Religion Past and Present

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(3,738 words)

[German Version]

I. The Concept

The word teleologia was a neologism coined in 1728 by C. Wolff (Philosophia rationalis sive logica, 1728, §85) to denote the domain of natural philosophy that explains things on the basis of their end (Gk τέλος/télos, “end, goal”; Ends and means); it was soon borrowed by other languages. In substance, however, the concept had an extensive prehistory. In the work of Aristotle, examination of phenomena on…

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Evers, Dirk, Hewlett, Martinez J., Angehrn, Emil and Herms, Eilert, “Teleology”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 30 November 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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