Definition of telos in English:

telos

nounPlural teloi

Philosophy
literary
  • 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.’
    • ‘Written well before the emergence of identity politics, it has no a priori commitment to the telos of its hero's self-understanding.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Greek, literally ‘end’.

Pronunciation

telos

/ˈtɛlɒs/