Chapter 21. Teleology in Living Things

  1. Georgios Anagnostopoulos Professor
  1. Mohan Matthen Research Chair

Published Online: 2 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305661.ch21

A Companion to Aristotle

A Companion to Aristotle

How to Cite

Matthen, M. (2009) Teleology in Living Things, in A Companion to Aristotle (ed G. Anagnostopoulos), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305661.ch21

Editor Information

  1. University of California, San Diego, USA

Author Information

  1. University of Toronto, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 30 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405122238

Online ISBN: 9781444305661



  • essence and explanation in theory and practice;
  • form, function, and biological essentialism;
  • priority of being to generation;
  • parallel demonstration;
  • one-in-form;
  • Aristotle's biology - form, essence, and explanation


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Artifacts and the Four Causes

  • Goals vs. Functions

  • The Argument from Non-Coincidence

  • Craft, Form, and Spontaneity

  • Non-bodily Causes

  • Global Teleology

  • Note

  • Bibliography