Meaning of telos in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtɛlɒs/

nounplural noun teloi/ˈtɛlɔɪ/

  • An ultimate object or aim.

    ‘in the hedonistic life, people lose some moral purpose, a telos which provides the moral justification for the society’
    • ‘It's a teleological structure, but the successful continuation of the presence of the interactive focus defers and ultimately defeats the telos.’
    • ‘The tragic hero, we are told, still treats the ethical as his telos or goal, even if this entails subordinating particular duties to its attainment.’
    • ‘The eschatological motif leads likewise to a theology that takes its orientation from the perspective of our human telos together with the telos of creation as a whole.’
    • ‘In opposition to the Newtonian mechanistic view of nature he sees nature as an organic system of opposed forces with a built-in telos towards the emergence of consciousness.’
    • ‘Written well before the emergence of identity politics, it has no a priori commitment to the telos of its hero's self-understanding.’


Greek, literally ‘end’.