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the philosophical study of manifestations of design or purposes in natural processes or occurrences, under the belief that natural processes are not determined by mechanism but rather by their utility in an overall natural design. Dysteleology is the doctrine of purposelessness in nature. (American Heritage Dictionary) Teleology is associated with vitalism. It explains apparently purposeful animal behavior by saying that the action is performed because it will later be advantageous to the animal. Science, on the other hand, has sought to explain apparently purposeful behavior through the theory of mechanism. The notion that an organism contains a model of the actual world and a model of the desired world and acts so as to make the actual world conform to the desired world is compatible with the theory of mechanism. (Umpleby)
Originally, the study of ends, goals and purposes. In cybernetics, the STRUCTURal and organizational conditions for systems to exhibit purposeful behavior, reach goals (see goal oriented), maintain steady states (see homeostasis), survive threats from their environments (see evolution, adaptation), etc. (Krippendorff)
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