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through possibilities is guided by informational constraints held, but also generated,
internally. On the hillside constraints are generated spontaneously as the process
In all of these examples there can be said to be an actual intrinsically vague initial situation,
which may be clarified by activities appropriate to each case. In (1) the search dynamics have
no guidance, and all possibilities have the same likelihood and require the same energetic
cost. This process cannot fail to accomplish its crisp goal, which is simply to reveal one of
several numbers, which defines its final cause. This finality beckons the gambler, but is of
little interest here.
In (2), finality is realized during a process of construction, continuing until a
satisfaction of sufficiency is attained. This may be a computational inquiry of posterior
probability built on what was learned before, by way of a series of conditional probabilities.
Or it may be a process of concrete construction, given what has already been achieved, of
more refined becoming. Vaguer possibilities are gradually exchanged for a better degree of
realization. The goal here is emergence or clarification.
In (3), finality is realized in the quest for becoming, and development is subject to
individuation in all the tracks followed. Thus, many histories accumulate in parallel. On the
hillside, the multiple flowing will be realizing the finality of entropy production, while in an
embryo that finality is harnessed to a more immediate one – the attainment of maturity, here
accompanied by a slowing of the rate of intrinsic energy flows as it becomes achieved. In
biology, the ulterior goal is the burst of strenuous activities involved in reproduction.
Finalities can be parsed as follows:
{natural tendencies {functions {purposes}}} or
{teleomaty {teleonomy {teleology}}} (Salthe, 2008)
The Second Law is a teleomatic principle. The functions of living things are also end directed
(toward survival and reproduction), as, of course, are the many statable purposes of human
beings. Our view of the Big Bang can be represented in a subsumption hierarchy thus:
{physical world
{material world
{biological world
{sociocultural world}}}}
(Salthe, 2010a)
Stated this way, there is no obvious suggestion of finality. Here one realm is merely shown
emerging from a previously established one. However, following suggestive statements by
Charles Peirce (1935), we may use this format to imagine a more finalistic formulation, thus:
{universal mind
{physico-chemical world
{{ cognition }}}} (Salthe, 2000; note