W.R. ASHBY rejects teleological explanations for behavior: "It will be asumed throughout that a machine or an animal behaved in a certain way at a certain moment because its physical and chemical nature at that moment allowed it no other action" (1960, p.9).
This smacks of reductionism. It is really very difficult to explain "intentionality", even in animals. It could be tentatively considered as a convergence phenomenon in systems equipped to treat information.
However, it is not possible to ignore the following comment by ASHBY: "Never will we use the explanation that the action is performed because it will later be advantageous to the animal. Any such explanation would, of course, involve a circular argument" (1960, p.9).
Still, could the memorized effects of successful previous feedbacks not constitute a satisfactory base for the repetition of useful sequences?
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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