A complex systems theory of teleology

Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):301-320 (1996)
Part I [sections 2–4] draws out the conceptual links between modern conceptions of teleology and their Aristotelian predecessor, briefly outlines the mode of functional analysis employed to explicate teleology, and develops the notion of cybernetic organisation in order to distinguish teleonomic and teleomatic systems. Part II is concerned with arriving at a coherent notion of intentional control. Section 5 argues that intentionality is to be understood in terms of the representational properties of cybernetic systems. Following from this, section 6 argues that intentional control needs to be seen as a particular type of relationship between the system and its environment.
Keywords Complex systems  cybernetics  emergence  functions  intentionality  naturalism  ontology  teleology  teleonomy
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DOI 10.1007/BF00128784
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Paul Smolensky (1988). On the Proper Treatment of Connectionism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.

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