teleology[tē′lē äl′ə jē, tel′ē-]
- the study of final causes
- the fact or quality of being directed toward a definite end or of having an ultimate purpose, esp. as attributed to natural processes
- a belief, as that of vitalism, that natural phenomena are determined not only by mechanical causes but by an overall design or purpose in nature
- the study of evidence for this belief
- Ethics the evaluation of conduct, as in utilitarianism, in relation to the end or ends it serves
Origin of teleologyModern Latin teleologia ; from Classical Greek telos, teleos, an end (see telo-) + -logia (see -logy)
- The philosophical interpretation of natural phenomena as exhibiting purpose or design.
- The use of ultimate purpose or design as a means of explaining phenomena.
- Belief in or the perception of purposeful development toward an end, as in history.
Origin of teleologyGreek teleios, teleos, perfect, complete (from telos, end, result; see kwel-1 in Indo-European roots) + –logy.
- tel′e·o·log′i·cal , tel′e·o·log′ic
From Ancient Greek τέλος (telos, “purpose”) + λόγος (logos, “word, speech, discourse”)