Can One Speak of Teleology In Plato?

  • Luc BrissonEmail author
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 139)


“Teleology,” a word invented in 1728 by Christian Wolff, has become a magic formula among those who are interested in Plato, Aristotle, and even the Stoics. Among our contemporaries, “teleology” in fact enables modern physical theories based on mechanical necessity to be opposed to ancient explanations that try to master chance by means of a good and benevolent intellect. The question in this paper will be to determine whether this explanation, which refers above all to Aristotle’s doctrine of causes and more precisely to the final cause, can be found in Plato’s Timaeus.


Plato Aristotle Wolff Teleology Timaeus Forms Khôra Demiurge Causes Nature Technique 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre Jean Pépin (UMR 8230) CNRS-ENSParisFrance

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