Share this entry

Share this page

entelechy

Syllabification: en·tel·e·chy
Pronunciation: /ənˈteləkē
 
/

Definition of entelechy in English:

noun (plural entelechies)

Philosophy
1The realization of potential.
Example sentences
  • Leaving much of this material unattended to, I shall restrict myself to the themes that have occupied my attention in the previous sections, namely, entelechy, the transcendentals, especially beauty, and desire.
1.1The supposed vital principle that guides the development and functioning of an organism or other system or organization.
Example sentences
  • His working definition is that psych is the ‘first entelechy of a natural organic body’.
  • The entelechy of a caterpillar is to grow into a butterfly.
  • The true freedom possible in theology requires a significant degree of prior bondage; the substance of this discipline does not materialize simply out of our own entelechy.
1.2The soul.
Example sentences
  • This is in keeping with the British emergentists' view of emergence as midway between ‘mechanistic’ reductionism and vitalism of a sort which posited entelechies, substances embodying life-governing principles.
  • Each twin formed a unitary entelechy, a single living organism made of psyche and soma, still rotating in opposite directions to each other.

Origin

late Middle English: via late Latin from Greek entelekheia (used by Aristotle), from en- 'within' + telos 'end, perfection' + ekhein 'be in a certain state'.

Definition of entelechy in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day Noel
Pronunciation: nəʊˈɛl
noun
Christmas…