Teleology - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 12 pages of information about Teleology.
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Purpose Activity

Nature of Systems Showing Purposive Activity

A number of philosophers, including Braithwaite, Ernest Nagel, George Sommerhoff, and Morton Beckner, have proposed ways of avoiding the difficulty about rivers and the like. Although there are differences in their accounts, they all adopt the strategy of regarding an activity as purposive only when its goal-seeking character is the outcome of relatively independent but dovetailing processes. Sommerhoff, for example, defines "purposive behavior" with the help of a concept he terms "directive correlation." Two variables, such as the position of a moving target and the direction in which an automatic target-tracking mechanism points, are said to be directively correlated with respect to a goal state (in this case, the state in which the mechanism points at the target) whenever: (1) The two variables are independent in the sense that any value of one is compatible with any value of the...

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This section contains 3,434 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Teleology Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Teleology from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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