Reconstruction of and addenda to Bertalanffy’s General System Theory as a headstone of a new philosophical anthropology
Bertalanffy’s scepticism towards the reductionist, mechanistic approach of modern life sciences, soon lead him to a highly censorious position regarding its impacts on the social sciences and humanities, given that both seemed to assume those approaches rather unconsidered. The multidisciplinary approach in his General System Theory (GST) from its earliest stages of development related life sciences with philosophy, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry and sociology and designed a fertile and integrative scientific tool that is applicable to all disciplines.
The present project intends to follow Bertalanffy’s transdisciplinary paradigm in tackling the reconstruction of its philosophical-humanistic approaches and – where necessary – to supplement it on the basis of “new” – in the sense of rather unknown – documents in relating it to current developments. In this context Bertalanffy’s estate constitutes an inestimable scientific value. Special emphasis will be given
to Bertalanffy’s ideas on the overcoming of the “Cartesian dualism” of body and mind,
to a critical stocktaking of those social sciences and humanities having adopted GST with an analysis of the respective explanatory power, and finally
to an elaboration of the fundamental deviations between the ontology of nature and the ontology of society following Bertalanffy’s ideas.
The study will be performed by Mag. Birgit Zehetmayer (Sociologist) under supervision of Univ. Prof. Dr. Reinhold Knoll (Institute of Sociology, University of Vienna) and ao. Univ. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hofkirchner (Institute of Design and Technology Assessment, Vienna University of Technology) and will be funded by the City of Vienna, Municipial Department 7 (Culture and Research).
Systems in Biology – How can early theoretical approaches contribute to current versions of Systems Biology?
In this project we aim to integrate the early system approaches of Paul A. Weiss and Ludwig von Bertalanffy with recent systems biology. Project leader is Manfred Drack. Further information can be found here.
This research project is funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF): P 22955-G17.