Definition of teleology in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌtelēˈäləjē/
Pronunciation: /ˌtēlēˈäləjē/

noun (plural teleologies)

1The explanation of phenomena by the purpose they serve rather than by postulated causes.
Example sentences
  • Rather, it points to natural developmental teleologies in children's lives that child-rearing should take into account.
  • Not only do his detailed accounts describe competing constructions of black subjectivity, but they also prescribe particular roles and developmental teleologies for black culture and political consciousness.
  • Rather, he is presenting an emerging ethical alternative that favors individual preference over goods conceived in concrete social networks and immutable teleologies of life.
1.1 Theology The doctrine of design and purpose in the material world.
Example sentences
  • Unbounded design or contingent teleology occurs when the end-state is not specifically predetermined, but rather is the result of selection of one from among several available alternatives.
  • Without some teleology, there is no flourishing and no future for the human community.
  • Thus the appearance of teleology by itself is not sufficient to infer intelligent design.



Pronunciation: /-əˈläjik/
Example sentences
  • This conclusion follows from the fact that endogenous neuroprotection reflects the teleologic and composite cellular and molecular responses of brain tissue.
  • This paper discusses debate on the relevance of infant observations under three headings: semantic, epislemologic, and teleologic.
  • It was shown that students' thinking could be positively changed over the short term from teleologic to mechanistic.


Pronunciation: /ˈˌtelēəˈläjəkəl/
Example sentences
  • All effective means are inherently teleological.
  • When we in the West reflect on history, we see it as progressive and teleological - tending towards a end.
  • Darwin's notion of natural selection was not teleological, but some of those who extended Darwinian ideas to the social context argued as if it were.


Pronunciation: /ˈˌtelēəˈläjək(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • Anorexia, nausea, and vomiting with pain can all be regarded teleologically as protective reflexes whereby the body prevents the entry of toxins into the body.
  • Finally, this process was teleologically directed toward the restoration of the normal situation: a system grounded in sovereignty.
  • All things are structured teleologically, according to their end or intrinsic purpose, their final cause.


Pronunciation: /-ˌjizəm/
Example sentences
  • We need something beyond an inert metaphysical God, who collapses into either a bland natural law or an empty progressive teleologism, a sort of theological manifest destiny.
  • They tended to be ahistorical because they assumed that the state of underdevelopment was initially universal; their teleologism distracted them from paying close attention to the realities on the ground in the developing societies.
  • But, at the same time, it takes away the teleologism and the determinism that were the reasons for the fail of the evolutionary explanations of cultural process.


Pronunciation: /-jist/
Example sentences
  • Evolution is hated by many of those who believe God created everything and everything has a purpose: the fundamentalist teleologists of the world.
  • The appropriateness of this characterization can be seen by looking at the other example he gives of a teleologist, namely Nietzsche.
  • As he states, ‘Human beings have purposes or ends… To a teleologist, an act that promotes these purposes is moral, one that impedes them is immoral’.


Mid 18th century (denoting the branch of philosophy that deals with ends or final causes): from modern Latin teleologia, from Greek telos 'end' + -logia (see -logy).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tel·e·ol·o·gy

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