teleology


tel·e·ol·o·gy

noun \ˌte-lē-ˈä-lə-jē, ˌtē-\

Definition of TELEOLOGY

1
a :  the study of evidences of design in nature
b :  a doctrine (as in vitalism) that ends are immanent in nature
c :  a doctrine explaining phenomena by final causes
2
:  the fact or character attributed to nature or natural processes of being directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose
3
:  the use of design or purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena
tel·e·ol·o·gist \-jist\ noun

Origin of TELEOLOGY

New Latin teleologia, from Greek tele-, telos end, purpose + -logia -logy — more at wheel
First Known Use: 1740

Other Philosophy Terms

dialectic, dualism, epistemology, existentialism, metaphysics, ontology, sequitur, solipsism, transcendentalism

te·le·ol·o·gy

noun \ˌtel-ē-ˈäl-ə-jē, ˌtēl-\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural te·le·ol·o·gies

Medical Definition of TELEOLOGY

1
a : the study of evidences of design in nature b : a doctrine (as in vitalism) that ends are immanent in nature c : a doctrine explaining phenomena by final causes
2
: the fact or character attributed to nature or natural processes of being directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose
3
: the use of design or purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena

teleology

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Causality in which the effect is explained by an end (Greek, telos) to be realized. Teleology thus differs essentially from efficient causality, in which an effect is dependent on prior events. Aristotle's account of teleology declared that a full explanation of anything must consider its final cause—the purpose for which the thing exists or was produced. Following Aristotle, many philosophers have conceived of biological processes as involving the operation of a guiding end. Modern science has tended to appeal only to efficient causes in its investigations. See also mechanism.

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