<metaphysics, Aristotle, theology, ethics, physics>, <causality, telos, teleology, Ficino, philosophy of history> the ultimate purpose, end, or goal of a thing; one of Aristotle's four causes. Explanations of how a thing is that rely on reference to its end (Gk. telos) are often called "teleological;" their use fell into disfavor during the Renaissance. Recommended Reading: Aristotle, Physics, tr. by Robin Waterfield and David Bostock (Oxford, 1999).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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