- 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.
- 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
n.“study of final causes,” 1740, from Modern Latin teleologia, coined 1728 by German philosopher Baron Christian von Wolff (1679-1754) from Greek teleos “entire, perfect, complete,” properly genitive of telos “end, goal, result” (see tele-), + -logia (see -logy).