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the possession of an internal project or program
represented and realized through the components of a unity.
(Maturana and Varela, 1979)
The attribute of a unity indicating that it might be used to further someone's aims. Purpose is not an inherent function of the structure or organization of that unity. But the property of a system involving that unity and some user which converges towards an equilibrium (see goal-oriented), maintains a steady state (see homeostasis), survives certain threats from its surroundings (see adaptation), etc. E.g., the purpose of a hammer is for a craftsman to drive nails into something, the purpose of a computer is to solve someone's problem. (Krippendorff)