Cognitive Science / Notes / Philosophy


File:Uni-facial Stone Tool LACMA M.80.202.244.jpg

For an algorithmic system, i.e. a system that can be described completely by a formal theory, there is no such thing as action or purpose. The category of purpose is not applicable to systems with fixed laws that are describable completely by a finite set of rules. An algorithm just behaves; it behaves the way it has been programmed.

A creative system, on the other hand, can act. It may define a purpose before it contains the knowledge necessary to achieve that purpose, before it knows the way. A purpose can then be used to select those new bits of information acquired from the world that may be helpful to achieve the purpose. It can act to achieve purposes.

The world of purposes, intentions and actions only arises with the emergence of creativity and the incompleteness connected to it.

(The picture is from

3 thoughts on “Teleo-Logic

  1. Oh, i like this! I was fascinated as a child to learn that certain spiders behave very much like programs. I forget the name of this particular species, but she spins a special web-pouch into which she lays her eggs. If you remove the spider the moment she finishes her pouch she’ll continue on and lay her eggs in open air, mindless of what’s happened.

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