems, and in particular to man as an intellectual being: “Robots, Men and Minds” criticizes the dehumanizing effects of the behaviorist perspective of human psychology, which seeks to explain the behavior of humans on the basis of learning experiments with rats in a cybernetic machine model: there is no place in such an image of man for the typical of the living and especially of man, namely spontaneity, creativity and deliberate self-determination.

As an institute, we investigate various aspects of digitization with a focus on health in a series of transdisciplinary expert workshops in which researchers and practitioners participate.


Felix TretterProf. Dr.Dr.Dr. Felix Tretter is Professor for Clinical Psychology at the University of Munich and Vice-President of the Bavarian Academy of Addictions. Formerly he was Senior Physician of a Department for Addiction in a psychiatric hospital; his research interests are addiction, neurobiology, systems science, human ecology and philosophy. He studied Psychology, Medicine and Social Sciences at the University of Vienna and Munich and conducted experimental brain research for several years at the Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry in Munich. felix.tretter@bcsss.org

Big Data – Epistemological Requests of Systems Science

On October 10th and 11th in 2018 the BCSSS became a Big Data Hub, where about 15 people of different disciplines came together in order to critically assess the fundamental epistemological potential of Big Data. The event dealt with a philosophical oriented, multidisciplinary examination as an epistemology of Big Data….

BCSSS Member pitched Book on Transhuman: Biohackers and Immortalists at MIT Press Pitchfest

BCSSS member, Michele Battle-Fisher, was one of seven finalists to pitch a science and technology book idea at the first annual MIT Press Pitchfest, called the “Shark Tank” of book publishing. She competed for the chance to workshop her Transhuman book which is based on the in- production documentary, Transhuman:…

Vienna 2017 | Workshop | Systems Approaches to Information Ethics III

The third meeting of the project “Systems Approaches to Information Ethics” was held in Vienna 13-17 November 2017. The topics included: foundational questions of systems approaches (evolutionary theory, emergentist systemism and normativity; information in the context of Being and non-being, actuality and potentiality, and existence and non-existence);  problems of Information…

BCSSS Research Group “Systems Medicine and Healthcare Systems” joined a promising programme during the ISSS2017 Vienna

In the framework of the ISSS2017 Vienna in July 2017 one of the conference days focused on “From Public Health to Health Systems”. Following that programme the BCSSS Research Group “Systems Medicine and Healthcare Systems” joined the day and Prof. Dr.Dr.Dr. Felix Tretter, leader of the research group, attended a…

Modeling health impacts for decision-making – On status and perspectives

In affiliation with the 9th European Public Health (EPH) Conference, Vienna, 9-12 Nov 2016, at 10 Nov, an evening colloquium took place in the Bertalanffy Center (BCSSS). The topic was: „Modeling health impacts for decision-making – On status and perspectives“ This  workshop was organized as a joint venture between BCSSS…

“Homo informaticus” expert talk at Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung in Munich

On Tuesday, 15 March 2016, the Bavarian Hanns Seidel Stiftung hosts expert talks on the conception of man in the information society. After serving on the programme committees of interdisciplinary conferences at the University of Vienna that discussed several conceptions like “homo economicus” or “homo ecologicus”, Felix Tretter is to give…