- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for teleology
They are saturated with a teleology which, at times, becomes excessively tedious.The Legacy of Greece
That is 035using teleology as a regulative principle, in Kant's sense of the word.Form and Function
E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
Teleology concerns the ends for which organisms were designed.On the Genesis of Species
St. George Mivart
As another illustration we may take the case of mechanism and teleology.Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays
Lastly, a few words about the very difficult question of teleology.The Last Link
- 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
- the belief that certain phenomena are best explained in terms of purpose rather than cause
- 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
C18: from New Latin teleologia, from Greek telos end + -logy
Word Origin and History for teleology
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper