Teleology is usually understood to be about purposes and ends. Fuller uses the word in a peculiar sense, whereby it denotes comprehensive, anticipatory design science, with the emphasis on the psychological dimensions.
Thus in Design Strategy (Utopia Or Oblivion, p.364), in which teleology is Concept 4, it is said to mean,
"the intuitive conversion by brain and mind of special-case subjective experiences into generalized principles and their subsequent objective employment in special-case undertakings".
Chapter 6 of Nine Chains is devoted to this concept, wherein it is defined simplistically as,
"the process of observing consciously, or absorbing subconsciously, from the outside inward so that one may do from the inside outward". (p.42)
Teleology leads the subjective phase of the Design Science Event Flow.
The relation between teleology and conscious purpose is called into question by a remark Fuller makes in No More Secondhand God (p.viii):
"Very little that men do consciously of all their functions renders their lives successful in the universe."
This can be connected with a statement Bateson makes in the essay "Conscious Purpose Versus Nature" (1973, p.410):
"Purposive consciousness pulls out, from the total mind, sequences which do not have the loop structure which is characteristic of the whole systemic structure. If you follow the 'common-sense' dictates of consciousness you become, effectively, greedy and unwise."
Another major concept applicable in this context is Precession.
THE FULLER MAP
© Paul Taylor 2001