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.


Please find here past and current projects of the research group!


Fur further questions and suggestions please contact the Research Group leader:


Felix Tretter

Prof. 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.

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