teleology

[ tel-ee-ol-uh-jee, tee-lee- ]
/ ˌtɛl iˈɒl ə dʒi, ˌti li- /

noun Philosophy.

the doctrine that final causes exist.
the study of the evidences of design or purpose in nature.
such design or purpose.
the belief that purpose and design are a part of or are apparent in nature.
(in vitalist philosophy) the doctrine that phenomena are guided not only by mechanical forces but that they also move toward certain goals of self-realization.

Origin of teleology

From the New Latin word teleologia, dating back to 1730–40. See teleo-, -logy

Related forms

tel·e·o·log·i·cal [tel-ee-uh-loj-i-kuh l, tee-lee-] /ˌtɛl i əˈlɒdʒ ɪ kəl, ˌti li-/, tel·e·o·log·ic, adjectivetel·e·ol·o·gism, nountel·e·ol·o·gist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for teleologist

British Dictionary definitions for teleologist

teleology

/ (ˌtɛlɪˈɒlədʒɪ, ˌtiːlɪ-) /

noun

philosophy
  1. the doctrine that there is evidence of purpose or design in the universe, and esp that this provides proof of the existence of a Designer
  2. the belief that certain phenomena are best explained in terms of purpose rather than cause
  3. the systematic study of such phenomenaSee also final cause
biology the belief that natural phenomena have a predetermined purpose and are not determined by mechanical laws

Derived Forms

teleological (ˌtɛlɪəˈlɒdʒɪkəl, ˌtiːlɪ-) or teleologic, adjectiveteleologically, adverbteleologism, nounteleologist, noun

Word Origin for teleology

C18: from New Latin teleologia, from Greek telos end + -logy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012