System theory today
As pre-studies have shown a lot disciplines have adopted system theory for their needs, but some of the changed theories are already far away from the original intention. On the one side the development in the different disciplines is positive, on the other side this leads to contradicting positions followed by misunderstandings and building up new boarders that are weakening the prime intention of system theory. System theory always was meant to be an integrative tool for all sciences and to have a dialog between scientific disciplines.
The focus of the research project lies on the reception of system theory after Bertalanffys dead. Based on the theory arising from biology the developments in different disciplines will be investigated.
The key question is, if Bertalanffys and Weiss’ system theory still plays a role in science today and especially if there are contributions that broaden or reduce the concept.
As system theory generally influences the development of various disciplines and the concepts of how we deal with society and environment, the knowledge of how system theory is understood today is of paramount importance.
System theory today is a research project supported by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF) Grant P18149-G04 to Rupert Riedl (1925â€“2005), who unfortunately passed away shortly after the research project was initiated. Riedl was one of Bertalanffyâ€™s students in 1940s post-war Vienna and later on actively emphasized the importance of “Systemtheorie” (system theory) and “Längsschnitttheorien” (longitudinal-section theories)―not only in biology, but also in other sciences and in humanities as well. His emphasis on the importance of establishing a theoretical biology was also influenced by Bertalanffy. Later on, Weiss also exerted an influence to Riedl.