teleology

A philosophy of teleology sees purpose in ends rather than stated causes, making the outcome the actual, or "final" cause. When you see things in terms of teleology, you explain actions by their results.

We can trace the origin of teleology to the Greeks: to teleos, meaning "complete," and its root telos, meaning "result." Then we add the suffix -logy, which means "logic," or "reason." The philosophy itself suggests that acts are done with a foregone purpose in mind — people do things knowing the result they wish to achieve. As Aristotle said, "Nature does nothing in vain." So far, there's no teleology to explain why you haven't left the couch for several hours.

Definitions of teleology
  1. noun
    (philosophy) a doctrine explaining phenomena by their ends or purposes
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    type of:
    philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory
    a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
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