Meaning of Teleology

What is Teleology:

Teleology is a line of study that belongs to metaphysics and is responsible for studying and analyzing the causes, purposes or ends that an individual or object seeks. Therefore, it is not a random process, since the end justifies its reason for being.

The word teleology derives from the Greek teles which means "end", and of logos indicating "doctrine" or "study."

The concept of teleology originated in Ancient Greece, when thinkers were concerned with studying and seeking answers to various universal issues.

For Aristotle, teleology is governed by four causes that explain the reason and the end of a phenomenon.

  • Formal cause: it is provided by being something.
  • Material cause: refers to the composition.
  • Efficient cause: what causes or generates it.
  • Final cause: why it exists; teleology is based on this last cause.

In relation to the behavior of the human being, the teleology action responds to an intention that constitutes a future project or plan that must be assumed in a responsible and critical way in order to respond to a specific situation.

Therefore, teleology responds to an intention with a clear purpose and not to momentary wishes or intentions of the individual.

See also

  • Metaphysics.
  • Teleological.

Teleology and religion

After the configuration of Christianity and the Council of Nicaea in the 4th century, classical thinkers and philosophers entered theological studies, generating a movement known as Scholasticism, through which teleology tried to respond to the divine mysteries, to the God's creations and their purpose. Christians supported many of its contents in teleology in order to give answers that were convincing.

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