ABSTRACT Two traditions of personality theorizing, teleology and mechanism, are contrasted on their views of mind and the pivotal cognitive phenomenon of meaningfulness A major, albeit less well known, distinction between these traditions involves the assumption of time The fact that contemporary cognitive models rely on time (e g, temporal sequences or past events) places them firmly in the mechanistic tradition of personality theorizing Telic implications for cognition have been relatively overlooked, and are herein explored theoretically and empirically Cognition without temporality is described and distinguished from modern cognitive models that employ telic terminology An original study is provided to illustrate how these distinctions can be operationalized and addressed empirically